Colorado cool stuff: Wingbandits, Miracle Baker, Reeb Cycles
Castle Searcy has worn many hats in her career: buyer for Casa Bonita’s gift shop, documentary filmmaker, salon entrepreneur, even dabbling in oil and gas. Now her "labor of love" among her many pursuits is Wingbandits, winged headbands inspired by a winged headband she had as a child. "I was looking for them everywhere but couldn’t find one, so I started making them," Searcy says. Now her Wingbandits are factory-made, and taking off with the hipster crowd. "People ask me, ‘What do these mean?’ I say, ‘They’re just cool.’" $10 retail ($15 with custom logo).
Made by Wingbandits LLC,
www.wingbandits.com. Also available in Denver at Mega Fauna (2701 Larimer St.) and Derbyville (1407 S. Broadway).
Madeleine Collinson just wanted to make the perfect scone. "You can mold them or cut them," she says, but the results weren’t always pretty. "I thought there must be a more professional way." So in 2005, Collinson came up with the Miracle Baker, which segments a pie plate or skillet into eight compartments, and launched a company with her daughters, Libby Colbert and Maureen Selvig.
Not only does the Miracle Baker make better scones, it makes better pies, quiches, meatloaves and other dishes. Also noteworthy: The product is manufactured in Greeley, and Collinson donates all of her profits to the Cystic Fibrosis Research Foundation. About $30 retail.
Made by Kitchen Marvels LLC,
Fort Collins, (970) 337-9670,
www.kitchenmarvels.com. Also available at the Cupboard in Fort Collins and Kitchen Alley in Loveland.
Jumping from the branding business to local foods in 2009, MM Local founders Jim Mills and Ben Mustin saw "an opportunity for a brand that really represented local foods," Mills says. Sourcing and selling exclusively in Colorado, MM Local tailors its catalog to local crops and surpluses on an annual basis; linchpins include tomatoes and chili peppers and fruit from the Palisade and Paonia areas.
Mills says he and Mustin "preserve foods as simply as possible; the result is something that tastes like it did in the summer." MM doubled its production from 2010 and 2011 as it sources produce from about 15 farmers. "We’re a small part of a much larger movement," Mills says. "It’s exciting." $5 to $9 retail.
Made by MM Local Foods LLC, Boulder, (720) 235-8346,
www.mmlocalfoods.com. Available at numerous stores in Colorado; a locator is on the website.
Oskar Blues Brewery founder Dale Katechis was on the forefront of a trend with canned craft beer, and now he’s hoping to ride a similar wave with Reeb Cycles. Like Oskar Blues eschewing the bottle, Reeb (which is beer spelled backwards) rejects the old bicycle chain in favor of new carbon belt drives made by Denver-based Gates Rubber. Touting them as quieter, lighter, tougher and stronger, Reeb’s Chad Melis says Gates’ carbon drive is nearly maintenance-free. "You don’t have to clean it, you don’t have to lube it, you don’t have to do anything to it." Featuring a 29-inch wheelset, Reeb’s steel- and titanium-framed bikes are single-speed workhorses, says Melis, who moonlights as a pro bike racer. "We ride hard in both directions – uphill and downhill." $4,300 for the flagship Redoog model retail, $1,200 for the frame only.
Made by Reeb Bicycles LLC, Longmont, (303) 776-1914,
available through Redstone Cyclery in Lyons.