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Columbia Business Monthly

#CBMAgenda: Wages Rise, New Cola Apts, SC Economy Shocker, Capgemini Woos, MoviePass Returns

Dec 06, 2018 09:01AM ● By Chris Haire

Photo by Burton Fowles

Hourly earnings continue to rise in SC, with wages increasing from an average of $22 in May 2016 to $24.09, according to the most recent report. Wages in the Charleston area are considerably higher than Columbia and Greenville, with pay hitting $26.50 in CHS, $23.54 in Cola, and $23.67 in GVL. Note: The cost of living in Charleston is significantly higher than the other two metros.

Happening now: Global Stocks Fall, and Oil Slides as OPEC Weighs Cuts (WSJ)

SC Commerce's latest home-building figures: "In October, the number of building permits issued in South Carolina for new residential construction rose 9.0 percent to 2,856. This figure was 0.4 percent lower than one year ago. Valuation for the permits rose 29.8 percent month-over-month but was 6.2 percent lower than one year ago. Total closings rose 15.1 percent compared to September; however, the median sales price fell 2.4 percent. Foreclosure activity decreased 10.7 percent compared to October 2017. Among the top six MSAs, median sales prices were largely down, but total closings were up across the board, with Myrtle Beach (+72.5 percent) and Florence (+24.2 percent) reporting the largest bumps."

Big shock at USC's annual SC Economic Outlook conference. (Expect a followup tomorrow.)

Could the Upstate land BMW's second U.S. plant? (GreenvilleOnline)

Trade disputes hinder South Carolina’s economic growth, experts say (P&C)

Opinion: Reading the Tea Leaves on Trade With China (WSJ)

400+ apartments, a hotel and more could be on tap for 3 Columbia sites  (State)

A sleeping Tesla driver highlights autopilot's biggest flaw (Wired)

Reddit co-founder: We need to move past 'hustle porn' and have a more realistic understanding of what it takes to be successful (BI)

A generation of digital-media darlings prepares for a frigid winter (Vanity Fair)

Capgemini hopes to draw Columbia’s tech-savvy finest to its BullStreet home (Columbia Business Monthly)

The MoviePass reboot is here, but will moviegoers want it? (Wired)

Advice: The key to becoming a better international business leader: "Culture, politics, and social influences all change the nature of business as we travel between countries and sometimes even between regions of the same country. Our ability to understand these differences and then capitalize on them to our firm’s advantage is inherent in the next aspect of successful international business leadership: a transnational mindset." (Columbia Business Monthly)

The Wire

Flock And Rally Wins Two IABC/SC Palmetto Awards

Nephron Pharmaceuticals Partners With STEM Premier

Angel Oak Home Loans Opens Three Offices In South Carolina

Waitr Tops 80 Restaurant Partners In Columbia

Blue Sky Processing LLC Launching Beaufort County Operations

25 Fastest Growing Companies 
Year Founded: Duke Brands (2017), Duke Foods(1964) and Duke Sandwich Company (1978)
Founders: Loran Smart (Duke Foods), Richard Smart (Duke Sandwich Company), Andrew Smart (Duke Brands)
Headquarters location: Greenville
Number of other locations: 1 corporate headquarters, 1 food production manufacturing facility, 2 restaurants
Number of employees (start): 1 (Eugenia Duke)
Number of employees (present): Duke Foods: 186, Duke Sandwich Company: 15, Duke Brands: 18

Duke Brands is a family-owned and operated private holding company committed to building on its 100-year history of success in food service and production with a portfolio of brands dedicated to quality and attention to customer service long forgotten. Its success is the direct result of the vision of our leadership and the commitment, talent, and integrity of its team. 

Both Duke Foods and Duke Sandwich Company are subsidiaries of Duke Brands, a family owned and operated private holding company. Duke Brands currently operates a state-of-the-art food manufacturing facility in Easley and two Duke Sandwich Co. restaurant locations in Greenville. The corporate headquarters is in downtown Greenville across from Falls Park.

What are the keys to your company’s rapid growth? 
Andrew Smart (CEO and President): Our company thrives in an environment of innovation and integrity. With a team that is consistently challenging themselves and one another, we live by the motto “Best is the Standard,” with our core values at the center of all we do. Through market research and a nimble attitude to serving our customers, we have grown largely through key account growth and new business opportunities based on our industry reputation for quality.
What’s in store for your company? 
As always, our focus is on improving the lives of our employees and those in the community. We are focused on giving back and encouraging employee development and promotion within our company. From a market standpoint, 2018 saw the release of three new product lines in stores around the country — a line of party shareable dips called Shindigs; a premium seafood dip line, Siren’s Catch; and our new line of dessert dips, Dippin’ Delights. Also, enhancements to our Greenville restaurant locations and our manufacturing facility are on the radar for late 2018.
What are your firm’s biggest challenges and how do you plan to overcome them? 
Food manufacturing is an incredibly competitive space, and one of the biggest challenges is that with growth comes increased competition and attention to our market innovation strategies. But with all challenges, we are presented with opportunities to challenge ourselves and grow in our core competencies.
What trends and innovations do you see down the line for your industry? 
With an increased focus on health and ingredients, we are evolving alongside trends towards cleaner labels, healthier options, and explorations of flavors from around the world. We are also increasing focus on our baked goods section as we continue to expand our innovation into the prepared and frozen bakery section. Other innovation will revolve around flavor trends in our core competencies and brand partnerships to develop products around nationally recognized brands.