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Sonoma County's fastest-growing companies

  • In a scene set for a chocoholic, Gary Gambonini adds Dutch chocolate to a batch of Three Twins Ice Cream. The Petaluma company ranked 975th on this year's Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies. (KENT PORTER/Press Democrat)

During his first winter in the ice cream business, Neal Gottlieb weathered a rainy Monday when his cash register took in a mere $49.

Eight years later, Gottlieb's Three Twins Ice Cream has grown into one of the nation's largest makers of organic ice cream and one of the nation's faster-growing companies.

Based in Petaluma, Three Twins ranked 975th on this year's Inc. 5000 list, with revenue jumping 442 percent for the three years ending in 2012. Annual sales totaled $3.7 million, the company is distributing ice cream in nearly all 50 states and Gottlieb is preparing to open his second manufacturing plant late this year in Sheboygan, Wis.

“We really believe Three Twins is the next great American ice cream brand,” said Gottlieb. The company, he said, has grown not by targeting organic food aficionados but by offering the masses “inconceivably delicious organic ice cream.”

Three Twins became one of six Sonoma County companies to make the latest Inc. 5000 list.

Among them is VinoPro, a 5-year-old wine telemarketing company that ranked 236th nationally. The Santa Rosa business, which markets exclusively to the tasting room visitors and wine club members of premium wineries, reported revenue growth of 1,810 percent over three years to $2.4 million.

Four other companies made the list for at least the second time: Streetwise Reports of Petaluma, an online media company for investors; Cecchetti Wine of Vineburg, a maker of value wines with a focus on younger adults; Humble Abode of Santa Rosa, an online retailer of designer quality furniture; and ProTransport-1 of Cotati, a medical transport company specializing in non-emergency patients.

The six share more than high performance. Each stands out for the different approach it took in the service or products it provides.

The companies have succeeded by “seeing the solution that others don't see,” said Ben Stone, executive director of the Sonoma County Economic Development Board.

VinoPro — #236

Jeff Stevenson, VinoPro's founder and CEO, maintains that even in today's digital age, the best way to reach wine lovers isn't with social media but by picking up the telephone.

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