An interest in a healthier lifestyle had led Michael (an electrician) and Michelle (a teacher) to open one, and then two health food stores for a living. Amongst their products were fluoride free toothpaste but their children did not like the taste of them. Michael tried to mix up his own toothpaste but wasn’t successful. He met a local toothpaste manufacturer who had a chemist who produced samples under Michael & Michelle’s direction. The samples were made from natural products, completely free from artificial ingredients and preservatives - no fluoride, no parabens, no artificial colours or flavours, no preservatives, no sugar and no sulphates. Shelf life and stability was achieved from the base product (calcium silicate) and herbs were used to replicate the flavours.
Using the name ‘Grants’ (from the street in which they lived at the time), the finished products were produced by the local manufacturer and small batches were stored at home and sold in their own shops.
They gave samples to health product representatives who came to their stores and these representatives led them to distributors who Michael visited in Sydney, Perth and Brisbane and started to wholesale the toothpaste for sale into health food stores. One local distributor sold Grants Toothpaste into Safeway, and in 1992 Mike secured a position for Grants Herbal & Mineral Toothpaste in Coles health food section.
From modest beginnings with one variety of toothpaste in several health stores in Melbourne, Grants toothpaste spread to nearly every health store in Australia and by the early 1990’s it was stocked in major supermarkets right across the country.
But their quest for more natural products didn’t finish with toothpaste. In 1995 they developed Vitamin B Liquid and Crystal Deodorant, and in 2009 they developed an alcohol free Mouthwash.
After a career in banking, Tammy joined her parents in the business in 2011 and continued the quest to produce affordable, natural products for the next generation of health conscious families.
The oral care range now includes 7 toothpaste flavours: Mild Mint, Fresh Mint, Cinnamon, Xylitol, Propolis, Kids Blueberry Burst and Kids Strawberry Surprise, and a Natural Mouthwash and a choice of 3 bamboo toothbrushes.
The desire to establish the brand in the US led them to obtain Vegan certification (for products that do not contain animal products or byproducts and that have not been tested on animals). The Oral Care range now includes five toothpastes and a mouthwash which are Certified Vegan by the Vegan Awareness Foundation.
Export demand has grown steadily in line with increasing desire for natural and Australian made products and markets now include USA, China, Canada, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore.
As a small, family-run business in Melbourne, Grant’s believe it is important to give back to their community and support those in need. Each year they donate toothpaste to organisations that support people in the community who wouldn’t otherwise have access to a basic commodity, like toothpaste. In 2017, they donated almost 4,000 tubes of toothpaste.
Their health food community customers also led them to animal welfare, and the support of organisations that are dedicated to animal rights and protecting their natural environments. In 2013 they adopted a koala through the Australian Koala Foundation and they provide vegan toothpaste to the direct-action crew aboard the SSS Steve Irwin, which is part of the world’s leading direct action ocean conservation organisation.