What Sparked Naturally Boulder’s Formation 15 Years Ago?
“We were sitting around the table one day, and one of the members said [the natural products industry] is an ‘industry cluster’ in Boulder that our economic-development program should be looking at.”
That’s what Boulder’s Economic Vitality Advisory Board member, Linnea Simmons, shared with the Denver Post in a brief Q&A session about the Naturally Boulder Products Task Force foundation in 2003.
Originally, Naturally Boulder was an arm of Boulder’s economic-development program, and aimed to solidify Boulder as the epicenter of the natural products industry by supporting nascent businesses to launch and remain in the city. To accomplish this goal, the Naturally Boulder Products Task Force provided a platform for entrepreneurs to gain business education, access to shared resources, and to network with seasoned industry professionals who could offer guidance and investment. The community model was wildly successful, and the Naturally Boulder Products Task Force (soon changed to Naturally Boulder) comprehensively wove the ‘industry hub’ together, earning the organization acclaim throughout Colorado.
But Naturally Boulder wouldn’t have been such a success if it didn’t have a strong natural products foundation to stand upon; the organization achieved rapid growth by harnessing synergy from decades of industry momentum, which had been building since the 1960s with the start of Celestial Seasonings. Rudi’s Organic Bakery, The Brewing Market (now Allegro Coffee), Pearl Street Market (now Alfalfa’s), WhiteWave Foods(acquired by Danone), New Hope Natural Media(acquired by Penton), and many other local natural products players began within the next two decades, establishing Boulder as a cradle of the natural products industry.
Thanks to the efforts of an industrious staff, a dedicated board of directors, and cheerful volunteers, Naturally Boulder continues to provide unparalleled networking and event experiences, cutting-edge educational material supplied by industry experts, and celebrations for its membership of nearly 1,400 individuals. The non-profit is proud to be a vibrant piece of the city of Boulder, and is excited to be celebrating fifteen years in the community throughout 2019. To kick off the festivities, Naturally Boulder members, their families, and friends will enjoy a private dress rehearsal of the Boulder Symphony’s EVOLVE on February 22nd.
Happy 15th Birthday, Naturally Boulder! Let’s celebrate!