Matter is a book store. Matter is a gift shop. Matter is a poster shop, an art gallery, a design-forward graphic-art studio and a stationer. Matter is all about letterpress printing and hand-arranged type. Matter is really, really into typography. Matter is revolutionary. Matter is a local, BIPOC- and woman-owned business that believes in social justice, cooperative commerce and a post-racial, Afrofuturistic world. In a district of boutiques and breweries, what else could even compare? Designer/founder Rick Griffith not only knows how to make things look good, but also how to do good.

During the pandemic, neighborhood liquor stores gained new relevance. These were places where you could stock up on very necessary supplies, but also make some needed human contact. From its spot on South Broadway by Evans Avenue, Sobo Liquors serves a huge segment of the Denver community, offering both drive-through service for those in a hurry (or not ready to see humans) and very personal attention, with an on-staff sommelier and other staffers ready to make recommendations. The stock includes a huge craft beer selection you won't find at the nearby supermarket, including plenty of gluten-free options; there's also a welcome emphasis on quality spirits and wine, as well as a punch-card for frequent visitors. Drink up, Denver!

soboliquors.com

It's no secret that northeast Denver is close to a food desert, with no major grocery stores; in recent years, the City Park West, Whittier, Cole, San Rafael and Five Points neighborhoods have lost most of their corner bodegas, too. Entrepreneur Andrea Leo saw an opportunity and last fall opened Sun Market in City Park West. She offers a combination of affordable kitchen essentials, including produce (a section that's tough to keep stocked because of the demand), as well as some gift and gourmet items to spice things up.

sunmarketdenver.com

The problem with plant stores is that they sell plants — whether the buyer has any idea what to do with those plants at home or just loves how they look in the store. Jessica Schutz of Green Lady Gardens doesn't believe in letting customers walk out without knowing exactly what they're getting into. At the very least, every plant comes with an instruction card, and if you ask for more advice, you'll definitely get it. The small but well-rooted shop also has an exemplary collection of pretty, artist-designed pottery to brighten up your new greenery.

greenladygardens.com

All candles are not created equal. Once you've tried one from Candelaria, you'll understand this. Created in-house in small batches with natural, soy wax and lead-free cotton wicks, these candles are a connoisseur's dream, with clean scents inspired by rocks, ores, gems and minerals. In addition to the main attraction, Candelaria sells books and gifty items to further light up your life. Just as illuminating, the store donates a small percentage of every candle sale to a changing list of nonprofits and charities.

candelariacandles.com

Ready to start shopping but don't want to drop big bucks? Greenwood Wildlife Thrift Shop & Consignment Gallery has fun finds in every category, from clothing to furniture to dishes. Those into vintage will have a blast browsing through old-timey ski sweaters and dresses, while those with more modern tastes will find today's name brands at a hefty discount. Greenwood also offers consignment by appointment, and has an online gallery for anyone who wants to thrift the day away without leaving the house. And you can feel good about every cent you drop here: All proceeds go directly to the Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Boulder County.

greenwoodconsignment.org

Miah Richards grew up poking around garage sales and Goodwill stores and selling finds on eBay, but some of his treasures were too good to give up; they began to overtake his living spaces. Ultimately, though, that resulted in more for you and me. Richards opened Fourth Place, a labor of love in the Golden Triangle, then stocked it with prime finds, including a stunning collection of vintage T-shirts, letter jackets, jean jackets and other streetwear. The personable Richards will talk vintage with customers all day if allowed, turning store visits into low-fashion costume parties.

instagram.com/fourth_place

To Hell & Back and the Rummage Rats form a collective of two vintage and modern collectors on the second floor of ReCreative Denver, a vendor of recycled art materials. In addition to repairing old jeans and the like, the two businesses invite a few of their fellow vintage-pluckers to set up pop-ups under the Hell and Rats umbrella during First Fridays in the Art District on Santa Fe; this past winter, you could also find them at the Baker Bazaar, a recurring pop-up market at the L cocktail bar on Broadway.

instagram.com/hellandrats

Her decades-long passion for collecting vintage linens, china, silver, glass and textiles led Kathy Gomez to share her enthusiasm with others through Chickadee Vintage — but not before a lifetime of training in the art of interior decoration that started with growing up in her mother's house. Vintage collecting was an obvious extension of that upbringing, and so is Chickadee, an online shop where Gomez offers a wealth of linens from secondhand designer collections, from IKEA to Ralph Lauren, as well as other household treasures.

chickadeevintage.com

Chelsea and Michelle Mowrey, the mother-and-daughter team that runs Kitschy Witch, are clearly stuck in an anachronistic paradise of their own making, selling vintage finds from a wayback era — the 1940s. Back then, homes were adorned with pottery animal figurines and coconut-husk hula dancers as part of their daily decor, and holidays — a specialty at Kitschy Witch — meant spooky Halloween ephemera, tinseled trees with beaded ornaments, rosy-cheeked Santas, fuzzy Easter chicks and corny Valentines. Visit Kitschy Witch in downtown Englewood or catch its Instagram page every Sunday at 4 p.m. for live sales via the internet.

instagram.com/kitschywitchvintage

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