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Made in Colorado: Eco-friendly boxes, toys, motorcycle accessories and more

Products manufactured in the state of Colorado are varied and quality-tested


EcoEnclose Corrugated Boxes

Made in Louisville, EcoEnclose’s boxes are greener than most. “Our product is 100 percent recycled material,” says co-owner Kyle Wente. “Most of the folks in the industry are 30 percent for quote-unquote recycled.” Beyond boxes, the company also sources and sells a wide range of other green packaging materials to customers nationwide. “Almost everything is 88 percent recycled or above,” Wente  says.

The market is responding: EcoEnclose has grown by 40 percent or more for several years running. Wente, who bought the company in 2015 with his wife, Saloni Doshi, says two factors underpin the company’s success. “Eco-friendly is about waste, but it’s also a marketing decision,” he says. “Number two, eco-friendly doesn’t necessarily mean more expensive.”

Prices vary by product and volume


Retired nuclear engineer Denny Newland invented HyPars — short for hyperbolic paraboloids — in 2010 after researching the potential of the shape in civil construction projects. “I was actually trying to make something that would replace the common two-by-four,” Newland  says. “You can get a stiffer structural pieces using less material.”

Facing imposing barriers to entry in construction, he shifted his focus to toys and protototyped, refined and patented the design before launching in 2016. HyPars are now available in kits to make swords, robots, octopi and many other shapes. Open-ended “Inventory Builders” include 450 parts “and the user is free to create,” Newland  says. “These HyPars can be put together in an infinite number of ways.”

Newland is based in Washington state, and his son and daughter-in-law, Isaac and Mitzi Newland, help run the business from Longmont, where HyPars are manufactured by toymaker Zometool.

Kits: $10 to $50 retail
Inventory Builders: $90

MotoMinded Motorcycle Accessories

A mechanical designer by trade, Chris Vestal found inspiration for MotoMinded racing motorcycles in Baja, Mexico, in 2012. He prototyped what became MotoMinded’s Pillbox to protect spare parts for his bike’s fuel injection system, 3D printed it, and soon went into business. It’s now Vestal’s full-time gig, and he now has two employees and six ‚ — and counting — 3D printers from Loveland-based Aleph Objects. “I have close to 30 products now,” Vestal says. “Most of them are 3D printed, but not all.”

Because motorcycle designs change every other year, 3D printing is critical. “I have to keep up with that, and the only way to keep up with it is additive manufacturing,”  Vestal says. His top seller is headlight bracket kits for LEDs, and he’s also taking on contract work (one project involves “revamping how wine is packaged”) while eyeing new markets. “We definitely have a ton of ideas for the automotive and bicycle industries.”

$8.75 to $600 retail

Paonia Fireworks Hot Sauce

John Mattox says he grew up in a family that loved spicy foods of all descriptions. “That’s the type of food we eat,” he says. Traveling in the Caribbean, Mattox found every town had its own recipe for hot sauce. His favorite “is like a relish or slaw. You can’t bottle that. We took it a little further and emulsified it into a sauce.”

With carrot, jalapeno, habanero and a vinegar base, “It’s really flavorful and it’s really alive,” Mattox says. He’s currently making it and a red chile sauce at The Edesia Warehouse, a kitchen co-op he runs with his wife, Mary George, in Paonia.

$10 to $12 retail
Made by Hungry Mother Foods

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Eric Peterson

Denver-based writer Eric Peterson is the author of Frommer's Colorado, Frommer's Montana & Wyoming, Frommer's Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks and the Ramble series of guidebooks, featuring first-person travelogues covering everything from atomic landmarks in New Mexico to celebrity gone wrong in Hollywood. Peterson has also recently written about backpacking in Yosemite, cross-country skiing in Yellowstone and downhill skiing in Colorado for such publications as Denver's Westword and The New York Daily News. He can be reached at Eptcb126@msn.com

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