2016 N.C. Mid-Market Fast 40 Winners Announced
By Ben Kinney Publisher of Business NC Magazine
Posted September 21, 2016
Hissho was among forty North Carolina companies honored on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016, at Pinehurst Resort for being named to the 2016 Mid-Market Fast 40 list. Created by accounting firm Cherry Bekaert LLP and Business North Carolina magazine, the list ranks mid-size companies on revenue and employment growth. Capturing the 11th space, Hissho was honored to be a recipient for the 3rd consecutive year.
Companies who made the list were recognized at the luncheon, which included an awards presentation and a video of a round table discussion with representatives from the top five companies on the list. The ranking, coverage of the round table, and company profiles will be published in a supplement to the November issue of Business North Carolina magazine.
For more than 69 years, Cherry Bekaert LLP has been helping clients take their businesses as far as they want to go. As one of the largest national public accounting firms headquartered in Richmond, Va., Cherry Bekaert’s resource network stretches across the Southeast: Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington, D.C. It also extends nationally and internationally through an alliance with Baker Tilly International, an association of independent accounting services and consulting firms. For more information, visit www.cbh.com or contact August P. Keller III, chief marketing and sales officer at 800-849-8281.
Business North Carolina magazine has explored what’s happening in one very special place — North Carolina — for more than 35 years, producing quality, in-depth journalism that digs into the stories behind the news. In addition to the monthly magazine, BNC publishes its annual North Carolina Economic Development Guide and partners on projects with various statewide organizations. For more information, visit BusinessNC.com or contact Ben Kinney, publisher, at 704-927-6273.
2016 N.C. Mid-Market Fast 40 Winners Announced
If you’re in the Charlotte, NC area, please come and support our Hissho Foundation in exchange for a delicious meal of our own sushi. Sake, beer or wine will also be offered as part of this “deal.” It’s a great time to get a group of friends together and make a night of it at Hissho Sushi HQ.
11949 Steele Creek Road, Charlotte, NC 28273
Last week’s blog was about our Hissho team preparing for the upcoming Dragon Boat Races at the 17th Asian Festival at Lake Norman, just north of Charlotte, N.C.
This was our 3rd time participating, and this time WE WON THE GOLD in the B Division. We did it in 59.36 seconds!!
We finished last in our first race, first in the second race and, of course, first in the final race. We are so proud of our team and perhaps next year we will end up in the A Division. Now that we know we can do it, there should be no barrier to just how fast we can cover the 200 meters.
For more information, please see www.dragonboat.com
Not everyone is present in this photo taken with the medals, but a “Congratulations” goes out to the entire team!
Hissho Sushi is involved in so much more than just making sushi and Pan-Asian hot bar foods. For those who follow this blog, you know that we volunteer a lot, give a lot and know how to team build through fun activities. One of the activities is to participate in Dragon Boat Racing. This is the fastest growing water sport around the world.
“Dragon Boat Racing has ancient Chinese origins and its history has been traced back more than 2000 years. The first participants were superstitious Chinese villagers who celebrated the 5th day of the 5th lunar month of the Chinese calendar. Racing was held to avert misfortune and encourage the rains needed for prosperity – and the object of their worship was the dragon, the dragon of Asia has traditionally been a symbol of water. It is said to rule the rivers and seas and dominate the clouds and rains.”
The Carolinas Asian-American Chamber of Commerce has a yearly Asian Festival & Dragon Boat Race held on Lake Norman, just north of Charlotte. This year it’s on May 14, and, as always, commemorates the Asian Heritage Month.
This will be the 3rd time Hissho has entered a team and this year we have high hopes of bringing home the Gold in at least one of the divisions. Last year we missed the gold by .001 second in the B division.
We have a great coach who has worked wonders with the participants this year, some seasoned, and some new. As practices are held most days on our outside patio sitting astride picnic benches, the PVC pipes honed as paddles give incentive for each to dig deep and hold steady. I’ll be sure and let you know how we fare in the next installment.
