Western Canada’s largest distributor of natural and organic groceries.

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Terri Newell, general manager of Horizon Distributors // www.horizondistributors.com

Founded: 
1976
Number of Employees: 
202
Annual Sales:
$84.1 million

Terri’s Story

During the survival-of-the-fittest mentality of the early '90s, a young Terri Newell found the co-op model refreshing—an inviting workplace valuing each member’s skills and resources. While completing her Masters degree at UBC’s School of Planning, she was particularly drawn to Horizon Distributors, a Burnaby-based worker co-op distributing natural and organic foods.

From her initial role as an active member of the co-op, to her present day role as General Manager at Horizon, Terri has become a woman of numbers captivated by the world of business. Through Horizon’s journey from co-op to private company, she has thrived, enjoying the challenge of managing multi-year double-digit growth. All along Terri stayed motivated by Horizon’s vision of empowering a diverse group of workers to set the bar in natural and organic food distribution.

Meeting Renewal Partners

Consumer demand through the 1990s prompted an intense period of growth, and pushed Horizon to its financial limits. Despite an investment from Renewal in efforts to save the co-op model, eventually Horizon began looking for an investor to take them private. When the process of finding the right investor soured, Renewal stepped in, offering a larger investment and board level expertise in the search for a new investor.

“Renewal was the values guardian at board level,” explains Terri. Today, Horizon has grown to be a national player, and Western Canada’s largest distributor of natural and organic groceries—ultimately becoming Renewal’s greatest financial success.

Making Ripples

From its roots as a worker owned co-op to leading a group of affiliated companies today, Horizon remains dedicated to promoting wellness and sustainability with the finest natural, organic, and fairly traded products. As consumer support for natural and organic foods drives further growth, Horizon maintains its position as supplier to buying clubs and independent retailers, as well as major grocery stores, such as Capers Whole Foods Markets and the Overwaitea Food Group. With the upcoming move to a new facility with nearly double the square footage, Horizon will continue to grow.