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|Industry||High-Performance Blending Equipment|
|Founder||William Barnard (1921)|
|Headquarters||Olmsted Township, Ohio, U.S.|
|North America, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Asia Region|
|President & CEO - Jodi Berg (2009-president, 2011-CEO)|
Number of employees
Vitamix, privately owned and operated by the Barnard family since 1921, manufactures blenders for consumers and for the restaurant and hospitality industry. Vitamix has been based in Olmsted Township, Ohio since 1948. It employs more than 1,000 people, most at its Northeast Ohio headquarters, customer service, and manufacturing facilities.
Vitamix is privately owned and operated by the Barnard family. The company was founded in 1921 when William Grover Barnard began traveling the country selling modern kitchen products. It was by helping a friend through his illness that Barnard began to associate the importance and impact that whole-food nutrition had on one's health and well-being. At that point, Barnard changed the name of the company to The Natural Food Institute, which would lay the foundation of the company's focus on providing products that help to improve the health and vitality of their customers.
It was in 1937 that Barnard was introduced to a new kitchen appliance, the blender. Recognizing the value that the blender could have on quickly and easily preparing healthy meals, Barnard began to focus the attention of the company on creating a durable and reliable series of blending machines. These machines were named "Vita-Mix" blenders, with the emphasis of "vita," meaning "life".
In 1949, Bill Barnard, son of William, convinced his father to take his Vita-Mix demonstrations to television advertising. This new medium provided an opportunity for the company to teach individuals the value of whole-food nutrition and the power of blending fresh ingredients. The company became pioneers with the nation's first infomercial.
Bill Barnard inherited the business and in 1964 officially changed the name to Vita-Mix Corporation. With the values of the company already in place, it was Bill's goal to make the preparation of healthy foods even easier than before. The Vitamix became more powerful and versatile, setting it apart from other blending products on the market. In 1969, the company released the Vitamix 3600, the first blender that could make hot soup, blend ice cream, grind grain, and knead bread dough.
In 1985, John Barnard and his brother created the Mix'n Machine, the first high-performance commercial blender. It brought superior quality, consistency and value to many companies in the food-service industry. Today, a full line of commercial Vitamix machines can be found in gourmet restaurants and leading chains around the world including Starbucks and McDonald's.
In February 2006, Blendtec sued Vitamix Corporation for infringing its patents on Blendtec's "Wild Side" jar design, which Vitamix had allegedly copied as its own MP and XP containers. The court concluded Vitamix had infringed Blendtec's patents, and awarded Blendtec total damages of approximately $24 million, the largest patent-related penalty in the history of Utah.