8 Companies to Watch in 2024

Feature

By Rachel Studebaker

From tech talent to food products and more, entrepreneurs are choosing Chattanooga to establish and expand their visions. Here, we highlight local companies whose innovative ideas and accumulating accomplishments poise them for continued success in their sectors.

Making Strides in Robotic Manufacturing

One Off Robotics

Photos Courtesy of One Off Robotics

Nick Johnson and Tony DiSanto are pushing the boundaries of what robotics can achieve. “We noticed the impressive capabilities of robotic arms and that they were mostly under-utilized. A typical robotic arm is capable of incredible accuracy and repeatability while at the same time being an extremely reliable and proven machine,” shares Johnson. Driven to unlock the potential of the robotic arm and enter new markets with its found functions, the duo’s efforts have evolved into an industry-leading robotic machining company: One Off Robotics.

Why It’s a Company to Watch: One Off Robotics is the only company in the United States that offers turn-key solutions for robotic metal additive manufacturing, and it is an industry leader for both additive and subtractive manufacturing. By incorporating the latest technologies into their systems, the company remains at the cutting edge of robotic fabrication. One Off Robotics currently offers an extensive range of solutions for robotic 3D printing, machining, and custom fabrication systems, as well as consultation, installation, and training services.

2023 In Review: 2023 was a year of monumental growth for One Off Robotics, as the company tripled the size of its team and facilities. They spent the year building and delivering systems for universities, research facilities, and industry leaders. One Off Robotics broke new ground yet again with the completion of two of the most advanced 3D metal additive robotic systems in existence, for installation in a national laboratory.

Outlook for 2024: One Off Robotics has no plans to slow down moving into 2024 as it continues to push the capabilities of robotic fabrication systems and remain trailblazers of this technology. The company’s primary focus this year will be adding educational offerings available to colleges, universities, and trade schools, with Johnson explaining, “We see workforce development and education as the key to widespread adoption of this technology.”

Linda Brock Web Ad

Salt-Free Seasoning Solutions

Flavourful Seasoning Co.

Photos Courtesy of Flavourful Seasoning Co.

After a high blood pressure diagnosis prompted Lauren Hodges to begin a low-sodium diet, she quickly saw a gap in the market for salt-free seasoning blends. Experimentation with herbs and spices and a desire to help others in her position enjoy savory flavors manifested as Flavourful Seasoning Co. “Choosing Flavourful Seasoning Co. means choosing a brand that empathizes with the struggle of navigating dietary restrictions while refusing to compromise on the joy of eating,” shares Hodges.

Why It’s a Company to Watch: Flavourful Seasoning Co. has stepped into the niche of salt-free foods, distinguishing itself from other players by honing in on the specific need for salt-free seasoning blends. Its entry into the market is redefining mealtime for individuals following a low-sodium diet, enabling them to enjoy the convenience and flavor of seasoning blends while still managing their salt intake. These curated blends range from Maple Cajun and Jerk to taco seasoning and a dairy-free ranch blend, plus more. Free of preservatives and fillers, Hodges says Flavourful Seasoning Co. “pioneers a movement toward a healthier, more mindful approach to seasoning blends.”

2023 In Review: Last year, Flavourful Seasoning Co. took its spice blends on the road, traveling to five states across the nation to introduce its products to new clientele. The trip’s itinerary included the renowned Black Food Truck Festival in Charleston, South Carolina, where the company made its debut as a vendor. In addition to an expanding geographical reach, Flavourful Seasoning Co. saw substantial financial growth, more than doubling its revenue since inception. Another key milestone was the acquisition of a manufacturing space in the Kitchen Incubator of Chattanooga, allowing for more consistent production.

Outlook for 2024: An expanded product line is in the works, developed in collaboration with local chefs and tailored to customer feedback. Hodges looks forward to more travel this year as she brings her products to larger events and new clientele, laying the groundwork for a nationwide retail presence.

