The $1 million boostrappers


Alissa Leinonen didn’t think her business would last a year, let alone break $1 million in revenue.

Gourmondo started in 1996 as a four-table lunch spot in Pike Place Market, sandwiched between a tattoo parlor and a cobbler. On a good day they made $60.

“I was grinding on this thing for eight or nine years before I hit the first million,” Leinonen said.

Gourmondo is now the largest woman-owned corporate catering and box-lunch company that’s based in Seattle.

Continue reading The $1 million boostrappers

The other 1 percent

Women VC Funding032318

The Puget Sound region’s fast-growing technology industry is full of companies hungry for funding, but much of those investments will not go to women entrepreneurs.

All-women teams received just $22.1 million of the $1.79 billion of venture capital dollars invested in Washington state last year, according to data from PitchBook Inc. That’s 1.2 percent of the venture capital dollars invested in the state. Continue reading The other 1 percent

Seattle small businesses owners’ big ideas


Ali Ghambari knows what it feels like to have a competitor with almost unlimited resources right next door. In the land of Starbucks, Ghambari owns 10 Cherry Street Coffee House locations around Seattle.

For Ghambari and more than 574,000 other small businesses in Washington state, competition is only one of many challenges they face. The rising cost of health care, recruiting and retention and new regulations make running a small business increasingly difficult.

More than 50 percent of small businesses fail after the first five years, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. Even so, these companies have a $702 billion economic impact on the state and employ 1.3 million people. It’s a heroic feat, and that’s why the Business Journal has recognized nine Puget Sound-area business leaders who are driving business growth, job creation and community betterment. Continue reading Seattle small businesses owners’ big ideas

Seattle tear-downs mapped: Ballard is the epicenter of change

34_100617The city of Seattle has issued 2,083 demolition permits for single-family or duplex properties since 2012. Year by year, no other neighborhood in Seattle has been as torn down and built up as Ballard.

As the city’s population continues growing and the housing market remains fierce, homebuilders say Seattle residents need to recognize the demand for housing, accept density as the answer and give people precedence over historic status structures.

But when it comes to the value of old charm, some builders say it’s everything.

Continue reading Seattle tear-downs mapped: Ballard is the epicenter of change

Cash is king: Seattle’s housing market is demoralizing, but not irrational

RRE060917Seattle’s housing market has been called many things — “berserk,” “insane,” “unhealthy,” “demoralizing” — and yet there’s one moniker everyone can agree upon: The Seattle housing market is red hot.

Transactions and sales volumes are down, but competition is soaring to the point that nearly one-in-five sales is an all-cash deal in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. At the market’s epicenter in Seattle, the median sales price for single-family homes hit $722,000 in April. The Eastside reached $880,000.

For buyers looking to settle down in the area, the price of admission is increasingly steep.

Continue reading Cash is king: Seattle’s housing market is demoralizing, but not irrational