By: Megan Quinn | Daily Camera Writer
BROOMFIELD — Broomfield may have once been referred to as a bedroom community, but a new business poll says Broomfield’s recent job growth owes a lot to the kitchen.
A new CNN Money magazine poll ranked Broomfield County 15th in the country in terms of job growth, logging a 9.7 percent job growth between 2010 and 2012.
The “Where the Jobs Are” poll, which also included counties in Georgia, Texas and Virginia, highlighted several of Broomfield’s food-producing companies as a reason for its positive job growth. The poll touted Broomfield-based businesses ranging from startup organic kitchen cooperatives to frozen yogurt companies.
“We’re really seeing a lot happening in the food sector … there’s a whole food movement going on in Broomfield,” said Bo Martinez, director of economic development.
Broomfield saw job growth from food-related companies in 2012, especially those with a national presence or those that put an emphasis on organic or natural products, Martinez said.
Job-creating businesses mentioned in the poll included start-up company Kitchen Coop, an incubator and manufacturing site for 11 up-and-coming organic and natural food businesses, such as nut butter company Kolat.
Kitchen Coop founder Jeff Greenberg said his goal was to create an efficient, scalable and flexible space where small companies could grow their businesses. Smaller organic or natural foods are a big part of the Kitchen Coop model.
A larger company that contributes to that is White Wave Foods, a Broomfield company that sells brands such as Horizon brand organic milk and Silk soy milk.
The company has approximately 500 employees, according to its website.
The CNN poll also highlighted food company Famous Brands International, the maker of Mrs. Fields cookies and TCBY frozen yogurt. The company recently relocated its headquarters, franchisee-training center and flagship store to Broomfield earlier this year, bringing 40 jobs to Broomfield.
Craft brewing makes up another important part of the Broomfield job growth sphere, Martinez said.
Big Choice Brewing, Broomfield’s only microbrewery, opened in 2012 and contributed to start-up job growth in the area, Martinez said. The brewery now cans its popular Disconnected Red beer, which recently appeared in liquor stores in the area.
“We’re starting small, just getting beer in peoples’ hands” said co-owner Nathaniel Miller in an interview ahead of the brewery’s opening last year.
Martinez said CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries Inc., which operates brewpubs and restaurants such as Old Chicago and Rock Bottom, announced its move to Broomfield from Louisville at the end of 2012, too.
Though foodies might find good job opportunities in Broomfield, it’s not the only industry that has carried Broomfield’s job growth in recent years.
The National Archives moved its Colorado office from Lakewood to Broomfield in 2012, bringing 40 federal jobs to the new North Park-area facility.
Martinez said Broomfield also has an anticipated job-creator in Active Network, an event registration software company that is consolidating several of its operations in Broomfield. The company had about 100 employees before consolidating its business and moving to Broomfield, but plans to hire 200 employees over the next five years, he said.
Active Network is located in the Interlocken area along U.S. 36. Broomfield expects to see more growth in that region and in Broomfield’s northern neighborhoods.
“In 2013, I think we’re going to see a lot more movement as far as companies looking to relocate to Broomfield, (especially) the U.S. 36 corridor and the North Park area,” he said.
The CNN Money poll indicated that Broomfield also is an ideal workplace for relocation or new job growth because of its location near the University of Colorado and 16 federal science, research and engineering centers, such as Ball Aerospace.
For the “Where the Jobs Are” list, CNN Money chose places where job and population growth is increasing, and where unemployment was below the national average.
By: Megan Quinn | Daily Camera Writer