VIC ad

Compensating Carbon Sequestration

Landyield

Photo Courtesy of LandYield

LandYield is paving the way for landowners to benefit from conserving forested land and its carbon stores. “Valuing carbon sequestration and storage in forests is a way for us to value what forests can provide us beyond traditional timber products,” says founder Josh Fain. “By paying private landowners to defer commercial harvesting, we can help increase carbon stores while strengthening the range of public goods forests deliver like biodiversity, water quality, wildlife habitat, and soil health.”

Why It’s a Company to Watch: LandYield has opened up the carbon market to a significant constituent. “Up until now, these projects required too much upfront capital to make it worthwhile for landowners with less than 5,000 acres,” explains Fain. With 39% of the over 800 million acres of forested land in the United States owned by individuals and families with no more than a few hundred acres, a vast majority of owners can now benefit, thanks to LandYield. The company and its key collaborator Finite Carbon utilize high-resolution satellite imagery and long-term Forest Service plots to provide instant carbon value quotes to landowners at no cost. LandYield’s competitive compensation and position as the only major project developer of its kind based in the Southeast sets the company up for continued success.

Compensating Carbon Sequestration

LandYield

LandYield is paving the way for landowners to benefit from conserving forested land and its carbon stores. “Valuing carbon sequestration and storage in forests is a way for us to value what forests can provide us beyond traditional timber products,” says founder Josh Fain. “By paying private landowners to defer commercial harvesting, we can help increase carbon stores while strengthening the range of public goods forests deliver like biodiversity, water quality, wildlife habitat, and soil health.”

Why It’s a Company to Watch: LandYield has opened up the carbon market to a significant constituent. “Up until now, these projects required too much upfront capital to make it worthwhile for landowners with less than 5,000 acres,” explains Fain. With 39% of the over 800 million acres of forested land in the United States owned by individuals and families with no more than a few hundred acres, a vast majority of owners can now benefit, thanks to LandYield. The company and its key collaborator Finite Carbon utilize high-resolution satellite imagery and long-term Forest Service plots to provide instant carbon value quotes to landowners at no cost. LandYield’s competitive compensation and position as the only major project developer of its kind based in the Southeast sets the company up for continued success.

2023 In Review: After years of technological and financial innovation and work on forest carbon projects, Fain publicly launched LandYield in August – an announcement covered in the Wall Street Journal. LandYield delivered payment to its first cohort of landowners, and that group has only continued to grow. Today, LandYield has 350 sites in its platform, representing over 80,000 acres across the Southeast.

Outlook for 2024: Currently serving 13 states in the South, LandYield is looking to expand its services to landowners in the Northwest, Midwest, and Pacific Northwest by the year’s end. “Our main goal for the year is just continuing to grow our business, getting more landowners paid, and protecting more acres of forestland,” says Fain.

AEED Ad

Catering to Canine Companions

Eden Thistle Dog Co.

Photos Courtesy of Eden Thistle Dog Co.

When sustainable farm owners Marshall and Katherine Teague began boarding dogs for their friends in an old kennel on their property 10 years ago, it would turn out to be the beginnings of a thriving dog company. Eden Thistle Dog Co. prioritizes the well-being of canine companions through daycare and boarding services, and a jerky treats product line.

Why It’s a Company to Watch: The daycare and boarding program features an expansive outdoor space where dogs can enjoy a free range, natural setting. “The philosophy behind our dog company mirrored our farming company,” explains Marshall Teague. “We wanted to board dogs in a way that reflected their nature, so we turn dogs out in play groups into our wooded pasture and grass pasture throughout the day.” The production of the jerky treats reflects a similar mindset rooted in nature. Eden Thistle Dog Co.’s treats are made with only two ingredients – sweet potato and a pasture-raised protein – and are free of chemicals, preservatives, and other additives. The Teagues make each and every treat themselves, a rare practice in the dog treat industry.

2023 In Review: Eden Thistle Dog Co. added new wholesale stores on the West Coast for its jerky treats and did prep work for future flavor launches. Teague says that the best addition to their company in 2023 was a shuttle for the daycare program, named the Dog Adventure Van. Equipped with wood walls and floors and a bunkbed system, the van picks up dogs from their houses in the morning to attend daycare and drops them back off again in the evening – an added convenience for busy pet parents.

