2017 Minnesota Family Business Awards Finalists

2017 Minnesota Family Business Awards Finalists

Twin Cities Business and its sponsor partners recognize these successful Minnesota family businesses and the values they perpetuate.

Celarity Inc.

Inception: 1993
Headquarters: Bloomington
Family members in the business: 3
Employees: 14 full time, 100-plus freelancers

Doug and Marlene Phipps began their entrepreneurial venture in 1990 with the launch of a small design shop offering illustration and design services to large corporations. Three years later, after discovering clients’ demand for on-site creative freelancers, Marlene launched Freelance Creative, known today as Celarity, a staffing and recruiting agency for marketing, creative and technology talent. Marlene runs the company with her two sons, Robert and John, and her husband serves on the company’s advisory board. Celarity has doubled its revenue in the past four years, and expects to hit $10 million by 2019.

EDCO Products Inc.

Inception: 1946
Headquarters: Hopkins
Family members in the business: 5
Employees: More than 200

EDCO Products is the largest pre-finished metal siding manufacturer in the United States. The company offers a comprehensive line of siding, roofing, soffit, fascia and gutter systems, and is one of the oldest and continuous running domestic fabricators in the country. Arthur Edwards Sr. and his two sons, John and Arthur (Art) Edwards Jr., founded EDCO with a vision to provide long-lasting, affordable residential siding for the exterior building materials market. Art Jr. passed away in 2012 at age 92. His vision lives on today through his two daughters and his grandson, all three of whom are owners.


Inception: 1950
Headquarters: Mounds View
Family members in the business: 4
Employees: 82

Empirehouse is an architectural glass and metal contractor that specializes in the fabrication and installation of entrances, storefronts, windows and interior glass for markets including retail, medical, financial and manufacturing. The company’s work can be seen across the Twin Cities, including at Mall of America, CHS Field and Orchestra Hall. Under the third generation of family ownership, revenue has grown by 275 percent, and the company has remained a certified women-owned business since 1991.

Ideal Printers

Inception: 1979
Headquarters: St. Paul
Family members in the business: 6
Employees: 84

Ideal Printers began as a small commercial-printing business in Minneapolis. In 2011, the company expanded its capabilities to include digital printing, and after the acquisition of Communication Mailing Services in 2013, it added mailing and fulfillment services to its list. In addition to printing and mailing, Ideal offers creative services and customized handwork. Clients include Great Clips, Ecolab, Best Buy, Lifetime Fitness and many others. Almost four decades later, the Siewart family’s dedication to their employees still remains a priority; nearly a quarter of their staff has been with the company for more than 20 years.

The Specialty Mfg. Co.

Inception: 1900
Headquarters: St. Paul
Family members in the business: 3
Employees: 200

William Boss founded The Specialty Mfg. Co. at the turn of the 20th century to sell many of his patented inventions, such as his grass collector (lawn mower) and his garden hose reel. Since then, The Specialty Mfg. Co. has produced many custom-designed products. Today, the company has six divisions: valves, hydraulic couplers, dental components, pool/spa chemistry automation, custom machine tool fixtures and integrated manufacturing services, including metal stamping and injection molding. The Specialty Mfg. Co. believes in rewarding hard work, and for the past 60 years has contributed more than 50 percent of its income to its employees through profit-sharing.