After an ambitious global launch, the two-year-old company’s remarkable growth remains strong.
Founded / 2019
Headquarters / Florida
Top Executive / Bob Reina, Founder & CEO
Product Category / Health and Wellness
Hero Ingredient / Maqui berry
QuiAri may be one of the biggest success stories you’ve never heard about. Founded October 1, 2019, by CEO Bob Reina, in just two years’ time this nutritional products company made our list of young superstar companies. By November 2021, QuiAri was generating $1 million or more in sales each month. He then transformed the business model and strategy and updated its name.
Like so many direct selling success stories, this one began with an epiphany. Reina’s original calling was in law enforcement. He served as a Deputy for the Hillsborough County, Florida, Sheriff’s Office. It was a job that brought him face-to-face with individuals and families who were struggling with an entanglement of social, economic and health-related issues, and the hardest part was realizing he could do little, if anything, to relieve them of those challenges.
That desire to help led Reina to direct sales—specifically, the health and wellness sector. He dove in with both feet and quickly worked his way up through the ranks, ultimately surpassing his full-time income in law enforcement and becoming a top earner in the sales force. In 2004 he started his own global direct sales company, a successful venture that grew quickly and prospered. But Reina was looking for something more. “My ultimate goal was to create a company that, if I was an associate, I would want to work for,” he shared.
Patagonia’s Purple Powerhouse
Then he discovered the potent maqui berry, which would be the impetus for QuiAri.
Until then, the maqui berry wasn’t widely known outside the remote Patagonia region of Chile. That’s where the Mapuche people had been harvesting and consuming it since 600 A.D, including drinking the berry’s juice before heading into battle. The maqui berry is loaded with anthocyanins, or purple pigments rich in antioxidants, which exhibit anti-inflammatory properties; and contain a high concentration of Vitamin C. The berry’s antioxidant concentration also is thought to deliver cardiovascular benefits by oxidizing cholesterol in the blood. Consuming the maqui berry or its juice can produce a spike in insulin in the body, which may help keep blood glucose levels under control and boost weight control and anti-diabetic efforts, and studies have indicated that it contains antibacterial properties which could ward off foodborne illness.*
Reina sought the expertise of Dr. Juan Hancke, a scientist considered as the world’s foremost authority on the maqui berry. He flew Juan from Chile to QuiAri’s Corporate Office in Florida to learn more about his research. Hancke arrived with three suitcases in tow: Two filled with research; one filled with clothes.
Soon after, Hancke joined QuiAri as Scientific Advisor and developed a proprietary, super-concentrated organic extract, MaquiX®, that boosts the maqui berry’s antioxidant power up to 10 times and which would serve as the foundational ingredient in all QuiAri products. Reina and Hancke then got to work with a team of nutritionists to develop a nutritional shake and accompanying energy tablet. More than 111 shake taste tests later, they launched their flagship products.
A Massive Launch
Reina didn’t subscribe to the notion of a domestic launch followed by a series of slow and deliberate overseas market openings. Instead, from the company’s home base in Florida, he opened QuiAri on its first day in more than 200 markets—a move that was bold or even crazy, depending on your perspective, but also very much strategic.
“Bob had built a successful global network marketing company from the ground up, which helped pave the way for QuiAri. He already had established contacts and understood the processes to get product approvals throughout the world,” said Allison Roberts, Vice President of Marketing, who has worked closely with Bob for several years.
“He had plenty of resources to immediately start establishing offices and distribution centers around the world, which accelerated our global expansion plans, and he assembled a strong corporate team to help him deliver on his vision. Bob found people who were ambitious and had a relentless work ethic—people who could keep up with him. We have a saying around here that ‘QuiAri never sleeps,’ because we don’t. We meet the demand and needs of all the countries we serve.”
“Our executive team has over 150 years of combined direct selling experience,” Reina added. “There was no learning curve needed to establish our presence in over 200 countries simultaneously. We were able to hit the ground running starting on Day 1. A slow, country-by-country roll-out just wasn’t an option.”
QuiAri today maintains an independent sales force of approximately 50,000 independent distributors (called Promoters). Growth has been fueled largely through word of mouth using social media. “Our sales started strong, and Promoters were climbing the ranks quickly,” said Brad Stewart, Director of Field Development. “We could barely keep up with congratulating and recognizing them all. Within the first month, we received a flood of product testimonials. Promoters and Customers were writing in with stories of QuiAri helping them lose weight; have more energy; look and feel younger; and feel great.”
The company’s in-house IT team has been able to fuel and support its exponential growth with innovations like Same Day Pay, which delivers commissions within five minutes to Promoters anywhere in the world; and a real-time “Free Tour” marketing system, which enables Promoters to offer prospective team members a seven-day temporary position in the independent sales force while they learn about QuiAri products and the business opportunity.
Current Promoters share the link with prospects and let the system do the explaining. Those prospects who decide to become Promoters within seven days may have the opportunity to lock in their position within the genealogy.
Whatever It Takes
The pandemic threw a curveball in the direction of every company, let alone one that had just opened in more than 200 global markets less than six months before. QuiAri held steady thanks to its IT infrastructure; a business that already was remote-friendly; and a tight-knit culture that worked hard to bring employees and Promoters together across the miles.
“During the pandemic, there were some lessons learned about importing and exporting supplements, getting product approvals and finding alternative shipping carriers when the ports and governments were all closed,” Reina explained. “But we have a ‘whatever it takes’ philosophy, so even though it was more expensive, we sent product via air freight and we constantly stayed in contact with local government officials to be sure all approvals that were pending were in the pipeline.”
At one point the company hired private couriers in several countries to help deliver orders. “We’re now happy to report that the ports are now open, countries are getting back to normal, and we are now shipping using normal methods.
“If you have amazing products, happy customers and Promoters and corporate team members all focused on a singular mission, you don’t have to worry about the global economy,” Reina continued. “Companies like Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Tesla didn’t suffer. They found creative ways to adapt their business strategy to overcome the disruptions. We might not be as big as Amazon or Wal-Mart, but we have the same mindset and operate like a multibillion- dollar company.”
Leading with Heart
Reina has a long-standing history and all-in approach to philanthropy which is much like his approach to expansion. He believes in giving back, and his success in the industry has allowed him to help others around the world. He donated $1 million to the Tampa Bay Humane Society, along with funding the construction of their feral cat patio; provided 1,500 dog beds to Hillsborough County Animal Services; and purchased six K-9 Unit German Shepherds for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, where he previously served as Deputy.
Internationally, he has funded the construction of an orphanage in Indonesia; provided schoolhouse furniture for an orphanage in India; and food for hurricane victims in the Philippines, in addition to regularly making generous cash donations to local charities.
Reina has big plans for philanthropic efforts with QuiAri, as well. He’s currently exploring opportunities with fellow business leaders to help support sustainability efforts for the Mapuche community and Patagonia region of Chile where maqui berries are grown and harvested.
Ahead of the Curve
Those companies who have been able to thrive during one of the most challenging periods in world history were those who had the infrastructure, the agility and the culture necessary to adapt. Not coincidentally, Reina shared, those are the same companies that will be able to keep pace with evolving market demands—most notably, the demand for faster, more convenient products and services and jobs that can be conducted from anywhere. It’s all a new normal on which QuiAri is perfectly positioned to capitalize.
New products on are on the way, he added, and global expansion will remain his company’s primary focus. As restrictions begin to lift, there will be more opportunities to expand in new and existing countries. “We’re at the very early stages of our success. The potential for growth is massive and we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of what we have in store. The next few years are going to be our biggest.”
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
From the February 2022 issue of Direct Selling News magazine.