Colorado Companies to Watch spotlight: Growers Organic
Snapshot: Denver-based Grower’s Organic buys organic produce from farmers in Colorado and elsewhere and distributes to grocers and restaurants. According to the company, it is Colorado’s only 100 percent organic produce distributor.
Leadership: Brian Freeman is Grower Organic’s owner and president. The company was founded in 2005.
Work force: Since 2008, the company has more than doubled its work force, ending 2011 with 36 full-time-equivalent employees. It expects to add another 4 ½ full-time-equivalent workers this year.
Pivotal moment: In October 2010, Grower’s Organic moved to new space in Adams County at 64th & Broadway, increasing its warehouse space by 60 percent. With increased cooler space the company has become more aggressive with its buying strategies. In February this year, GO Transportation was incorporated as a fully owned subsidiary of Grower’s Organic. With its own semi-trucks, the company has brought produce hauls and intrastate distribution in-house, enabling more control over customer service and expansion of routes and sales in out-of-state markets.
Competitive Edge: Customers are encouraged to call in orders up to 3 a.m. the day of delivery. Those orders are pulled and readied for same-day delivery. Grower’s Organic has a profit-sharing program that returns 7 percent of profits back to the farmers and 3 percent to its employees.
Culture: Employees receive an organic produce food box for $10 each week. Massages are provided for employees every other week. Grower’s Organic works with Lutheran Family Services to employ members of a refugee program. Unsold product is donated to organizations such as We Don’t Waste and the Adams County Food Bank.