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20 Best Small Companies to Watch 2021

Damon Sununtnasuk, CEO of Natural Cure Labs LLC, Speaks to The Silicon Review: ‘We Will Continue to Champion the Compliant, Transparent, and Trustworthy Manufacturing of Natural Products’

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“Our company engages certified doctors and industry professionals to help formulate, research, and validate products with a dossier of human clinical studies, which aim to bolster trust and transparency in an often-opaque product space.”

Natural Cure Labs LLC is an award-winning manufacturer of dietary supplements represented by two incredible brands: Palmara Health and VitaTails. The company is committed to producing responsible, trustworthy, and quality supplements that enable individuals to live a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle.

The company was founded in 2015 and is based in St. Petersburg, FL.

Interview Excerpt: Damon Sununtnasuk

Q. Let’s talk about Natural Cure Labs LLC and how it came to the fore. So, what inspired you to start the company? Was there any prior experience that led to the establishment of the company?

In the summer of 2015, I found myself in one of America's most expensive cities without medical insurance, and true empathy for those similarly situated. In search of solutions to support and maintain personal health, it became clear that many natural products were deeply flawed, containing synthetic excipients, low potency ingredients, and little academic support.

Tapping into local nutrition expertise and bolstered by the entrepreneurial determination of San Francisco, Natural Cure Labs LLC was born out of the desire to transform an industry and impact lives of an estimated 58 million adults who suffer from ‘medication insecurity’. Today, the company is known by two prestigious brands: Palmara Health, which provides world-class dietary supplements, and VitaTails which focuses on supplemental pet nutrition.

Q. In a market challenged by obscurity, inconsistent quality, and non-compliant advertising, Palmara Health set out to change the narrative for good. This sounds highly promising. Would you like to brief us about the journey so far?

Palmara Health is obsessed with producing research-based quality products to win the confidence and trust of our customers. These core values must be reflected in everyone we work with—from label printers to ingredient suppliers to distributors and marketplaces.

Our company engages certified doctors and industry professionals to help formulate, research, and validate products with a dossier of human clinical studies, which aim to bolster trust and transparency in an often-opaque product space.

Q. Beginning with a single product, Palmara Health applied three foundational commitments which would define the company and portfolio. How do you interpret this further?

Palmara Health applies three guiding principles which manifest themselves in every formula, decision, and product. Every aspect of the value chain, from raw ingredients to marketing literature, must uphold these standards.

  1. Quality – US-based (when possible) raw materials are sustainably sourced, are always vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO. ‘Clean Label’ protocols are met using plant-based capsules and natural rice powder as an essential part of the manufacturing process—never synthetic excipients.
  2. Safety – Manufacturing facilities are cGMP certified, and every product is tested in-house and via a third-party accredited lab to ensure safety and quality specifications are met.
  3. Trust – All products are released with accompanying literature highlighting the science behind the ingredient. Product literature, labels, and supporting content are reviewed by industry professions to ensure a high degree of accuracy, transparency, and compliance.

Q. Your company's award-winning portfolio supports customer demand for immune supplements. Would you like to elaborate on this a bit more?

In 2020, the Nutrition Business Journal estimated that sales of cold, flu, and immunity supplements would reach $5.2 billion, with a growth of 51.2 percent over 2019. Nearly 10 percent of all U.S. supplement sales in 2020 were for immune support products, emphasizing Americans' interest and confidence in supplements to support their immune health needs.

In response to customers’ growing demand, Palmara Health enhanced and expanded our portfolio of immune-focused supplements to include a wider variety of products. Additionally, we added several new online retailers to offer consumers extra flexibility and choice to access products safely and conveniently.

This effort has garnered some impressive industry recognition for the company, having been featured in Breast Cancer Wellness Magazine, Taste for Life Magazine’s ‘Immunity Guide’, and receiving numerous accolades including ‘Company of the Year’ and ‘Product Development Executive of the Year’ in the 2020 American Business Awards, ‘Dietary Supplement Supplier of the Year’ by Global Health and Pharma (GHP) News, ‘Best Health & Wellness Nutrition Manufacturer—USA’ by New World Report, as well as ‘Best Multivitamin 2019’ finalist by NEXTY.

Q. How do you measure success, and over what time frame? How are these metrics determined?

As a small privately held company, success measurements are not motivated by external interests or influenced by investment pressures. Success for Palmara Health comes down to making the highest quality supplements that customers love and trust.

Success for us comes in many forms—from incredible and heartwarming customer stories to the relationships built with suppliers, contractors, and employees. We are only as successful as our customers’ confidence in the products we offer, which further motivates us to perform our best.

Q. Could you describe your typical management style and the type of employee that works well with you?

The company is governed by a deeply rooted sense of employee enablement and empowerment. To work at Palmara Health, the company looks for high potential candidates with a passion for supporting the community, the desire to impact the lives of many, and the commitment to do what’s right over what may be easy. Employees are encouraged to explore and recommend passion projects, whether it is pursuing a new piece of research, attending industry events to learn about innovative manufacturing and packaging technologies, or exploring the complementary properties of natural ingredients. It is the dedication of individual employees which provides the spark for many of our most innovative products and formulas.

Q. What is your company's policy on providing seminars, workshops, and training so the employees can keep up on their skills or acquire new skills?

Creating and maintaining compliant operations is at the heart of what we do. Employees attend virtual (and in the past, in-person) industry events to keep current in this rapidly advancing industry. Employing the ‘latest and greatest’ the industry has to offer- from breakthrough ingredients to novel delivery vehicles like dual-capsule technologies keeps us ahead of the curve.

Company leaders have completed several NSF training programs, including Dietary Supplements Claims Substantiation and Dietary Supplement Label Compliance, to ensure that products, labels, and supporting materials meet local and federal authorities’ guidelines.

Q. What new endeavors is your company currently undertaking?

The company is currently extending its expertise in dietary supplements to support the health of our furry companions—pets. The company recently introduced a new line of soft chew multivitamins for dogs under the brand ‘VitaTails’.

VitaTails aims to bring science-based nutrition to pets safely and effectively. The newly released multivitamin soft chew formula contains 30 nutrients that are expertly blended to support coat, hip, joint health, digestion, and overall vitality. The wheat-free and palm oil-free formula is USA-manufactured in a food-grade facility and is cold extruded to preserve key nutrients.

Q. About your plans, where do you think your company will be in five years?

The company will continue to champion the compliant, transparent, and trustworthy manufacturing of natural products. We aim to extend our award-winning portfolio to include additional markets and channels to provide immune support-focused products to as many people (and pets) as possible.

The Ardent Visionary Behind the Triumph of Natural Cure Labs LLC

Damon Sununtnasuk serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Natural Cure Labs LLC, operating as Palmara Health and VitaTails brand supplements. He has an internationally decorated career in health, technology, and entrepreneurial leadership and his work and travel has taken him to more than 70 countries across six continents. He is the founder and president of multiple award-winning companies, including an industry-recognized strategy consulting firm with a global client base.

Mr. Sununtnasuk earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Magna Cum Laude) from the University of Florida and his Master of Business Administration (First-Class Honours) from the University of Cambridge, England.

"We’re committed to providing quality natural products to support the estimated 28.9 million Americans without health insurance and the 58 million adults who suffer from medication insecurity."