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Craft makers open up shop in North Denver

Two of Denver’s homegrown makers, Craft Boner and Moore Collection, are teaming up to open their first brick-and-mortar store in North Denver.

Yes Please has opened a 3,000-square-foot retail and production facility at 3851 Steele St.

“Craft Boner and Moore Collections are very different brands, but for years we’ve shared the dream of opening a store that’s also a community space,” says Kiwi Schloffel, owner of Craft Boner. “Our vision is to showcase the real people and work behind our products with a retail space in front and a visible production area in the back.”

Craft Boner, known for its hilariously poignant gifts and paper products, started its online business in 2012, inspired by the dilemma of purchasing a greeting card that honestly says what the giver means. Brand favorites include a mug inscribed with  “Christmas is For Carbs” greeting card.

Moore Collection, owned by Tanner Barkin and Taylor Palmie, began in 2010 as a custom screen printing business in Barkin’s parents’ garage. Today, the duo designs and hand prints its own T-shirts, each with a high level of quality. Popular styles include imagery of Aspens surrounding a campsite, as well as designs inscribed with “The Mountains Are Calling” and “Take Me To The Trees.”

“Our goal at Moore Collection is to create something tangible, inspired by our own interests, that other people can enjoy,” says Palmie. “By juxtaposing our T-shirts with Craft Boner’s playful products, we’re confident that Yes Please will offer something for everyone while supporting Colorado makers.”

Yes Please will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
 

TheBigWonderful returns in May

When TheBigWonderful returns for its fourth season May 5-7, the pop-up event will feature city's best craft vendors, craft brewers and musicians will gather at the former Denver Post printing plant at 4400 Fox St. in Globeville.

TheBigWonderful's bazaar is curated to be a decidedly Denver experience. The city's best craft vendors and food trucks are brought together in one marketplace for a lively eating and shopping experience. Vendors will offer everything from fresh produce to handmade jewelry and clothing.

Hand-picked musical acts include a slew of bluegrass performers, including headliners Jeff Austin & Friends, The Drew Emmitt Band, Andy Thorn & Friends and DeadPhish Orchestra.

TheBigWonderful is partnering with Lyft for discounted ride sharing to and from the event all weekend long. TheBigWonderful's nonprofit partner this year is Re:Vision, an organization that works with people in economically marginalized areas to develop resident leaders, cultivate community food systems and create an economy owned by the community.

Tickets range from $5 for access to the day bazaar to $59 for the full weekend day and night bazaars with sampling from 20 boozy vendors and all bands.

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Beehives installed on Union Station roof

Denver Union Station is buzzing with activity -- not only from transit passengers and diners, but now from the recently installed rooftop honeybee colonies.

The four hives are home to about 5,000 to 10,000 honeybees each. Union Station's restaurants and retail outlets plan to start incorporating the harvested honey into their food and drink offerings later this summer.

"Urban beekeeping is a surprisingly successful phenomenon," says Denver Union Station beekeeper Caitlin Rose Kenney. "If the honeybees' basic needs are met, they are inspiringly resourceful and productive. The Denver Union Station's bees are a perfect example of this and are thriving this season."

Denver Union Station has become downtown Denver's hottest gathering place since it reopened in July 2014 after a $54 million renovation. The historic landmark train station is home to an eclectic mix of 12 Colorado restaurants and retail outlets created by Colorado-based Larimer Associates. 

"We are dedicated to supporting local businesses at Denver Union Station and to be as sustainable as possible, so installing beehives on the roof seemed like an obvious idea," says Joe Vostrejs, partner at Larimer Associates and a member of the Union Station redevelopment team. "We are pleased to be a part of the urban agriculture movement."

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Co-op launches new name and brand

The former Northeast Community Co-op Market has announced its new name and brand -- Nourish Community Market.

The new brand is the first of several initiatives from the co-op, which plans to increase membership from 704 member-owners to 1,000 by the end of the summer and move closer to establishing one of Denver's first community-owned natural grocery stores.

The name change better encapsulates the co-op's primary goal: to nourish its neighborhood with healthy food and community spirit.

"The name, Nourish, not only is easier for most people to remember, but it signifies our mission," says Matthew Dimalanta, vice chairman of Nourish. "We want to nourish the people of the Denver metro area."

