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Cobb County Chamber of Commerce
I am pleased to launch a monthly episode featuring the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce and businesses serving the Cobb County business ecosystem. Cobb CC’s Event Manager, Ashley Warner, joined me in the studio and brought with her several cool entrepreneurs, several of them members of the chamber.
Jeff Curtis, of OfficeZilla, came by to talk about how their office supply company combines a personal, relationship-driven focus through their service representatives, with a helpful ecommerce platform through which they conduct their business.
OfficeZilla was founded in 2012 with the belief that the Office Supplies industry was ready for a fun,
flexible and customer-obsessed way of doing business. In fact, OfficeZilla was founded by some of the
original founders of Cold Stone Creamery, Moe’s Southwest Grill and Inc 500 company Flip Flop Shops!
He explained that the “big box” stores only account for ~30% of the office supply market, something I found surprising. Given the remaining potential client base out there, the OfficeZilla folks engage their customers and help them optimize their office supply procurement process to be as efficient and lean as can be to maximize the client’s business.
Georgia Crafted was started by Erin Zwigart and her husband after a growing desire to have a business of their own. After having spent ~13 years working for a marketing firm, she was ready for something new. Erin shared how she and her husband had had numerous conversations about the fact they wanted to start a business but could not decide how they wanted to go about it.
She explained that after a particularly long evening of discussion (and a beverage or two) ~three years ago, they decided they would start a company that focused on selling products from Georgia-based companies. Some digging revealed there were no significant competitors in that niche and so Georgia Crafted was born.
Their ecommerce site provides custom gift baskets and items, all manufactured in Georgia. Erin introduced us to one of her suppliers, Austin and Hunter Johnson, who founded Sinclair’s Sauce, makers of a variety of condiment sauces from homemade recipes Austin developed.
Austin, a recent University of Georgia graduate, began getting into cooking to impress the ladies. (much like my own inspiration that led to me being a foodie) Austin shared how he began experimenting with creating sauces to serve with food he was preparing. As he shared them with people around the dorm, he was getting more and more requests for more.
He ultimately found a cold packing company and began to have it produced in bulk. Austin recruited his younger brother, a junior at Chamblee Charter High School, Hunter, to become Brand Ambassador. While the young men are able to sell a good amount of their product via channels such as Georgia Crafted, they are focusing their efforts on forming relationships with condiment makers and the food industry to provide their sauces as licensed products there.
Austin and Hunter Johnson
Beth Summers heads business development for Roam–Galleria, an innovative work space that places emphasis on the look and feel of their shared office facilities and conference rooms. The founders, having done much of their telecommuting at previous jobs in coffee shops, decided they wanted to create a comfortable, visually-inviting space that offered a feel along those lines.
The company has four Atlanta area locations and offers a range of options for the small business or executives who work remotely but want to have access to an office space, meeting room, or conference space. They provide reception and access to all amenities one would expect in a well-appointed office.
Ashley Warner, Events Manager, Cobb County Chamber of Commerce
Jeff Curtis, Principal, OfficeZilla
Erin Zwigart, Founder, Georgia Crafted
Austin Johnson, Founder, Sinclair’s Sauce
Hunter Johnson, Brand Ambassador, Sinclair’s Sauce
Beth Summers, Director of Corporate Sales, Roam–Galleria