EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

August 23, 2013

N.H. firms among fastest growing companies

Three local companies among fastest growing in country

By Doug Ireland

---- — A Salem travel services company, a Kingston gift basket operation and a Plaistow environmental firm have something in common.

The three Southern New Hampshire businesses are among the top 5,000 fastest-growing companies in the country, according to Inc. magazine.

They are among 24 businesses in the Granite State named to the annual list. The New York City-based publication has been ranking the nation’s top revenue-producing companies for 30 years.

This year, they include ENCO Industries of Plaistow (ranked 2,567), GourmetGiftBaskets.com of Kingston (2,956) and On Call International of Salem (3,968). The rankings are for the period from 2009 to 2012.

The three companies may have made the same list, but they are vastly different.

On Call International on Delaware Drive provides assistance to travelers around the world, including medical evacuations to those injured while visiting other countries, according to spokeswoman Michelle Shelton.

The 85-employee company’s revenue has grown 69 percent, from $26.8 million in 2009 to $45.1 million last year.

GourmetGiftBaskets.com operates out of a warehouse on Route 125, where 58 employees assemble and ship gift baskets around the world. Its revenue increased 115 percent over the three-year period, from $8.7 million to $18.6 million.

ENCO Industries provides environmental control products and services to a wide range of industries and markets, including the federal government. Revenue for the 18-employee company grew 138 percent over that time span, from $3.8 million to $9.1 million.

Representatives for the three businesses attribute their rapid growth to providing the best possible services and products to their customers. They are ecstatic at making the list.

“It’s a huge honor for a company our size,” said Michael Faris, executive vice president of ENCO.

It’s the second year in a row ENCO has made the list, ranking 1,958 a year ago. The top-ranking company in the state was Waveguide of Nashua, finishing 1,066.

Faris said he wasn’t disappointed his company’s ranking has dropped since last year.

“We are just thankful to be there,” he said.

So is Ryan Abood, president and CEO of GourmetGiftBaskets. The growing online firm started in Manchester and moved to Londonderry briefly before landing in Kingston.

What began as two-person company in 2002 has flourished since then. It’s made the list five years in a row, ranking as high as 37 in 2009.

“It’s unbelievable,” Abood said. “It started out with just me and my mother.”

This is the first year On Call International made the list. The company had only five employees when CEO Michael Kelly founded the firm 18 years ago and now has 85.

Kelly said he’s proud to receive the recognition.

“This award validates our commitment to the growth and expansion of our customized travel assistance products and services,” Kelly said in a statement. “We are honored to be included on this year’s list and are thankful for the hard work and devotion of all our employees as we look to further develop our portfolio of services in the near future.”

Companies named to the list are researched and solicited by Inc., according to spokesman Patrick Hainault. Revenue figures are verified as well, he said.

Thousands of companies applied for the recognition, he said. Firms learned of their rankings in the last week.

“It’s the first time a lot of these companies got recognized on a national level,” he said.