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Pearl Street Farmers Market Denver

It’s official, Denver has a new King of the farmers market scene. This past weekend solidified this finding as I found myself wandering up and down the Pearl Street Farmers Market with the masses. Let’s be clear, there are a number of wonderful markets throughout the Metro. In fact, the Union Station Farmer’s Market is a close second but for a consistently enjoyable experience, Pearl Street is hard to beat.

The Logistics

I love that the market is on one main street. It makes it easier for patrons to shop and browse. One of the side streets  is used for food trucks and some seating, but other than that, you just have to walk up and down ONE STREET. South Pearl Street has a great look and “feel” to it with historic buildings housing bricks and mortar businesses.

Parking is a little tight because it’s in the middle of a residential and business district. Happily, the market is pretty easy to get on foot, by bike, or via light rail.

If you ride your bike to the market there is manned bike “parking” with usually 2 attendants watching over the bikes. If you park your bike there you will be handed a ticket, when you’re done with your browsing, show the attendant your ticket and then get your bike. Please remember to tip a dollar or two before you leave.

Most vendors have credit/debit card readers but I would recommend that you bring both cash and card just in case there is a problem with the card reader.

The Vendors

Are pretty affordable, varied, and passionate about the products that they share. Sometimes buying locally can be a little more expensive, but I was finding that some other local markets were significantly more expensive because of the types of vendors and products being sold.

Standout Vendors:

  • The Sophisticate’s Tea-Listen to my podcast episode with Trinity Hindman (one of the founders). What exactly is it? It is a tea concentrate I particularly love the Sophisticate’s Mountain Fog Concentrate.

 

 

  • Tlaquesalsa-I’m convinced that this is the best salsa made in Colorado. I’ve tried all three flavors (Tomatillo, Arbol, and Jalapeno) and I love all three.

Best Deal

The $10 all you can fill bag of veggies at the veggie and fruit vendor whose name I can’t remember. This stand is pretty busy and should be easy to find. Therefore, be aware that not all of the veg/fruits are grown in Colorado-but, if you’re looking to be kind to your grocery budget, this stand is for you!

Pearl Street Farmers Market

Retains an ease and approachability that similar markets seem not to have. There are tons of people walking with their kids, friends, and fur babies. The vendors seem happy to be there and it’s nice to have the option of popping into one of the many stores or restaurants that flank the market. There is a distinct lack of attitude and a very real sense of warmth.

I love this market. It’s open on Sundays from 9-1 pm.

SQS004: Cultura Craft Chocolate

Matt from Cultura Craft Coffee

Matt Armstrong

I am a chocolate addict. When I emotionally eat, good chocolate is what I like to reach for. Also, when I’m happy…you get the idea. I love all things chocolate. So, when I noticed a large number of chocolatiers/chocolate companies in Denver, I thought it would be great to talk to a couple of them to figure out what the deal was…and, hopefully score some free chocolate. I didn’t get any from Matt because I forgot to…ask..beg. But, we had a good time talking about chocolate.  Enjoy the interview.

Colorado Chocolate 

  • What’s the deal with all the chocolate? There is a ton of great chocolate being made in Colorado. I’ve had a great time “sampling” all of them.

 

  • Dead Dog Chocolate has changed to Cultura Craft Chocolate. Why the branding change?

 

  • What Matt’s role is in the company. Matt is originally from Cali (with a couple of stops along the way). I’m curious about how he got connected with Culture Craft Chocolate.

 

  • Chocolate makers vs. chocolatiers. What’s the difference?

 

  • The ongoing process of educating consumers about their chocolate (quality vs. cost). I love supporting local businesses and know that cost and getting consumers to be comfortable with potentially spending more is an ongoing challenge.

 

  • Matt’s business experience in Colorado so far.

 

  • We get sidetracked by his taco love. It’s kind of hilarious how much he loves tacos. He let’s me know if Denver has any good places to check them out.

 

  • We discuss how Matt got into chocolate making. It’s a pretty cool story!

 

  • Drinking chocolate and getting consumers to make the switch to higher quality chocolate. It has less sugar but tastes so good.

 

  • I wonder about his favorite chocolate and the most popular bars that they sell.

 

  • I get nosey.

Where to Find Cultura Craft Chocolate

 

 

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Starlet

Starlet: For Those Moments When You Need To Look Pretty

I first encountered Starlet during one of my random stops on 32nd and Lowell. I love the Highlands area of Denver but don’t visit as often as I would like because I live in a different part of town. I am always a sucker for gorgeous, flowy, dresses that make you feel gorgeous when wearing them and am always looking for places that have a great selection of affordable, on-trend, and fashionable items.

Starlet Is That Place! 

I will be honest and say that Denver is not a fashion mecca. It is not unusual to see people dressed as if they are about to climb a mountain, ride a bike, or go running. This is not a cliche. People more often than not look like they are about to tackle some super intense physical activity that makes the rest of the country just shake their heads at the thought of all of that activity.

However, there are moments in between all of that frantic activity when you just want to dress up a little bit: for that night on the town, a date, or just because.  And sometimes it can be a little challenging figuring out where one should go to pick up something pretty and affordable.

In fact, it is amazing to me that Tim Gunn and Mondo Guerra from Project Runway were able to host a sold out fashion show and fundraiser this winter for Goodwill.

What I notice every time that I enter one of the Starlet stores (there are 2) is the color. Regardless of the time of year, the stores are a warm and inviting swirl of color. Gorgeous swatches of orange, plum, and brown items sprinkle the store during the Fall shopping season.

Currently, the store is awash with sky blue, sea blue, sunny yellow, and vibrant greens as we hurtle from spring into fall. Fun accessories, bright colored bags, and other interesting accessories are displayed carefully throughout. The color pops even more because of the airy layout at the Broadway store which has impossibly high ceilings and large windows facing the street.

I did startle the owner the day that I came in as it’s probably not often that someone announces that they would like to blog about your store and ask if I could take pictures (right now!) LoL. Happily, she was very kind and accommodated my requests.

I would love to see more independent boutiques such as Starlet and will continue to patronize and support these fantastic home grown businesses. The price point is pretty reasonable and it seems like $35-$45 is the price range for most of the items in the store.

After you spend some time shopping for some cute things, if you’re hungry there are a number of great restaurants within very close walking distance and even an independent movie theater. If you haven’t shopped at Starlet and you live in Denver, I would encourage you to check it out. If you’re in town for a couple of weeks, Startlet offers a local option for your shopping day.

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