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1996 Inc. 500 #485

Woodstock International

"I see opportunities out there that are so easy, I can't help myself," pleads Shiraz Balolia. Maybe that's why Balolia runs 11 companies in addition to Woodstock International, a wholesale distributor of woodworking tools. The Kenyan-born entrepreneur's enterprises range from cutlery to jewelry to sculpture to real estate development. Some of his start-ups are closely related. To gain an edge on his fellow cutlery retailers, Balolia started Grizzly Knife & Tackle, a wholesaler--which supplies products to retailers. He hopes Grizzly will be able to count "almost every single one of our competitors" as a customer. "I have a bad case of capitalism," he says.