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Success Stories

ERC Insulation

ERC Insulation is a local, majority woman-owned and operated business based in Boulder, Colorado, serving Boulder, Denver, Jefferson, Eagle, Garfield and Pitkin Counties. The story surrounding the formation of ERC Insulation began in 2006, when Elton and Christine Randall formed Elton Construction and Design. Elton had difficulty finding a spray foam contractor for his jobs, so he sought a solution to this problem. Elton purchased a trailer with a spray foam reactor, which he could use to do his own spray foam jobs. “Elton used it a few times, and then, this massive piece of equipment sat in our driveway. We started getting more calls for spray foam subcontracting work and what I saw sitting in my driveway was an opportunity”, recalls Christine. Thus, ERC Insulation was born in 2010, and Christine became CEO. The timing couldn’t have been better: “We were intimately familiar with the building codes in Boulder County through Elton Construction and Design, so we benefitted greatly from the Federal grants for the Energy Smart Program since there was a lack of spray foam providers”. ERC became a qualified contractor for the Energy Smart and Smart Regs programs as well as Elevations Energy Loans in Boulder County. They also became a registered contractor for Xcel Energy, including Home Performance with Energy Star. ERC holds a Class-C Contractor’s license and is accredited as a spray foam installer, providing cellulosed foam installations as well. Together, ERC and Elton Construction and Design, offer residents and small commercial businesses a one-stop-shop for energy evaluation and energy solutions implementation.

Early in the company formation process, Christine attended the, “Ramp Up: Make Your Business Profitable and Sustainable” business training series produced by the Boulder SBDC with sponsorship from the Colorado Green Building Guild. Christine was able to build a network of “like-minded” business people through the series, which became invaluable to her and the business: “The class facilitated our connection to a great group and together we helped each other build our businesses”. Since the “Ramp Up” series, Christine has continued to attend Boulder SBDC workshops and events such as the annual “Contract Opportunities Fair”, as well as the Colorado Emerging Ventures programming. Christine takes advantage of the no cost, one-on-one consulting program where she has found Sharon King, Boulder SBDC Director, to be “supportive”, “knowledgeable”, and “inspirational: some people offer consulting from a place of never having done: Sharon comes from a place of personal experience and knows how to help” say Ms Randall.

Three years from launching, ERC has 18 employees and is growing rapidly. Besides great timing, mentors and partners like the Boulder SBDC, Christine attributes their success to a strong focus on quality products, installations and personal customer care. ERC hires employees who understand the thermal envelope and can see the bigger picture of their jobs. Christine does not believe in asking employees to do something she would not do herself. Some days you will find her scrambling in crawl spaces, to help crews with installations. Christine cares deeply about her community, is a mother, business leader and environmental advocate. She is already thinking about their next company venture.

AOW Handmade

Annie Oakley Waterman is an entrepreneur and owner of AOW Handmade. AOW Handmade, founded in 2015, is a unique business that connects artisan enterprisers from all over the developing world to buyers in the United States. Whether it is textiles, silver, brass, paper maché or other materials, Annie seeks out socially responsible producers and helps them to sell their products to the western world. Annie’s favorite places to find her goods are in Mexico and

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Leenie’s Southern Cafe

Conversations, laughter, biscuits and homemade jam melt together at Leenies Southern Café. Established in January 2006, Mel Flores and Eileen Gilmore’s restaurant in Longmont, CO has become a destination for those looking for a classic Southern breakfast and lunch restaurant in Longmont. The dining area is blanketed in simple white tablecloths and is surrounded by shelves loaded with Leenies jams and dishes while local artisan artwork decorates the walls. The atmosphere is relaxed and the

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Bookcliff Vinyards

“We like drinking wine!” was the simple and honest reason that Ulla Merz and her husband John Garlich decided to open a winery and vineyard. “We started collecting wine in the 1970’s and grew grapes in our backyard. In 1994 we took grape growing and wine making classes and bought a vineyard in an area of Palisade called the Vinelands. That’s where we planted our first grapes in 1996. Bookcliff Vineyards was launched in 1999

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Sante Fe Coffee and Burrito Company

Arturo Maestas launched the Santa Fe Coffee and Burrito Company, in Longmont, CO, on April 11, 2011. Santa Fe Coffee and Burrito Company is a Spanish and Southwest restaurant with a diverse menu, featuring both Spanish and American style dishes. Arturo has relatives in Albuquerque, NM and sought to bring the ambiance of Santa Fe, NM, to Longmont, CO. Arturo remodeled the entire restaurant with the help of few family members and friends. The beautiful

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Ku Cha House of Tea

Originally from China, husband and wife entrepreneurial team, Qin Liu and Rong Pan graduated from the Leeds School of Business at Colorado University with the dream of starting their own company. The original business idea was from Qin’s Business Plan Preparation class while enrolled in CU. In 2005, they launched their business, drawing upon the 5000-year-old tradition of drinking tea. In 2007, Qin and Rong changed the company’s original name from “The Leaf – All

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InDevR

InDevR is a small, privately held biotechnology company in Boulder, CO. Founded in 2003, by Dr. Kathy Rowlen, Dr. John Birks and Dr. Laura Kuck, InDevR employs a highly motivated team of individuals dedicated to the development and commercialization of innovative technologies that will help fill gaps in the current paradigm for virus-related diagnostics. InDevR develops advanced life science instrumentation and assays for analysis of viruses and other microorganisms. Their goal is to revolutionize microbiological

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