Farmers markets have always been one of the best ways to connect customers directly with the state’s best produce, raw and artisanal goods and an array of local products. Previously, the markets also served as gatherings where people could congregate, trade recipes and generally become more connected to the food and the people who produce it. As with all other industries, the once teeming outdoor assemblies have had to quickly adapt and restructure, either fully taking their business online or implementing dramatic overhauls in order to ensure safety and best practices.
For Big Wonderful and Denver Bazaar founder Josh Sampson, the idea of taking the Bazaar’s marketplace online had been in the works even prior to the stay-at-home order. But necessity breeds innovation, and a long working relationship with Culinary Creative’s Juan Padro helped to launch Denver Bazaar Online — a digital marketplace featuring weekly selections of groceries, household goods, family meals and to-go cocktails from a range of purveyors across the state, all available for curbside pick-up at any of the three Tap and Burger locations.
Opening on Thursday, May 7, the marketplace currently features items from Miller Farms, Rebel Bread, Hinman’s Bakery, Elevated Mushrooms, La Esmarelda and Campfire Bakery, with grocery items, meal kits and cocktails coming from Culinary Creative’s Bar Dough, Senor Bear, Mister Oso, Tap and Burger and Ash’Kara. The group plans to add close to 500 additional vendors by Father’s Day — with artisanal goods including jewelry, t-shirts, candle and vinyl records to be added in later waves. “It’s about lifting up the folks that need it the most,” noted Padro. While Sampson still plans to open the physical marketplace when he and the team feel safe to do so, the online component is here to stay.
With many people spending a lot more time cooking at home, the continued presence of top-tier local products should help to provide some comfort and normalcy, as well as a strong foundation for culinary innovation and a bit of joy in the kitchen.