STRATEGY

The Inner City 100 Profiles: 91-100

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NO. 91 Sun Coast Resources

Houston
Petroleum products wholesaling

G 127.7% R $697.8 million E 298

Sun Coast purchases petroleum products such as oil and lubricants from refineries and distributes them to customers ranging from convenience stores to construction companies. Kathy Lehne started the business in 1985 with $2,000; Sun Coast now distributes in 10 states.

NO. 92 City Fresh Foods

Dorchester, Massachusetts
Food services

G 123.4% R $3 million E 32

Food is one of life's great pleasures, but you wouldn't know it from the stuff served in many schools and senior centers. For 12 years brothers Glynn and Sheldon Lloyd have been distributing well-prepared meals to seniors at home and in centers and to children in school and afterschool programs. City Fresh is a favorite of Boston's social venture capital community.

NO. 93 El Taller Colaborativo

Newark, New Jersey
Architecture and development

G 123.1% R $10 million E 85

Alex Garcia is thinking big and broad. El Taller Colaborativo has shifted from a concentration in architecture and engineering, chiefly for government agencies, to a model that includes all aspects of real estate development and investment, with an emphasis on commercial clients. Garcia is having some staffers specially certified to work on environmentally friendly projects.

NO. 94 Flower City Health Care Service

Rochester, New York
Home health care

G 120.4% R $4.6 million E 300

In the mid-'80s, Rick Thompson was a nurse at the same teaching hospital where he had been born and his mother had been a nurse. The institution, Thompson felt, was losing its focus on patients, and so he launched a company to provide home health care, with an emphasis on social services.

NO. 95 Original Juan Specialty Foods

Kansas City, Kansas
Food manufacturing and sale

G 118.5% R $3 million E 24

After bad experiences running a restaurant chain and working with venture capitalists, Joe Polo and a partner began manufacturing hot sauces and related products as Original Juan. The company targets restaurants, specialty food stores, and mainstream groceries. Its sauces hit the shelves of Kroger last fall.

NO. 96 Coakley-Tech

Milwaukee
Document management and printing

G 117.6% R $12.2 million E 130

The Coakleys have been entrepreneurs for more than a century: Coakley-Tech was born in 1999 out of the fulfillment division of the family moving company. Neil Coakley and his daughter Peggy, the company's CEO, offer a mix of warehousing and storage facilities with higher-tech services such as digital media and printing on demand. In 2002 they hired former Xerox and Gartner executive Chris Illman as president. Coakley-Tech recently completed its first acquisition.

NO. 97 Merrit Press

Norfolk, Virginia
Commercial printing

G 112.9% R $2.7 million E 24

By age 13, David Lauderback was working at his father's printing shop; a dozen years later he had a printing business of his own. Lauderback sees printing as a high-tech game, and so he has invested in heat-set presses and Web-press technology that allow the company to print larger volumes faster. To diversify, Lauderback is adding direct-mail services.

NO. 98 CFj Manufacturing

Fort Worth
Promotional product manufacturing

G 111.5% R $22.4 million E 120

In 1983, Sharon Evans, who was newly divorced, started CFj Manufacturing to support her three children. Now all three work alongside her in a company that produces everything from jewelry to shirts to custom chocolates for employee reward programs.

NO. 99 Selrico Services

San Antonio
General services

G 110.9% R $41.2 million E 1,396

Selrico often turns up in the thick of things. Recently the company has helped the Red Cross house hurricane evacuees, opened the largest mess hall in Iraq, and deployed workers to Pakistan to assist NATO with quake relief. The company provides everything from construction to recycling services.

NO. 100 Brightside Academy

Pittsburgh
Childcare

G 109% R $27.7 million E 742

This is Brightside's sixth appearance on the IC 100, but the company, one of the largest providers of subsidized daycare in Pennsylvania, has had its travails--the story includes rapid expansion and humbling contraction. The company emerged from bankruptcy in 2005 and now operates 38 schools. And the drama continues: Brightside faces new competition from its founders, who recently launched a childcare chain in Pittsburgh.

Last updated: Jun 1, 2006

LEIGH BUCHANAN | Staff Writer | Editor-at-large, Inc. Magazine

Leigh Buchanan is an editor-at-large for Inc. magazine. A former editor at Harvard Business Review and founding editor of WebMaster magazine, she writes regular columns on leadership and workplace culture.




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