Fourteen North Bay companies made Inc. magazine’s newly released list of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the U.S., including one local employer that debuted among the top 100.
Evolving Wisdom (evolvingwisdom.com), a 4-year-old San Rafael-based provider of spirituality and personal-growth online education, premiered on the list at No. 84, with 3,924 percent three-year growth in revenue, the list’s standard, to $6.7 million from $167,327 in its second year in business, according to the New York-based Inc.
That growth made the company the second-fastest-growing education company on the list, the eight-fastest in the Bay Area and the 16th-fastest in California.
Featured on Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul Sunday television series, Evolving Wisdom originally brought together the ventures of husband-and-wife team Craig Hamilton and Claire Zammit.
His Integral Enlightenment online teaching program extends from the Evolutionary Enlightenment movement started by Andrew Cohen and offshoot Integral Theory of Ken Wilber, both of whom have been Evolving Wisdom guest lecturers along with Deepak Chopra, MD, and Human Potential Movement co-founder Jean Houston, PhD. Mr. Hamilton for eight years was senior editor of Mr. Cohen’s EnlightenNext magazine, which stopped publishing in 2010.
Ms. Zammit and licensed psychotherapist Katherine Woodward Thomas started the Feminine Power transformational learning program, and Ms. Woodward Thomas is an Evolving Wisdom faculty member.
Evolving Wisdom now has 30 courses in 10 program areas.Tens of thousands have taken the courses in more than 100 countries, and more than 250,000 have listened to free audio teachings, according to the company.
At the time the list was compiled, Evolving Wisdom had a staff of 29.
The Inc. 5000 list, expanded from 500 companies as of 2011, ranks private companies based on reported revenue growth over three years. To make the list, companies as of the end of 2012 needed to be privately owned, for-profit, independent of a parent company and had revenues of at least $100,000 in 2009 and $2 million last year, according to the publication.
Four more debut on list
Also debuting among the Inc. 5000 this year were Santa Rosa-based wine telesales provider VinoPro at No. 238, Petaluma-based Three Twins Ice Cream at No. 977, San Rafael-based Mommy’s Bliss at No. 2,857 and Corte Madera-based home décor retailer RH, formerly known as Restoration Hardware, at No. 3,414.
Yet, 2012 appears to be the last time for RH (rh.com). The largest North Bay company on the list, with $1.2 billion in 2012 revenues after 91 percent three-year growth, RH has returned to public ownership.
A coalition of private-equity funds acquired Restoration Hardware in 2008, took the company private and undertook a number of restructuring measures, including a reduction in the number of stores from 95 in 2010 to 70 today, including five new high-end “design galleries.”
After adjusting the initial public offering price to hit a $142 million target instead of $150 million, the stock price has climbed from the initial $32.05 a share on Nov. 2 last year to more than $69 in the middle of last week. Sales last fiscal year, ended Feb. 2, increased 25 percent from fiscal 2011, which had increased 24 percent.
In July, Gary Friedman, the visionary face of the company for more than a decade, rejoined top leadership of RH as co-chief executive officer after stepping aside before the IPO amid an internal investigation. His Hierarchy venture into luxury apparel, footwear and jewelry was acquired and rebranded as RH Atelier.
VinoPro (707-396-5000, vinopro.com) was started five years ago as a wine telesales broker then made a major shift three years ago to becoming the outsourced telemarking department for wineries. That move has paid off, as the company has grown to a staff of more than 50, including 40 salespeople.
“We focused on the scalable portion of the business, which was customer relations,” said Mike Houlihan, a co-founder of the Barefoot Cellars sparkling-wine brand and one of the key investors that recapitalized VinoPro.
Revenue growth for VinoPro was 1,810 percent over three years to $2.4 million last year on more than $8 million in wine sold. [See "Inc. names VinoPro to list of fastest-growing," Aug. 19.]
Three Twins Ice Cream
Ice cream retailer and wholesaler Three Twins (707-763-8946, threetwinsicecream.com) had 442 percent revenue growth to $3.7 million last year from $690,000 in 2009. Founded in late August 2005, the company added 30 jobs in the past three years and reported having 50 employees recently.
The ice cream maker has four scoop shops and sells packaged items to cafes and restaurants nationwide. Three Twins ranked No. 17 among food and beverage companies on the Inc. list.
