Colorado Fresh Markets was co-founded by husband and wife team Chris and Michele Burke and represents a commitment to local agriculture since 1990.
Chris Burke received a BS in Environmental Studies/Ecological Agriculture from Evergreen State College in Olympia WA. After college he co-founded one of the early organic fertilizer companies in the US and in 1990 started a small organic farm to test his products in Boulder, CO. Soon after, he became Executive Director of the Boulder Farmers Market for 8 years and helped to grow the market into a nationally recognized event. He has worked to support local agriculture as President of the Colorado Farmers Market Association for 5 years and as a member of the Future of Agriculture Committee for Boulder County, Agricultural Advisory Committee for the Boulder County Commissioners, Colorado Proud Board for the Colorado Department of Agriculture, and National Advisory Board for the North American Farmers’ Direct Marketing Conference. A Leadership Boulder alumnus and community volunteer, Chris has participated in national symposiums across the country on topics such as Public Markets and Community Revitalization, Farmers Markets in Low Income Communities, Direct Marketing of Farm Products and Developing Organic Standards.
Michele Burke graduated from the University of Colorado and worked for six years at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art in marketing, fundraising and special events. She went on to become Director of Development for E-Town, the nationally broadcast radio program featuring live performances by the country’s top musical artists. In 1997 Michele joined with Chris to create a new concept in farmers markets that wasn’t being offered in Colorado — professionally organized European-style outdoor markets open to all Colorado growers and featuring a plethora of fresh food products. Since then, Michele organizes everything that goes on behind the scenes to produce and promote Colorado Fresh Markets on an annual basis and Chris runs all on-site event operations. For 18 years, the Burkes attended local farmers markets with their own Burke Organic Farm products. They grew 70 varieties of tomatoes, basil, greens, arugula, spinach, garlic, sunflowers, and more on two acres in Boulder.