SunModo Corporation (Winner)
SunModo Corporation develops, manufactures and sells solar photo-voltaic (PV) racking and mounting solutions to residential installers, commercial integrators and other solar providers in North America. Founded in 2008, the company has been profitable from the start. Compared to 2013 revenue, 2014 revenue is 53 percent higher, and the company said it expects 2015 revenue to be up 61 percent with an overall profit margin of 32 percent.
With over 300 customers in North America, the firm is expanding collaboration with solar leasing companies and vertically integrated solar PV companies. Tracking revenue growth, the company’s employee base is also increasing. They hired one employee in 2014 and are in the process of hiring four more team members. In 2016, they plan to add at least four more employees. While currently 95 percent of their business is in the United States, they are expanding international sales efforts in sunny places such as Mexico, Canada and Latin America. This is the second consecutive year the company has been a VBJ Innovator of the Year finalist.
2014 Fastest Growing Company 6-10 Years (Finalists)
“Catering by design” is the motto for Simply Thyme Catering. In business since 2006, this catering company differentiates itself from the competition by offering seasonal menus, local ingredients, green business initiatives and aviation catering for private jets and charters flying from PDX. Business is hopping – the firm catered more than 1,600 events in each of the last two years, and saw a 21 percent bump in revenue from 2013 to 2014. To keep up with demand, Simply Thyme added another delivery vehicle to their fleet, purchased a significant amount of new equipment and added an additional seasonal location to sell pre-made dinners and goods. They also hired one new employee and six on-call servers.
Like many other successful businesses in Clark County, Simply Thyme fosters a spirit of community service. Owner Tamara Leibfarth serves on the board at the Clark County Skill Center in their culinary program. This year, the firm is sponsoring a culinary student’s membership dues into the Portland’s Chef d’ Cuisine Society in addition to payment of test fees for year’s end Practical Test. The firm also has catered the Zoo-la-la and Relay for Life events for the past seven years.
Pacific Perks Coffee LLC, founded by Jim and Natalie Fairchild, is a flat-fee mobile café specializing in “creating a fun and surprising experience.” The company got its start in 2007 with two employees, operating out of a 200-square-foot garage. Fast forward to today: they occupy an 1,100-square-foot commercial space with a satellite office in Salem, employ ten people and have expanded to serve Southwest Washington/Portland, Salem/Eugene, Hood River/The Dalles, the Oregon Coast, Centralia and Seattle.
The company has experienced positive growth for seven consecutive years, averaging 30 percent growth each year (measured by the number of events the company participates in, as well as gross and net sales). In 2014, the company served food and beverages at almost 1,000 events – nearly twice as many as in 2011. The company’s offerings have evolved from a single service (Espresso Bar) to nine unique offerings including a Quesadilla Bar, Omelet Bar, Ice Cream Sundae Bar, Panini Bar, Italian Soda Bar, Gourmet Hot Cocoa Bar and most recently, a Crepe Bar. The company is hiring two more employees, with plans to sell licensing agreements in the next 12 months.