The Mayor Goes Shopping in the Choice City, Fort Collins, Colorado

Fort Collins is best known for craft beer, bikes and Horsetooth Reservoir, but downtown boasts a healthy variety of retail stores and whether you’re shopping for the holidays or for yourself, there’s a store here to fit every need (or want).

The Mayor Goes Shopping, FNB, The Perennial Gardener
The Perennial Gardener

This past week I went on a little shopping outing in downtown Fort Collins with my friend Karen, and our first stop was at a store that’s been a longtime tradition in downtown Fort Collins. The Cupboard just celebrated its 45th anniversary this summer, and while this milestone is fantastic, what makes this store even more special is that it’s been in the same family for all that time.

The Mayor Goes Shopping in the Choice City, Fort Collins, Colorado, The Cupboard owner, Jim Hewitt
Jim Hewiitt, second-generation owner of The Cupboard.

Jim Hewitt, son of Carey Hewitt, began working in his father’s store in 2007, and two years ago, Jim took the reins.

The Hewitt family and their staff take great pride in making their store look great. The vignettes around the store look as though they’ve come right off the pages of a magazine and of course, this makes a visitor want to buy all the things.

In addition to pots and pans and other standard and not-so-standard cooking devices, The Cupboard has an array of kitchen and dining room decor, but my favorite section is the specialty foods. If you want chutney straight from England, The Cupboard has it, and for years, this was the only place we could find the English tea my mother-in-law grew to love when she lived across the pond.

The Mayor Goes Shopping in the Choice City, Fort Collins, Colorado, The Cupboard outside shot

Personally, I’m a fan of The Cupboard’s selection of Colorado-made hot sauces and ended up buying an array of colorful bottles for myself. I also bought my husband some ale chutney, so as not to seem entirely selfish. Karen got a start on her fall decorating needs with a table runner and other autumn home accessories.

Next up we visited Akinz, my favorite clothing store in Fort Collins. Full disclosure: I’ve known the owner, Suzanne Akin, for a number of years and have about 15 pairs of Akinz sunglasses.

The Mayor Goes Shopping in the Choice City, Fort Collins, Colorado, Suzanne Akins, owner of Akinz
Posing with Suzanne in her downtown Fort Collins clothing boutique.

Suzanne is an artist who has been designing clothing since attending fashion design school. From her handmade beanies to t-shirts that are hand-printed in the store with Suzanne’s beautiful artwork, everything at Akinz has a personal, artistic touch.

I managed to refrain from buying any more sunglasses but couldn’t resist a couple of comfy shirts (as well as a birthday present for my husband – see! I wasn’t only shopping for me).

After a delicious lunch at Coopersmith’s Pub where we enjoyed their GABF gold medal winning Punjabi Pale Ale, we hit the streets again.

The Perennial Gardener is a place I’ve Christmas shopped for my landscape designer mother several times. I could literally point at anything in the store, buy it for her and she’d love it — I don’t, but I could.

The Mayor Goes Shopping in the Choice City, Fort Collins, Colorado Perennial Gardener outside shot

There’s so much to see in this store; from items for your fairy garden to your Christmas tree they’ve got a little something of everything you want. Personally, I love the courtyard behind the store where there are amazing garden decorations on display.

The Mayor Goes Shopping, FNB, The Perennial Gardener inside
Halloween decor at The Perennial Gardener.

Karen finished up her fall decor shopping at The Perennial Gardener and we were off to our final destination.

Not having any children, I was unfamiliar with the Clothes Pony & Dandelion Toys in downtown Fort Collins, but it turns out that this place is neat. I’d promised Ryan that I’d do a little Christmas shopping for our nieces, ages 4 and 12, and this was the perfect place for that assignment.

The Mayor Goes Shopping in the Choice City, Fort Collins, Colorado
Clothes Pony, courtesy photo

Two sisters, Jenny and Becca Bramhall, opened the store in 2003 and recently opened a second Clothes Pony & Dandelion Toys in downtown Boulder.

The Mayor Goes Shopping in the Choice City, Fort Collins, Colorado, Clothes Pony courtesy photo
Photo courtesy of the Clothes Pony.

The store is filled with games for all ages, toys, stuffed animals, adorable children’s clothing and more. I bought the most lovable stuffed chick for my 4-year-old niece and Karen picked up some stocking stuffers for her teenagers. Clothes Pony is now my go-to spot in Fort Collins for niece presents.

The Mayor Goes Shopping in Fort Collins, FNB, streetside shot
Beautiful downtown Fort Collins, Colorado.

Downtown Fort Collins is filled with delicious restaurants and pubs serving up local craft beer, but don’t forget the shopping. It’s HeidiTown Mayor approved!

This post is sponsored by First National Bank.


    1. It is good. I got a growler of it for my husband on this outing!

      Thanks for stopping by HeidiTown, Steve.


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