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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, April 01, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
Leaders in Oregon's ag sector gathered this morning in Portland’s Coopers Hall winery/taproom to discuss the role of the region as an export gateway, impediments to exporting products and solutions to containerized shipping challenges.
Thursday, April 23, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
The entrepreneurial spirit was alive and well at the Oregon Angel showcase, an annual event for angel investors and early stage entrepreneurs.
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY KIM MOORE
A conversation with Martha Richards, executive director of the James F. & Marion L. Miller Foundation.
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER
As a general rule, the more people with autism can be provided with visual cues, the better they will be able to understand and manage their environment. It’s a lesson Tom Keating learned well. The 61-year-old Eugene grant writer spent 31 years taking care of his autistic brother James, and in the late 1980s developed a spreadsheet that created a series of nonsense characters that grew or shrank depending on how much money James had in his account.
Thursday, May 21, 2015
BY JASON NORRIS | GUEST BLOGGER
Uncertainty is a part of doing business, whether in through the lens of investment opportunities and risks or the business of running an enterprise.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
BY GARY CONKLING | GUEST BLOGGER
Avoiding a crisis is a great way to burnish your reputation, increase brand loyalty and become a market leader.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
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Like all good journalists, the OB editorial staff typically eschews freebies. But health care costs being what they are, digital news editor Jacob Palmer couldn't resist ZoomCare's offer of a free three-in-one (cleaning, exam, whitening) dental office visit, guaranteed to take no more than 57 minutes.
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34 spots for food, 17 places to sip, and 7 sites to choose a brew beckon visitors.