Food Share issues corporate challenge

Community Food Share is a food bank that serves both Boulder and Broomfield counties. One of every six people in these counties is under the poverty line working with about $29,965 per year for a family of four. This totals about 59,000 people that are living below the poverty level between the two counties. An additional 13,000 children are on the free lunch program in St. Vrain Valley and Boulder Valley school districts. Community Food Share has been delivering meals for the past 32 years and distributes more than 7.5 million meals annually. These meals have been collectively valued at $12.5 million dollars.

The company is currently recruiting corporations for the annual “Compete to Beat Hunger” Corporate Challenge. The purpose of this event is to raise money and food for the food bank. Last year’s winner, WhiteWaves Food Co., raised $225,185 and 5,360 pounds of food.

Competing businesses get 10 points for each dollar donated and one point for every pound of food donated. How the competition works can vary among companies but many have come up with clever fundraisers to create their donations. Among the competing business this year are Amgen, Ball Corp, Remax of Boulder and last years champion WhiteWaves Food Co.

The competition focuses not only on the donations but also on educating businesses about local hunger and poverty issues leading to a more direct form of involvement. It raises a friendly competition among local businesses creating a more connected network within Boulder and Broomfield counties.

Community Food Share not only helps with the county poverty and hunger problems but also helps cut down on the food waste. Grocery stores usually throw out millions of pounds of food per year just within Colorado. This includes damaged foods, items close to their sell-by dates and products that aren’t selling well. Community Food Share takes these unwanted foods and puts them to better use in their food bank. They also benefits from two major food drives a year, one based out of Longmont and one in Boulder.

The success of this local food bank has lead to the purchase of new and larger facility based in Louisville. CEO Jim Baldwin commented on the purchase saying that “With our central role in the community’s fight against hunger and food insecurity, Community Food Share recognized the need for expanded facilities to better serve the growing number of families, individuals, and nonprofit agencies that depend on our food distribution services.”

You can read more on Community Food Share and “Compete to Beat Hunger” at the following links:

Food Share issues Corporate Challenge

Community Food Share Purchases Expanded Facility in Louisville

Community Food Share


Local Businesses Competing Against Chain Businesses

Local businesses across America all face issues of competing against chain businesses, and Boulder is no exception to this. Although Boulder, Colorado is known for having thriving local businesses, there is still fierce competition. In order to provide these local businesses a fighting chance, the Boulder Independent Business Alliance was formed in 1998. The Boulder Independent Business Alliance, also known as BIBA, consists of numerous locally owned businesses that are concerned with defending their home-grown economy from chain businesses. A staggering amount of locally owned businesses have gone out of business since 1990 and BIBA hopes to prevent this trend. BIBA promotes locally owned businesses by providing businesses with reduced advertising rates and marketing tools to those who buy a membership. Another innovation BIBA has incorporated is the community benefit card, which allows residents to not make the difficult decision between supporting local businesses and getting the best deal. These efforts have raised awareness on the issue and set a precedent for other cities who are adopting the BIBA model.

It is clear that Boulder cares a great deal about locally owned businesses. This concern has allowed local food and beverage businesses to thrive in Boulder and has drawn in many entrepreneurs. The issue of chain businesses has been addressed by BIBA and has shown to prove effective because Boulder’s reputation is often compared to Silicon Valley in recent times. It is reassuring that the local people of Boulder care enough to give support to their local businesses. These efforts exemplify the people of Boulder and how their efforts make a difference in the community.

Additional information on BIBA can be found here.

Natural Food Giant moving headquarters to Boulder

The natural foods giant  Smart Balance is shifting the location of its headquarters from New Jersey to Boulder. Even more surprising than this sudden move to the area, is their decision to change names and NASDAQ ticker symbols. Smart Balance will become Boulder Brands, Inc. in the summer of 2013 as it makes the move to Colorado. The company currently boasts successful brands such as Smart Balance®, Udi’s®, Glutino®, Earth Balance® and Best Life®. The most intriguing features of these brands are their individual commitment to providing uniquely healthy benefits to consumers.

Smart Balance is focused on heart health, Earth Balance on plant-based diets, Udi’s & Glutino on being gluten-free, and Best Lift on contributing to weight management. Boulder is the perfect location for these  individual brands to contribute to longer and healthier lives for the customers that consumer them. The firm also focuses on certain core values of innovation and strong customer support which meshes well with the food and beverage community in the city. Any company that drives awareness and loyalty about healthy, sustainable food projects will likely be received well in Boulder.

This massive move speaks volumes about not only Smart Balance, but also how the food and beverage in Boulder is viewed nationally. The company’s chairman and chief executive officer Steve Hughes recently told the Boulder Daily Camera that he has “always viewed Boulder as the Silicon Valley of food.” This position was affirmed by the president of Naturally Boulder, a local nonprofit that contributes to expanding the Boulder natural products industry. He stated this recently with: “Companies like Smart Balance are drawn here because of the depth of resources our community offers, ranging from brand marketing and creative talent, to product development and finance expertise, to the ready availability of capital for smart, sustainable business ideas.”

This bold decision by Smart Balance illustrates the special environment that Boulder provides for industry innovators, especially those that are environmentally conscious. The unique support from the citizens of the city, capacity for innovation, and ability to rapidly acquire capital for sustainable products certainly justifies their decision to change locations. Last year the company raked in just shy of $275 million in total revenue, with a final net  income of $9.66 million in net income. It will be interesting to monitor the change in their economic performance, whether positive or negative, in their new Colorado environment. With the success that so many other natural food producers have experienced in the city such as Celestial Seasonings and Justin’s Nut Butter, the rise or fall of Smart Balance will be worth monitoring.

Additional information can be found in the links below:

Smart Balance

Boulder Brands

Boulder Daily Camera Story

Spencer Donnelly