Nourish also is launching a new Fresh Food Box program, exclusively for member-owners. The program is being run in cooperation with fellow food co-op startup Westwood Food Cooperative and will bring fresh and local produce options to the community on a weekly basis.

Nourish is hosting an event from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. May 21st on Stapleton's Conservatory Green at the corner of East 49th Place and Valentia Street to showcase its new brand, yard signs and Fresh Food Box program. The event will feature live music, a beer garden with local breweries, food trucks and vendors specializing in locally produced food and healthy lifestyle products.

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Denver seeks community input for Food Plan

A series of community meetings throughout Denver will explore the issues of food insecurity and healthy food access. 

Hosted by the Denver Office of Economic Development, the meetings are designed as a platform for community residents to propose solutions they think would be best in each neighborhood. The intent is to develop the first countywide Denver Food Plan.

"There is a great need in many of our neighborhoods for healthy food access," says Mayor Michael Hancock. "Through a strategic Food Plan approach, we can capitalize on new opportunities around local and healthy foods and create the right environment for the city to make a major difference in our neighborhoods and in the lives of many residents."

The Denver Food Plan is likely to encompass strategies for improving healthy food access, as well as targeting business development and job creation related to the city's food system. 

Improving the food environment in Denver's most challenged neighborhoods will likely require multiple strategies, including shifting household shopping, cooking, and eating behaviors to include more fresh and healthy foods; reducing the distance required to travel to access fresh and healthy foods by improving small "corner" stores and farmers markets; and launching micro-enterprises or other new food-related businesses that increase household incomes and provide jobs.

"Taking a host of socioeconomic, mobility and cultural issues into account, the issue of healthy food and food access is anything but simple," says Paul Washington, executive director of the Office of Economic Development. "So many people assume it's just a matter of opening a supermarket, and while that is desirable, other integrated solutions are necessary as well."

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Two new tenants sign on at Stanley Marketplace

Stanley Marketplace has added two tenants to its roster of businesses opening at the market later this year. 

The Savory Spice kiosk will feature more than 400 freshly ground herbs and spices and more than 160 handcrafted seasonings, which are ground and blended weekly to ensure superior quality and freshness. 

"We have a truly amazing lineup to share with Stanley patrons," says Mike Johnston, founding partner of Savory Spice. "Some of the tried-and-true favorites include our Supreme Saigon Cinnamon, Peruvian Chile Lime Seasoning, Bourbon Barrel Smoked Black Pepper and Madagascar Vanilla Beans."
 
MindCraft will feature engineering kits and other products promoting critical thinking, as well as a do-it-yourself-focused creative space where all ages can gather to learn and invent. New technologies such as 3D printers, CNC machines, scanners and laser cutters will engage participants. 

Co-owners Brenda Lane and Adriana Santacoloma, who have more than 50  years of combined experience as teachers, school administrators, coaches and program directors, developed MindCraft as a dynamic spinoff from their tutoring center in Lowry, eXL Learning.

"Through operating eXL Learning, we discovered that the kids we serve love to learn through hands-on making and creating," Lane says. "We will offer the types of after-school programming that will make us the place kids want to be, in addition to providing a wide variety of classes for all ages. You are never too young or too old to learn how to make."

The more than 22-acre, 100,000-square-foot Stanley Marketplace at 2501 Dallas St. in Aurora at the edge of Denver was once Stanley Aviation headquarters, where airplane ejector seats were engineered and manufactured.

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Spring Flea in RiNo next month

The Denver Flea is hosting a block party in RiNo on April 23-24.

The Spring Flea will showcase 150 Colorado-centric vendors and curated new additions. Wares range from handmade jewelry, leather goods and artisan food products to local beauty lines, art and illustrations. Vendors include Spinster Sisters, Knotty Tie Co., and Rare Finds

“In the last two years, we’ve built an incredibly engaging event,” says Blake Adams, co-founder of the Denver Flea. “With the upcoming Spring Flea, we’re excited to tie the Flea community into such an important city milestone and to be part of the city festivities surrounding it.”

