The body of Trevor Tice was found inside a home in the Sunset Cliffs area of San Diego while officers conducted a welfare check around 12:15 p.m. Monday. Officers determined there were "suspicious circumstances" and called in homicide detectives.
Tice was the founder and former CEO of the Denver-based chain, which has more than 30 locations in California.
Police declined to disclose details on why they are investigating his death as a homicide.
Christine Turner, a spokesperson for the company, said its employees were "deeply saddened" to confirm Tice's death.
"Our community is grieving this tragic loss and honoring Trevor's tremendous legacy," Turner said.