In post-war Britain supplement manufacture was not the thriving industry that it is today. Vitamins were mostly limited to small quantities of vitamin A and D, and multivitamins were a completely foreign concept. Tired of the pharmaceutical industry’s ignorance of natural health, David Gaiman approached a large pharmaceutical company and negotiated the manufacture of high dosage vitamin E and a three part multivitamin. It was originally intended for him and his wife and to provide to friends and family. But word soon spread in the local community and in 1965 G&G was born under the inertia of producing the world’s first ‘vitamin packs’ – daily vitamins produced at the right quantity to balance out and provide the maximum benefits. It was the perfect husband and wife partnership, with David’s entrepreneurial skills and vast knowledge of naturopathic health and Sheila’s training as a pharmacist. They began selling by mail order and to locals out of their Sussex home. In 1974 David and Sheila bought their first shop on East Grinstead High Street which sold their own vitamin formulations as well as other health-food products.
It wasn’t long before other supplement manufacturers took note of G&G’s success with their high-strength vitamins and multivitamins. The supplement market grew considerably. As the market grew so did David’s place in it and he continued to be a pioneer and advocate for the industry. G&G concentrated on providing nutritional data and research information from around the world to practitioners, nutritionists and clinics in the UK and Europe. Under David G&G quickly established an enviable reputation, both for the information and research it was able to supply and the high quality of its products. During those first twenty years David, Sheila and their team helped hundreds of individuals and companies develop and manufacture high quality supplements.
In 1987 G&G moved to larger premises and began to manufacture its own label vitamins for the first time. With David’s leadership the demand for G&G’s own-brand label and manufacturing expertise grew dramatically. By 1997 the company had moved to a 31,000 square foot factory and built a customised clean-room for optimum high speed supplement manufacture. It was from here that G&G expanded its contract manufacturing arm, building up to the current capacity to manufacture 14,000,000 capsules per month. This enables the company to supply a number of large supplement retailers from across the UK and Europe.
David & Sheila’s legacy for G&G
David and Sheila put their knowledge and position in the field to good use, embarking on numerous humanitarian activities to bring good health to those most in need. Most notably, during the 90’s David and Sheila regularly travelled to the former Soviet Union at the request of the President of the Soviet Academy of Medical Sciences to implement and oversee a detoxification programme for some of the victims of the Chernobyl Disaster. G&G sponsored this endeavour, supplying financial aid and resources in the way of vitamins and minerals required for the detoxification process. They went on to set up a similar programme in Vietnam to help locals still sick from the effects of Agent Orange gas.
Supplement manufacture today
David Gaiman passed away on March 7th 2009, but his enterprise and philanthropic legacy lives on through his family and the company he founded fifty years ago. Today G&G is still a family-owned business under the leadership of Mauro Calcioli, David’s son-in-law. Mauro, who was appointed as Chairman in April 2009, is assisted by his wife Lizzy Calcioli and Sheila Gaiman. Sheila continues to be an integral part of the company she and her husband started, advising on formulations as well as operational procedure and philanthropic interests. She stands today as one of the longest serving members of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. While the board continues to guide the company forward in April 2009 they appointed Myles McEntyre as Managing Director to run G&G on a day to day basis.
Over the past five decades G&G has grown from a cottage industry into one of the largest manufacturers of encapsulated vitamin and mineral products in the UK health market. It supplies companies and clinics in over fifty countries. Along the way G&G has passed milestone after milestone and achieved several firsts in the ever-growing area of nutrition and health.