Sponsored by Flagler County Department of Economic Opportunity
You visit your doctor for your annual check-up and hear the dreaded words – you have high blood pressure. You suspected this could be the case, and as you check out with a handful of prescriptions and orders to begin an exercise regimen, you begin to wonder if you could have prevented this day from coming so soon, after all, you’re only 50.
There’s a science behind health, and for more than 30 years, Jonathan Lizotte, founder and CEO of Designs for Health, has been on a quest to discover, understand and educate the public about the correlation between good health and nutritional medicine.
Serving a global market as a manufacturer and distributor of over 350 dietary supplement formulations, Designs for Health has been instrumental in defining the relationship between integrative medicine and nutraceuticals, and is regarded as a leading expert in the industry with a proven track record of scientifically measurable results according to chief marketing officer Neal Mercado.
“Designs for Health is one of the leading brands, if not the leading brand, of practitioner only dietary supplements in the United States,” he says.
Tested and trusted, healthcare practitioners across a number of modalities have turned to nutritional supplements as a way to reset and rebalance their patients.
“We sell predominantly to integrative medical doctors, naturopathic doctors and chiropractors, but we also serve other health modalities,” explains Mercado.
Getting Started … Recognizing a Passion for Health
The business started in the northeast more than 30 years ago as a private nutrition practice and counseling service that included dietary supplements in the treatment plans. Jonathan Lizotte steered the family run business toward a focus on the development and manufacturing of their exclusive products, and educating practitioners on their use, as Designs for Health.
“I became passionate about overall health, and nutrition is one of the most essential elements of overall health,” said Lizotte, recalling the earliest days of the company.
“Certainly that personal desire for health for myself and my family helped create that passion. When you get involved in the industry and realize how powerful of a tool nutrition is and a really underappreciated tool, especially as related to drug therapy, and how so many more health challenges can easily be solved with a combination of diet and the right nutritional supplements, it can easily develop into a passion and something that you want to share with the world,” he said.
True to his vision, Designs for Health has grown over several decades since the first office and distribution facility were created in Connecticut. The company now has manufacturing and distribution facilities in Nevada and Montana, with a distribution facility and their executive offices located in Palm Coast, Florida, serving the healthcare industry around the globe.
“We’ve had fantastic success and growth over the years and a lot of that has been attributed to the fact that we’re a family run and owned organization,” says Mercado. “Our Chairman and founder, Jonathan Lizotte, is very passionate about natural medicine, our industry and really doing things for the right reasons; with our practitioners, our products and improving people’s lives.”
Our growth is consistent with data collected by Statista, which forecasts the dietary supplement industry’s continued above average growth, with annual market value topping $56 billion by 2024, as more Americans place a focus on health, wellness, nutritional and lifestyle changes.
Supplements also serve as a tool in the arsenal against chronic disease, with the benefits of high quality vitamins and minerals supporting healthy lifestyle choices, and Lizotte believes that as people begin to pay attention to their body’s cues more often, it will have a profound effect on overall wellness.
“I think that is where it starts, paying attention to these bodily clues,” Lizotte explains. “Even this latest crisis that is facing the world, is a crisis that is based on metabolic function. Generally the people that are most sick are people that have poor metabolic function, which is a direct result from unhealthy eating and lifestyle.”
“It’s all about quality of life and many of the people who are involved in this industry have their own personal story or family members, have major, significant ailments – Crohn’s Disease, arthritic diseases, mental disorders, we can go down the list. Basic dietary changes and the most important dietary supplements completely address those concerns,” he said.
“Certainly drug therapy has its place, but many modern ailments can more readily be addressed with proper nutrition and the proper nutritional supplements, and not have a lot of the terrible side effects that one faces if they just go with drug therapy alone.”
Why Palm Coast?
“While I did start Designs for Health in the northeast, I always had a warm spot in my heart for this area,” Lizotte says, fondly recalling his college days at the University of Florida and visits to Crescent Beach and Flagler Beach.
“When the time came, I searched the state and a lot of factors contributed to Palm Coast.”
Not only was Palm Coast perfect for Lizotte and his family personally, it was a great fit for his company, as well.
Positioned to provide access to transportation hubs in Jacksonville and Orlando, the qualified regional talent pool offered an attractive workforce, while valuable property and space was available for the company’s growing distribution operation in the southeast.
Quality of life plays a factor, and as for what the future holds, Lizotte shares there’s always the possibility of expansion or of a related venture.
“You drive through Palm Coast and other parts of Florida and certainly there’s a difference. It’s a beautiful city,” he said.