According to Forbes, out of the 27 million firms in the U.S., nearly all of them are privately or independently owned. Nearly 5.7 million of the firms in the country have employees, but less than 1 percent of them trade shares on a U.S. exchange.
So as we set out to celebrate America’s independence this Fourth of July, we also encourage you to consider including one of these companies — all of which are independently owned — in your celebrations. And yes, we’ve even included some of our favorite brands that offer the perfect ingredients for s’mores.
You can’t get much more patriotic than Tito’s. America’s original craft vodka, produced at Texas’ oldest legal distillery, Tito’s is also “the only vodka you can drink straight.” In 1995, Bert “Tito” Beveridge began his trademark process of batch distilling corn vodka in a one-room shack in the heart of Austin. Today Tito’s Handmade Vodka is one of the country’s most successful microdistilleries and its operations have grown well past a single room. The smooth, naturally gluten-free liquor is a fantastic addition to all of your Independence Day celebrations. Start the celebrations early by adding it to your Bloody Mary or to your picnic lemonade for a refreshing afternoon cocktail.
2. 21st Amendment Brewery
Arguably one of the most fittingly-named breweries for this holiday week, those looking to get in the spirit of things should definitely consider picking up a beer or two from 21st Amendment Brewery. Named after the amendment that repealed prohibition, 21st Amendment Brewery launched in 2000. Co-founders Nico Freccia and Shaun O’Sullivan, both beer aficionados in their own right, met in a summer class on brewing science at UC Davis. Today, the company produces a wealth of year-round brews, including several IPAs and a sparkling rosé ale, as well as several seasonal offerings and other occasional series available at Whole Foods, Duane Reade, and other grocery stores around the country.
3. Freedom Deodorant
After learning that most deodorants were classified as drugs by the FDA, Ira Kaganovsky was eager to switch to a natural product. That desire was compounded by the fact that three of her friends had just been diagnosed with breast cancer and had also been encouraged to find more natural products by their doctors. After an unsuccessful search for an effective and good-smelling antiperspirant, Kaganovsky decided to create her own. Her final product, Freedom Deodorant, is considered the No. 1 luxury deodorant on the market. All Freedom Deodorants are human-tested and safe enough to eat.
4. Wölffer Wine
In 1978, Hamburg-born businessman Christian Wölffer bought his Long Island retreat in the heart of New York’s famed Hamptons region. A decade later, he grew his vineyard and was producing some of the most distinctive wines, spirits, and ciders on the market. Today, Wölffer Wine is celebrating as being one of the few vineyards recognized by Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing for the fifth year in a row. They are committed to making the highest quality beverages. Their Summer in a Bottle Rose, Wolfer ‘Pink’ Gin, and Wölffer No. 139 dry ciders are perfect additions to any backyard barbeque or rooftop party this Fourth of July.
The Fourth of July wouldn’t be complete without a few s’mores around the campfire. Smashmallow creates premium snacking marshmallows made entirely of clean ingredients in delicious flavors. With only 80 calories and 1 gram of fat per serving, Smashmallows are made of pure organic cane sugar and without gluten, soy, corn, dairy, and egg, making them a great dessert option for almost any diet. Pick up a bag of mint chocolate chip, cookie dough, or one of the other dozen flavors at stores like Whole Foods and Target.
6. Kiva Confections
Launched in 2010, Kiva Confections is on a mission to create an edible that redefines what a cannabis confection can be. From chocolates to gummies, their offerings are delicious, potent, and adhere to the highest production standards. Sold throughout dispensaries in California, Hawaii, Arizona, Nevada, and Illinois, the confections have garnered multiple awards including 8 “Best Edible” wins. Try some Kiva Bars, Camino Gummies, Petra Mints, or Terra Bites this holiday weekend.
Interested in working at a thriving independently owned brand? Explore our job board.