Santa never used to look like this…
He’s traded in his reindeer for Crescent Moon snowshoes
He’s wearing GoLite and Crocs
This winter, you’ll also want something you never had…
Cause Santa’s got a brand-new bag!
This winter, Santa has outsourced the North Pole to your neighborhood. No, that doesn’t mean your kids will soon be whittling rocking horses in a giant new tinkering center…it means—along with sugar plums and toasted hazelnuts—your head will be dancing with locally made gifts from area artisans, craftspeople, shops and companies. YS’s Locavore Gift Guide is your holiday handbook: a guide to shopping and consuming right here.
So Cold, So Hot
Gold Series 9 Snowshoe, $249
Crescent Moon, Boulder,
Snowshoeing is an ideal Colorado sport. So, it’s no surprise that a leader of the industry would make its home on the Front Range. If the snowshoe fits, so to speak, wear it, and Crescent Moon does. The company makes snowshoes with bindings that have received rave reviews. They’ve been called the best on the market. The company’s Gold Series 9s, which include Crescent Moon’s unique three-claw traction system, are durable, maneuverable and great all-around snowshoes. You can find these babies all over the place: Boulder Army Store, McGuckin and Crystal Ski Shop in Boulder and Echelon Spokes & Slopes in Lafayette.
Xob Arm Warmers and Hats, $25-$35
Dohm-Ice Box Knitting, Longmont,
Boulder County’s longtime knitting masters at Ice Box Knitting Mill have created a bastion for winter gifts. Their cozy winter hats, handmade on antique knitting and sewing machines at their knitting factory in Longmont, are both stylish and utilitarian. And check out the Xob arm warmers…you know you want them. Find them at Adorn in Longmont, Ju Ju Beads in Louisville, B.C. Surf & Sport Westminster and REI everywhere.
Chemical Pants, $275
Flylow Gear, Denver,
Years ago, the minds behind Flylow Gear saw a gap in available clothing options—items fit for both alpine and telemark freeride skiing. Out of that void they created a clothing and gear company for athletes just like themselves. Their big mountain freeride apparel is comfortable and tough, and these chemical pants are light—great for climbing—and durable—best for “ripping down steeps,” as Flylow says. Find them at Alpine Sports Ski & Kayak and Neptune Mountaineering in Boulder.
TraveLite Wheeled Carry-On, $175
GoLite is an outdoor-apparel titan that calls the hamlet of Boulder home. From stellar bags and jackets to thoughtful sustainable practices, we can’t even count all the reasons we love GoLite. OK, here’s one. GoLite’s new wheeled carry-on is practically the perfect size for trips during the holidays. It’s light, easy to pack and easy to wheel. Best of all, the bag fits in the overhead compartment. While its debut was set for spring of 2010, get this bag early online.
Sugar Plum Spice and Nutcracker Sweet, $2.99
Celestial Seasonings, Superior, celestialseasonings.com
Celestial Seasonings is to tea what Godiva is to chocolate, and we are super proud to call this Sleepy Time darling a neighbor. Plus, don’t you love the idea of getting a box of tea in your stocking? This winter, we’re digging the Sugar Plum Spice and the Nutcracker Sweet. Go to your nearest grocery store and pick some up for some steeping.
Winter Hat, around $32
Short Hat Company, Louisville, shorthats.com
Short Hats are like the Kix Cereal of the apparel world: kid worn, parent approved. It’s a balance of practicality, quality and youthful style that make these charming chapeaus so appealing. After numerous years of working in headwear, the people behind Short Hats wanted to improve hat options for kids. And so they did. Almost makes us jealous. Shop online at shorthats.com.
Diaper Cake, $250-$350
Living Earth Babies, Boulder, livingearthbabies.com
A box of Huggies is not a gift, but a tower of high-quality cloth diapers is. Living Earth Babies’ Diapers Cakes are like buffets for diaper. Each tier is bedecked with different diapers—made for girls, boys or gender neutral—letting new parents try out different types of these locally made cloth diapers. You can add in wipes, butt balm, belly balm and organic toys to make these precious cakes even more fun and festive. Buy online at livingearthbabies.com.
