Sunflower Founder Honored as ‘Entrepreneur of Distinction’

Mike Gilliland, founder and CEO of Colorado’s Sunflower Farmers Market, has been selected as a 2010 Entrepreneur of Distinction by the Boulder Chamber of Commerce Esprit Awards committee, which recognizes and celebrates the outstanding spirit of entrepreneurship in Boulder County.

Gilliland will receive his award at the 26th Annual Esprit Entrepreneur Banquet on Oct. 7 at the University of Colorado.

Gilliland has been involved in the natural and organic food business for more than 24 years. In 2002, he founded Sunflower Farmers Markets, which operates 30 natural foods supermarkets throughout Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Texas (operated as Newflower Farmers Markets in Texas). Gilliland also operates a 40-acre farm in Longmont, Colo., that supplies produce to some Sunflower locations. He has received numerous awards and commendations, including the 1992 Esprit Entrepreneur Award and the 1998 Rocky Mountain Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

“I am honored to have been chosen for this distinction,” Gilliland said. “It’s terrific that the Boulder Chamber of Commerce recognizes and acknowledges the hard work and dedication of local entrepreneurs, as well as the unique challenges and opportunities that entrepreneurs face.”

Sunflower Farmers Market is a chain of full-service grocery stores offering natural and organic products at the lowest possible price.

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