A Denver Home Companion | pop-up market at the populist with winter session

i’ve partnered with winter session, one of my favorite local companies, to host a christmas pop-up market at the populist. it’s this coming sunday and monday evenings, 5-9. there are so many great vendors including some you’ve heard of through me before (mountain vs. plains, primary ties, r.l. linden & co) and many more. ollie’s vintage will be there too and i’ll also be slinging some real live mistletoe. and the populist bar will be serving up some tasty libations. so come on by and say hello!

A Denver Home Companion | strider bike
A Denver Home Companion | strider bike

need an idea for a christmas present for that little one in your life? a strider bike. your little one will learn to balance and wheel around on this two-wheeled contraption and then, the concept is, skip training wheels and go straight to being comfortable pedaling on two wheels. ramona got this balance bike for her first birthday, which was probably a bit young, but she has slowly gotten the hang of it and is certainly more comfortable on it.

i did have the idea recently to bike to get tacos — about ten blocks away. it took ten minutes for us to get to the corner. so we scratched that idea. one day. for now we’ll just tool around the block.

if you live in denver, consider getting your strider at salvagetti. they have most, if not all, the colors, and you’ll be supporting a local, small business!

this is not a sponsored post. strider bikes just really rock. 

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A Denver Home Companion | horseshoe craft and flea market
A Denver Home Companion | horseshoe craft and flea market

i’ll be setting up shop with ollie’s vintage at the fall horseshoe market, an outdoor market featuring over 110 colorado artists, crafters and vintage collectors–food trucks, interactive crafting and more! rain, snow, or shine. in addition to my usual, awesome, vintage clothing for little ones, i’ll also have some vintage home goods and housewares. please say hello!

it’s this saturday, cctober 5th, 9 am-4 pm. best part: it’s free!

find it in the parking lot of olinger chapel at 46th and tennyson in the berkeley neighborhood.

A Denver Home Companion | base coat nail salon denver

base coat is a new nail salon opening up this sunday in the berkeley neighborhood of denver. tran wills, one of the creative minds behind brick & mortar, partnered up with her mother, who has years of experience beautifying nails, to open this sleek, modern, one-of-a-kind nail space. it is founded on the idea that your time spent there should be the most relaxing in your day. sounds pretty good to me!A Denver Home Companion | base coat nail salon denver

in addition to the minimalist space–which oozes calm–base coat only uses nail polishes that are five-free (free of the five most harmful chemicals commonly found in nail polishes). and all of their nail and skin care products used during your treatment have been formylated by local company r.l. linden & co. concoctions include a basil + geranium cuticle soak, lavender + frankincense cuticle oil, petitgrain + lemon enzyme sugar scrub, and a spearmint + bergamot deep moisture foot cream, among other goodies. so it’s pretty darn green for a nail salon and safe for children and expectant mamas like me!

A Denver Home Companion | base coat nail salon denver

tran invited in to experience the magic hands of her experienced nail techs. i was so in awe at the well-designed space and soaked in (literally and figuratively) the relaxing treatments i received. these ladies are good. there are three levels of services for every schedule and budget.

A Denver Home Companion | base coat nail salon denver

there’s an opening party, this saturday, september 14th, from 4-8. stop on by, meet tran and the rest of the gang, sip some champagne and make a future appointment (no services will be offered. this is just to celebrate the opening!). the first 25 to book an appointment will receive a goodie bag!

this week, for the small business series, let’s have a chat with koan of huckleberry roasters, a denver coffee roaster. i love coffee. i love denver. and huckleberry is doing it just right. they had me at one shot of their blue orchid, an exquisite espresso i first tasted two years ago. it remains my favorite espresso to date.

A Denver Home Companion | Huckleberry Roasters

1. what is huckleberry roasters?

Huckleberry Roasters is a two year old coffee roasting company from Denver, owned and operated by Koan Goedman and Mark Mann. We use our well-sourced, carefully roasted coffee as a vessel to encourage people to enjoy slowly (rather than hurry up) and to create community through discussion and interaction. We think sharing a cup of coffee can lead to meaningful shared experiences and want to offer that to as many people as possible.

2. how did you get into this? what was your inspiration?

