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Oriya Organics


Oriya-Organics

Jonathon Larson, CEO of Oriya Organics, with his sister Katie and his mother (and top sales employee), Susan. (Photo – Kelly Landrieu)

Katy Family Develops Nutritional Supplements To Maximize Fitness And Optimize Health

By Judy Latta

When Ryan Larson, a professional mixed martial artist (MMA), was in training for competition, he and his brother Jonathon, his personal trainer, fastidiously scrutinized labels and monitored everything that Ryan ingested to try to maximize his physical prowess. Unfortunately, however, the brothers were disappointed to find that the nutritional supplements on the market contained processed ingredients such as sweeteners, flavors, gums and synthetic additives. Jonathon explains, “Having been an athlete my entire life, I have studied health and nutrition for over a decade. Most of these ingredients were unhealthy and not permitted for Ryan’s nutritional regimen.”

Thus, the brothers began experimenting with plant proteins and superfoods to formulate their own homemade supplements for Ryan that are nutritionally dense; high in antioxidants and phytonutrients; supportive of healing, energy and revitalization; and easy on the digestive system. Ryan explains, “Nutrition and optimal fitness go hand in hand. Switching to a dairy-free diet and supplements that were unprocessed and free from unhealthy ingredients like sweeteners and synthetic additives really took my training regimen to the next level.”

 

The Launch of Oriya Organics

After Ryan retired from MMA, Jona­thon and Ryan decided to share the products they developed with others who are in search of a clean boost to their diets. In 2011, with the help of their family, they founded Oriya Organics to market their nutritional supplements, and in 2013, they began producing and selling their products. Jonathon says, “Our thinking was simple when we started Oriya Organics: create the cleanest product line in the industry with a focus on whole food, organic nutrition. By utilizing nutrient-dense, superfood ingredients like spirulina, chia seeds and turmeric, we were able to get nutrition from food and not processed, synthetic additives.” According to Jonathon, Oriya Organics adheres to the most stringent ingredient standards on the market.

The company’s target market is customers looking for a source of nutrition from real food sources. “This includes professional athletes, weekend warriors and health-savvy moms looking to feed their families and kids organic, nutrient rich foods,” Jonathon explains. “There can be a lot of smoke and mirrors in the supplements industry, and we are all about transparency with our product line.” This transparency is evident in the company’s packaging; the list of ingredients is prominently displayed on the front of each Oriya Organics product label, not in small print on the back like with most products.

 

A Family Business

Oriya Organics is a classic family-run business. Jonathon says, “I have a very supportive family and everyone helps out with the business in some capacity.” The company was founded by Jonathon, Ryan and their father, Steve. Jonathon is the CEO of the business, and he and Ryan continue to work together formulating products. Ryan also helps with financial and business operations, and really is a walking advertisement for the brand. Steve, a 30-year veteran of the horticulture industry, assists with production and the vetting of all ingredient suppliers, and he provides advice on launching new products and new avenues of distribution. Jonathon and Ryan’s mother, Susan, demos the products and is the company’s top sales employee, while their sister, Katie, helps with social media, marketing, branding and demos. “It really is a team effort,” Jonathon says.

Outside of work, the close Katy family also spends much of their free time together. They attend the Second Baptist Church, and enjoy traveling, hiking and just hanging out together.

 

Company Growth

The Larsons’ ultra-healthy supplement line seems to have filled a significant void in the health food market. The company flourished, and by 2017 the Oriya Organics product line had moved beyond the local area to the Colorado and Rocky Mountain region, and was picked up by some major retailers, including Whole Foods, HEB and Amazon.

Jonathon attributes the company’s success to a great product line and a lot of hard work. “When we launched the Rocky Mountain region of Whole Foods, I traversed the country and sampled our products in every retailer our products were found in,” he says. “My mom would hate to hear it but I drove through tornadoes in Kansas, blizzards in Utah and just about everything imaginable. We have sacrificed a lot to be where we are today but I wouldn’t change a thing. The hard work is really beginning to pay off.”

This summer the company is launching two new products, the Summit Energizer and the Gather Paleo Plant Protein. According to Jonathon, “We owe our fast growth to our customers; folks looking for ultra-clean, 100 percent organic whole food, plant-based supplements.” Jonathon sees longevity and additional growth in the company’s future. “It was always our goal to provide the best products on the market and not to sacrifice our integrity or ingredient standards,” he explains. “If we continue to do this, we will create a lasting brand that is synonymous with quality.”

“Some advice I would provide to other aspiring entrepreneurs would be that nothing is going to come easy,” Jonathon says. “Be ready to work hard and always be passionate about what you do and offer to your customer. The passion and energy you bring to your company can’t be copied by large competitors.”

 

The Oriya Organics Product Line

Each of the products in the Oriya Organics line is made from six ingredients or fewer, and is certified organic, gluten-free and non-GMO verified. The current product line includes:

  • The 100% Plant Protein is made of five bioavailable plant proteins including organic sprouted rice protein; organic hemp seed protein; organic sprouted chia seeds; and two nutritionally dense greens, organic spirulina and organic chlorella. It is mineral, antioxidant and omega 3 rich.
  • The 100% Greens is simply four nutritionally dense organic greens: spirulina, chlorella, wheat grass and barley grass. This gluten-free supplement tastes great in smoothies and is mineral, nutrient and antioxidant rich.
  • The Summit Engergizer is designed to be a pre-workout energy generator. This potent synergistic formula combines large servings of some of the most nutrient dense greens on the planet – fermented beet, fermented turmeric and maca.
  • The Gather Paleo Plant Protein is a wildcrafted protein powder sourced from seeds and berries, formulated to meet the dietary needs of all. It is a whole food, ultra-clean supplement made of only six organic ingredients: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, cranberries and goji berries.

Visit OriyaOrganics.com to learn more about the Oriya Organics product line.

 

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Ryan Larson preparing for a mixed martial arts fight in Dallas.

Ryan Larson preparing for a mixed martial arts fight in Dallas.

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The Larsons at their family home in Katy.  Counter­clockwise from front left: Katie; Catherine Cody Larson, Ryan’s wife; Ryan; Jonathon; Steve; and Susan.

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Jonathon Larson on a company team building exercise climbing to the summit of Mt. Elbert in Colorado, the second tallest peak in the contiguous United States. Photo taken shortly after Oriya Organics launched its product line at Whole Foods in the Rocky Mountain region.  (Photo – David Reedy)


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