Often times, buying local and shopping small seems both expensive and political. It feels as though only a certain group of people can afford and engage in an all-local lifestyle and most of us—while we may be interested in local commerce—are not capable of attaining such an idealistic lifestyle. Whether it’s because we think our most sought after items may not be available in a local market or it just seems too tedious to find vendors for all our needs, Denverites are buying more than their fair share of corporate and mass-produced goods. While participating in any monetary and goods exchange is great for our capitalistic society and its overall well-being, buying local presents a very specific intrigue and advantage to the Denver community. Firstly, it should be known that Denver has one of the most rich, diverse and authentic local communities in the nation and we’ve got the potential and strength to help it thrive!
According to the Organization for Sustainable Connections, there are many reasons why buying local should be your first and best option when shopping. While each reason to shop locally is important, there are a few that standout as especially helpful and influential for the Denver community;
Keeping the community unique and charismatic: Buying locally ensures that those one-of-a-kind retailers, bars and restaurants we love thrive and provide.
Reducing negative environmental impacts: For the most part, local businesses buy and support other local businesses. When we support our local businesses less of our goods are shipped, manufactured, processed and packaged. So, not only are we reducing transportation and packing wastes, we’re also generating more commerce by relying on local business to support other local businesses.
Better and more friendly service: To be employed at a local vender one must of course, live locally. Locals serving locals is the best way for people to find common ground. Commonality amongst the locals not only builds and strengthens the community, it develops and cultivates it through relationships. Traditionally, Coloradans are a pretty friendly group of people, but a little relationship investment never hurt anybody.
Now that we know the importance of buying local here in Denver, Just Be can help you do it! The following is a small list of local favorites from clothing retailers to bars and entertainment all over the Denver-Metro area.
Name-brand prices are not a luxury that all people can afford. That’s why locally owned Common Threads consignment is here to help! Common Threads on Old Pearl Street is one of two, small and local consigners dedicated to helping women find name brand items without the expense. You can expect to find gently used brands like Coach, Gucci, Prada, Steve Madden and much more at affordable prices.
1575 S Pearl St, Denver, CO 80210
Inspyre Boutique is a small but quickly expanding women’s clothing retailer. Inspyre specializes in unique and affordable (everything in the store is under 100$) clothing and accessories for women. Expect personalized service and one-of-a-kind items from this boutique style retailer. While the just added a new location in Park Meadows, we like the Cherry Creek and LoHi locations, too.
Park Meadows: 303.898.3892
Cherry Creek: 720.891.9595
Players Clothing CO.
This high-end men’s retail shop is a local LoDo favorite. All the khakis, blazers and watches a Denver hipster or business man could dream of! While the prices tend to be a bit higher, the quality of product and service is unbeatable. A traditional boutique style store with lots of history, Players Clothing CO is the best place to find men’s jeans, jackets, watches and more.
1501 Wazee St, Denver, CO 80202
Do you love cookies, tarts, pies, cakes and other sweet delights? Then local baker and artisan The Bakehouse is the vendor for you! Locally owned and operated, The Bakehouse is a small catering and baking company looking to spread sweets and treats to all of the Denver-Metro area. Owner and Pastry Chef Anna McLean may be a Colorado native, but she is also internationally trained! Receiving her education from The French Culinary Institute, Anna and The Bakehouse are the most qualified and local source for your sweet tooth fix. You can catch The Bakehouse every Saturday at the Cherry Creek Farmer’s Market.
One of Denver’s most award-winning burger joints, Crave is the best place for those looking for the not-so-average cheese burger. Tasty and adventurous, it isn’t uncommon to find fried cheese, seafood or peanut butter on one of their experimental and delicious creations! Also look into trying their various types of fries and adult milkshakes, they’re delicious! While Crave’s pride and joy is their burgers, they’re not turning away those vegetarians or health-nuts and offer salads, sandwiches and bun-less options too. We urge you try something out of your comfort zone the next time you’re there, perhaps the Nutty Professor: peanut butter, bacon, jalapenos and onion.
9344 Dorchester St, Highlands Ranch, CO 80129
Bonnie Brae Ice Cream
A Denver tradition, Bonnie Brae ice cream is the go-to spot for a summer treat. Whether it’s daytime, evening or weekend, the line is out the door for Bonnie Brae’s hand-made creamy and delicious ice cream. Cup, cone, bowl, strawberry, espresso, cotton candy, vanilla, lemon-ginger, rum-raisin, you name it and they’ve got it. Not to mention gluten-free options for those who are intolerant or minding their diet. First, expect lines, second, know that it’s totally worth it!
799 S University Blvd, Denver, CO 80209
Hops & Pie
A small and unique eatery, Hops and Pie is a real, down home pizzeria with snacks, hand tossed pizzas, sandwiches and loads of craft beers. Not only do they have pizza and beer, they’ve got a killer beer club too! Pay an annual fee, and get happy hour specials, free pizza and much more. Sit at the small bar or open seating there, or in the small dining room with modern and industrial furniture. The garlicky cheese bread is quite good.
