QYK Brands LLC, a portfolio of personal care and pharmacy brands based in Garden Grove, is the latest area firm expanding its operations to make personal protective equipment (PPE) such as N95 masks and hand sanitizer, amid demand brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak.
The 3-year-old firm recently added 48,300-square-feet of manufacturing and office space along La Palma Avenue in Anaheim, while maintaining its existing base of operations in Garden Grove, which runs about 13,000 square feet, according to CoStar Group Inc. records.
Chief Executive Rakesh Tammabattula said the company doesn’t plan to stop there. QYK expects to nearly double its Anaheim base to 120,000 square feet in the coming months as manufacturing work previously done in Asia is moved back home, in addition to corporate growth, he said.
“We’ve manufactured products here and outside of the U.S. When we started receiving requests from organizations that needed help acquiring PPE, we initially tried to source materials from outside the U.S.,” Tammabattula said.
A short few weeks later, “we decided that it’s better to make PPE here, where we can control the quality of the products we’re selling.”
As it ramps production, Tammabattula said QYK Brands expects to hire 40 area workers in the next two weeks and bring on another 60 employees in the next three months.
Dr. J’s Line
The company’s current operations allow it to make in excess of 100,000 respirator masks per day, and as the new manufacturing facility in Anaheim comes online it will double capacity, according to Tammabattula.
PPE products are branded under the 1Med name and are currently available to consumers through the company’s nutraceutical brand Dr. J’s Natural and Glowyy, a beauty and skincare online marketplace.
A 50-count package of medical masks is $49, while N95s go for about $6.99 apiece. Hand sanitizer starts at $5.99 and surface cleaner is $18.
In addition, QYK Brands said it is working with branches in the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to fulfill bulk orders.
The company can’t disclose details or the end user for the federal contracts, Tammabattula said.
The company’s origins date to 2014, when Chief Operating Officer Jacqueline Nguyen, who is a clinical pharmacist and married to Tammabattula, realized many of her patients were unable to fully recover with the medications she gave them.
She stepped away from her practice to experiment with her own nutraceutical formulas.
“I realized we need to know what we’re putting in our bodies,” Nguyen said. “And with my training, I can make drugs from scratch. I can use pure ingredients to create supplements with 99.9% purity and potency.”
Nguyen’s discovery led to Dr. J’s Natural, one of several large nutraceutical brands in Orange County that offers a mix of skincare goods, vitamins and CBD-infused products.
In 2017, Nguyen and Tammabattula consolidated Dr. J’s Natural and mail order prescription service Theo Pharmacy under the QYK Brands umbrella.
That same year, the duo launched its most prominent brand, QykSonic, an electronic facial cleansing device that exfoliates, massages and moisturizes the skin.
Moving forward, Tammabattula said the company wants to manufacture all of its products in the U.S.
He said, “We want to proudly display ‘Made in the USA’ on all our products.”