Natural Products  May 3, 2024

Naturally Boulder to expand regional presence with Mile High City gala

DENVER — Natural and organic products industry trade group Naturally Boulder is stepping outside its traditional stomping grounds in the shadow of the Flatirons to host its annual Spring Fling Gala at the CSU Spur complex in Denver. 

The event, set for May 22, will, according to gala organizers, serve to strengthen Naturally Boulder’s regional presence.

The CSU Spur is a natural fit for the Spring Fling because the facility at 4777 National Western Drive, which was built by Colorado State University and a group of partners about two years ago to help educate students and the public on issues related to agriculture, natural resources and food production, is home to the Food Innovation Center. 


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“We identified a need to meet in one location, such as the Food Innovation Center at CSU Spur, as it can easily serve everyone along the Front Range from Pueblo to Fort Collins,” Naturally Boulder executive director Kristine Carey said in a prepared statement. “We know that the community is growing, and we need to continue to flourish and foster solid relationships to help brands become successful.”

The center provides clients, which include Naturally Boulder member companies Future Fit Foods and Sun Ghee Kitchen, with access to food research and development facilities, test kitchens, and processing, safety and inspection services. 

“It’s a natural fit to partner with Naturally Boulder, as we provide a state-of-the-art facility and on-site experts, including food scientists who can help brands navigate the journey from field to fork,” Food Innovation Center director Mike Gabel said in a prepared statement.

Boulder has long been one of the world’s meccas for the natural-products industry. But as organic food has become more mainstream in recent decades, other hubs have emerged. Naturally Boulder’s leadership has prioritized forging connections between those nodes across Colorado. The organic food ecosystem “is expanding,” Carey told BizWest in an interview last year conducted soon after she was hired to helm the trade group. Growth is “coming out (Colorado State University) in Fort Collins, out of the Pueblo Food Project, out of the CSU Spur in Denver; there’s a lot of stuff happening on the Western Slope with business incubators.”

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