From humble beginnings, Kirkman® has grown into the leading manufacturer of nutritional supplements for a growing community of special needs individuals.
Kirkman® was founded in 1949 in Seattle, WA by Lyle Wellman and Bill Graham. The partners operated the company until 1967 when they sold Kirkman® to entrepreneur Stan Bachman who moved the company to Portland.
Dr. Bernard Rimland
In 1967, Bachman received a moving letter from psychologist Dr. Bernard Rimland who was urgently seeking a manufacturer for a particular multi-vitamin product he had developed for special needs individuals. He believed that a particular blend of vitamins and minerals with high vitamin B-6 and magnesium content would help his patients.
Dr. Rimland wrote to 26 vitamin manufacturers in the Thomas Register to ask if they would be willing to make a special vitamin blend for special needs children. Twenty-four of the 26 companies did not reply. "One of the two who replied simply said, 'Not interested.' The other company, Kirkman® Labs of Portland, OR, said, 'Certainly, we'll be glad to help. Just tell us what you need.' A very welcome and important letter!," Dr. Rimland said.
In 1982, when Bachman wanted to retire, he sold Kirkman® to his good friends Ken and Helen Humphrey. The Humphreys developed a close personal relationship with Dr. Rimland that continued until Dr. Rimland passed away in 2006.
Sales of Super Nu-Thera®, the product that Dr. Rimland developed with Kirkman®, was a very small part of the business at first, but that changed.
In the early 1990s, the Humphreys noticed that the volume of requests for Super Nu-Thera® had started to increase significantly. By the mid-1990s, the Humphreys, who had insisted on answering every customer call themselves, could no longer keep up.
The demand for Super Nu-Thera® grew in proportion to the growing need for this product. By 2000, Super Nu-Thera® had become Kirkman's best-selling product.
In 1999, the Humphrey's son David, an attorney, joined Kirkman®. David expanded the supplement business to include more than 400 products formulated especially for the growing number of customers that had special dietary requirements and sensitivities. As a result, Kirkman® is the recognized leader in nutritional supplements for individuals with special needs.
In May 2011, Kirkman® introduced a new standard of purity for nutritional supplements with its Ultra Tested® line of products.
This was done in response to the mounting scientific evidence that environmental toxins are causing serious health issues, especially for developing infants and children.
Kirkman's Ultra Tested® products are tested for more than 950 environmental contaminants including, pesticides, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, biocides, endocrine disruptors and other harmful chemicals. No other company in the world conducts purity testing to this degree.
Kirkman® continues to be on the forefront of product innovation to better serve the needs of its customers.