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Congrats to our Top Company 2016 winner: American Furniture Warehouse

The furniture chain topped the "Consumer" category


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This year’s Top Company winners and finalists represent large and small, old and new, high-tech and high-touch businesses and organizations in 11 industry categories. Like Colorado itself, these enterprises have undergone changes, endured tumultuous economic times, and overcome various hurdles to achieve distinction in their respective fields.

To be eligible for Top Company consideration, companies must be based in Colorado or have a significant presence in the state. Deloitte, a longtime program sponsor, selects up to three finalists per industry category from applications submitted online at cobizmag.com. A panel made up of ColoradoBiz magazine’s editorial board and representatives from the business community then selects the winners based on financial performance or other relevant metric, achievement in one or more operational aspect of their business, and community involvement.

Read on to learn about our 29th annual Top Company Awards "Consumer" category winners and finalists.

CONSUMER

Winner

American Furniture Warehouse

www.afwonline.com

American Furniture Warehouse is one of the largest privately held furniture companies in the U.S., with 14 locations. In 2015, AFW gave $3 million to hundreds of organizations in the form of gift cards for silent auctions, fundraisers, furniture and cash for specific projects.

When AFW opened its two newest locations in Arizona, staffers were immediately busy. They soon found that many Coloradans have second homes in the Grand Canyon State. “One of the reasons we went to Arizona was that we knew many people went there from here,” says Jake Jabs, president and CEO. “Customers in Arizona love us because of our great prices, huge selection and no high-pressure selling. We don’t sell warranties, fabric protection, etc., so our salespeople are not trying to up-sell those types of items.”

AFW has 12 stores in Colorado and plans to further expand in Arizona. The company was founded in 1975, and has endured economic ups and downs over the years by buying furniture all over the world, training associates to give the best customer service, developing efficient warehouse operations, and owning and operating its own fleet of over-the-road trucks to pick up furniture and deliver to customers across the country.

What really helps the company succeed, Jabs says, is positive word-of-mouth from loyal customers. “Our customers recommend us to friends and family,” he says. “Our advertising costs are a fraction of most furniture stores. We always have new and hot-selling merchandise. We keep up on the latest styles and our decorators make our displays very attractive. We run mean and lean and we sell quality furniture for less than our competitors.”

Finalists

Seattle Fish Co.

www.seattlefish.com

Colorado restaurants that want to serve Scottish Sea Farms Atlantic Salmon, Hawaiian Kampachi, Island Creek Oysters or Spanish Tenderized Octopus look to Seattle Fish Co. The Rocky Mountain region’s largest supplier of fresh and frozen seafood also offers other types of fish, and receives and distributes 10 million pounds of seafood annually.

The company distributes to more than 1,400 grocers and restaurants across the region. Seattle Fish Co. supports sustainable fishing principles and is certified by the Marine Stewardship Council, an eco-labeling organization. SFC hopes to accomplish its goal of SFC 100, which will represent 100 years in business and $100 million by revenue in 2018.

Elite Brands of Colorado

www.elite-brands.com

It’s not easy keeping up with the evolving craft beer industry, but Denver-based Elite Brands of Colorado has a goal to be the distributor-of-choice to Colorado’s craft beer, wine and spirit industry. The company represents producers of alcoholic beverages from around the world and sells and delivers product directly to retail partners throughout the state. The team considers product quality, geography, style, packaging, and succinct business and branding strategies to curate a portfolio that is unique and diverse.

Schomp Automotive

www.ralphschomp.com

Schomp Automotive dealerships include Schomp Honda, which has received Honda’s President’s Award nine times, Schomp MINI, which is Denver’s largest volume MINI Cooper dealer, Fay Myers Motorcycle World, which carries more than a dozen brands of motorcycles, and Schomp BMW. Schomp also added the Arkonik brand to its portfolio, offering customers restored Land Rover Defenders. Schomp will open Mercedes-Benz of Farmington, Utah, in the fall of 2016. In 2015, the car company donated more than $154,000 to charities, and through partnerships raised more than $1 million for causes throughout the community.
 

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Nora Caley

Nora Caley is a freelance writer specializing in business and food topics.

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