Santa Cruz Corduroy and Powder Shoes, $29.99
Crocs, Niwot, crocs.com
For the little girls in your world, Crocs’ Powder boots are sweet like cotton candy—furry and sassy. Breaking away from the typical Croc-like style, the casual and cool Santa Cruz, which is only available online, are good all-around shoes for little boys. To find the Powder and other Crocs kicks, step into Brown’s Shoe Fit Company in Longmont, the Crocs Kiosk at Flatirons Crossing in Broomfield and Pedestrian Shops in Boulder.
Tables and Chairs, $40 and up
2 Wacky Chics, Littleton
Bringing a little funk and groove to your child’s room is never a bad thing. The artsy one-of-a-kind furniture from 2 Wacky Chics has a ton of personality—which your kids will love—and offer a bright spot for your young Picasso to create his or her own masterpieces. Find these wacky pieces at Willow in Boulder.
Modeling Dough, $8.99
Clementine Art, Boulder, clementineart.com
At Clementine Art, childhood creativity is free of unpronounceable, four-syllable ingredients. The company has country’s first line of all-natural children’s art supplies. Unlike that other playing dough, Clementine’s is smoother, better smelling and contains natural glycerin, which makes your hands feel all soft. But, it’s for the kids, so…pick some up at Whole Foods.
Botanical Candle, $48
Rosy Rings, Denver, rosyrings.com
Thirteen years ago, Shannon Cumberland made a spicy apple candle in her kitchen. It was the first of what would become a fleet of botanical candles. Denver’s Rosy Rings are a gift of olfactory sensation—looking almost as wonderful as they smell—and the spicy apple botanical candle is still an ideal holiday choice with cinnamon and bay leaf tangoing with the smell of apples. Pick up Rosy Rings’ candles at Sturtz & Copeland and Peppercorn in Boulder, Nest in Longmont and Elizabeth’s Embellishments in Lafayette.
Pendant, prices vary
Nancy Ellinghaus, Boulder,
There is something very fluid and organic about Nancy Ellinghaus’ pendants, like a bead of water hanging on a leaf. Beautiful, clean and elegant, they are gifts that will leave a woman happily surprised and impressed. Find these pieces online or at the Boulder Arts & Crafts Gallery.
Hand-made Soaps, $5
There are numerous bath, body and beauty companies that call the Front Range home. And while they all do some mighty fine bath magic, we love these Sagescript soaps. They are simply lovely, and contain shea butter for healing and real lavender buds and lavender essential oil. Find them at Cayenne Kitchen in Longmont.
Cronin Jewelers, Boulder, croninjewelers.com
You know what they say about diamonds? They last forever. At Cronin Jewelers, that concept is taken seriously. This family owned jeweler makes custom pieces with recycled metals and non-conflict diamonds, which is the only way to go. Visit their shop at 1235 Alpine Ave. in Boulder.
Chocolate Bar, $2.95
Chocolove, Boulder, chocolove.com
Chocolove represents everything we adore about gifts: made with love, given with love and tasting a lot like love. The wide variety of delicious chocolate bars are wrapped in a little love poem, and they taste like cocoa devotion. We suggest the almonds and sea salt in dark chocolate, the peppermint in dark chocolate and the special holiday bar with fruit and nuts in dark chocolate. Find them in the check out line at Whole Foods and Sunflower Market.
Chica Wristlet, $37.50
Maruca Design, Boulder, marucadesign.com
The bohemian chic bags from Maruca Design have blown up in recent years. The Smithsonian is the company’s biggest account, and you can find them in boutiques and shops all over the nation. But we adore that they are all hand cut and sewn right in Boulder. While the whole collection is lovely, the Chica is the perfect little ornament to slip onto one’s wrist. Find them at Adorn in Longmont and Boulder Arts & Crafts Gallery in Boulder (and the Smithsonian).
Messenger Bag, $82
DadGear, Boulder, dadgear.com
Fatherhood has reached a higher power of coolness—especially in Colorado, where dads spend their free time mountain biking and brewing beer in their basements. That is why DadGear’s creations are perfect for the father who is too chill to be seen carrying a frilly diaper bag. They are “dude” on the outside and “dad” on the inside. The company’s modus operandi is gear that’s functional and stylish for dads. This diaper/messenger bag is packed with daddy-friendly features and allows for ultimate ease when holding a kid. Find them at Real Baby in Boulder and Decade in Denver.
