Greenerways Named Exporter of the Year in Bucks County

U.S. Small Business Administration Eastern Pennsylvania Director Antonio (Tony) Leta, second from right, and Robert Elsas, right, regional manager, SBA Office of International Trade, with Dan Yocum, left, SBA administrator for Univest Bank and Trust Co., introduce SBA Eastern Pennsylvania’s 2017 Exporter of the Year, Greenerways, on April 20. Greenerways President Alan Neiburg is with them.

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Eastern Pennsylvania Director Antonio (Tony) Leta officially introduced Eastern Pennsylvania’s Exporter of the Year, Greenerways, LLC, on April 20 with Sharon Neiburg, owner, and Alan Neiburg, president.

Greenerways, LLC, is at 506 Trappe Lane, Langhorne.

“It’s such a great privilege to recognize the achievements of leading Pennsylvania exporters like Sharon and Alan Neiburg,” Leta said. “Greenerways, LLC, is an outstanding example of a small business that starts, grows and goes on to success in the global exporting market. SBA and our resource and lending partners, like Univest Bank, are proud to be a part of small business exporting success stories all over the world.”

Founded in 2010, Greenerways LLC, is a U.S.-based company that develops, produces (via consignment manufacturing) and wholesales various household cleaning and insect repellent products designed to provide peace of mind for safe use around the home with young children, adults and pets.

Sharon is a retired literacy coach for the Neshaminy School District and now a facilitator for the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Literacy Network. Her husband, Alan, spent 33 years selling medical/surgical supplies. Daughter Jayme, the inspiration for the firm, serves as CEO.

“Our grandchildren were also the motivation for stepping out of retirement and into the organic-products business,” Alan said.

A certified organic bottler in Gardena, Calif., helped the Neiburgs and their daughter, Bella, formerly a sales executive in Manhattan specializing in jewelry and accessories, figure out the right amounts of oils for their bug spray, which is made from citronella, lemon grass and cedar oils, and triple-filtered water.

While the business began selling its product line of insect repellents through specialty/natural product retailers, the business has grown significantly since it began preliminary sales through Costco (both international and domestic stores), United Natural Foods West, Inc., and United Natural Foods East. Greenerways sells its products to consumers throughout the United States and the firm’s products have been extremely successful in Asia.

“Through market research, I discovered that consumers in Asian markets like a compelling story with their products. With that in mind, we developed the Mama Bella’s label,” Sharon said. “Mama Bella was actually Jayme’s grandmother, who always said, ‘Read the labels; if there are chemicals or ingredients you can’t pronounce, don’t buy it.’ ”

“This was the birth of Greenerways, which is devoted to bringing safe, chemical-free products to every home,” Jayme said. “This made Mama Bella very happy; she had been using organic solutions passed down from her father, a turn-of-the-century apothecary, for years.”

“Greenerways, LLC, owner and president, Sharon and Alan Neiburg, are very deserving of the prestigious U.S Small Business Administration’s 2017 Exporter of the Year Award,” said Dan Yocum, SBA administrator, Univest Bank and Trust Co. “Greenerways is an excellent company with an amazing track record of growth, innovation and success on the global market. Sharon and Alan are very involved in every step of the manufacturing process. Greenerways has really shown innovation by thinking on a global scale.”

Lancaster County warehouse joins Zika fight

A warehouse in Lancaster County is playing a role in the fight to protect people from the Zika virus.

A Lancaster warehouse owned by Natural Partners, an Arizona-based distributor of health and wellness products, is shipping a brand of mosquito repellent to retail stores all over the world.

The repellent is produced by Bucks County-based repellent maker Greenerways LLC, which leases a portion of the Natural Partners warehouse.

Demand for Greenerways products has risen as people try to combat the Zika virus, an illness spread primarily through the bites of infected mosquitoes.

Greenerways’ sales doubled in 2015, and they are projected to triple in 2016, according to a news release.

Although Natural Partners has about 10,000 product numbers of its own, Greenerways has more volume, according to Joe Hildreth, manager of the Natural Partners warehouse.

“We usually ship out three or four orders a day of Greenerways,” Hildreth said.

The warehouse, in the Greenfield Industrial Park in East Lampeter Township, is the only East Coast facility operated by Natural Partners. It opened in August 2015 and employs 10 people.

The building was bigger than what Natural Partners needed, so it partnered with Greenerways to utilize the space, according to Hildreth, who described the repellent manufacturer as “right up our alley,” because it is also organic.

“It keeps us busy,” Hildreth said.

Greenerways going global

Greenerways is sold at retail chains such as Texas-based Whole Foods Market and Costco Japan and Taiwan.

Some Giant grocery stores also carry Greenerways, as do many distribution companies. CVS has placed an order for three of its regions in the U.S.

A four-ounce bottle of repellent sells for about $8.99.

Greenerways was founded by a mother-to-be in 2009. After her New Jersey home was flooded during a hurricane, Jayme Bella developed a mixture of essential oils to ward off mosquitoes. She wanted to avoid using the chemical-based products she found on store shelves.

Her husband owns an essential-oil company, which gave her background knowledge of oils.

The repellent, made from citronella, lemon grass and cedar oil, was originally bottled in Bella’s living room, and shared with family and friends, Bella said.

Today the company is owned by Bella’s mother, Sharon Neiburg. Bella is the CEO.

The product is bottled at a certified organic bottler in Los Angeles and then shipped in bulk to Lancaster for storage, packaging and delivery.

Greenerways employs about four temp from a Berks County-based agency, Gage Personnel, to package the products.

Gage Personnel also has offices in Lancaster and Lebanon counties.

Natural Partners handles ordering for Greenerways.

Zika virus update

There are still no reported mosquito-borne Zika virus disease cases in the U.S., but there have been travel-associated cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The virus started in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands, but since 2015 it has been spreading to many territories around the world.

With warmer weather finally hitting the northeast, the Pennsylvania Department of Health recently released its Zika virus response plan  in the event a mosquito-born virus is diagnosed here.

The plan includes better awareness and communication between the department and relevant government entities, which will work together to alert health care providers and the public about Zika, as well as post travel notices and guidance.

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