Company: High Tech Burrito Corp.
Year Started: 1986
Start-Up Costs: $80,000
1997 Projections: $10 million plus
Before the wrap, there was High Tech Burrito, back when launching a gourmet burrito business meant years of hard work without a vacation. But the hectic pace was no sweat for Greg Maples, then fresh out of the U.S. Marine Corps. "I was used to a grueling regimen," says Maples. Armed with an inheritance, Maples found the inspiration for his business in memories of his high school hangout-popular for its tasty burritos but with one unpleasant catch: "We called them 'gut bombs' because you'd eat them and then feel bad," Maples says.
Determined to create a burrito that would satisfy taste buds and tummy alike, Maples began serving international-style burritos using low-fat ingredients. "It's been neat to see an industry [of wrap burritos] created from a part of my menu," says Maples. Today, his San Rafael, California-based High Tech Burrito boasts 275 employees in 15 locations throughout the Bay Area and a menu-topping Godzilla Burrito that weighs in at 11¦2 pounds.
Rounding out Maples' winning approach? It's all in the details. "I tell my managers, 'Take baby steps and you'll get there,' " he says. With 2 million High Tech burritos consumed last year, it appears Maples has arrived.
Advanced Physical Therapy PC, 5949 W. Raymond St., Indianapolis, IN 46241, (317) 843-1270
AltiTunes Partners LP, 740 Broadway, 2nd Fl., New York, NY 10003, (212) 228-5110
America's Finest Pasta Sauces Inc., 930 W. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60622, (800) 55-SAUCE
Amy's Breads, (212) 462-4338, fax: (212) 462-4323
Anthony Mark Hankins Inc., 3913 Prescott Ave., Dallas, TX 75219, (800) 789-4AMH
DirectConnect Inc., (301) 330-1221, http://www.birthdayusa.com
High Tech Burrito Corp., (800) 2-BURRITO, email@example.com
J.T. Tobacconists Inc., 17613 Minnetonka Blvd., Minnetonka, MN 55391, (612) 475-3131
Rumpus, 19 W. 24th St., 4th Fl., New York, NY 10010, (212) 463-9869
SOMOJO International LLC, 545 Michigan Ave., #2, Miami Beach, FL 33139, (305) 672-4923.