Commuter iPhone Case, $29.95
OtterBox, Fort Collins, otterbox.com
This Northern Colorado-based company started with the simple idea of a box—and grew it into an empire of rugged and waterproof cases that fortify military gear, laptops, cell phones and more. The Commuter iPhone case has three layers of protection: a film that adheres to the screen, a silicone skin that hugs your phone and a polycarbonate shell, which dissipates shock away from the phone (that’s for when you forget to take your phone out of your pocket while you’re skiing). Find them at otterbox.com.
Ceramic Vase, $80
Conklin Pottery, Boulder
Salt-fired pottery? We aren’t sure what exactly that means—but we like it. Cris Conklin’s pottery is a blend of elegant, organic beauty and semi-rustic, hand-carved craftsmanship. Vases, bowls, mugs and jars are decorated with insects, fish and botanicals. Also, check out Conklin’s fish-shaped ornaments, which are perfect stocking stuffers. Find his work at pARTiculars in Lafayette, Willow in Boulder and Red Canyon Art in Lyons. He’ll also be showing at the Denver Potters Association Holiday Show and Sale and at the Arvada Center Holiday Market in December.
Costume Jewelry, $15–$30
Rebecca Campbell Jewelry, FC, etsy.com/shop/jewelrygirlcampbell
Rebecca Campbell loves accessories. That becomes clear once you’ve seen her work: Funky, capricious and fresh elements dance with controlled creativity atop her rings, charm bracelets, reversible pendants and necklaces. Find them on Campbell’s Etsy.com page or visit Two Pairs in Fort Collins.
[take a bite]
MouCo Cheese Company—Just one bite of the MouCo ColoRouge and one realizes how passionate these people are about cheese. Starting in Fort Collins in 2001, MouCo cheeses are now served in resorts and restaurants around the country (including local spots like Black Cat). You can load up on MouCo at Cheese Importers in Longmont and Whole Foods. mouco.com
Rib House Sauces: The Rib House sauces are a condiment-lover’s dream come true. Try the XXX Hot if you are brave. Buy them online at theribhouse.com or in the restaurants.
Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy: Haystack Mountain produces a variety of farmstead, hand-crafted cheesy goodness. Made in Longmont, these artisan goat cheeses are as good as it gets. Find them at Cheese Importers in Longmont. haystackgoatcheese.com
Justin’s Nut Butters: High-quality, organic ingredients, small-batch production…that doesn’t sound too nutty. We like the chocolate peanut butter and the honey almond butter. Find them at Whole Foods and REI. justinsnutbutter.com
Boulder Hot Sauce: Boulder Hot Sauce isn’t just about the heat. It’s flavor—smoky and tangy—that adds dimensions to whatever is on your plate. Find these sauces at Peppercorn in Boulder.
Larabar: Made in Denver, Larabars are natural, simple and tasty. Find the new peanut butter and jelly bars at Sunflower Farmers Market, Niwot Market and Sprouts Farmers Market. Wash one down with Infinitea Kombucha, made in Boulder and found in Vitamin Cottages. larabar.com and infiniteakombucha.com
Locally Owned Grocers
Niwot Market: 7980 Niwot Rd., Niwot, 303.652.0919, niwotmarket.com
Karl’s Farm Dairy: 1741 E. 120th St., Northglenn, 303.452.4909, karlsfarmdairy.com
Cheese Importers’ Market Europa: 33 South Pratt Pkwy., Longmont, 303.772.9599, cheeseimporters.com
Herb’s Meats: now at 2530 Baseline Rd., Boulder, but will be moving at the beginning of 2010 to 1000 Depot Hill Road, Unit A, (US-287 and W 104th Ave.), Broomfield, 303.499.8166, herbsmeats.com
Lucky’s Market: 3960 Broadway St., Boulder, 303.444.0215, luckysmarket.com
The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook by Elena Amsterdam
Gluten-free is so hot these days. Boulderite Elena Amsterdam’s new book, The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook, is focused on creating recipes for those diagnosed with celiac disease as well as those with diabetes, high cholesterol and IBS. And with wholesome recipes using almond flour, a superfood full of fiber and antioxidants, Amsterdam’s nutritious dishes would benefit anyone. elanaspantry.com
All natural and sweetened with agave nectar, these sauces are about as healthful as condiments can get. Plus, they are fiercely tasty. We get serious cravings for the Coconut Peanut Culinary Sauce. Find it at Niwot Market, Whole Foods and Vitamin Cottage. simplyboulder.com