Since founding The Legacy Companies in 1998, Neal Asbury has expanded the company’s presence in the retail housewares marketplace in the reverse fashion of most other product suppliers. Starting his career as an entrepreneur in Asia, Asbury returned to the United States in the late 1990s to start a company that today is strong in commercial food service and has a growing presence in housewares with products that are manufactured domestically.
With brands including Omega, Excalibur and Zeroll, Legacy is focused on providing products that tap into the health and wellness lifestyle. In addition to his role at Legacy, Asbury is also an author and radio talk show host with a focus on business and entrepreneurship. In a recent interview with HOMEWORLD BUSINESS®, Asbury discussed the current state of his company and future growth potential.
HomeWorld Business: Can you give us an overview of Legacy’s current retail business?
Neal Asbury: We have great brands including Excalibur in food dehydrators, Omega with our line of juicers and blenders and we recently acquired the water purification business from Regal Ware. We’re not a company that will sell every type of appliance out there, such as toaster ovens and coffeemakers. Our focus is on providing products focused on health and wellness.
HWB: What kind of growth is your company seeing on the retail side of your business?
NA: Our growth on the retail side has been impressive and I would compare it to any company in housewares that is public or owned by private equity. Our focus on health and wellness has allowed us to access a variety of demographics. It’s not just young kids that are focused on being healthy, but also baby boomers that have figured out they are not immortal. And in some ways, we were lucky. We had the products retailers needed as more consumers became passionate about health and wellness.
HWB: When looking at an acquisition, are there certain traits that you look for in a company?
NA: First of all, the company would have to fit and speak to what we are doing. We are in a big sandbox but still have to have guardrails when looking at a possible acquisition. There are things out there that will work and some that won’t work. But we buy companies to hold them and keep the organization and people in place. We don’t have excess capacity within Legacy and when acquiring a company need the people and their tribal knowledge. When we acquire a company, we want to nurture them, give them some new life and help them continue building their legacy.
HWB: How does the entrepreneurial spirit you impart on Legacy impact product development?
NA: Our product development process is less formal than other companies. I was a performing arts major in college and went to school with a lot of creative people. The creative side of the business is the fun part and I love to get back to it as much as possible. It’s important for us to zero in on what the customer is looking for. The lifeblood of our company is to continually design fresh and exciting products.
HWB: What can we expect to see from Legacy over the next three to five years?
NA: You will see some exciting acquisitions as we look to become a stronger player in the gadgets segment. We’re also looking to continue building our selection of products that tie into the health and wellness movement.