Friday, November 13, 2015

Grow: Volume 8

This series is part of a monthly blog series about Frederick County businesses that grow and expand. It is a snapshot of Frederick County business success stories. Check back each month for more businesses that grow in Frederick County or read volumes 1-7.

ShieldCo is a veteran-owned design company on East St in Frederick, which creates 3D, custom metal signs and décor. Brothers, Neil and Luke Markey, founded ShieldCo in December of 2013. They began producing military insignia, custom products, and corporate logos. They soon shifted their focus to breaking into the college merchandising market. ShiedCo attained NCAA licensing approval at a few schools in the summer of 2014 and began selling the products on their website. They also scored a deal with Barnes & Noble, and sold signs in a few retail outlets. ShieldCo shifted their focus to almost exclusively to business signage and corporate logos due to the high demand. 

Their website, Adwords, an Etsy store, and local events have all helped grow their brand recognition; however, the quality of their designs accounts for much of the business' growth to date. They currently have 4 employees and a portion of their profits are donated to The Pointe du Hoc Foundation, a 501(c)3 that supports U.S. Army Rangers and their families.

Canapes Catering
In 1989 a client approached M.L. Carroll to cater an event. With that request came the creation of Canapés, Inc. In the beginning, M.L. rented a church kitchen to prepare for her events. Canapés grew in such popularity, moreover, that in less than a year they leased a space on South Market Street in downtown Frederick which they called home for 15 years.

For several years, many venues approached M.L. Carroll and Canapés to become their exclusive caterer but it was ThorpeWood, a non-profit organization and facility in Thurmont, who finally won out. In November 2007, Canapés made the move. In 2013, Canapes moved to a larger space on Highland Street where owner M.L. says she’ll never leave Frederick again. With a staff of 15 full-time people and 35 part-time people, she has recently added a café onsite to serve employers nearby.

Since Canapés inception in 1989, the company has been featured numerous times in The Frederick News Post and Frederick Magazine. Canapés is also an award-winning caterer, having won several awards at such events as An Evening on the Riviera and Chocolate Gala. She was recently a competitor on Bravo’s Top Chef.

Legal & General America
In 2009, Banner Life Insurance Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Legal & General Group announced their plans to move 400 employees and their corporate headquarters from Rockville to Urbana Corporate Center. 

A $33 million dollar project occupying 115,000 square feet in a build-to-suit project by Natelli Communities, Banner Life said the move to Urbana was the right choice for the future of their company and for the benefit of their employees. The project broke ground in 2010 and completed in 2011.

Banner Life was chartered in 1949 as Government Employees Life Insurance Company (GELICO) and was acquired by Legal & General Group in 1981 with a formal name change in 1983. In 2011, the company consolidated their marketing identities into a single brand, Legal & General America. 

The company's life insurance products are sold through independent life brokerage agencies in 48 states and the District of Columbia. Today, Legal & General Group is the 7th largest insurance company in the world with 10 million worldwide customers.