Jersey City, New Jersey
Partake Foods has been experiencing 300% annual revenue growth
Denise Woodard was always interested in being an entrepreneur, but it wasn’t something she explored until she became a mother. It started when she discovered her young daughter, Vivienne, was allergic to several foods. “It was really frustrating to find packaged foods that she could eat safely and conveniently and actually enjoy,” said Denise. When she began looking into gluten-free and vegan options as healthy substitutes, Denise found that they were full of questionable starches and sugars she didn’t want to feed her baby. “I felt like the allergy-friendly brands that existed in the market weren’t things that people without food allergies would ever choose to eat willingly or share proudly,” she said. Compelled to do it on her own, Denise figured out a recipe for delicious, healthy, allergy-friendly cookies. Her daughter and friends loved them so much, she decided to share them with everyone, launching Partake Foods in 2017. The name Partake, said Denise, is “an invitation for people with or without dietary restrictions to enjoy and partake in our products.”
Denise used a crowdfunding platform to raise money for the company’s initial round of funding. She also sold cookies online and even out of her car. As business started to grow, Woodard knew she needed to increase her presence online. In September 2018 she started using Google Merchant Center to upload product data that would make it easier for people to find her products online. Denise also uses Google to help guide her marketing efforts. “Google has been a big driver of traffic to our website” said Denise. “I use it to determine what content people are searching for so we know what to write about.” Currently, about 75% of the company’s ad budget goes toward digital.
Partake Foods has sold more than 50,000 boxes of cookies, leading to an impressive 303% year-over-year revenue growth. Denise hopes to achieve national distribution within the next five years and is hard at work developing new products to expand her lineup. “The goal is to have meal and snack solutions for the whole day,” she said. While being an entrepreneur and a mother is challenging, Denise credits Google for helping her reach the right audiences and grow her business. She hopes to pass her entrepreneurial spirit down to her daughter, who is getting a firsthand glimpse into what it takes to build a business and make a difference in people’s lives. “Giving my daughter the opportunity to see that you can make a change is really gratifying,” concluded Denise.
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Adam Flaherty and Kenneth Dodge share a passion for telling a compelling story. In 2011, Adam was working as a freelance videographer in New Hampshire's Seacoast region. Kenneth was living in Los Angeles pursuing a filmmaking career. When Kenneth relocated to New Hampshire, he reached out to area videographers. “He was trying to gauge if it was even viable to do professional video production in New Hampshire," Adam recalls. "We hit it off and decided that together we could build something bigger and better for creative video production in the region." The two launched Anchor Line in 2013, offering video production, animation, 360-degree video, and post-production services. Since then, business has "exceeded our expectations," Adam says.
Anchor Line is in a highly visual and competitive industry, “so it's important that we do everything we can to stand out online,” Kenneth explains. The two have been using AdWords, Google’s advertising program, from day one. “Even before Anchor Line, AdWords is what helped me grow my freelance business into a brick-and-mortar shop. When we started this company, it was a no-brainer to me that we would advertise it on Google as well,” shares Adam. Now about 50 percent of Anchor Line’s new clients come through Google. The team also uses YouTube to showcase their work to potential clients, and G Suite tools, such as Gmail, Calendar, and Docs, to power their business operations from client communications to project management. And with insights from Google Analytics, “we can better shape how we market ourselves and how we acquire new business," says Kenneth.
Today, Anchor Line services a growing number of clients, from local organizations to multinational brands. They are also growing business outside of the U.S., all from their home base in the Granite State. “It’s crazy when you realize that we’re a small film community within New Hampshire,” Adam muses. “When people began referring to us as the premier production company in the area, that's when we knew we had created something really special. Now we just strive to keep growing, improving, and creating video content that inspires.”
Olive Oil Lovers
Passaic, New Jersey
Olive Oil Lovers has been experiencing 90% annual growth
A world traveler with a taste for Mediterranean quality, Joanne Lacina was living in Greece when she discovered that the olive oil locals enjoyed there was very different from what was sold on supermarket shelves back home. “I saw that there was a huge quality deficit in the U.S. and thought to myself, ‘Why can’t we all be enjoying this amazing olive oil that the Greeks have been eating for decades?’” she recalls. Partnering with producers around the world, Joanne founded Olive Oil Lovers in 2012 to offer Americans a fresher, high-quality alternative at a competitive price. “This is what the American people want,” Joanne says. “So that’s what we’ll give them. And we’ll deliver it right to their doors.”
From the start, Olive Oil Lovers has used the web and Google tools to set itself apart. “We’re not just a store. We’re a platform where anyone from anywhere can expand their olive oil knowledge and palate,” Joanne explains. “This is something we couldn’t have done as a brick-and-mortar.” Today, the company reaches thousands of customers and drives international business with their web presence. AdWords, Google's advertising program, currently accounts for 70 percent of their new customer acquisitions and “is very critical to our growth,” says Director of Marketing George Floropoulos. Google Analytics provides insights on their web traffic and marketing campaigns. Google Trends helps them see what is in high demand in the olive oil market. And G Suite tools Gmail, Docs, and Drive make international collaboration quick and easy. “If Google didn't exist, we wouldn't exist,” adds George.
Since their founding, Olive Oil Lovers has doubled their number of partnerships. They now work with over 40 producers in the U.S. and abroad to provide olive oil as well as other fresh items, such as vinegar, jam, and honey. Their 90 percent growth year-over-year has allowed them to hire more full-time employees and expand to a team of eight. And thanks to their success, Olive Oil Lovers is able to educate their consumers while providing an economic boost to small-scale growers. “It's the beauty of having the entire country as your customer base,” says Joanne. With growing demand and powerful e-commerce tools, the future looks golden for this New Jersey business.
Arrow Limousine Worldwide
Red Bank, New Jersey
In 1960, Michelle McConville's father, Roger Somers, bought a taxicab and started his own business while still in high school. Then in 1976 he bought his first limousine and renamed the company Arrow Limousine. The business took off. Today Roger’s son, Eddie Somers, is the president of this family-owned ground transportation service. They operate a fleet of 100 vehicles used to make 65,000 trips a year, transporting everyone from business and leisure travelers to wedding and prom goers. By the late 1990s they had developed their first website. Michelle, now their Director of Marketing, attributes their continued growth to their online presence and Google tools.
They use AdWords, Google's advertising program, to be found by people searching for transportation in their geographic area. "We're getting more calls from our website than ever before. Seventy percent of our new customers come from the Internet. And 97% of those are coming through Google," Michelle says. Their website is mobile-friendly, which is critical because 63% of their site traffic now comes from mobile devices. Their Google My Business listing shows contact information, photos, and customer reviews. “Google reviews are huge for us,” she adds. Google Analytics drives their online marketing strategy. “We couldn’t make data-driven decisions without Analytics,” says Michelle. They've also started using YouTube to tell their story and continue building their brand.
The company has come a long way from its humble beginnings. They employ about 120 drivers and 20 office staff and have created an environment where everyone is treated like family. “Emily Damiano-Peck, our Director of Operations, has been here for 30 years. That’s important to us; we’re all part of the Arrow family.” It’s also important to them to be a good neighbor in their Red Bank community. For example, during annual community food and toy drives, Arrow Limousine can always be counted on for donations and to help with deliveries. With a strong community behind them and the right tools in place, it’s clear that Arrow Limousine is on the road to success for generations to come.