Colorado is a fantastic location for entrepreneurs looking to start a small business. The state has a strong and growing economy, and the area's natural beauty, mild climate, and year-round outdoor recreation help to attract and retain employees.
As a popular tourist destination, local Colorado businesses also have an opportunity to grow a national fanbase, like these small but growing companies.
Flatiron Pepper Company
The Flatiron Pepper Company is a spicy local business. The Arvada-based company makes spicy pepper blends of chili flakes with no added salt, sugar, or other fillers.
The flavorful blends add a powerful kick to any dish and are great additions to pizza, macaroni & cheese, grilled meats, soups, and stir-fry. Some of the varieties include "Sweet Heat," "Smokeshow", "Hatch Valley Green," and "I Can't Feel My Face."
The original "Four Pepper Blend" made with Arbol, Habanero, Jalepeño, and Ghost peppers has a terrific flavor with a manageable kick for those who prefer just a touch of heat. There are pepper blends for every taste, and once you try this product, there is no going back to generic.
You can find Flatiron Pepper products online or in-store (go here for a retailer near you).
Zuberfizz, a product of the Durango Soda Company, is a traditional roots craft soda made with quality ingredients.
Banden Zuber and Dan Aggeler, the company's founders, were roommates at Colorado State University when they began home-brewing. They became commercial Brewmasters and used their brewing knowledge and skills to craft the perfect soda.
Zuberfizz soda is made with fresh Rocky Mountain water and pure cane sugar, not high-fructose corn syrup, like many mass-produced beverages. The soda comes in a glass bottle which helps preserve the fresh taste and adds to the experience.
The beverage comes in traditional and specialty flavors like Root Beer, Cream Soda, Original Cola, Coco Fizz, and Strawberry Rhubarb.
Zuberfizz can be found online, in restaurants, and at local stores such as King Soopers, Safeway, Albertsons, and Cost Plus World Market.
Oogie's Snacks, a Denver-based business, is known for its popcorn. The gluten-free snack comes in various flavors including Wisconsin Cheddar, Movie Theater Butter, Spicy Nacho Cheddar, Caramel Chipotle, and Kettlecorn.
There are big bags for sharing (or not) and snack-sized ones perfect for on-the-go snacking.
Some college friends looking for healthy, flavorful snack options started Oogie's Snacks. The group experimented with recipes in their respective Denver kitchens, using family and friends as taste testers. Eventually, they found the perfect combination of flavors, and Oogie's Snack, named after a college roommate, was born.
The gourmet popcorn can be purchased online and at select stores nationwide.
These three companies are great examples of the innovation and quality found in the local Colorado business scene. Whether you're a resident or visitor to the state, there are many fantastic small businesses to discover and support.
What is your favorite Colorado-based small business?
Related article: This Colorado business is America's #1 chocolate and candy store retailer, according to Newsweek
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