Vazquez Commercial Contracting, LLC
Paniagua’s Enterprises Incorporated

100 Fastest-Growing Inner City Businesses

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The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), founded by Harvard Business School Professor Michael E. Porter in 1994, defines inner cities as core urban areas with higher unemployment and poverty rates and lower median incomes than their surrounding metropolitan statistical areas. Every year, ICIC identifies, ranks, and spotlights the 100 fastest-growing businesses located in America’s inner cities. In 2017, companies were ranked by revenue growth over the five-year period between 2013 and 2017. ICIC relies on a national network of nominating partners, including city offices, economic development organizations, and small business development corporations, to find many of the businesses that appear on this list. Key partners this year were Staples, Chevron, FedEx, Kaiser Permanente, City of Oakland, Baltimore Development Corporation, Blackstone Entrepreneur’s Network, and Urban League of Louisiana. This list was audited by the independent accounting firm AAFCPAs.

This year's 100 fastest-growing inner city companies, as ranked by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City.

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Firebrand Artisan Breads

This year’s 100 fastest-growing inner city companies, as ranked by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City.
Courtesy of Firebrand Artisan Breads

Matt Kreutz started Firebrand Artisan Breads with a vision and little else. Working in bakeries since age 14, he managed to turn his passion into one of the most recognized bakeries in the Bay Area. Matt lived in the loft of the bakery for the first year until he slowly built his company with the help of inner city advisors, eventually securing a contract with Whole Foods. Firebrand Artisan Breads, which offers a unique line of wood fired breads and pastries, sees their location in the Bay Area as one of their largest assets. Matt describes his products as having an ugly beautiful quality to them, which has allowed Firebrand to separate itself from their local competitors. Firebrand continues to try to maintain their steady growth, while also remaining true to the brand’s unique identity.

Company Information

Five-Year Growth Rate (%) 1434.25%
2017 Revenues ($M) $5600000.00
HQ Location Oakland, California
Business Leader(s) Matt Kreutz
Title Owner and CEO

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