Rocky Mountain Chocolate FactoryIt started out as a tiny shop downtown but has since grown into a 53,000-square-foot factory in Bodo Park. Still with a home-base in Durango (and a shop on the corner of Main and College), they are now an international franchiser, confectionery manufacturer and retail operator in the United States, Canada and the United Arab Emirates.
The Chip PeddlerThe company sells gourmet tortilla chips at Durango locales such as Zia Taqueria, City Market, Nature’s Oasis and the Natural Foods Co-Op. Durango Snack Werks, home of the Chip Peddler, was founded in 2010 by Neil Hannum, a longtime local resident. The company distributes chips in additional locations around the Southwest, including Pagosa Springs, Moab and Montrose, and they have recently begun extending into the Front Range, with a new distributor in Fort Collins. Chip Peddler products are now available in four Vitamin Cottages and six independent stores from Boulder to Nederland. About $1,500-$2,000 of product is shipped out of Durango per month.
Ska Brewing Co.Everyone knows the Ska Brewing World Headquarters are located in Bodo Park (and they throw some great parties). Longtime friends and fellow homebrewers Bill Graham and Dave Thibodeau started Ska in a small corner unit of a warehouse in Durango circa 1995. They make 36,000 to 38,000 barrels of suds a year, and their beer is available in 10 states nationally, plus Sweden and the UK. Twenty percent of sales this year came from Durango, 7 precent from abroad and a whopping 62 percent from Colorado state (because Coloradoans know good beer).
Tailwind NutritionDeveloped by endurance athletes in Durango, namely founder hometowner Jeff Vierling, they produce an energy drink designed to assist with nutrition problems common to endurance athletes; Tailwind mixes with water to meet calorie, hydration and electrolyte needs. Tailwind is based in Durango, with its manufacturing and fulfillment facility in Bayfield. The products can be found at 2nd Ave. Sports in town, and also distributed to stores all over the country. By the end of this year, they will have sold about 500,000 bags and stickpacks of Tailwind domestically and internationally.