Mommy’s Bliss (415-444-5333, mommysbliss.com) enjoyed a 120 percent surge in sales to $6.8 million in 2012 from $3.1 million in 2009.
Roshan Kaderall, RN, a certified nurse-midwife and lactation educator, started the company in 1999 after developing and commercially scaling production of a special formulation of “gripe water,” a century-old remedy worldwide for colic in infants that hadn’t been easily imported into the U.S. because of alcohol content.
Ms. Kaderall’s daughter, Yasmin Kaderali, MPH, MBA, later joined the company and is president.
Gripe water led to other product lines of natural-ingredient solutions for common causes of cranky kids, namely colic, new teeth, upset stomach and lack of sleep. The sugar- and gluten-free Kids Upset Tummy & Nausea Relief line includes organic ginger, fennel, dill and peppermint. New is the Sweet Slumber line of baby wash, massage cream and air freshener.
Growth continues for nine
Returning to the fast-growth list from last year were Cecchetti Wine Co. of Vineburg, Central Payment of San Rafael, Humble Abode of Santa Rosa, Patxi’s Pizza of Sausalito, Streetwise Reports of Petaluma, Systema Software of Larkspur, OMW of Novato, ITSource Technology of San Rafael and ProTransport-1 of Cotati.
Cecchetti Wine Co. (707-996-7221, cecchettiwineco.com) has been on a strong growth trajectory since Roy Cecchetti started it in 2007 with brands Redtree and Lake County-focused Line 39. Since then have come on-premise-focused Backhouse in 2011, Exitus last year for Beverages & More, and Austerity red and white blends released this spring.
Sales in 2012 increased to $15.1 million on 340,000 cases, up 30 percent by volume from 2011. Three-year revenue growth was 146 percent. The biggest growth came with a nearly doubling of sales for Backhouse to 62,000 cases. The company is projecting sales this year will grow by 15 percent to 20 percent from 2012, reaching around 400,000 cases.
The company has been on the Inc. list three straight years — Nos. 2,458, 1,241 and 781 in 2013, 2012 and 2011, respectively. It ranked 63 out of the top 100 food and beverage companies on the 2013 list.
Central Payment (415-462-8335, cpay.com) ranked No. 2,833 with 122 percent growth to $104.6 million last year from $47.2 million in 2009. It’s the fourth straight year the company has been made the Inc. list.
“Growth is a critical part of our success, and we are focused on maintaining that by attracting more sales agents and merchants by offering state-of-the-art solutions to help businesses grow,” said Matthew Hyman, co-managing director.
Founded in 2005 by Mr. Hyman and his twin brother, Zachary, Central Payment processes $3.5 billion in payment-card transactions annually for more than 47,000 small- and medium-sized businesses nationwide and develops social marketing software. The company had 130 employees last year.
A year ago, Central Payment formed a joint venture with publicly owned Georgia-based payment-processing giant TSYS.
Ranked No. 2,555 this year with 139 percent growth to $9.9 million in 2012, online furniture retailer Humble Abode (707-568-5800, humbleabode.com) has made the list for seven straight years, debuting at No. 1,688 in 2007 with $2.6 million in sales that year.
The 14-year-old company expanded to a 23,000-square-foot headquarters and studio for producing the website catalog. It has a network of more than 40 contract warehouses nationwide for delivery.
James Wickersham started Humble Abode in San Francisco between Internet ventures with tens of millions of dollars in sales. The startup moved to Santa Rosa in 2002 when it became a full-time business.
Patxi’s Pizza (patxispizza.com) ranked No. 24 among the top 100 food and beverage companies on the 2013 Inc. list, up from No. 32 in 2012. Revenues last year were $14.2 million, up 342 percent over three years, ranking the company at No. 1,215 this year. Comparable-location sales growth has topped 15 percent, and this year the projection is 16.5 percent on an average $2.5 million a year per location.
The company has eight working in the Sausalito headquarters and 615 in the 11 existing locations, with two in the Denver area and the rest in the Bay Area, according to founder Bill Freeman.
“It’s the quality of the product that we serve, and we do it in a nicely appointed restaurant that feels upscale and polished-casual,” he said.
