Raleigh business among 25 recognized statewide

Posted September 21, 2011 9:51 p.m. EDT
Updated September 21, 2011 10:47 p.m. EDT

— The LoneRider Brewing Company in Raleigh started more than two years ago with a dream and a plan.

Now, the small microbrewery is a success story, churning out three core beers, including Shotgun Betty and the award-winning Sweet Josey Brown.

“We were home brewers and beer geeks,” founder Sumit Vohra said of he and his two business partners.

The three combined their passion for microbrews and a booming craft beer market in North Carolina.

“Just in the first six months of the year, the revenue is up 15 percent,” Vohra said.

The LoneRider Brewing Company was one of 25 small businesses from across the state recognized as one of 25 "Companies to Watch" by the Council for Entrepreneurial Development during a ceremony at the American Tobacco campus in Durham on Wednesday. The CED recognized businesses with between 10 and 100 employees. 

CED President Joan Siefert Rose said the common thread among these successful small businesses is focus.

“Most of these companies came off starting with one idea and their customers told them they wanted something else,” Rose said. “So, they’ve been responsive to the market places. They’ve listened to what their customers tell them and they’ve been able to adjust.”

Rose said in a challenging economy, companies like LoneRider are making money and adding employees.

Skyler Bateman, an employee with LoneRider Brewery, credits the ownership and teamwork for the company's success.

“We have a great team here. Our three owners helped out tons and our marketing and sales people are killing it,” Bateman said.

Vohra agrees that the people working with him make all the difference to the bottom line.

“Just the passion for beer, for people, for conversation, for experience, that is amazing,” Vohra said.

LoneRider is already focused on growing. Their goal is to produce almost 10,000 barrels of beer and expand into other states by the end of next year.