Huckleberry’s formation is rooted in coffee. We worked at shops together, became close friends, and decided that starting Huckleberry Roasters was a great way to bridge the gap between our own entrepreneurial spirits, our love of coffee, and our desire to create community. Although Denver is still trying to figure itself out in a lot of ways, it’s filled with such immense talent! We’re surrounded by people seeking perfection in their fields (foodbicyclesbeerartphotography, etc.) that it’s not hard for us to seek perfection in our own.

3. what had the process been from conception to execution?

To borrow a phrase from a friend, “It’s a slow burn.” To be totally honest, getting our own brick and mortar location has taken a lot longer than we anticipated. The longer wait had its benefits too. It has allowed us to build strong wholesale relationships and we’ve had more time to improve our roasting. About seven months ago we found a space for our flagship location; a long-term home for both our roasting operations and a cafe. To our surprise, we were also offered a small cafe space within an innovative new development that was too good to pass up. It took a little longer than we would have liked, but it’s getting really exciting now!

A Denver Home Companion | Huckleberry Roasters

4. has creating/developing/launching/sustaining this been what you expected? easier or harder? what have the challenges been?

It’s a slow burn. Ha ha…it’s a versatile phrase, right? In terms of building and growing this business into something successful, maybe we were a little naive in the beginning. We’ve had our share of heavy and humbling moments, but we’re proud of what we’ve created and look forward to what’s to come. For me (Koan) it’s been a fascinating journey of managing expectations, building some self confidence, and finding the balance of when to sit back patiently and when to push beyond a comfort zone.

5. are you doing this solo or you have other partners/collaborators/helpers in the brand?

While the day-to-day operations of Huckleberry are handled by Mark and Koan, much of our growth has come from the support, constant encouragement ,and constructive criticism of the Denver coffee scene. For example, Crema Coffee House took a bit of a gamble by featuring us prominently while we were still trying to dial in our own product, but I’d like to think we’ve both benefited from the relationship.

6. who, if anyone, has helped w branding/website development/maintenance?

So far we’ve done branding, designing, and packaging ourselves. Mark has a background in design, so he took the lead and developed a brand that’s resonated really well with Denver. Now that our business is growing up, we’ve turned to one of the best designers in the business, Mackey Saturday, to help us through a rebrand and take us to another level; one that will hopefully play well on a national level…someday. We’ve just started the process, but the initial concepts Mackey has presented to us have been exhilarating and inspiring. We can’t wait to share them!

A Denver Home Companion | Huckleberry Roasters

7. what is launch date for your two new shops?

Since we’re still early in the process, the launch dates for the two shops are still a little hard to pin down. The flagship location on 4301 Pecos Street, where we will house our new 15k Giesen Coffee Roaster and have a cafe, is tentatively scheduled for early Fall. The 2500 Larimer Street location, which we’re excitedly sharing with some incredible neighbors including Topo DesignsWork & Class  Pizzeria BastaCirro and more, will open later in the Fall. Until then, people can consistently find Huckleberry Roasters at these wonderful cafes: Crema Coffee House, Denver Bicycle Cafe and Two Rivers. Check our Facebook for other places.

8. where can you be found, IRL and interwebs?

huckleberryroasters.com. Also find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram,

9. what new/other businesses are you excited about in denver? or would you like to see in denver?

Seems like 2013 has been and will continue to be a defining year for Denver. So many cool spots opening and so many great people doing great things. We are having lots of quick breakfasts at Crema Coffee House (pastry program keeps improving and now all bread made in house!). We’re eating lots of lunches at Curtis Park Delicatessen and Masterpiece Delicatessen. To close out the day, I would say that we’re at TRVE Brewing more often than we’d like to admit. All of those places provide constant inspiration.

A Denver Home Companion | Huckleberry Roasters

10. what’s your favorite shop in denver? favorite place for food? neighborhood?

My favorite shop in Denver, at the moment, is Steadbrook. It’s seems to be the perfect example of the direction that Denver is headed. A place that would be at home in San Francisco or New York, but still fits perfectly in Denver. A place that blends beautifully curated, responsibly made goods and excellent coffee service with creative, thoughtful design….all with the intention of giving the people of Denver a special experience.

[photos c/o luca venter, jake belvin, and huckleberry]

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