Melaleuca Celebrates 30 Years in Canada

Thirty years ago this month, Melaleuca: The Wellness Company became an international business when it opened its doors to Canadian customers, offering not only products but also Melaleuca’s referral income opportunity. This was a pivotal moment in the company’s history because the move marked the beginning of incredible growth for The Wellness Company and the beginning of enhancing lives throughout the world, not just in the United States.

Melaleuca began in 1985 as a small operation with only eight products and a handful of employees, but it has grown into the largest online wellness shopping club in North America. The Wellness Company now operates in 20 countries and territories with annual revenues of more than $2 billion worldwide. More than 2 million customers shop with Melaleuca every month and enjoy healthier, more vibrant lives.

This international momentum all began in Canada, which today is Melaleuca’s fourth-largest market. This 30-year milestone was acknowledged and celebrated by Melaleuca Executive Chairman Frank VanderSloot during the 2024 Melaleuca Convention. As part of this acknowledgement, a special celebration cover story was also published in the May 2024 issue of Melaleuca’s Leadership in Action magazine, which has a large print distribution and can be viewed online by Melaleuca customers.

“Opening our doors in Canada 30 years ago was a critical milestone for Melaleuca,” says Melaleuca Executive Chairman Frank VanderSloot. “It was our first time doing business outside of the US, and it taught us that the excitement and demand for exceptional wellness products extends far beyond our national borders.”

Why Melaleuca Chose Canada

Bringing The Wellness Company to Canada only made sense. Its proximity to the United States made shipping to Canada far less expensive than shipping to overseas locations. And since Melaleuca is shared via social connections, many Canadians had been hearing about Melaleuca from their American friends and family. But ultimately, Canada was a great choice because the values and goals of most Canadians were—and continue to be—perfectly aligned with Melaleuca.

The Canadian national anthem, “O Canada,” is sung at the 2024 Melaleuca Convention.

By the 1990s, Canada was already an extremely eco-friendly country. For example, back when Americans were coming up with clever social campaigns just to rouse a little excitement about recycling, this practice was already a matter of national pride to Canadians. As such, Canadians were especially receptive to Melaleuca’s natural products and environmentally conscious messaging.

Canadian customers knew instinctively that Melaleuca was a different kind of company and that it offered safe, natural products that couldn’t be found at a typical grocery store. Canadians also have a reputation for having a powerful work ethic, and in the 1990s, many Canadians already had social connections to those sharing Melaleuca in the US.

“From day one, you have understood our mission and dedicated yourselves to enhancing the lives of those around you,” says Senior Vice President of Sales Darrin Johnson, speaking to Melaleuca’s Canadian customers. “You have understood the importance of an abundance mindset and taught us all invaluable lessons that will impact our growth and success for decades to come.”

On Canada’s opening day, more than 3,000 customer and Marketing Executive kept the phones ringing off the hook at Melaleuca headquarters. Dozens of Canadians even drove for up to 15 hours so that they could be at the Melaleuca store in Idaho Falls, Idaho. These enthusiastic customers wanted to be among the first Canadians to receive their products and begin sharing Melaleuca with friends and family members.

This enthusiasm so impressed Melaleuca leaders that these Canadian customers were given a special tour of the Idaho Falls home office. They also had the opportunity to meet with several members of Melaleuca’s management team.

Throughout the world, Melaleuca already enjoys a staggering 96% retention rate, but in Canada, this number is even higher.

“They retain a bigger percentage of their customers,” Frank said at the 2024 Melaleuca Convention. “They have the best retention of any country in the entire world, so these are loyal people. They are wonderful leaders.”

Melaleuca’s Success in Canada

In just under one year, more than 20,000 Canadians were shopping with Melaleuca. In the earliest days there, growth was accentuated by a tour by then President and CEO Frank VanderSloot, along with member of Melaleuca’s Management Team, who traveled to several Canadian cities, including Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Winnipeg.

Melaleuca’s message of achieving environmental wellness through responsible consumer products has always resonated with Canadians and was a big factor in the company’s success north of the border. Even during this pre-internet age, news of Melaleuca’s wellness products spread quickly throughout the provinces, from the Coast Mountains of British Columbia to the rugged coasts of Newfoundland.

In less than two months after opening day, Canada had already produced its first Executive Director, and in just a little more than two years, it had its very first Corporate Director.

Natural products have always been an obvious preference for Canadians. And with immense support for safe, concentrated, eco-friendly products, thousands of Melaleuca Marketing Executives were eager to share Melaleuca throughout Canada.

Key Players in Canada’s Growth

Before Melaleuca products entered Canada, Corporate Director 9 Ed Bestoso met Canadian Kim Cherveny, who would eventually become a Corporate Director 3, and the two exchanged business cards. When The Wellness Company officially opened in Canada, Ed immediately thought of Kim and even flew to Nova Scotia to present to her and her family.

Although Kim was hesitant, she realized that no one was going to make things work out for her; she had to do that herself. Consequently, Kim ended up enrolling many key Marketing Executives in Canada, including Mark and Myrna Atha and Bob and Libby Ferguson, who enrolled Wayne and Rita Crosby.

Ed also eventually enrolled Jeff and Maureen Miller, who became North America’s first (and so far, only) Presidential Directors. Since the beginning, the growth in Canada has been astonishing to Melaleuca leadership.

“Our Marketing Executives from Canada have done truly awesome things,” Frank said at Convention. “There is a long list of pioneers who helped us create that.”

Educating Canadians about Melaleuca Products

Corporate Directors 4 Mark and Myrna Atha spent much of those early years in Canada shaping their business-building strategies.

“We learned to focus on educating customers on the many advantages of Melaleuca products,” Myrna says. The Athas talked through every single product during their presentations, ensuring that the potential customers thoroughly understood each product and solidifying loyalty.

Amazingly, many customers that the Athas brought to Melaleuca are still customers today, even 30 years later.

Melaleuca can’t possibly overstate how important it was to enter the Canadian market 30 years ago. Bringing Melaleuca products across the border began a season of incredible growth in North America that has enhanced the lives of hundreds of thousands of individuals and families.

“I’m so proud of every leader who has brought our mission to life over the past 30 years,” says Melaleuca CEO Jerry Felton. “And a big thank-you to our loyal customers who have fallen in love with our products. We’re just getting started!”


Melaleuca is enormously grateful to all its Canadian customers and Marketing Executives who played and continue to play such a pivotal role in shaping the company’s future by embracing a vision of wellness and initiating Melaleuca’s enormous momentum as a global company.

We are extremely grateful for the leaders who originally helped us spread the great news in Canada—Eddie Bestoso, Kim Cherveny, Karen and John Gillighan, Victor Maggio, Jim and Lorena Head, Gary Sacco and Flo Ferraton, Lee Franck, Mark and Myrna Atha, Maxine and Terry Lavereau, Wayne and Rita Crosby, and Mike and Ann Crosby.

They were soon joined by Ray Morris, Rick and Jacqueline Jongkind, Leah Zack and David Holiff, Stacy and Garry Bodnar, Michel and Gile Beaudoin, Rod and Ingrid McCarroll, Doug and Beatrice Wall, Dr. George and Elaine Grant, Joe and Karen  Hetzel, John Oriettas and Liz MacRae, Jeff and Maureen Miller, Roni McMillan, Jake and Debi Franceschini, Chris and Nicky Johnson, Bob and Catherine Gonko, Donna and  Art Stewart, Karl Stuetzel, Maria and Frank Mosca, Michael and Terry Commisso,  Sandi Sullivan, and so many others.