The Flea will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, with entrances at 35th and Larimer streets and 36th and Walnut streets, plus additional festivities inside the EXDO Event Center

Entry to the Flea is $5 and includes a beverage such as a New Belgium Beer or handcrafted cocktail upon entrance.

"The Denver Flea has not only stimulated the growth of Colorado makers and creatives, it’s encouraged the well-being of surrounding businesses at each event," says PJ Hoberman, another of the Flea's co-founders. "Our Holiday Flea had an estimated $1 million impact on the city and brought over 20,000 people to the old Denver Post production building in Globeville."

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Denver Home Show to feature celebrity guests

When the Denver Home Show returns to the National Western Complex March 18-20, it will feature celebrity guests including the Cooking Channel's Beekman Boys and reality TV couple Trista and Ryan Sutter.

The Beekman Boys are two New York City guys who bought a farm in upstate New York, where they are raising 80 goats, two pigs, a dozen chickens and a narcissistic llama. The farm and surrounding community serves as the inspiration for their lifestyle brand Beekman 1802, which includes beauty, home and food pdoducts found on the shelves of Anthropologie, Williams-Sonoma and other national retail partners.

The Sutters, a favorite couple from The Bachelorette, have taken their love of renovation to Colorado's log cabins. 

Also back by popular demand will be the Tiny Home Village, which will feature more than a dozen tiny homes with different themes by a variety of builders that range from Custom Tiny Homes to EcoCabins to SimBLISSity Tiny Homes. The show's Marketplace will feature small, local companies displaying crafts and smaller locally made items.

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Cannabis Business Alliance offers outlook for 2016

As Colorado marks the two-year anniversary of legalization for recreational marijuana, the cannabis industry predicts new milestones will be reached throughout the state, as well as nationwide.

"This year, the cannabis industry made great strides in protecting and educating the consumer," says Peggy Moore, chairwoman of the Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA) and owner of Love's Oven, a Denver-based, small-batch cannabis bakery. "The industry heard early on after legalization for the adult-use market about concerns of unintended access, as well as overconsumption."

The CBA, an advocate and resource for business owners, employees, patients and clients of the marijuana industry, will continue to bring best practices to the industry and ensure that consumers are educated about cannabis consumption, Moore says.

"We take our role in ensuring public safety very seriously," she says. "The industry has embraced and furthered certified child-resistant packaging, safety warnings on labeling and product testing and will continue to promote this and other industry best practices in 2016."

As the industry evolves, the Cannabis Business Alliance offers an outlook for 2016:
 
  • Education and safety: The "Start Low, Go Slow" public education campaign on edibles will continue, and the industry will further education on cannabis consumption protocols and proper cannabis storage techniques to keep children safe.
  • Purchasing regulations: Purchasing limits will be a topic of discussion this year. A 2014 legislative bill called for a study to determine the equivalency of edibles and concentrates to the one ounce of marijuana purchase. Purchasing restrictions for out-of-state tourists also are up for discussion this year. Non-residents of Colorado are restricted to purchasing no more than a quarter of an ounce in a single transaction. Washington and Oregon don't have such restrictions for out-of-state consumers.
  • Stamping: The State Licensing Authority has proposed a universal symbol for medical and retail marijuana packaging and labeling, which is scheduled to go into effect Oct. 1. The law requires that packaging and edible cannabis-infused products be marked with the symbol. Legislation regarding the shape and character of edibles also is expected to be introduced this year.
  • Pest management: As more states legalize the production of cannabis, many cultivators are grappling with the issue of managing pests in an industry that has no federal oversight.
  • Retail rules: A Denver moratorium on new recreational stores, cultivation facilities and infused-product manufacturers expires on May 1, but city regulators are asking the City Council to extend the freeze for two more years to give them time to gauge the impact on the legal marijuana industry from a city management perspective.
  • Mainstream acceptance: Support for legalized cannabis continues to grow both in Colorado and nationwide.
  • Tourist influx: A recent Colorado Tourism Office study, which surveyed 3,254 tourists that vacationed in Colorado between April and September, revealed that 48 percent of visitors to Colorado were influenced by the legal marijuana industry.
The Marijuana Enforcement Division's first annual report released in 2014 showed that 4.8 million units were sold in the first year of recreational cannabis sales. By December 2014, the state had issued 833 retail licenses and 1,416 medical licenses.

