They are out there: the Vitamix machines older than their owners, passed down through generations; the decades-old blenders that are still in use every day. Now, Vitamix is officially on the hunt for these legendary machines with the launch of the Real Vitamix Legends contest, a search for the oldest working Vitamix in North America. We chatted with Laura Ostenkamp, director of global brand and content marketing, to learn more. —Noa Nichol
Please tell us a bit about yourself to start, as well as the 101-year-old history of Vitamix, which some may not be aware of!
I am new to Vitamix, having started in 2021. I love my role with the brand and leading our culinary team. It allows me to flex my marketing and creative muscle and tap into my MBA, which I earned from the University of Dayton, all while staying close to what makes Vitamix so great: our product performance in the kitchen. I live outside of Cleveland, Ohio, with my husband and two daughters. I am a 20-plus-year vegetarian and I love to cook—this is what initially drew me to work at Vitamix. My family’s newest tradition is making smoothies with whatever seasonal ingredients we have on hand, like watermelon and basil from our garden this summer. My girls each like to invent their own recipes. Around 1936, the first Vita-Mix was created and marketed as an easy way to make nutritious whole foods taste great. It sold for $11.95. After meeting with an enterprising engineer and maker of blenders, Vitamix founder William Grover Barnard, affectionately known as “Papa Barnard,” had an “aha” moment, realizing that blenders may hold the secret to sustainable health. This is when Papa’s vision to help people on their wellness journey with real, nutritious whole foods started to take shape. I’d love to see Vitamix owners share product that was created soon after this. A truly legendary machine!
What is the aim of this contest?
Vitamix machines last long—so long, they’re often passed down for decades and are still in use every day. The best proof of Vitamix’s real, long-lasting quality is these living, working legends. To celebrate these legendary machines, we’re launching a search for the oldest working Vitamix in North America. We also thought this is a perfect opportunity to share these amazing stories more broadly with the public to demonstrate the real power of our brand and products.
Have you personally heard stories (legends?!) of machines older than their owners, passed down through generations? The decades-old blenders that are still in use every day? Have you heard rumours of what could possibly be the oldest machine still in use out there?!
My sister actually has had her machine for over 10 years, and she encouraged me to try it, to make my own homemade yogurt. The not-so-family secret is that she is a better cook and has inspired me to use my Vitamix machine even more. While 10 years isn’t the oldest machine out there, hers is one that is used almost every day and we joke that she was the recruiter that helped me land at Vitamix! All kidding aside, I also see the amazing brand love and stories from our loyal consumer fan base. I am truly inspired by the idea that families pass along their machines and keep them running for decades. I am hopeful we can document the details of some of these powerful human stories. We hear constant proof of that longevity from our social community, and callers to our customer service line, who share stories of machines running for decades. We wanted to take these stories beyond our DMs by launching the contest, celebrating and rewarding the generations of meals and nourished families Vitamix has served in our 101-year history. Not only do our products last, but they unlock powerful opportunities to bring whole food wellness into your home, while making it easy and simple for consumers.
What do you think contributes to the longevity of Vitamix products?
Vitamix machines stand the test of time because they are designed with trained power, a cool-running motor, a metal drive system, and stainless steel blades. Vitamix machines don’t just run for a long time—they deliver high-performance blending year after year. Only Vitamix machines can power through tough, whole, and frozen ingredients while creating precise textures from chunky to velvety smooth and everything in between. Vitamix’s best-in-class warranty—many up to 10 years—proves how much we expect from the quality and durability of our machines. In fact, fewer than 2 per cent of the products in the U.S. currently under warranty have been returned to Vitamix for service, so it’s the best warranty you’ll probably never need. Vitamix machines are so durable that even used Vitamix blenders can be expected to perform for years to come through the brand’s Certified Reconditioned Program. Vitamix carefully examines each used machine against our high quality standards and makes it ready for a whole second life with a new owner, including a 3-to-5-year warranty on every Certified Reconditioned Model. Vitamix machines stand the test of time because they are designed with trained power, a cool-running motor, a metal drive system, and stainless steel blades.
How old is your Vitamix, and what’s been your favourite thing to blend up over the years?!
I have tested a few machines, and the Ascent model is by far my favourite. The programs are easy for my five year old to create her own smoothies in. I actually had a different finish, and recently switched out to the White model so that it would better match my kitchen style and design. A family favourite smoothie is almond milk, ice, banana, and some PB2 powder for a bit of peanut butter flavour. It tastes as good as a dessert, and is kid approved, but still healthy. I also just tried making “nice cream” with garden tomatoes … I know it sounds crazy, but it works!