Made in Colorado 2022 — Emerging Manufacturer

From construction manufacturing for modern living to reimagining the charcoal grill, these companies make Colorado look (and taste) good.
Fading West3

All Made In Colorado’s winners and finalists have at least one thing in common: They all make products in Colorado. 

It underlines the sheer breadth of the products made in Colorado. While the Colorado manufacturing base is not as established as places like the Rust Belt and the Southeast, it is also unconstrained by tradition and underpinned by innovation.  

And that might be exactly what the domestic industry needs as it rides a winning streak fueled by the return of manufacturing from China and other overseas locales — no matter whether it lands in Detroit or Kremmling, Colorado. 

READ — Made in Colorado 2022 — Top Food and Beverage Manufacturer



WINNER — Fading West Development

Buena Vista  

Fading West1

Fading West opened its 110,000-square-foot modular housing factory in Buena Vista in November 2021. Its first year was a bit of a doozy.

“It’s been a very changing startup year for sure,” says founder and CEO Charlie Chupp. “Just the environment of interest rates, employees, housing. Our mission is to create more affordable housing and workforce housing, and it’s one of our big limiting factors as well. We’re still dealing with COVID outbreaks.”

But that didn’t stop the 135-employee company from delivering upwards of 150,000 square feet of housing in year one as it scaled manufacturing capacity to 25,000 square feet a month. “The demand and need in the state has been overwhelming,” says Chupp. “We’ve been able to partner with some great groups around the state to impact communities and create more homes for people who wouldn’t be able to afford them.”

Fading West supplies its own development in Buena Vista, The Farm, and is also working on projects in Breckenridge, Vail and Gunnison. To meet demand, Fading West is adding a second shift in early 2023 that will boost capacity by more than 10,000 square feet a month. If all goes to plan, a pair of larger Fading West factories will open on the Front Range by 2024.

“Colorado is a challenging state to build in for traditional construction,” says Chupp. “We’re able to control those costs better just by the nature of manufacturing, and if we’re staying in the state, that allows us to minimize our transportation costs and allows us to be really effective in accomplishing our mission of creating more affordable housing.”

FINALIST — Spark Grills


Spark grill

Founded by Benjamin West in 2017, Spark is rethinking the charcoal grill as it expands its manufacturing footprint in Boulder. The startup’s proprietary Briqs are ready to go in about five minutes, and its grill allows for precise temperature control from 250 to 900 degrees Fahrenheit.


Meati FoodsFINALIST — Meati Foods



Fermenting mushroom roots into protein products that mimic steak and chicken, Meati raised an eye-popping $150 million in July 2022 to accelerate production. Case in point: Slated for launch in late 2022, Meati’s 115,000-square-foot Mega Ranch facility in Thornton will have capacity to produce hundreds of millions of pounds annually.



Denver-based writer Eric Peterson is the author of Frommer’s Colorado, Frommer’s Montana & Wyoming, Frommer’s Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks and the Ramble series of guidebooks, featuring first-person travelogues covering everything from atomic landmarks in New Mexico to celebrity gone wrong in Hollywood. Peterson has also recently written about backpacking in Yosemite, cross-country skiing in Yellowstone and downhill skiing in Colorado for such publications as Denver’s Westword and The New York Daily News. He can be reached at

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