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Top Company 2023: Consumer Business

Now in its 36th year, ColoradoBiz magazine’s Top Company Awards program recognizes businesses and organizations based in Colorado or with a significant presence in the state that are leading the way in their fields, as demonstrated by financial performance, notable company achievements and community engagement.

To be considered, Top Company entrants submitted applications throughout the year online at From those entries, which numbered in the hundreds, the magazine’s editorial board narrowed the field to three finalists (in most cases) in each industry category. A judging panel made up of area business leaders and ColoradoBiz staff then met to compare notes on the finalists and decide winners in 14 industries plus the Startup category, for companies in business four years or less.

Congratulations are in order not only to the 41 winners and finalists profiled on the following pages, but to all the companies that took the time to tell us about their achievements and obstacles surmounted over the past year that make them worthy of Top Company consideration.


GoJo Auto

Denver, CO


GoJo Auto is a dealership that specializes in educating underserved communities through the car-buying process. The company’s mostly minority staff is a reflection of the customer base. 

Founder and CEO Amanda Gordon has broken a number of barriers in the industry. She is the first African-American woman in Colorado to own a dealership on record and the first Black woman to serve on the Colorado Motor Vehicle Dealer Board. 

GoJo has also spawned multiple nonprofits. One is WOCAN, The Woman of Color Automotive Network, an organization centered around attracting and placing women of color within the different sectors of the automotive industry. It now has more than 500 members. 

Car Class, which helps educate students about purchasing cars, is another. It has helped 25 kids buy cars to date, and Gordon says she has ambitious plans for the program. “We are working on multiple locations and more schools to host our Car Class in an effort to make the curriculum mandatory in all high school classes,” she says. 

There’s a reason for the focus on community involvement. “Our culture is only as strong as the community we serve,” Gordon says. “We are all about education through car buying. If we have more educated consumers, they can help boost our economy and have confidence in other areas of their lives.” 

She added, “We see our buyers as more than just customers. We see them as a part of our entire ecosystem. Education is our gateway to impact and build wealth directly.” 

The strategy is working. The company had four employees in 2019, its first full year in business. That has increased to 16 employees (along with a tenfold jump in revenue) for 2022. 


Fast Fit Foods

Colorado Springs, CO


Fast Fit Foods makes fresh, fully cooked single-portion meals with both nutrition and flavor in mind. The company sells meals and protein snacks online and at three retail locations in Colorado Springs.  

It’s also gotten into food service: In 2023, Fast Fit Foods secured contracts to operate the cafeteria at a 780,000-square-foot office complex and to provide healthy lunches at two schools. 

Under the leadership of CEO Tillman Huett, the company’s head count increased from 12 employees in 2019 to 18 in 2022, as revenue nearly doubled in that same time span. 

In that time, Fast Fit Foods survived the COVID-19 pandemic and the closing of a Florida branch. “We circled the wagons and did what we do best: work earlier, harder and faster,” says VP of Business Development Nicholas Bonvini. “With fewer staff, we personally made thousands of meals each week. Our customers never felt supply chain crunches, inflationary pressures or drops in service because we all showed up to the kitchen at 4 a.m. and did the work ourselves, and then covered the retail stores over the weekend.” 

Fast Fit Foods donates all unsold meals to a charity called Food to Power, giving away around 10,000 meals to date. The business plan calls for expansion to more schools as well as more retail locations. 

“We lead by example,” Bonvini says. “We have hard conversations early and often, and we’ve learned to grow from them. We have high standards but always explain why and how they came to be.” 

American Outdoor Products 

Boulder, CO


Whether eaten in the backwoods or outer space, the freeze-dried foods of American Outdoor Products have been on the cutting edge for more than 70 years. 

The 47-employee company creates freeze-dried meals for outdoor adventurers with its Backpacker’s Pantry brand. In 1974, it developed the original freeze-dried ice cream with NASA and launched it into the consumer market under the Astronaut Foods label. 

Culture is key: The company has always been 100 percent family-owned, and 30 percent of employees have been with the company for more than a decade. Philanthropic giving always exceeds 1 percent of sales, and the office and manufacturing facility are entirely powered by 391 rooftop solar panels. 

In 2019, owner and CEO Rodney Smith passed away in a skiing accident. Soraya Smith, Rodney’s wife and the company’s president/head chef, weathered the storm and led the company to growth with the help of longtime employees. The company’s new CEO (and Smith family neighbor), Duane Primozich, has a long career in the Boulder-area natural foods sector. 

The outdoor boom during the COVID-19 pandemic catalyzed demand for Backpacker’s Pantry products, stretching the company’s supply chain to its limit; then a fire destroyed the ice cream factory in 2022. American Outdoor Products adapted to both challenges with the help of partners and relying on the strong foundation of the company’s culture.  

Top Company 2020: Consumer Business

Top Co Doug And Jason Barrow Luna Coffee

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. 


Luna Coffee & Tea Company


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.


Xero Shoes


Top Company Op4

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.

Rowdy Mermaid Kombucha


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.