Stanley Marketplace launched its first farmers' market on Friday, June 1, in the shopping center's back field, something that organizers plan to continue every Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. through the end of August.
Organized by Local Colorado, which manages other markets including Southlands (Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.), Parker (Sundays 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and Northfield Stapleton (Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.), this market comprises an array of small businesses, from savory sauce makers to beauty-product producers to a handful of specialty food vendors. Actual farmers were scarce on opening day, but more produce stands are expected to pop up as the growing season continues.
Jason Williams, who runs Local Colorado, says he decided to start this market to help serve the community. Before the Friday opening, the closest farmers' market was about two and a half miles away, in Stapleton. The new spot is convenient, since guests can wander the stalls and then use the facilities, cool off and get refreshments inside the Stanley.
If you visit this farmers' market, keep an eye open for the unique ti-a, a handwoven basket made by indigenous women in Bolgatanga, Ghana. If you purchase one, you'll have a pretty basket for toting home your haul, and you can bring it back every Friday to fill it up with fresh Colorado produce from Miller Farms for $20. The Platteville farm also sells build-your-own bags of vegetables for $10, one of the cheapest ways to eat local. This was the only actual farm stand we saw at the market on opening day, but, says Williams, as the venture grows, the plan is to have more farmers come in as well.
In the meantime, coffee gourmands should absolutely give Daniel Zoetewey's Sati Cold Brew Coffee a try. Since early this year, Zoetewey has made the small-batch brews in Lone Tree, and each of the three brews — nutty chocolate, honey lavender with CBD and honey vanilla — prove light, almost tea-like, but with a nice java punch.
Another way to get energy is through Rachel Duckworth and Michal Kmita's Moringa Infusions, sipping vinegars boasting moringa, a plant that the makers claim is rich in antioxidants, nutrients and amino acids. Each bottle of the elixir is made with local honey, apple cider vinegar, various organic berries and herbs, and the leaves of the moringa plant. Choose from three flavors: ginger with lemongrass, elderberry with holy basil, or spearmint with rosemary.
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After you have sampled some beverages, head to the Bread Box, a Stapleton-based cottage bakery run by A.J. Perri. Farmers' markets are the only place to purchase his muffins, Danishes, scones, cookies, fresh loaves of bread and other tasty baked goods. Next, visit Baba & Pops to take home some chile relleno pierogies; stop at Becca's Gourmet Goodies for gluten-free breads, cakes and "unicorn farts" (otherwise known as meringue); and sample vino from Avanti Winery, a Colorado Springs operation.
As at most farmers' markets, the vendors will come and go as they have product to sell, meaning no two days will ever be exactly the same. So visit this one the next Friday morning you have free and see the latest member of the Local Colorado family.
For more photos, see our complete slideshow of the Stanley Marketplace farmers' market.