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News / Business / Clark County Business

Vancouver’s Perfect Co. has recipe for success

Company ready to mix in a dash of marketing

By Gordon Oliver, Columbian Business Editor
Published: December 15, 2015, 4:28pm
3 Photos
Matthew Barbee, head of recipe development for Perfect Co., makes chocolate chip cookies using Perfect Bake at the company&#039;s downtown Vancouver test kitchen.
Matthew Barbee, head of recipe development for Perfect Co., makes chocolate chip cookies using Perfect Bake at the company's downtown Vancouver test kitchen. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

The Perfect Co., a Vancouver-based maker of products for creating drinks and baked goods, has a name that leaves no doubt what it thinks of its wares.

Apparently, some investors agree with the company’s self-assessment. This fall, the company was awarded $4 million in investment funding that it will use to promote and market its set of consumer products and others now in development.

The company, which evolved from an earlier toy-making startup called Pure Imagination, has two core products, called Perfect Bake and Perfect Drink, that bring precision to the task (or hobby) of creating mixed drinks and baked goods. The breakthrough for bakers and mixologists is to weigh, rather than measure, ingredients on a digital smart scale that is linked wirelessly to an app that guides the mixing and making process. Just choose a recipe, add ingredients until the app advises you to stop, follow cues when using your blender or mixer, and it all should work out … well, perfectly.

The basic tools, which are made in China, sell for $49, with premium versions selling for up to $99.99. Since it first introduced Perfect Drink in 2013 through Brookstone stores, the company has sold “hundreds of thousands of units” of its two main products, said Mike Wallace, a co-founder who is the company’s CEO. Wallace said he hopes to quadruple sales over the next year, thanks in part to an agreement by Bed Bath & Beyond to sell the products, but also through expanded overseas sales.

The company operates out of an easy-to-miss storefront at Seventh and Main streets in downtown Vancouver, where a test kitchen occupies the first floor and offices fill the upstairs space. Its staff of 20 employees includes three chefs. But despite impressive early success, Wallace says the former toy-makers have their roots in software development and need help to build marketing and sales operations.

“We know how to manufacture. We are not a strong marketing company,” said Wallace, one of four initial investors.

The Series A investment funding, led by the Oregon Angel Fund, will allow the company to build its marketing campaign and hire more software developers. Perfect Co. is pursuing another $2 million in funding, Wallace said. The bottom line from those investments could be a doubling of the company’s staff in the next six months, he said.

This is the busy season for consumer product sales, and Wallace said he takes delight in responses from buyers and gift recipients. He’s spent recent Christmases plugged into the company’s email response line, fielding comments and responding to questions about Perfect Drink and Perfect Bake.

“The response has been overwhelmingly positive,” Wallace said. “A lot of them write short novels about how much they love it.”

Such comments have provided what Wallace calls a “road map” for product improvements. Current versions of the two systems are wireless, and current software allows users to synchronize recipes and product ingredients across all mobile and computer devices. Users can easily add or edit recipes, catalog ingredients in their home pantries and build shopping lists.

As it builds out its operations with new products and expanded marketing, Perfect Co. is getting noticed in the consumer products field. “There are a lot of potential partners, and companies that would be interested in acquiring us,” Wallace said.

Columbian Business Editor