The Boulder County Farmer’s Markets have brought farm fresh produce to Colorado consumers since 1987. What began as a small collective of farmers in front of the Boulder courthouse has grown to five locations across the state, including one at our very own Union Station. In past years patrons have had to wait until June to bring home locally grown products from the market, but this year, it’s opening in May.
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“The markets have grown and we are now running five markets in Boulder County and Denver,” explained BCFM executive director, Brian Coppom, “In the last few years we’ve taken risks and tried new programs. Our new directors have skills and experience that will help ensure we continue to run markets to the highest standard while defining how our growth can best serve our farmers in the years to come.”
Each of Bouler County Farmer’s Markets has a unique identity. While some, like Boulder’s locations, have a diverse mix of old and young patrons and everything in between. But locations like Denver’s Union Station are visited more frequently by those new to farmers markets.
“Every market is different, for example,” explained operations manager Elyse Wood. “The Denver market has a lot of young professionals so we’ve tried to speak to that. Our chef’s demo booth, for example, was one of our biggest efforts to cater to the Denver community. With Denver’s booming culinary scene and the young adults who are dining out often, we wanted to offer market-goers something that would be uniquely applicable to them.”
–The chef’s demo booth is an opportunity for local Denver chefs to demonstrate techniques and tricks for cooking various market ingredients. Guests can watch chefs from across the city cook ingredients from the market and take home creative ways to prepare the produce in their own kitchens. In addition to the chef’s demo booth, the Union Station market is catering to those in Denver who like a drink with their dinner.
“The market mixology program is a way to bring local bartenders in to create unique cocktails with market ingredients,” explained Woods. “It’s an opportunity for young professionals in the Denver community to connect with our bartenders in a unique way. We’re doing the program a few times per season.”
The Boulder County Farmer’s Markets went from operating three markets over a span of 25 years to now operating five. And while they don’t have plans to expand in the near future, they are constantly adding vendors who bring in new and unique produce to communities across the state.
“It’s only recently that we’ve gone beyond those three original markets and we’ve done it fast, two markets in two years,” said Woods. “Our goal right now is to hone in on the current five locations and perfect them.”
The new opening date for the Union Station market is May 12. For more information on Boulder County Farmer’s Markets go to its site, here.