Hissho celebrated Earth Day a few days early by donning rubber gloves, grabbing a trash bag and heading outside to clean up our 13+ acres of property. Now that might seem like a lot of territory to cover, but we have over 50 people at our HQ in Charlotte. Most came out to participate, including our traniees, to scour spaces for bits of trash large and small. Collectively we got a whole lot more than we bargained for, and promptly filled up large garbage bags. It’s amazing how much trash collects “all by itself” without constant montioring.
After the trash was collected, we treated ourselves to delicious popsicles by our Hissho “Lake” which is actually a pretty large retaining pond with a fountain in the middle. It’s a lovely space to spend time relaxing, eating, talking, or to just get out of the office for some sunshine. The popsicles were delicious, and we had the “good” stuff!
Hisshonians do this clean-up usually 2-3 times a year, and it always makes us feel so proud when we’ve finished. Our property is beautiful, and we like keeping it that way!
Today is St. Patrick’s Day all over the world, and we at Hissho wish you the Blessings of the Irish to carry you through your day. With the 1st quarter coming close to an end, and daylight’s savings time is a few days under our belt, we look around and see God’s glorious beauty everywhere. Nowhere is it more beautiful than Charlotte, NC. I “know” this city is magical, otherwise how could everything seem to bloom at the same time for weeks on end. Some breeze through the day, others stare at what is ahead of them in a blur. But nobody can be immune to the beauty that surrounds us during this season of “rebirth.”
The Canadian geese are back, our resident Blue Heron can be seen stalking the fish in our retaining pond, the birds are singing, and there is lightness in our step that comes with the territory. All around Hissho, the air is abuzz with new store openings, the training of new hires is on-going, and our kitchens humming. The food being “put out” is amazing, the air of confidence exuded by our chefs is akin to puffery, and the extra pounds put on after indulging so many hot bar lines, or cases piled with freshly made sushi, give new meaning to the pause of “everything in moderation.”
But as for moderation, the beauty that surrounds Hissho is anything but. The flowering trees and shrubbery literally will take your breath away. We are so blessed, and we realize it, and each day is like opening a new gift. We are not selfish, so are sharing our gifts with you. Happy Spring everyone, and hope the beauty that is around you is not missed as you go about your daily routine.
Hisshonians gathered in our Corporate Kitchen to prepare and package 100 bag lunches along with Cara Cara oranges, bottled water and a new pair of socks. We distributed these inside of I-277 in uptown Charlotte at lunchtime today. There were SO many grateful recipients and the weather was perfect for people to be outside. Thanks to our wonderful Hissho folks who helped make it happen!
On a roll for more than 17 years — record growth and new Asian food channel expansion
Written by: Molly Shaw
Produced by: James Logan
With approximately 850 sushi bars in everything from specialty supermarkets to cafes, hospitals, universities, airports, corporate food service locations and more across the country, Hissho Sushi is rounding out its 17th year in business with record success. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Hissho’s food service and franchise business has blossomed by more than 72 percent over the last couple of years and the company now ranks No. 4028 on the prestigious Inc. 5000 list for the fifth time.
Founder Philip Maung, who started the business in 1998, is an exemplar of the American Dream. Maung arrived in the U.S. a decade earlier in 1989 with less than $13 to his name. He saw a business opportunity in what was then a relatively nonexistent East Coast sushi market.
Building an empire from the ground up
He picked Charlotte as the city to launch Hissho due to the number of banks, but with little previous business success, they were hesitant to give him financing. But Maung, having grown up in a very impoverished home, is no stranger to adversity and he refused to give up.
He and his wife pooled their resources to launch Hissho out of their home kitchen. “As with any startup company, the first few years were very challenging,” admits Maung. “We finally started making money after our third year in business.”
In Japanese, Hissho means certain victory — a name fitting for the birth and evolution of the family-owned company. A dedication to quality products at affordable price points and detailed service allowed Hissho to quickly acquire new customers with little to no advertising. “We don’t advertise,” says Maung. “Our business was built through word-of-mouth and our success came because we built relationships with one partner at a time and we stand behind our product.”