Pizzas range from Chicago pan and deep dish to Italian thin crust, with vegan and gluten-free options plus locally cured meats with natural nitrates such as celery extract. Typical sites have 100 seats and a full bar in restaurants built with reclaimed materials and custom furniture.
The company has a third restaurant under construction in Denver and has signed leases for Seattle and Santa Barbara stores. Two more Bay Area spots are in lease negotiations, as is a second Seattle location.
Mr. Freeman funded the first three restaurants, opened in 2004, 2005 and 2009. Friends and family backed the next eight stores, and now the company is raising a round of institutional private equity to fund the next eight to 10 restaurants in Northern and Southern California in the next two years.
Entrepreneurial wunderkind Gordon Holmes, who at age 21 wrote a business plan for what would become Investor’s Business Daily, started investment newsletter publisher Streetwise Reports (707-981-8999, streetwisereports.com) in 2001.
Chief Executive Officer Karen Roche leads a staff of more than two dozen at Streetwise, which publishes The Gold Report, The Energy Report and The Life Sciences Report to more than 400,000 retail and 5,500 institutional investors monthly.
Systema Software (800-272-9102, systemasoft.com) makes cloud-based insurance claims administration software. The 7-year-old, 11-employee company ranked No. 1,519 this year with 263 percent growth to $3 million. It ranked No. 14 among insurance companies and No. 75 in the Bay Area.
“Our mission has always been two-fold — to develop the best, most advanced claims solution on the market, and to deliver it with a superior level of customer service and support,” said Jose Tibuzio, chief executive officer.
Last year, Systema ranked No. 1,467 overall.
Started in 1995 as Osborn Metal Works then OMW Metalworks, machine shop OMW Corp. (415-382-1669, omwcorp.com) has grown as computer-guided prototyping has progressed. In 2009, the company expanded to a 6,000-square-foot higher-tech facility.
OMW ranked No. 3,701 on the Inc. list this year, with 80 percent sales growth to $2.2 million.
The 16-employee company ranked No. 3,680 last year.
ITSource Technology (415-472-5700, itsourcetek.com), started by Chief Executive Officer Brian Arellanes in 2005, helps finance, high-technology and retail companies manage equipment, software and related staff.
The 30-plus-employee company ranked No. 3,780 with 77 percent growth to $5.7 million this year. ITSource first made the list in 2012 at No. 2,819. The company also has been among the top Hispanic- and Asian-led companies in the U.S.
Medical patient mover ProTransport-1 (protransport-1.com) had $36.6 million in revenue last year. That’s up 43 percent from 2009, earning the company the No. 4,730 spot on the list.
Started by Elena Whorton and Mike Sechrist in 2000, ProTransport-1 has grown to have a workforce 746 employees, up from 527 in 2011. The company ranked No. 3,014 in 2012 and No. 2,348 in 2011.
Local companies on 2013 Inc. 5000 list
|Rank||Company||3-yr. growth||2012 revenue||Industry||Emps.||City|
|84||Evolving Wisdom||3,924%||$6.7 million||Education||29||San Rafael|
|238||VinoPro||1,810%||$2.4 million||Business Products & Services||40||Santa Rosa|
|977||Three Twins Ice Cream||442%||$3.7 million||Food & Beverage||50||Petaluma|
|1,114||Streetwise Reports||377%||$4.4 million||Media||26||Petaluma|
|1,215||Patxi’s Pizza||342%||$14.2 million||Food & Beverage||418||Sausalito|
|1,519||Systema Software||263%||$3 million||Insurance||11||Larkspur|
|$9.9 million||Retail||15||Santa Rosa|
|2,458||Cecchetti Wine Company||146%||$15.1 million||Food & Beverage||7||Vineburg|
|2,833||Central Payment||122%||$104.6 million||Financial Services||130||San Rafael|
|2,857||Mommy’s Bliss||120%||$6.8 million||Consumer Products & Services||10||San Rafael|
|3,414||Restoration Hardware||91%||$1.2 billion||Retail||2,900||Corte Madera|
|3,780||ITSource Technology||77%||$5.7 million||IT Services||34||San Rafael|
Source: Inc. 5000
Correction, Aug. 27, 2013: Streetwise Reports, Patxi’s Pizza, Humble Abode, Cecchetti Wine Co., Central Payment, Mommy’s Bliss and Restoration Hardware were inadvertently omitted from the original list of North Bay companies.
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