Vancouver Island businesses named to Canada’s Top Growing Companies

DeeBee's Organics founders in the lab
DeeBee’s Organics is among Canada’s Top Growing Companies, according to the Globe and Mail. Photograph by Simon Desrochers.

Five Vancouver Island businesses have made the Globe and Mail’s list of Canada’s Top Growing Companies.

Country Chic Paint in Duncan and Victoria’s Certn, FreshWorks Studio, DeeBee’s Organics and STN Video were among 448 companies across the country with impressive growth over the past year.

The ranking appeared in the October issue of their Report on Business. Launched in 2019, it’s designed to identify and amplify the success of growth-minded entrepreneurs. Those named to the list submitted their profiles through an in-depth application process.

Husband-and-wife Jan and Roseanne Korteland’s Country Chic in Duncan has offered shabby-chic paints and tools for DIYers since 2014. They’ve grown by 183 per cent in the past three years, with a 2020 revenue of between five and 10 million dollars. The small business has 18 employees and told the Globe and Mail “product development takes a very collaborative approach. Our customers share what they’re looking for in a particular product, and then we work toward creating the product they want to buy.”

Four Victoria-based companies, all previous Douglas 10 to Watch winners, also made the list.

2017 Douglas 10 to Watch winner FreshWorks Studio, who create custom software for business, have enjoyed a 780 per cent revenue growth in three years, brought between 10 and 25 million dollars in revenue last year and grew their staff to 110.

Victoria’s DeeBee’s Organics placed number 88 on the list with revenue growth of 699 percent, no surprise given a deal inked last year with Disney to license Disney Frozen 2 Magic Ice Wand popsicles and freezies. They were a 2015 Douglas 10 to Watch winner.

One of a growing number of notable female-led manufacturing success stories in North America, DeeBee’s makes organic, fruit-based treats.

“As a mom, I wanted to show my kids that real food can be delicious without adding anything artificial,” says company founder and CEO Dionne Laslo-Baker, PhD. “It’s an honor to be recognized as one of Canada’s Top Growing Companies and we hope to set a good example for how business can be done better.”

Certn, a 2018 Douglas 10 to Watch winner, is a business facilitating background and employee credit checks. They saw a whopping 2,441 per cent growth over the last three years, and now employ 117 people.

First Light Technologies designs and manufactures solar powered outdoor commercial lighting. Their team of 28 saw growth of 66 per cent over the last three years, with a 2020 revenue of between five and 10 million dollars.

The 2012 Douglas 10 to Watch winner recently joined Certn on the 2021 Ready to Rocket list released by Rocket Builders. It names those best positioned to capitalize on technology sector trends that will lead them to faster growth than their peers.

STN Video, who took home a 10 to Watch award in 2012, saw 146 per cent growth, with 2020 revenue of between 25 and 50 million dollars. Their team has grown to 55 employees. Last year, a US Comscore All Devices Viewership report saw the company reach record highs in videos viewed, surpassing the one billion mark.