Outlook for 2024: This year, Eden Thistle Co. has its eyes on the expansion of both its property and products. Teague shares plans to expand fields and add new buildings to the daycare and boarding program. Plus, a new flavor is in the works for the company’s jerky treats line.

Bridging Divorce Ad

Delivering Dairy Alternatives

Other Milk

Left Image #1 by Kody Dahl, Image #2 by Caleb Timmerman

When Liz Bounds couldn’t find the alternative milk she was looking for, she decided to make it herself. “I wanted a locally-sourced, additive-free, truly sustainable plant-based milk to exist – I searched high and low and couldn’t find one,” she shares. As a result, Bounds created Other Milk, a pecan-based milk she emphasizes is for everyone, from customers with a dairy-free diet to those wanting to make sustainable swaps.

Why It’s a Company to Watch: Other Milk is the only company of its kind, raising the bar for alternative milk by setting the highest standards for quality and sustainability. Large-scale plant-based milk brand operations often involve shipping emissions and impact water supply. In comparison, Other Milk is markedly low impact. To minimize waste in the production and distribution process, it operates under a unique business model inspired by traditional milkman-style delivery. Other Milk packages and delivers its milk in glass bottles, which can be returned, cleaned, and sanitized for reuse in the next batch via its return program. Its emphasis on locality also sets Other Milk apart, using native pecans sourced from a farm in South Georgia. “My focus is to source as locally as possible, so that I can further the community that Other Milk is located in, as well as lowering my impact on the planet,” notes Bounds.

2023 In Review: Other Milk moved into a new commissary kitchen and became a vendor at the Main Street Farmers’ Market – the largest food-focused market in Chattanooga. It also earned its Department of Agriculture certification, making it possible to retail products in establishments including coffee shops and grocery stores. Thanks to this certification, Other Milk entered wholesale partnerships with local businesses in addition to its direct customer sales.

Outlook for 2024: Bounds is focused on scaling Other Milk’s reach in 2024 and expanding its product offerings – which currently consist of regular and chocolate pecan milk. She is excited to pursue additional wholesale partnerships and plans to adopt a more robust delivery model while upholding sustainability in all aspects.

Raymond James ad

Brewing Holistic Beverages

Chattanooga Kombucha Company

Photos Courtesy of Chattanooga Kombucha Company

Daniel Reading had always dreamed of owning a business centered around health and authenticity and realized that kombucha presented the perfect opportunity to do so. Equipped with a beer-brewing background and love for the fermented beverage, he and his wife Sara began creating small batches in 64-ounce jars which soon scaled up to five-gallon buckets. Seeing that the kombucha had quickly become a staple for their household and, hoping it could be a staple for the Scenic City as well, Reading founded Chattanooga Kombucha Company.

Why It’s a Company to Watch: Chattanooga Kombucha Company provides a refreshing, healthy alternative to beverages high in sugar, caffeine, and artificial additives. Its recipe is lower in sugar than other kombucha drinks on the market, is sweetened largely with monk fruit, and contains a spore probiotic to aid digestive health. “Our family has a passion for serving meals and beverages that nourish the body, and I believe that education about the importance of what goes into our bodies and hands-on experience empowers people with agency to take care of themselves,” shares Reading.

After participating in an entrepreneur startup class at the Kitchen Incubator of Chattanooga, Reading purchased a brewery space that remains the company’s production headquarters. Chattanooga Kombucha Company currently serves its kombucha flavors on tap in a mobile format, allowing it to travel to events and popular spots across the city.

2023 In Review: Chattanooga Kombucha Company completed its first full season as a vendor at the Chattanooga Market, and attended festivals and concerts across town, including the popular music festival, Moon River. It also debuted 12-ounce cans of its top-selling Ginger Peach flavor, the company’s first canned beverage.