Maung says by building this solid foundation, as well as investing heavily in infrastructure and employee training, Hissho has been able to achieve many things that were just aspirations in 1989. “Growth starts with a solid foundation,” he says. “We’ve been working really hard over the last couple of years and it has paid off.”
Today, Hissho remains based in Charlotte, operating out of a 51,000-square-foot production facility, but the company’s reach extends well beyond Charlotte. “We now have about 850 locations, including new locations in airport terminals in Charlotte, Nashville, Tennessee, and Portland, Oregon,” notes Maung. “We now have 400 employees, plus an additional 300 franchisees with their own employees.”
A focus on fresh, natural ingredients
Hissho’s home base in Charlotte is the main hub of production and product development. The Hissho motto is: “Made fresh daily, that’s how we roll.”
Since inception, the company’s mission has been to produce the best quality sushi with top-notch ingredients. Whether Hissho’s chefs are crafting a traditional California roll, an eel roll or spicy sriracha-topped sashimi tuna, customers can rest assured the ingredients utilized are the freshest out there. Maung and his team source the best possible ingredients from world markets, guaranteeing the most outstanding seafood, soy, rice and vinegar.
“We also invest heavily in employee training,” says Maung. “All of Hissho’s chefs spend seven to 11 weeks training at our headquarters before being relocated to a Hissho sushi bar in our affiliated marketplaces.”
Hissho’s chefs purchase fruits and vegetables locally from sustainable sources, and the company’s wasabi and ginger are free of artificial colors and dyes. Hissho also offers multigrain and brown rice as an option for nearly all of its rolls.
Beyond the roll
While Hissho has made its name known in fresh, authentic sushi, Maung says the company is looking beyond the roll and to a whole range of new opportunities in the ever-popular Asian foods market. “A lot of people think we’re just a sushi company, but recently we’re doing a lot more than just sushi,” he says.
Hissho has added dishes such as pho, ramen and other Vietnamese noodle soups to its lineup. “We’re also doing traditional bahn mi sandwiches and steamed buns and dumplings,” says Maung. “We’re even doing a take on a Chipotle-style burrito, but made with sushi ingredients such as seaweed and nori. We’re also working on more made-to-order Korean barbecue foods.”
There is room for growth in other channels beyond sushi and Hissho is just getting started. “Last year, 20 percent of our revenue was generated from these additional channels and we expect it to continue to be a growing part of business,” adds Maung.
Holding tight to core values and strong culture
As Hissho adds more locations and more products, Maung says the company is experiencing some growing pains. “Our main challenge is in terms of human resources and finding the talented people we need as the company grows so quickly,” he says. “We also want to make sure we don’t dilute our company culture as expansion occurs.”
Maung says Hissho still has a story to tell and that starts with humble beginnings. “Five years ago we started really focusing on our core company values,” he says. “I thought this was important moving forward and it’s all part of an effort to make us one big, happy family.”
After 17 years in business, Hissho Sushi is poised for further progress that is grounded in family ties and traditions and a dedication to bringing the best sushi and Asian-inspired products to the marketplace.
Charlotte SmartCEO Announces the 2016 Future 50 Award Winners
50 Greater Charlotte companies to be recognized for fast growth in SmartCEO’s Future 50 Awards program
Charlotte, NC (Feb. 18, 2016) — SmartCEO is pleased to announce the 2016 Future 50 Award winners. The program recognizes Greater Charlotte’s 50 fastest-growing mid-sized companies that have experienced outsized growth based on a combined three-year average of revenue and employee growth. The 2016 Future 50 winners collectively generate more than $1.53 billion in annual revenue and employ over 10,300 individuals. This impressive group will be recognized in SmartCEO magazine and celebrated at a black-tie-optional awards ceremony on April 27, 2016 at the Hilton Charlotte Center City.
