27. Avocet Hospitality Group
What it does: Re-envisions and revives distressed hotel and restaurant properties, including The Tides Hotel and Blu Restaurant & Bar on Folly Beach (formerly the Holiday Inn) and The Vendue (formerly The Vendue Inn) and its fine-dining establishment, The Drawing Room, as well as vacation rental and property management on Folly Beach and St. Barthelemy, French West Indies
Factoid: Upon acquiring The Vendue Inn in December 2012, the company began developing its concept of Charleston’s first art hotel, featuring rotating exhibits. The Vendue reopened in May of 2014. Avocet also acquired The Anchorage Hotel directly across the street and folded it into the hotel property. In February 2015, they completed renovations to create two large luxury suites that are adjacent to a new gallery/meeting/reception room.
Leadership: Jonathan Weitz, president
Revenue: Has averaged 30 percent growth in revenue from year-to-year
Years in business: 9
28. The Indigo Road
What it does: Develops and manages restaurants and bars—The Cocktail Club, Indaco, The Macintosh, Oak Steakhouse, and O-Ku in Charleston; The Oak Table in Columbia; and Oak Steakhouse Atlanta and Colletta in Alpharetta, Georgia—and consults on restaurant and resort design, development, management, and training
Factoid: The Indigo Road is expanding its footprint in Charleston, opening a culinary complex—casual bar Mash, gourmet food market Mercantile, and event space The Cedar Room—in the Cigar Factory this year.
Leadership: Steve Palmer, managing partner
Years in business: 6
29. Limehouse Produce Co.
What it does: Has provided farmed produce and unique products to area restaurants for more than 70 years
Factoid: In 2012, Limehouse Produce partnered with Clemson University to streamline the Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification process for local farms. By reducing the burden of documentation and infrastructure improvements, this program has made it possible for several local farms to meet current food safety standards and to grow their businesses into markets that were previously closed to them.
Leadership: Jack and Andrea Limehouse, owners
Location: North Charleston
Revenue: $20–$50 million
Years in business: 70 plus
30. Lodging Source
What it does: A hotel booking service that specializes in long-term and group hotel bookings to Fortune 500 companies; its website offers discounts to more than 25,000 hotels.
Factoid: Lodging Source began as a one-man operation and in 10 short years has grown to provide booking services to several Fortune 500 clients.
Leadership: Mike Atkins, president
Location: Mount Pleasant
Revenue: $9.5 million (2013)
Years in business: 11