small business

Top 5 Gifts Made in Colorado

In the weeks leading up to Christmas I always put out a top 5 list of some sort, and this year I decided to share with you my picks for the top 5 made in Colorado gifts for 2012. The prerequisite for making my list was that the product made by each company had to be manufactured IN Colorado.

This list is in no particular order.

mou co cheese co

Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

1. MouCo Cheese Co. I’ve had the pleasure of touring MouCo and writing about them for several other publications over the years. They just so happen to make my favorite cheese of all-time, Truffello, which is saying a lot because I’ve never met a cheese I didn’t like. Their website describes Truffello as a “mystical soft cheese to be savored and shared with reck-licious ease.” MouCo sells their cheese all over the world, but it’s all made in their small factory in Fort Collins, Colorado with milk from local cows.

Website: MouCo.com

Facebook Page

Twitter.com/mouchocheese

2. OZ Snowboards. I don’t ride, but if I did I’d ride an OZ board. I ran into these guys on Facebook and fell in love with their concept and the beauty of their boards. They make these works of art in Evergreen, Colorado.

Website: OZSnowboards.com

Facebook Page

Twitter.com/OZSnowboards

milk & honey handmade soap from Moonflower Essentials

Milk & honey handmade soap from Moonflower Essentials. Photo from www.MoonflowerEssentials.com.

3. Moonflower Essentials. This small company is located in Denver, and they make my favorite lotion, Forest Muse. I’ve known owner, Barb Donnelly, for a number of years, and she’s a creative lady with a talent for making body products that truly impress. Moonflower Essentials has a Holiday Open House planned for Sunday, December 9. Learn more here.

Website: MoonFlowerEssentials.com

4. NeedleForge.com. This company was brought to my attention by a HeidiTown citizen and I couldn’t resist putting them on this list. I don’t know exactly how to explain what it is they make, but my Facebook tipster put it like this: Geekery + yarn = win. Every yarn creation is made by hand in Denver, but if you want something by this Christmas you’d better get your order in real soon, because according to their Facebook page, orders are stacking up and they only have so many hands to do the knitting!

Website: NeedleForge.com

Facebook Page

Nova Monda Chocolates

Nova Monda Cacao & Chocolates. Photo from Nova Monda on Facebook.

5. Nova Monda Cacao & Chocolate. I have not had the pleasure of trying this chocolate yet, but it made my list because it’s made in Lafayette, Colorado and it was highly recommended to me by two people; the Chef at the Welsh Rabbit Cheese Shop and a trustworthy friend with good taste.

Website: NovaChocolate.com

Facebook Page

Twitter.com/NovaMonda

This could have easily been a top 50 list, as there are many wonderful Colorado companies and craftsmen I would have enjoyed highlighting in this piece. If you have a favorite please feel free to share it in the comment section.

Please Note: A lot of Facebook friends helped me with this list by sharing their favorite Colorado companies and I’ve compiled a list of all their suggestions in a NOTE on the HeidiTown Facebook page. Click HERE to see it!

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I encourage you to shop local this year, as much as possible. Spending your hard earned money at a small Colorado-owned business will ensure that all boats rise.  

Come out to the annual Winter Walk in Loveland, Colorado

Rialto Theater at 228 East 4th Street in Loveland, Colorado. Theater tickets make great presents! Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer

Lit up with holiday lights, downtowns across the country are charming places to shop and dine. As we head into the holiday season, I want to encourage all my readers to shop local. Shopping locally not only supports your town, but you may discover some real gems right under your nose.

Loveland, Colorado has a charming downtown with a variety of shopping and dining options. My favorite is Merchant Voyage at 246 E. 4th Street. You’ll want to spend a little time poking around in this store. From jewelry to antique microscopes, from unique wall art to handmade scarves, Merchant Voyage makes shopping an adventure.

This Saturday, December 4, is Loveland’s annual Winter Walk, a downtown celebration that tempts Northern Coloradoans to come to 4th Street and enjoy a day of entertainment and shopping.

During Winter Walk stores will be offering refreshments, prizes and specials. Santa Claus will be at Mandolin Café at 210 E. 4th Street. While at the café, warm up with a bowl of homemade green chili. Stop in at Artisan You at 341 E. 4th Street and check out the gingerbread party. Grab a free hot chocolate at Cloz to Home (120 E. 4th Street) and browse their collection of newly arrived hats. Enter to win prize drawings at both Cloz to Home and Almosta (43 E. 4th Street).

In Thompson Pocket Park. at 4th and Lincoln Ave, there is an entertainment lineup starting with the Light Up Dancers at 10:30 a.m., caroling by Loveland Opera Theater at 11:30 a.m., Santa’s Trombone Band at 1 p.m. and ice sculpting starting at 2 p.m. Mrs. Claus will be telling stories at Anthology Book Co. from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Tour Loveland in style by catching a ride on the horse drawn carriage in Anthology’s parking lot.

Before leaving downtown be sure to stop and get your gifts wrapped at Alternatives to Violence at 313 E. 4th Street.

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