Please see below for a complete list of winners and for program details. To share in the excitement leading up to the event, follow us @SmartCEO #Future50.
“Ask any CEO and they’ll tell you that leading a fast-growing company is one of the most challenging and fun things an entrepreneur can do. Whether they’re just starting out or rapidly trying to scale an established operation, this year’s Future 50 winners have executed their growth visions year after year, created job opportunities and made our region a better place to work and live,” says Jaime Nespor-Zawmon, President of SmartCEO Events. “There is nothing these amazing entrepreneurs can’t do if they put their minds to it. We honor them for their unwavering determination to rise above the rest and build the future of our region, our nation, and the world at large.”
More than 500 local business executives and guests are expected to attend this year’s black-tieoptional awards gala at the Hilton Charlotte Center City to celebrate the winners and their achievements. The event will kick off with a cocktail reception and high-energy networking followed by a video-packed awards ceremony and seated dinner. The evening and celebration will culminate with dessert and additional networking.
2016 Future 50 Awards
Date: Wednesday, April 27, 2016
VIP Reception: 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
General Reception: 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Location: Hilton Charlotte Center City 222 E. 3rd St., Charlotte, NC 28202
Attire: Black-tie optional
2016 Future 50 Winners
Alan Simonini Homes LLC
Anointed Flooring, Inc.
Armstrong Transport Group
Artisan Signs and Graphics
Avant Garde Technologies
Barton Contracting Corporation
Boxman Studios, LLC
Carolina’s Home Medical Equipment, Inc.
CCS Construction Staffing
Costner Law Office, PLLC
ettain group Inc.
Fab Fours, Inc.
The Greene Group
ImagineSoftware (Technology Partners, Inc.)
In-Flight Crew Connections
Independent Advisor Alliance
Intelligent Buildings, LLC
Jackrabbit Technologies, Inc.
Lakeside Project Solutions
LBA Haynes Strand, PLLC
Lwin Family Co. (dba Hissho Sushi)
NoDa Brewing Company
Peak 10, Inc.
Red Moon Marketing
Search Solution Group
Something Classic Catering & Cafés
Strategic Power Systems, Inc.
About the Future 50 Awards
The Future 50 Awards program is the largest and most highly anticipated SmartCEO awards program of the year. This program recognizes 50 of the region’s fastest growing mid-sized companies. These companies represent the future of the region’s economy and embody the entrepreneurial spirit critical for leadership and success. The winners, chosen based on a threeyear average of employee and revenue growth, are listed alphabetically, not ranked. The winners are profiled in SmartCEO magazine and celebrated at a black-tie-optional awards ceremony.
SmartCEO’s mission is to educate and inspire the business community through its award winning magazine, connections at C-level events and access to valuable online resources. SmartCEO’s integrated media platforms reach decision makers in the Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, DC, metropolitan areas. To find out more about the 2017 Future 50 Awards nomination process, email us at CharlottePrograms@smartceo.com. For information about sponsorship opportunities, email us at Charlotte@smartceo.com.
Hisshonians celebrate Christmas morning at Rescue Mission! With 70o F weather outside, and the sun shining, it seemed more like spring than Christmas Day in December. Nine of our team gathered in the kitchen to help prepare the lunch for residents, guests, and family for the 11:30 AM meal.
Our CEO Philip Maung brought his wife and two sons to join in, and the daughter of another co-worker, filled the ranks to cut and place desserts, prepare rolls for warming, and any other duties assigned.
While we manned the kitchen, an army of other volunteers donned black bow ties on white shirts, with black slacks, to individually serve each guests as if they were in an expensive establishment. Director Tony Marciano says Charlotte is the only facility of its kind in the country that has the volunteers wear a black tie. In turn, Marciano says “that the guests not only come for the meal, but for the conversation, and are so appreciative that they are treated as an equal, and not a homeless person.”
Usually Hissho volunteers on Thanksgiving and Easter, but this year we added Christmas! What a wonderful way to give back to the community. We have been blessed to be a part of such a great organization as Rescue Mission.