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Small Business Profile: Ruby Jewel

Friday, August 07, 2015


Photo courtesy of http://www.facebook.com/RubyJewelTreatsandScoops

It takes long hours and a passion-filled drive to build a business from the ground up and watch it scale to national attention.

Lisa Herlinger, owner of Ruby Jewel and culinary school graduate, not only put in the hard work to see her vision come to light but she also included several other Portland businesses in that vision.

You may have seen Ruby Jewel's products in the freezer isle of your local Whole Foods, Zupans and New Seasons or maybe you are one of the lucky ones who have stopped in to their storefront locations on Mississippi Ave or in the heart of downtown Portland on 12th Ave & Washington Street. Ruby Jewel takes an artisianal approach to a favorite childhood treat: the ice cream cookie sandwich.

Photo credit: Chris Franklin

Lisa Herlinger and her sister Becky Burnett got their start when they sold their first hand crafted delicious treat at the Portland farmers' market. Eleven years and quite a few ice cream sandwich sales later they have found themselves running two brick and mortar operations, distributing from Hawaii to Texas, and receiving accolades from publications like Oprah Winfrey’s magazine “O”, In Style and the Washington Post. Through all of the success, they have remained grounded and humble -- continuing to provide their signature ice cream sandwiches at the place that started it all, the Portland farmers' market at Portland State University.

In an effort to create a community-building sustainable product, Ruby Jewel participates in the collaborative business model that has created a way for so many of our businesses to succeed. Bee Local, Bobs RedMill, Nossa Familia Coffee, and Freddy Guys Hazelnuts have shared their products and input to help Lisa Herlinger see her vision. Collaborating together, they are able to produce a finely curated product that lights up your senses with great flavors from fresh, local and organic sources.

Oregon strawberry, singing dog vanilla bean, caramel with salted chocolate. These are just a few of their “standard” flavored ice creams. Where Ruby Jewel does its best work is creating craft seasonal favorite ice creams with some of Portland’s best farms, gardens and food producers. Brown Sugar Sour Cream with Peach Jam, Double Chocolate with Marionberry Caramel Sauce and a dairy free Cherry Almond Ice round out just some of the new flavors you will find through August at their various locations.

Ruby Jewel is proud to announce their new location on Hawthorne Blvd, an area that is known for small businesses.

Wanderer by nature, explorer by trade. Chris Franklin is attracted to the unique and overlooked. His ambition is to showcase what may lay off the beaten path. A love of small business and creative craft guide his path as he continues to discover Portland, Oregon. Follow his journey at LostNPortland.com.


Related Slideshow: Oregon Business Rankings in US

See how Oregon stacked up against the other states in the U.S.

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Oregon gets a C+ for small business friendliness from Thumbtack, in conjunction with the Kauffman Foundation.

According to the ranking:

Overall friendliness C+

Ease of starting a business B
Ease of hiring D+
Regulations D
Health & safety D
Employment, labor & hiring D
Tax code D+
Licensing C-
Environmental D
Zoning D+
Training & networking programs B+

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CEO Magazine

CEO magazine was not kind to Oregon.

The state ranked in the bottom ten states at #42.

Oregon get lumped by CEO's as being California like - too much regulation.

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The 2015 rankings puts Oregon in the top 20. Oregon ranks #18 in the United States. 

NY ranks one spot ahead at #17 and Florida ranks after Oregon.

#1 in the United States: Utah

#50 in the United States: Mississippi

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Oregon has been ranked as the 2nd most eco-friendly state in the country, according to a recent study by WalletHub

Oregon ranks eighth in environmental quality and first in Eco-Friendly Behaviors landing them in second overall. 

Oregon is behind Vermont and ahead of New York and Minnesota who land in the third and fourth spots respectively. 

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The Economist

Small Business Friendliness Grade: C+

The Economist grades states on an A+ to F grading scale for its small business climate. Oregon is one of 4 states that earned a "C+"

Overbearing bureaucracy and excessive licensing is stifling small business in America. 

Read More About The Economist Grade Here

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#22 CNBC

CNBC ranks each state in cost of doing business, economy, technology and innovation.

Read More About CNBC Ranking Here

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Wallet Hub

#28 Wallet Hub

Wallet Hub ranks each state in ROI rank, state tax rank, and overall government services.

Read More About Wallet Hub Ranking Here

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#38 Kauffman Foundation

Kauffman Foundation ranks each state in entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurial activity generally is highest in Western and Southern states and lowest in Midwestern and Northeastern states.

Read More About Kauffman Ranking Here

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#19 Forbes in 2014

Forbes ranks each state in business costs, economic climate, and growth prospects.

Read More About Forbes Rankings Here


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