Sunflower Farmers Market keeps blooming

It's rough out there. Stores and restaurants are shuttering their doors faster than it takes Colorado's sunshine to melt the snow, and long-standing icons of the grocery store format (see Albertsons), have been forced to roll back locations everywhere, including Colorado. So it's no surprise that Sunflower Farmers Market is...growing?

The Boulder-based chain, with the help of new investors and loans, will take about $30 million and begin expanding its retail storefronts in its home state of Colorado, as well as Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

2009 was a good year for the local chain, which was founded by Mike Gilliland, the former proprietor of Wild Oats Market and now Sunflower CEO. "Our value-priced healthy and natural offerings, along with our green efforts, seem to resonate well with consumers. We foresee continued growth and success, and hope to be sustainable partners for all current and future investors," says Gilliland.

With an emphasis on organic foods and local produce priced so that your budget isn't hemorrhaging cash for the privilege to eat well, it is good to see a local company expand rather than contract.

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