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|Articles - February 2013|
|Monday, January 28, 2013|
BY LINDA BAKER
Eighty percent of young adults eat one snack bar per day, the gluten-free category is growing at about 30% a year, and growth in the organic and natural foods market outpaces the food market as a whole. Collectively, these developments are driving rapid growth at Bridgetown Natural Foods, a Southeast Portland contract manufacturer of organic and gluten-free snacks, including fruit bars, baked goods, granola and cookies.
“The fundamentals are very strong,” says Dan Klock, chief executive of the 3-year-old, privately held company.
In 2012 Bridgetown doubled its revenues and is expected to do the same in 2013, Klock says. The company landed a $7 million line of credit from NewStar Business Credit in November to finance working capital and is planning further expansion, including installing two new processing lines at the company’s manufacturing plant in the Lents neighborhood. That project will allow Bridgetown to hire 50 additional employees, bringing the total number of workers to about 250.
A one-stop shopping center for emerging brands, Bridgetown does more than make and package products under different labels. The company also offers a variety of services ranging from research and development to purchasing ideas to helping entrepreneurs raise capital.
“We focus on people who are developing their business,” says Klock, adding that Bridgetown’s typical customer is someone working out of their kitchen, looking to sell value-added products to grocers such as New Seasons or Whole Foods.
“If you wanted to sell a fiber bar to a large brand such as General Mills, you wouldn’t come to us, because there are bigger plants,” Klock says. “But if you wanted to make an artisan granola with fruits and nuts and berries, we would be someone who understands the supply chain.”
The company’s innovation strategy focuses on ingredients and delivery method. For example, Bridgetown focuses on how to incorporate popular fresh ingredients such as kale or chia seeds into a bar or other portable snack format. The company is one of the few gluten-free-certified plants in the country. It also adheres to a triple-bottom-line business philosophy, from selling all its waste as hog feed to hiring more than 80% of its employees from the neighborhood.
“People are continuing to shift to natural foods, and millennials are prioritizing innovation and choice,” Klock says. “The demographic trends are favoring us.”
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY LEE VAN DER VOO
By now we’ve all read the headlines: Starbucks is giving away free degrees. Except it isn’t.
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
The New Yorker recently published a sharply worded critique of “disruptive innovation,” one of the most widely cited theories in the business world today. The article raises questions about the descriptive value of disruption and innovation — whether the terms are mere buzzwords or actually explain today's extraordinarily complex and fast changing business environment.
Update: We caught up with Portland's Thomas Thurston, who shared his data driven take on the disruption controversy.
Monday, July 14, 2014
BY TERRY "STARBUCKER" ST. MARIE
I really didn’t know that much about angel investing, but I did know a lot about the entrepreneurial spirit.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
Remember the naysayers? Those who called the South Waterfront aerial tram a boondoggle? Those who rejoiced at the massive sell off of luxury condos at the John Ross and Atwater Place?
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY KIM MOORE
The ubiquitous fast-food restaurant may be on the decline.
Thursday, July 10, 2014
BY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
Tom Cox interviews Dr. Mark Goulston, author of Just Listen, Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
BY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
When I say, “Your Employee is Always Right,” I do not mean “right about the facts,” but rather “right about how they feel” and “right about how they want to be led.”
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