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Holiday Flea expects $1 million economic impact over four days

When The Denver Flea presents the four-day Holiday Flea Dec. 3-6 in Globeville, not only will the market bring in 40,000 shoppers, it is expected to have an economic impact of $1 million.

The economic impact figure is based on the cost to host the event, including contractors for lighting, rentals and heat; what vendors pay to rent space; and consumer spending at the event and in the surrounding neighborhood.

"The Denver Flea is the only event of its kind in Colorado providing a sustainable support system and launching pad for 180 growing entrepreneurs and small businesses," says Blake Adams, who launched The Denver Flea in May 2014 with partners Casey Berry and PJ Hoberman.

The Denver Flea’s efforts to support local companies is paying off for vendors like Kelly Perkins, founder Spinster Sisters. Perkins says the $10,000 in sales she had during the first market far exceeded her expectations. 

"Somehow the Flea team has gathered exactly the perfect demographic for our handcrafted, all-natural skincare products," Perkins says. "The exposure we have received at the Flea markets has really helped grow our brand in the Denver area. We’ve even won some wholesale gift boutique customers from the market. Not only are the markets really fun, but our sales have consistently exceeded our expectations each time we have participated."

It’s not just those vendors participating in the Flea markets that benefit. Neighboring businesses and real estate owners also see increased activity during the events. In a 2002 survey of more than 800 customers from a variety of indoor and open-air markets nationwide, the Project for Public Spaces found that 60 percent of market shoppers also visited nearby stores on the same day. Of those shoppers, 60 percent said they visited the additional stores only on days they visit the market.

"The weekend of Denver Flea brought us an estimated 15 to 20 percent increase in traffic and sales for the weekend," says Jennie Richau of Epic Brewing Co. "The increase in business is appreciated; however, what we enjoyed most is seeing guests come in who had never been to Epic before."

Sonia Danielsen, owner of Bindery on Blake where the first Denver Flea was held, said the market exposed her real estate development project to potential tenants.

"Before the Flea, no one know about Bindery on Blake or where it was," Danielsen says. "Now I say Bindery on Blake, and the response is, 'Is that where The Denver Flea was?’ We are now 100 percent leased for office and retail. It would not have happened without the Flea."

The Holiday Flea will be held Dec. 3-6 at the former Denver Post production facility at 4400 Fox St. For more information, visit www.denverflea.com.

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Specialty brew to honor Larimer Square's 50th anniversary

Ratio Beerworks has created a limited-time specialty brew in honor of the 50th anniversary of the historical preservation of Larimer Square.

Ratio will launch its commemorative Wicked Grin Plum Saison from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 23. Two Larimer Square restaurants, Bistro Vendome and Ted's Montana Grill, will provide food.

The brew was given its name as a homage to Jack  Kerouac's On the Road novel, in which the author recalls looking upon Larimer Street with a "wicked grin."

"We decided to use an Italian plum," says Jason zumBrunnen, founder and brewmaster at Ratio. "It's juicier and more flavorful than your everyday plum."

Several Larimer Square chefs contributed to the brewing process, which started July 17. Wicked Grin Plum Saison is now on tap at Ratio Beerworks, 2020 Larimer St. in RiNo, and the Larimer Square restaurants Euclid Hall, Ted's Montana Grill and Corridor 44.

Fifty years ago, preservationist Dana Crawford fought to save the historic block, which was slated for demolition under the city's Skyline Urban Renewal Project that flattened most of Denver's historic center for new buildings.

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

State launches artist housing program with Artspace

The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade has launched an initiative to provide affordable housing and work space for artists and arts organizations that will position Colorado as the nation's leader in artist-led community transformation.

Minneapolis-based Artspace will act as a consultant to Space to Create, Colorado, which will develop nine projects in eight regions in the state's rural, small-town and mountain communities over the next eight years. Each project will be customized to meet community needs for workforce housing and commercial space for artists and creative entrepreneurs. The first project will be in Trinidad. After that, the regions will be prioritized based on readiness, public will, commitment of local resources and housing demands.

