Inc. 5000 fastest-growing list includes Region businesses

Alec and Lindsay Sammann bought Peepers, a 4th generation family-owned company, from their parents 3 years ago. The company was named one of the fastest-growing in the country by Inc. Magazine.

John Luke

Inc. Magazine identified a few Region companies as among the fastest-growing firms in the country.

Prime Real Estate in Crown Point, Peepers by PeeperSpecs in Michigan City and Ben's Soft Pretzels, a Goshen-based company with an extensive footprint in Northwest Indiana, all made the Inc. 5000 list this year.

Prime Real Estate, the Crown Point-based residential real estate brokerage "that aims to provide a supportive and motivating environment for its agents," placed 1,101st nationally. Helmed by owner Joshua Lybolt, who founded the company in 2005, Prime Real Estate employs nine workers and brought in $6.7 million last year.

The firm has grown by 382 percent over the last three years and ranked 900th in 2016, according to Inc. Magazine.

Peepers by PeeperSpecs, which designs reading glasses and sunglasses, came in 2,251st place with 162-percent growth over the last three years. The company, which was founded in 1972, employs 23 workers and brought in $10.4 million in revenue.

Ben's Soft Pretzels, which has locations in Highland, Merrillville, Valparaiso, LaPorte and Michigan City, and in the U.S. Steel Yard in Gary, was 911th nationally on the Inc. 5000 with $11.5 million in revenue and 484-percent growth over the last three years.

Scott Jones founded the company nine years ago, and now it's grown to 85 locations, many inside of big-box stores, such as inside Meijers in Highland and Portage.

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Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.