On Oct. 20, the Naturally Boulder Task Force, an economic development initiative supported by the city of Boulder, Colo., will hold the second annual "Naturally Boulder Day." The conference, sponsored by locally based Wild Oats Markets, among others, aims to enhance the performance of natural or organic product entrepreneurs and midsized businesses in the region.
Wild Oats' interest in local and natural products attracted them to the conference, Sonja Tuitele, the retailer's communications director, told WH. The conference will give Wild Oats the opportunity to diversify its product offerings and allow the chain to "bring more and more people higher quality, healthier foods and products," she said.
Wild Oats plans to donate food throughout the conference. Laura Coblentz, Wild Oats' vice president of marketing, will talk about the growing consumer market for natural and organic products. Other speakers include Colorado-based company founders Mo Siegel of Celestial Seasonings and Steve Demos of White Wave Foods.
This year's conference will also feature area business and manufacturer tours. In conjunction with the event, the Boulder History Museum will introduce an exhibit focusing on the region's history of natural and organic products.
"Based on the sold-out success of the first Naturally Boulder Day conference, we're anticipating a strong reception to this year's event," task force chairwoman Linnea Simons said.
Long known as a city that attracts individuals concerned with environment and health, Boulder has more than 100 natural and organic product companies, contributing $3.5 billion to $4 billion in annual revenues to Colorado's $51.4 billion economy, according to Compass Natural Marketing, an industry marketing firm.
"Boulder continues to be an entrepreneurial hotbed of natural and organic activity," said Steve Hoffman, the event's conference director.
Naturally Boulder not only hopes to supply businesses and entrepreneurs with valuable skills, but to support community building from within city limits. "We want to encourage entrepreneurs to gain the knowledge and confidence to launch their own natural products companies right here in Boulder," Tuitele said.