Outlook for 2024: Reading hopes to add another tap trailer and truck to its mobile fleet, while continuing to can more flavors and focus on increased distribution. He says his dream is to open a brewery with a tasting room, and after giving a tour of the brewery to local high school students, is interested in future opportunities to partner with the youth of Chattanooga.

Brandon Combs Web Ad

Synergizing Medical-Grade Skincare

Designer + Cosmeceuticals

Photos Courtesy of Designer + Cosmeceuticals

Pharmacist Tanya Manoni is combining chemistry with beauty through her medical-grade skincare line, Designer + Cosmeceuticals. Developed by clinical pharmacists, the company’s mission is “to use our compounding knowledge to create skincare products using exact measurements and high-quality active ingredients to get results.”

Why It’s a Company to Watch: Designer + Cosmeceuticals is a women-run business informed by extensive pharmaceutical knowledge that distinguishes it from others in the skincare industry. Manoni has more than 20 years of compounding experience – a 4,000-year-old practice of designing and customizing medications – and formulates each product herself. This process involves selecting active ingredients, calculating precise measurements, and ensuring every component synergizes. The concept of synergy is central to Designer + Cosmeceuticals and its
approach to creating effective products for skincare needs from moisturizing to the lightening of age spots. The company is upfront about the active ingredients that its products include and educates customers on their effects. In addition to this careful combination of ingredients, Designer + Cosmeceutical products are paraben-free, gluten-free, fragrance-free, and dye-free – common irritants and allergens found in other skincare.

2023 In Review: Designer + Cosmeceuticals launched its full product line, more than doubling its original nine offerings. The company now sells cleansers, toners, moisturizers, serums, night and eye creams, face masks, and more. Products are formulated for all ages, focused on the prevention and correction of skin concerns and aging. Additionally, customizable kits for both beginners and skincare pros are available to shoppers looking for a complete skincare routine.

Outlook for 2024: Designer + Cosmeceuticals will focus on targeted marketing and sales of its recent product line launch and grow its presence in the skincare industry. Equipped for success with elegant packaging and effective ingredients, Designer + Cosmeceuticals plans to look beyond the realms of pharmacy and medicine and make its debut in the cosmetic retail industry.

Lawson Electric ad

An Elevated Boutique Experience

Love, EROS

Photos Courtesy of Love, EROS

Described as an “experience boutique,” Love, EROS offers its customers a multitude of custom style services all in one space. “When we moved to Chattanooga in 2020, I realized that there was a lot of opportunity to bring experiences that at the time one could only enjoy if they traveled to Atlanta, Nashville, or Birmingham,” recalls founder Kim Thompson. “Large cities shouldn’t get to have all the fun! So, I decided to blend several of the experiences I loved into one concept, and Love, EROS was born.”

Why It’s a Company to Watch: The innovative boutique experience concept includes permanent jewelry, custom hats, and luxury ear piercings. Its brick-and-mortar location and fusion of services departs from the exclusively mobile model and single focus of other players in the industry, while the custom and experiential element sets Love, EROS apart from traditional clothing retailers.

Love, EROS is bringing people in the community and beyond together by offering booking services for on-site events, including bachelorette parties, wedding and baby showers, birthdays, corporate gifting suites, and more. It provides a space for friends and family to share special moments and create one-of-a-kind accessories. “All of our experiences give you an opportunity to tell your personal story and create something so uniquely you that you’ll cherish for years to come,” says Thompson.

2023 In Review: A successful debut at the Mainx24 festival at the end of 2022 launched Love, EROS into a year of nonstop growth. Community support led to partnerships with local businesses and regular pop-up shops around town, including national clothing retailer Madewell. Love, EROS also added a new experience to its lineup in 2023, where customers can decorate a trucker hat with fabric patches.

Outlook for 2024: Love, EROS will continue to hone the experiences it offers, while introducing even more options. Coming soon to Love, EROS this year is a charm bar experience, where customers can select talismans that are special or meaningful to them and create a customized piece of charm jewelry.

Mauldin & Jenkins ad

You Also Might Like

[related_post post_id=""]
CityScope Celebrating 30 Years Logo

Get access to the next issue before it hits the stands!