See the new SLO County restaurants, shops and businesses that opened in 2019
Four San Luis Obispo County companies are among the country’s most successful businesses, according to a new list released by Inc. magazine on Aug. 14.
The magazine annually compiles a list of the 5,000 fastest growing companies in the United States. In recent years, numerous local businesses have made the list, including some repeat honorees. (We’re looking at you, Meathead Movers.)
Here’s a look at the companies that made this year’s list and why:
Polaris Energy Services
Coming in at No. 195 on the list, Polaris Energy Services was the fastest-growing company based in San Luis Obispo County. It reported 2,047% growth in the past three years, according to Inc.
This is the first year the company — which “connects agricultural customers with products and services that provide operational visibility and irrigation control automation,” according to Inc. — has made the fastest-growing list.
It additionally ranked as the No. 5 energy company in the United States and the 31st fastest growing company in California.
“It’s really exciting,” CEO Nicholas Stover told The Tribune in a phone interview Thursday. “It’s the third time I’ve had a company on the list, but this one is really neat because we’ve had zero employee turnover since the beginning.”
Polaris Energy Services was founded by Stover in 2014. It currently employs 10 people and reported annual revenue of $2.2 million in 2018.
Though it is headquartered in San Luis Obispo, the company operates mostly in the Central Valley, Stover said.
Stover said that the company’s recent growth can be attributed to “focusing on one customer segment and do it well.” He added that the company plans to expand into other states and regions in the near future.
A.M. Sun Solar
Paso Robles-based A.M. Sun Solar made its fourth consecutive appearance on Inc.’s fastest growing list this year, ranking 2,433rd.
The business designs and installs cost-effective solar energy systems for residential, agricultural and commercial clients.
According to Inc., the solar energy company grew by 134% in the past three years. It employs 48 people and reported an annual revenue of $9.6 million in 2018.
“Our customers and incredible team are the ones to thank for this success.” CEO Cory Howe wrote in an email to The Tribune. “We’re honored that our customers choose us for their solar energy system needs, and our team makes sure that process is
outstanding from the first phone call, to when we switch on their solar.”
Brian Potter, A.M. Sun Solar’s director of marketing, added that the company is seeing more people installing solar energy systems due to a solar tax credit and potential PG&E rate hikes.
Sentinel Security Solutions
Grover Beach-based Sentinel Security Solutions made its first appearance on the list in 2019, coming in at No. 4,632.
Leela Sherbon, who co-owns the business with her husband, Justin Sherbon, said they are “very honored to be recognized by Inc. 5000” this year.
“We are grateful to our amazing staff, loyal customers and wonderful community for helping us grow,” she said in an email to The Tribune on Thursday. “Justin Sherbon and myself started this business 10 years ago with limited capital and a strong vision of what we wanted to achieve. We have been growing our company since and it is very exciting to have reached a level to be included in Inc. 5000 ranking with many accomplished corporations, including some of which are our customers and peers.”
According to Inc., the security company grew 62 percent in the past three years. It currently employs 16 people and reported annual revenue of $2.1 million in 2018.
Leela Sherbon said the secret to the company’s recent success were her husband’s security system designs, coupled with “developing relationships and a referral base that has lead to our strong presence in the Central Coast of California.”
She added that the pair are continuing to grow their staff and hoping to open additional branches throughout California.
San Luis Obispo packing company Meathead Movers once again made the fastest growing list this year, ranking 4,903rd out of 5,000.
This is the eighth consecutive year that the company has been recognized by the magazine; its highest ranking was 2,781st in 2014.
Only about 2% of all Inc. 5000 companies appear on the list eight times or more, according to a Meathead Movers news release.
“Knowing that we are in the top 2% of companies on the prestigious Inc. 5000 list is nothing short of amazing,” CEO Aaron Steed said in the release. “It reminds us that we are doing so much more than simply moving our customers; we are growing alongside our communities and maintaining our founding principles of supporting student athletes as they work their way through college in pursuit of the American dream.”
According to Inc., the company grew by 55 percent in the past three years. It employs 744 people and reported annual revenue of $20.3 million in 2018.
Part of its recent growth can be attributed to the opening of a Bakersfield branch, as well as the Meathead Wine Storage facility in San Luis Obispo.