Since their humble beginnings in a Boulder barn 40 years ago, Celestial Seasonings has become North America’s specialty tea leader, serving over 1.6 billion cups a year. Always proud of its founding role in Boulder’s dynamic natural and organic community, Celestial Seasonings remains a leading presence, promoting a healthly lifestyle with delicious and flavorful teas blended and packaged in socially and environmentally responsible ways. Although they use ingredients that come from all over the world, Celestial Seasonings teas have always been created at their facility in Boulder where passionate and dedicated teams create the recipes, blend the ingredients, design the boxes and package the tea.
According to company General Manager, Peter Burns, there are many reasons Boulder is the perfect fit for Celestial Seasonings. “Boulder locals value health, fitness and the environment. Creating and improving businesses, while supporting environmental stewardship and sustainable practices, embody the spirit and character of this great city. We also believe that Boulder’s reputation as an inspirational destination comes from pioneering natural and organic companies, products, and services that have originated in the area,” Burns said.
(Photo by Robert I. Larsen)
Tucked away in an office along Boulder Creek, Crescent Moon has been quietly distinguishing itself as one of the top snowshoe makers in the world.
Founder Jake Thamm says “Are you kidding? My wife and I have lived here for 35 years and we’ve traveled to many places in the US and abroad and have never found a better business, social and outdoors-oriented community to live in. Within the Front Range community there are over 90 companies that are directly involved in manufacturing or distributing outdoor products – that’s an incomparable resource of people and expertise that any new or established company should consider.”
(Photo courtesy Crescent Moon)
When IBM was looking to create a new corporate campus in the 1960s, it found the foothills of Boulder to be the perfect location for expansion. Boulder continues to play a key role in shaping the future of the company. IBM’s Boulder site is the corporation’s largest data center location worldwide, and home to one of the company’s “greenest” data centers in North America. Opened in May 2008, the 115,000 square foot facility is one of IBM’s largest. “This new green data center reflects IBM’s leadership in finding innovative and environmentally responsible ways to meet our clients’ needs, as well as our own,” said Larry Longseth, IBM Colorado senior state executive. “Boulder is one of the corporation’s premier data center locations, and it is strategically positioned to help IBM meet its commitment to maintain its data centers at the highest level of energy efficiency.” In addition to incorporating advanced energy efficiency features, the facility is partially powered by alternative energy sources, significantly reducing its carbon footprint.
According to Spokesman Dan Willis, IBM Boulder was opened in Colorado based on the prime geographic location, proximity to higher education institutions and an educated population. “Since sparking the local high-tech boom, IBM continues to reap the benefits of the area in terms of employee recruitment, retention and quality of life,” says Willis.
(Boulder Data Center, Courtesy IBM)
In 2003, Todd Woloson and Greg Stroh, two friends who love good food and drink were having lunch in Boulder and decided it would be great to start a company together. They saw an opportunity to create an all-natural version of sophisticated European sodas, and Izze Beverage Company was born. Today, the company (named after Woloson’s daughter Isabelle) is part of PepsiCo. IZZE is sold nationally in Starbucks, Target Stores, Whole Foods Markets, grocery stores, as well as casual and fine restaurants and delis across the United States, Caribbean and South Pacific.
Co-founder Todd Woloson says Boulder was the logical place to start their company. “It is the center of the Natural Foods/Products Industry. Boulder provides visibility on current trends affecting consumer demand and credibility within the industry.”
Particle Measuring Systems
In 1972, the founder of Particle Measuring Systems, Dr. Robert Knollenberg, was originally doing PhD research on airplane instrumentation. When his thesis evolved into a business opportunity, he purchased a hangar from the Boulder airport as an office/research facility and hired an engineering and manufacturing crew consisting of pilots. From such fabled entrepreneurial beginnings has grown an international leader in contamination monitoring. Today the company’s systems, which are designed and manufactured in Boulder, positively affect everyone who has ever used a cell phone or laptop, taken an ingestible or injected medication, or put gas in their vehicle.
“The beauty and culture of Boulder great in helping us maintain and attract employees” says spokesperson Linnae Selinga. “Plus, we get a million-dollar view of the sun setting over the Flatirons when we leave work on a fall afternoon. You can’t get much more ‘Boulder’ than that!”
When two visionary marketers joined forces in Boulder in 1984, it was with a different business model in mind. Combining their experiences working in both large, sophisticated marketing environments and innovative, entrepreneurial organizations, Rick Sterling and Michael Rice created Boulder’s most unique and enduring brand development and communications firm. Now over 110 people strong, Sterling-Rice Group leverages its expertise in business strategy, consumer insights, innovation, advertising, design, and digital media for many of the most powerful and respected brands in the world. Its inspired thinking has helped launch countless new products and create new categories; and by virtue of its Boulder mindset, SRG has assisted many local and national organic brands find mainstream success. Founded with a set of values and beliefs that transcends its economic success, SRG continues to be a very special company to both work for and with.
Back in the early 1980s Rick and Michael moved from Chicago to Boulder and began work with another Boulder success story, Celestial Seasonings. Rick and Michael and their families fell in love with Boulder’s entrepreneurial spirit. With their creativity and Boulder’s energetic business culture, Sterling Rice Group began helping others develop and launch new businesses. (Photo c 2007 Sterling-Rice Group. By Alexia Sites.)