Business Development & Operations
Brian Freeman, cofounder and leader of Grower’s Organic LLC, has a passion for organic living. Born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona Brian relocated to Colorado in 1991 while employed by Gemini Natural Food Markets. Shortly after this move, Brian joined the management team for the opening of the Washington Park Wild Oats store. During this time Brian also assisted Green Earth Farm at various farmers markets in the Denver metropolitan area, increasing his knowledge of produce and retailing. Brian’s excitement for produce and healthy living was a catalyst to the birth of Grower’s Organic LLC in 2005. Brian is the proud husband of Rachel Freeman. Brian and Rachel reside in Denver, Colorado with their three children, Tovrea, CoCo, and Quintin, and their dog Sherman. Brian’s favorite vegetable is broccoli romanesco.
Mark Zeller joined our team in June 2012 as Vice President of Operations. Beginning his retail career in 1975 as a produce clerk for King Soopers, a Kroger division based in Denver Colorado, he advanced through positions in Merchandising, Human Resources, Store Management and into Director of Produce and Floral for the national chain. In 2001, Mr. Zeller joined Boulder Colorado based Wild Oats Markets where he served from several positions including National Category Manager for Produce and Floral, building national and regional programs before transitioning into National Director of Merchandising. There, he developed and implemented merchandising strategies that effectively supported the sales and margin goals of the company. While with Wild Oats Markets, Mr. Zeller was the first to introduce a Fair Trade banana program into the US in 2004 before moving his career to wholesale with Albert’s Organics owned by parent company United Natural Foods Inc. With Albert’s Organics, Mr. Zeller held positions as Director of Sales, National Business Development and General Manager, overseeing all aspects of sales, purchasing, operations and administrative activity for the Rocky Mt region. Mark resides in Thornton, Colorado with his wife Lisa.
A native of Philadelphia, Sarah relocated to Colorado in 2011. Her business experience and skills sets were developed in the real estate industry however her enthusiasm for healthy living led her to join Grower’s Organic. Sarah works on the business development team with Brian Freeman and collaborates on the operations, marketing, and community outreach programs of the company. A vegetarian and an advocate of organics, Sarah is dedicated to a healthy lifestyle and in her free time she enjoys all activities in the mountains with her Jack Russell Terrier, Scratch and a consistent yoga practice. Her favorite vegetable is a Brussels sprout and her favorite fruit is a nectarine.
Sharon is the Controller for Growers Organic LLC. Raised in Mosca, Colorado on White Mountain Farm Sharon has spent her entire life in the produce industry. After years on the farm, Sharon attended Adams State College and earned her Bachelors of Science in Accounting. Sharon moved to the metropolitan of Denver in 1992 and worked for the State until October 1999. She is a certified CPA. Outside of the office, Sharon can be found cheering on her daughters at a gymnastics meet or vacationing in her RV with her husband. Her favorite produce is cherries, watermelon, blueberries, artichokes, lemons, cucumbers, and fresh corn on the cob.
Dan, Operations Manager for Growers Organic, is a Colorado native. He attended Colorado State University graduating in 2005 with a degree in Political science and Law Studies. He worked in social services and public defense for a few years after graduating. After spending time in South America in 2008 he returned to find a love for Organic gardening. In 2009 he worked on Gathering Together Farm in Philomath, Oregon. After realizing the power of food as a means to addressing his concerns about ecological and social responsibility, and returning to Colorado, he began working for Grower’s Organic. He looks forward to being a part of the thriving Organic and sustainable food movement in Colorado and beyond.
Administration & Accounting Support
Alex joined Grower’s Organic LLC in January of 2011. Her past experience in local small businesses has been valuable in her role as Bookkeeper and administrative support. A native of Minnesota, she moved to Colorado in 1996 to enjoy the warmer weather and to enjoy a diverse range of abundant outdoor activities. A life-long believer that you are what you eat and that food is medicine, Alex is an advocate of organic produce. Her favorite fruit is blueberries.
Bessie joined Grower’s Organic in February 2011 and works with our Sales team as an inside sales consultant. Raised in San Antonio, Texas she earned a Bachelor’s of Art in Environmental Studies and Sociology from Baylor University 2005. Her love for produce began while working on an organic farm in college. She interned on a farm in Moab, Utah before becoming an assistant manager on a farm on the Western Slope in Crawford, Colorado. Outside of the office Bessie enjoys cooking and exploring the outdoors with her pup. Her favorite fruit is an heirloom tomato.
