Epicurean designs and manufactures cutting boards and kitchenware; Loll Designs manufactures outdoor furniture using recycled plastic.
60 employees in two Duluth locations; founded in 2003
Dave Benson, co-owner and CFO:
How’s Business? We had 35 percent revenue growth in 2011 compared to 2010.
Biggest Challenge: Competing with global businesses and rising costs in raw materials. We are a U.S. manufacturer competing with many companies that produce their products in China at a much lower cost. It is a continuous challenge monitoring, reviewing, and implementing the different ways that we can keep costs down.
A Recent Win: Moving our business to the city of Duluth in 2004. Duluth has been supportive of our businesses, and working with other local businesses has been beneficial as well. We have a very dedicated and talented work force, most of whom came from Duluth and the surrounding area.
What’s Coming Up? [Rapid growth] has forced us to expand our production to two different locations within Duluth. We are working on bringing the production of both products back together under one roof in the next 24 months to gain some efficiencies.
Proudest Moment: Attending President Obama’s State of the Union address in 2010 with U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar. Epicurean was recognized as Minnesota Small Business Exporter of the Year. This is quite an achievement for our businesses, and attending the State of the Union address was an experience I will never forget.