Organic Gift Company Boulder's Best Organics Changes Hands

Organic industry veterans Steven Hoffman and Seleyn DeYarus announced that they have acquired a majority interest in leading organic gift company Boulder’s Best Organics. Boulder’s Best Organics (BBO) was founded in 2006 by Naropa University graduate Arron Mansika. The company achieved 50% growth in 2008 and has been the recipient of several awards, including the 2009 Mercury 100 Fastest Growing Private Companies, in which BBO was recognized as the number two fastest growing company in Boulder and Broomfield Counties with sales under $2 million.

“Since I began the company, I intended to grow it for about three years and then find just the right partners when it was getting too big for just me. With tremendous industry experience, deep networks, and commitment to organics, Steve and Seleyn are positioned to grow BBO well and stay true to its founding principles,” Mansika stated. “We’ve already secured office and warehouse space, a new employee and a fulfillment partner, and we are entering retail stores and new markets. Now, BBO can achieve its full potential. It’s all so positive I feel very fortunate.”

Mansika, who sold majority interest in BBO for an undisclosed amount, remains a stakeholder in the company and will work closely with the business through the end of the year, helping in the transition and sales and operations, before moving on to pursue other interests.

“We intend to build upon Arron’s foundational work and expand gift sales on the Internet, in B2B markets, and in leading natural, organic and eco-stores, gift shops, resorts, hotels, spas, and specialty stores, and continue to serve as the leading organic gift provider for local individuals and businesses,” says Hoffman, who will serve as CEO of Boulder’s Best Organics. “The overall gift basket business is estimated at $3 billion annually, and the organic market had sales of $23 billion in 2008. In a difficult economy, organic sales are still growing at a healthy rate of 10% - 15%, so we feel BBO has much promise locally, regionally, nationally, and even internationally.”

DeYarus, who will serve as President of BBO and direct the company’s sales and marketing efforts as well as oversee operations, says, “We are looking forward to adding new product lines to build distinctive gift sets to further the offerings of Boulder’s Best Organics. We feel BBO is uniquely positioned to help promote leading and emerging Boulder and Colorado organic companies, and build upon the 'Boulder brand' as a center of organic business and healthy lifestyles. Most importantly, we will continue to strive for excellence in customer service and sustainable business practices.”

The business will partner on fulfillment and distribution, and share office and warehouse space with Eco-Products and Ellie’s Eco-Home Store at 3640 Walnut Street. Eco-Products, named the fastest growing company in Boulder Valley by the Boulder County Business Report, is among the leading eco-home, restaurant and institutional products and green building suppliers in the nation.

The company’s newest employee, Anneli Spielman, Account Manager, comes to BBO after serving as Associate Director, Office of Alumni Affairs, with the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Spielman will focus on sales and customer service.

Hoffman and DeYarus bring a combined 40-plus years experience in local, national and international organic and sustainable products business development, including sales, marketing, product development, PR, communications, publishing, event planning, market research, and nonprofit and for-profit enterprise management. In 2006 and 2007, they served as producers of the Naturally Boulder Days conference for natural and organic entrepreneurs in the Boulder/Denver region. Hoffman currently serves as Vice President of Naturally Boulder, and is the former president of P3 Colorado (now known as CORE), one of the state’s leading sustainable business associations. He also is co-founder of LOHAS Journal and the LOHAS Forum conference, now in its 13th year.

DeYarus is a former environmental consultant for international business strategist Booz, Allen and Hamilton, and is co-founder of the Center for Holistic Inquiry in the Netherlands. DeYarus was elected as one of the first woman student body presidents at the University of Tennessee, where she met President Ronald Reagan, who personally invited her to serve in the White House as an intern in the President’s Speech Writers Research office.

While Boulder's Best Organics will be run as a completely separate enterprise, Hoffman and DeYarus also will continue to serve as Managing Director and Communications and Development Director, respectively, of The Organic Center. The Organic Center, based in Boulder, is a nationally recognized independent 501c3 nonprofit research and education organization dedicated to advancing peer-reviewed scientific research behind the health and environmental benefits of organic food and farming. For information, visit www.organic-center.org, tel 303.499.1840.

Boulder’s Best Organics, established in 2006 by environmental activist and Naropa University graduate Arron Mansika, is a leading organic gifts company specializing in creating distinctive gift box sets of high quality organic, fair trade and eco-friendly products. With select-a-sets and custom creations, Boulder’s Best Organics gifts highlight local and national organic and eco-friendly companies, including organic food, personal care, household and eco-friendly products. For more information, visit www.BouldersBestOrganics.com, tel 303.499.ORGANIC (6742).

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