Purchasing & Quality Control
Bruno joined Grower’s Organic in June 2011 as Purchasing Director and is most intimate with our farmers in California, Mexico, and overseas. A veteran in the produce industry, Bruno’s father grew table grapes in California and Arizona and afforded the opportunity to learn at an early age. Previous to his joining our team, Bruno owned his own produce brokerage business from 1987 until 2007 when he joined Montana Vistas LLC as the Director of Purchasing. In that position he spent time in both Canada and the United Kingdom assisting in the development of fresh, ethnic, and organic produce buying in pilot stores for two major retailers. The Rungis Market in Paris, France is one of Bruno’s favorite places as it is “produce heaven” and further developed his appreciation of produce from all over the world. In his free time Bruno enjoys a good gym workout, reading, and keeping up with international news. He also is a fan of the Carlton Blues Aussie football club, Leeds United Football, and Leeds Rhinos Rubgy. His top produce picks include eggplant, green beans, bell peppers, and leafy greens.
Christa Long works in our purchasing department and is the expert in local Colorado farms and their harvests. Christa’s interest in organic agriculture peaked during her college years in Beloit, Wisconsin. She spent weekends and evenings working at small family farms in exchange for produce. Soon her summers and semesters were spent learning and working the land. She spent one season working at Monroe Organic Farms in Kersey, Colorado. With years of hands on study, and a degree in Social and Environmental Sustainability, Christa is passionate and knowledgeable about the variety and quality of organic produce. Depending on the season, Christa can be found on the slopes, in her backyard garden, or slingin’ mushrooms at the Boulder Farmer’s Market. Christa’s favorite produce includes English peas, mizuna, and Brandywine tomatoes.
Nick joined Grower’s Organic in 2009 and is an Assistant Buyer and our Quality Specialist. Nick graduated from Central Michigan University in 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Environmental Science. Nick lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife and in his free time enjoys running, biking, hiking, snowboarding, yard work, and playing fetch with his dog. His favorite produce includes bananas, dates, bell peppers, and avocados.
Pam is the Sales Manager for Grower’s Organic LLC and has 34 years of experience in the produce industry. Her career began in Lexington, Nebraska as the produce manager at the Sixth Street Food Store. During her tenure in the industry Pam has also been on the management teams for River Front Farmers Market and Boulder Fruit Express. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her two daughters, family, friends, and crazy dogs! Her favorite hobbies include designing, knitting, and sewing. Her favorite produce is asparagus, blueberries, and raspberries.
Jessica joined our team in March 2011. A Virginia native, Jessica graduated from University of Colorado at Boulder and moved to Denver in 2006. She spent the first 5 years of her sales career in the wine industry however she transitioned to organic produce sales because she wanted to work in a business that shared her values of social and environmental responsibility. As an outside sales representative with Grower’s Organic, Jessica is responsible for developing relationships with restaurants in the Denver and Boulder areas. She works closely with chefs to increase their use of organic produce and dairy while creating their culinary delights. In her spare time she enjoys cooking delicious vegan meals, spending time in the mountains, bike rides, yoga, snowboarding, and going to concerts. Her favorite fruit is Lychee.
Born and raised near Ann Arbor, Michigan, Nicole moved to Denver in 2008 with her husband. A longtime advocate of organics, Nicole is excited to be working for Grower’s Organic. She cares greatly about our earth, environmental issues, and the carbon footprint we leave here on the planet. In her free time Nicole likes to cook, hike, travel, snowboard, and go to live music shows. Her favorite produce is garlic, cucumbers, mushrooms, and berries.
Sean joined the Grower’s team in January 2012 as a Sales Associate. Born and raised in Virginia, Sean recieved a BA in Communications from Radford University in 2009. Post-graduation, he lived overseas for 2 years, spanning over 10 countries on 5 different continents. During his time abroad, Sean’s need for cheap, healthy food steered him towards the local farmer’s markets, where his passion for fresh produce took off. Now, Sean wants to pay back the farmers who helped keep him nourished by spreading awareness and educating others on the benefits of supporting local organics. In his free time, Sean enjoys a variety of activities, including snowboarding, rugby, writing, and playing music. His favorite produce includes blueberries, spinach, tomatoes, and peppers.