3920 Tennyson St, Denver, CO 80212
Locally owned and operated, Corvus is one of the most sustainable and traditional coffee houses in the state! Owner Phil, not only roasts the coffee in house, he also personally outsources it from his visits to foreign producers in countries like Kenya, Costa Rica and Peru. A more traditional, Italian style of espresso and coffee, you won’t find your double-tall, half-caf, sweetened, no-foam, triple pump latte at this local hot spot! Feeling super adventurous? Try their hopped (as in beer hops) iced coffee.
1740 S Broadway, Denver, CO 80210
Stella’s Coffee House
This one-of-a-kind coffee shop quickly and honestly radiates the feeling of being at home. Set in an Old Pearl Street home, that cozy feeling is easily conveyed through the small hallways, quaint bathrooms and large sitting rooms. There are also two outdoor patios and a fire pit! Specializing in minimalistic coffee and diverse teas, Stella’s is a great place to go for that “at home” feeling without all the distractions. Settle in to do homework, visit with a friend or read for pleasure. Their blossom teas expand into tiny flowers in your tea!
1476 S Pearl St, Denver, CO 80210
Vinh Xuong Bakery
This traditional Vietnamese café serves the best iced coffee in Denver according to the Denver A-List. In central Denver, this Vietnamese café serves coffee, sweets, sandwiches and other traditional delights. With friendly staff and affordable prices, this café is the best place to try new things, sit with friends or get a coffee on your way down town. Just Be personally recommends the Almond Cookies. They’re almost like Snickerdoodles but without all the cinnamon, in regular or super giant cookie sizes.
Alameda Square Shopping Center, 2370 W Alameda Ave
Lowry Beer Garden
Not only is the beer garden situated right next to a real life hangar (with Jet included), it’s got a diverse snack bar, lengthy beer list and quaint seating and lighting. Really, Lowry Beer Garden is the perfect setting for any beer lover. Rain, snow or shine this is the place to be! Sit inside, next to one of their heaters, or, outside during hot summer days playing table tennis and eating a gigantic pretzel. No matter the weather, Lowry Beer Garden is a great place to drink local craft beers, hang out with friends and enjoy the interesting landscapes of the former Lowry Air Force Base.
7577 E Academy Blvd, Denver, CO 80230
Like books?? So does Fiction Brewery. Not only are the beers named after famous books and authors, bar itself is made from old books while the tables are etched with book quotes. Small and welcoming, Fiction Brewery is a great place to try local craft beer and sit down with your favorite book, magazine or newspaper. While Fiction Brewery doesn’t serve food in house, feel free to visit one of their visiting food trucks for delicious and unique options. There is a food truck schedule on their website.
7101 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80220
Little’s Fine Wines, Beers & Spirits
While Little’s is not a sit down place like many of our recommendations, it certainly is the best local place to purchase and discuss your favorite wine, beer or liquor. They even have a “beer cave” in which the walls are stacked to the top with specialty and craft beers. Looking to host a wine and cheese pairing? No problem! Little’s has wine experts that will come to your home or location and facilitate the tasting for FREE as long as you’ve purchased the wine from their shop and contacted them ahead of time. Can’t beat that. Wine, cheese, expert? Awesome.
2390 S Downing St # A, Denver, CO 80210
The Tattered Cover
Tattered Cover book store(s) is not only a local legend, but a national one, too. Year after year Tattered Cover and its cozy locations, wide selection and helpful staff make Travel + Leisure’s list of “America’s Best Book Stores” or, Buzz Feed’s list of our nation’s best Independent Book Sellers. Either way, Tattered Cover really is a local treasure. The Tattered Cover selection is great for gifts, personal exploration, research or leisurely reading. With its recent success, Tattered Cover opened a new location at the outdoor Promenade in Aspen Grove. Don’t take this local legend for granted, buy a book, give a gift, and support your local economy.
Aspen Grove: 303-470-7050
The BookBar Denver
Fairly new to the Denver market, BookBar is every bibliophile’s dream! Not only are there books, there is a bar! The bar serves cleverly named (after books and authors, of course) finger foods in addition to beer, wine and cider! No bar is complete without the daily happy hours and no bookstore is complete without story time, BookBar has them both. Sit down in the cozy leather chairs of the sitting room, or grab a bite to eat at the page covered bar. If you’re looking to buy a bookish gift, you’ll find tons of those here, too; Voltaire shirts, Shakespeare votive candles, reading lights and much more.
4280 Tennyson St, Denver, CO 80212
West Side Books
Last but not least, there is West Side Books. Settled in the Highlands neighborhood, West Side Books is another one of our local favorites. New, used and unusual is their slogan and believe us, they mean it! Feeling guilty about buying new books when the library is right down the street? Then indulge in West Side’s used book section for new reads, old reads and classic reads.
3434 W 32nd Ave, Denver, CO 80211