"Housing and economic development are vital needs in rural Colorado, and the Space to Create initiative advances both of these issues by harnessing the power of the public, private and philanthropic sectors, as well as the creative community, to activate historic spaces and elevate rural economies," Gov. John Hickenlooper says. 

Artspace has more than 35 projects in operation across the country and another dozen in development, including Artspace Loveland, which has 30 occupied units of housing for artists and their families.

“Artspace has an incredible track record for successful community-driven projects across the United States, and we are excited to partner with them on Space to Create, Colorado,” says Margaret Hunt, director of the economic development office's Colorado Creative Industries arm.

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

Sun Valley to get Denver's largest building wrap

The Sun Valley neighborhood is about to get Denver's largest building wrap.

The wrap, created by Ink Monstr, will transform a blank concrete wall into four historic-looking storefronts, adding character to the company's headquarters in the Sun Valley neighborhood southwest of downtown.

Ink Monstr, which produces large-scale vinyl graphics and wraps, relocated to Sun Valley from Brighton Boulevard in RiNo just over a year ago and founder Reed Silberman has been actively involved in the community ever since.

"It's a really great up-and-coming neighborhood that has some future potential," says Silberman, who serves on the Sun Valley Community Coalition and has been working with the Denver Housing Authority on its community planning process. "I plan on really growing with Sun Valley and being part of the community."

Ink Monstr got some funding through Denver's Office of Economic Development for the jobs he's created in the area. The housing authority also has subsidized some of the company's trainees through its youth employment program.

"Our first trainee went from intern to junior production person," Silberman says. "Now he's a full-time salaried employee with benefits."

Silberman started the company in 2004 while he was living in his van in Aspen trying to make it as a professional snowboarder. 

"I was in search of the ultimate dream of if you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life," Silberman says. "I got paid to snowboard, but it didn't pay a lot of money, so I started doing these print and wrap projects on the side to make some extra money."

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

High Point Creamery to open in Hilltop

Erika Thomas and husband and business partner Chad Stutz plan to open the first of several planned artisanal ice cream shops in April.

High Point Creamery, located at 215 S. Holly St. in the Hilltop/Crestmoor neighborhood, will produce handcrafted ice creams using fresh ingredients. The company, which will develop innovative frozen concoctions, will offer 18 standard flavors in addition to a selection of rotating flavors emphasizing seasonality and freshness. The menu also will include an assortment of sorbets.

"We plan to offer a great ice cream experience for not only the local neighborhood but for all of Denver -- the perfect place to bring you family or your date," Thomas says.

Specialty menu items include the ice cream bombe, a molded ice cream dessert that has its origins in Victorian-era France, and an ice cream flight similar to the sampler flights at wine bars or microbreweries. All of High Point Creamery's products will be made from scratch and be kosher.

The store will feature modern decor that includes a combination of white marble tables, retro subway tiles, bleached oak, a handcrafted chalkboard menu and an outdoor seating area.

Thomas and Stutz plan to open two more locations over the next two years.

Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at margaret@confluence-denver.com.

MIGHTYkarma opens 1,000 sq ft shop in LoHi

The MIGHTYkarma advertising agency is taking its philosophy of being mindful to a new level with the opening of a retail store in the front of its LoHi office space.

The MIGHTYkarma POPshop on 1955 W. 35th Ave. features American artisans, master craftsmen and eclectic antiquities from around the world. 

“We decided we have been doing innovation advertising for many years,” says MIGHTYkarma Owner Esther Kang, who also lives in the neighborhood. “Our business has always been about being mindful -- mindful consumption and mindful branding.”

So Kang decided to put that conviction to work in a 1,000-square-foot storefront that showcases non-factory make, one-of-a-kind treasures including antiques, furniture, leather goods, local art, ceramics, jewelry, postcards, hand-poured candles, journals and posters.

“We really wanted to celebrate the craftsman and artisanship spirit,” Kang says. "We truly believe that Americans have that artisan spirit, but we’ve become too reliant on mass manufacturing.”

She also believes Americans can improve the economy by spending money on hand-crafted products.

“If you want to strengthen the American way, vote with your dollar and shop mindfully,” Kang says. “We’ve been making things with our hands for a really long time. It helps keep our stories and our culture going.”
15 Craft Manufacturing Articles | Page:
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