Top Company 2020: Consumer Business
These three companies are shaking up the world of consumer business
In its 33rd year, ColoradoBiz‘s Top Company honors the Colorado companies that have drive, determination, a vision and a plan and are ultimately making the state a better place to live and work. These three companies – one winner and two finalists – represent the 2020 Top Companies in Consumer Business.
In March, a fire destroyed Luna Gourmet’s North Denver roastery and historic 1927 schoolhouse café. But one month later, Luna was back in business — thanks to its employees, customers, vendors and even its competitors, who stepped up to share their facilities.
“We are now knee-deep in the rebuilding process – not only in light of what the world is experiencing, but also as we make strides to get back to where we were before the pandemic – all the while looking for ways to be better and stronger as we grow,” says Luna President Jason Barrow, who co-owns the company with brother Douglass. “Our amazing community not only allows us to survive challenging times, but to thrive beyond.”
The state’s largest family-owned roaster and its oldest coffee company at 55, Luna has a simple mission: to make a difference in the world through a commitment to sustainability and social responsibility. Luna buys much of its green coffee beans through Direct Trade and Fair Trade relationships to help support economic growth in developing coffee-growing regions. Additionally, Luna is committed to environmentally responsible farming, offering an extensive lineup of organic coffees.
“Coffee is the second-most traded commodity in the world behind oil, yet the farmers who live and grow the prized beans in 80 countries around the equator live in near poverty,” Douglass Barrow says. “It’s not always cheaper to do the right thing, but we believe it’s the right way to do business.”
The Barrow brothers are passionate about giving back. Luna’s “Coffees for a Cause” supports Project CURE and the USO, among others. Its “The School That Coffee Built” program uses proceeds from all participating Luna Gourmet Peruvian coffees to support school projects in their partner Peruvian farm communities.
At Xero Shoes, they literally walk the walk. “Once people experience the benefits of natural movement, they want to share it,” CEO Steven Sashen says. “All our employees — from the warehouse to the C-suite — are evangelists.”
The company prides itself on creating shoes that are both feather-light and durable enough to be backed with a 5,000-mile warranty.
“We think that the entire company is responsible for its success, so we have a profit-sharing inspired bonus plan where all employees get an equal bonus amount,” Sashen says. At quarterly team meetings, the company shares all financials so people understand the business and their role in it.
Xero sends shoes to communities around the world where a lack of footwear can prevent people from attending school or working. “We also support the community that inspired our initial product, the Tarahumara Indians in Mexico, by contributing a percentage of that product’s sale price to the Tarahumara Childrens Hospital Fund,” Sashen says.
At Rowdy Mermaid, one of the five brand pillars is “daring.” The company considers itself a passionate disruptor set on blazing trails and creating the unexpected. Its take on 2,000-year-old kombucha features beneficial acids, B-vitamins, probiotics in functional flavors using only what nature created: plants, fruits, roots, mushrooms and botanicals.
Rowdy’s party and sustainability committees unite team members across all departments: The party group plans regular team outings, breakfasts and potlucks, while the sustainability group finds ways to positively impact communities.
In 2019, Rowdy moved from bottles to cans, resulting in a 100% recyclable product. Among other advantages, the change allowed the company to ship 48% more product per truck, saving about 500 gallons of water a day and shrinking its carbon footprint.