ColoradoBiz CEO of the Year 2015 finalist: Rick Robbins
The sunflower oil business is booming
CEO, Colorado Mills
Robbins has led the Lamar sunflower oil refinery since 2004. After buying a partner out of a joint venture, sales have boomed, with forecasts of $15 million in 2015 and $20 million in 2016.
“Don’t get too married to your vision,” he warns. “Be flexible and free enough to let your company go where it needs to go, and do the same with your employees.”
Colorado Mills has expanded from an exclusively commercial market in the food industry to the consumer space with bottles of sunflower oil available regionally at Whole Foods and other retailers. “We started selling it in 6,000-gallon tankers,” laughs Robbins. “Now we’re learning to sell it in 750-milliliter bottles.”