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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.”
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY CHRIS NOBLE
The right sunglasses can protect your eyes and look cool at the same time. This being the 21st century, select shades are socially conscious, too. Portland brand Shwood uses wood and other natural materials and manufactures locally. Founded by Ann Sacks, the brand Fetch dedicates a portion of its profits to animal welfare. But whether you choose classic tortiseshell or aviator chic, please, shed the sunglasses when you walk in the door — and, of course, at night.
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER
Mike Morrow and Mike Delos-Reyes first came up with the idea of an ocean power device 23 years ago, when they were students at Oregon State University. They realized a long-held vision last summer, when their startup, M3 Wave, successfully launched the first ocean power device that works underwater.
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, July 01, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
There are more than 10 million former military members working in the United States.
Tuesday, June 09, 2015
The technology at the center of Oregon’s road usage fee reform.
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY HANNAH WALLACE
Travelers have always come to Oregon for its natural beauty. But will the increasing popularity of agritourism, European-style hiking getaways and forest resorts relax Oregon's notoriously strict land-use laws?
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR
An earthquake would completely destroy many Oregon businesses, highlighting the urgent need for the private and public sectors to collaborate on shoring up disaster preparedness, said panelists at an Oregon Business breakfast summit today.
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