Best Small Companies: Atlas Coffee, Artitudes Design and Addioz


RANK: First Place
COMPANY: Atlas Coffee Importers, Seattle

Brewing the Dream
The 17 employees of Atlas Coffee Importers may well be living a Seattle-specific version of the American Dream. They work for a small coffee company that sources the highest-quality beans from around the world and brokers them to some of the Pacific Northwest’s premier roasters. They receive fully covered medical and dental insurance for themselves and their dependents and a 3 percent employer match towards their IRAs. They are blessed with an industry-best profit-sharing program, dividing 20 percent of the firm’s net profit among them each year. And they have Dance Party Fridays, too.

For all of these reasons and more, Atlas has risen to the top spot in the Small Firms category.

Atlas’s employees are clearly happy. For Liz Bennett, business operations manager, Atlas’s spectacular benefits are a ringing vote of confidence. Bennett says her benefits package reduces stress and makes her feel cared for, and she channels that positive energy right back into the company.

That energy comes back to Atlas in many ways, including an employee-operated vegetable garden, “Soup Mondays,” in which a rotating cast of employees bring lunch for the whole firm and the construction of an on-site bike shed.

In turn, the good vibes keep moving back to the employees. The sales staff receives informational trips to coffee-producing regions. The company funds continuing education for those who seek it. And everyone gets to take home the world’s best coffee.

For Bennett and her co-workers, the future is bright. “Morale,” she says, smiling, “that’s not one of our problems.”

RANK: Second Place
COMPANY: Artitudes Design, Issaquah
Monday morning is anything but gloomy at Artitudes Design, a graphic design shop. The company’s 14 employees kick off the day with an arts and crafts project. (How could the rest of Monday feel like a drag after you’ve already made beeswax candles?) During the rest of the week, the company creates presentations and visual campaigns for clients such as Microsoft Office 365, the Bear Creek School and the Olive Crest Gala Auction. For the designers at Artitudes—who enjoy excellent health benefits, fully funded continuing education and a strong corporate commitment to charitable causes—Monday morning can’t come soon enough.

RANK: Third Place
COMPANY: Addioz Corporation, Bellevue
Tech companies in Washington state face myriad challenges, but tops among them is attracting and retaining top-tier talent. Addioz Corporation, which appears on this list for the second consecutive year, helps firms clear that hurdle by providing niche-specific technical recruiting and executive search services. So it’s no surprise that Addioz uses exacting standards when discovering and rewarding its own team members. And with its industry-leading benefits package (fully paid medical, dental and vision), Addioz is poised to remain on this list for years to come.

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