Try this amazing stuff made right here in Colorado
Great rum, funky flowers and surprising coffee drinks
After studying interior design at the Art Institute of Colorado in 2014, Andrew Darr discovered it “wasn’t my calling.” He sought a happy medium between interior design and his construction background, and found one. “That turned me on to furniture, because I could incorporate both,” he says. In the year and a half since, he’s made tables from old pallets, rockers, and custom furniture for a variety of clients. Darr says being a one-man business “is sometimes a little overwhelming,” but the good outweighs the bad. “I really enjoy it.”
Coffee tables start at $1,000 and chairs start at $250.
Made by Darr Furniture, Thornton, www.darrfurniturellc.com.
J.P. and Monika Krause met as co-workers at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, got married, and launched a rum spiced brand in 2013. The recipe eschews sugar and sweeteners in favor of cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom and other spices. “The cinnamon has a little spice, the vanilla adds some creaminess, and the other spices add some peppery notes,” J.P. says. Then there’s the winged pig on the label. The explanation? “We had flying pig tattoos a long time before this company happened,” he says. “It’s about making the impossible possible.”
$29 for a 750-milliliter bottle retail.
Made by Squeal Rum, Denver/Aurora, www.squealrum.com.
Doherty Art Upcycled Flowers
Sean Doherty started making upcycled flowers from an unusual source in 2012. “I lived in central Denver and people kept throwing trash on my lawn,” he says. So Doherty, an art teacher by trade, took the trash and crafted a bouquet of colorful flowers inspired by “the curiosity of children.” He’s since developed 70 different designs for flowers made from aluminum cans, plastic bottles, and “basically anything and everything under the sun,” he says. “I use them as building blocks, like Legos.” Doherty has created more than 100 upcycled sculptures around metro Denver, everything from 8-foot dragonflies to robotic cowboys, and calls his flowers “the gateway to everything I do.”
Three flowers for $20 to large-scale sculptures for $4,500 or more.
Made by Sean Doherty, Larkspur, www.dohertyart.com.
Pixán Coffee Fruit Infusions
While researching coffee for a possible startup, Luisa Lombera and Gates Gooding realized there was an opportunity in not just the bean, but the fruit. “When coffee grows on the tree, it looks like a cranberry,” Lombera says. “The bean is like a seed.” The fruit is usually just tossed out. So the pair decided to start a company to turn the waste stream into a salable commodity. Inspired by the Yemeni qishr – a hot drink made of spiced coffee husks and ginger – Lombera and Gooding came up with four varieties of Pixán infusions unsweetened, ginger, mint and hibiscus – and started producing the drink in Aurora in early 2015. A 14-ounce bottle has about half the caffeine of a cup of joe and a much different flavor. “The vast majority of people who try it are surprised and enjoy it,” Lombera says. “It’s not a Snapple – it’s pretty high-quality stuff and we use good ingredients.”
About $3 per bottle retail.
Made by Pixán, Steamboat Springs, www.drinkpixan.com.
A store locator is on the website.