Littleton Market brings local food to downtown

Farm-to-table store offers groceries grown nearby, with love

Posted 12/3/18

For the first time in a long time, you can buy milk and eggs in downtown Littleton. Getting groceries produced by local farmers in a downtown shop might seem like a throwback, but for Littleton …

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Littleton Market brings local food to downtown

Farm-to-table store offers groceries grown nearby, with love

Posted

For the first time in a long time, you can buy milk and eggs in downtown Littleton.

Getting groceries produced by local farmers in a downtown shop might seem like a throwback, but for Littleton Market owner Hannah King, it's part of an effort to reconnect people with their food — and each other.

“Each of these products has a story,” said King, 32, sitting behind the market's counter. “We've got meat, veggies, eggs, milk and honey, all of which you can have an appreciation for. They're from farmers who are part of the community, and provide superb quality of life for their animals.”

Littleton Market is still in its infancy, and King has lined up contracts with roughly 20 local vendors, with hopes for many more.

The idea is to provide farmers market-quality goods year-round, King said, bridging the gap between consumers and producers who might otherwise only find each other at pop-up markets.

The market is an exciting place to do business, said Todd Smith, the proprietor of Elephant Rock Farm. Smith's specialty is microgreens — sprouts of plants like chives and broccoli that are packed with nutrition.

“This place is up and coming, it's here and now, but it's also the old-school local style,” Smith said as he dropped off boxes of bright greens at the market. “Yeah, you can buy so-called local produce at King Soopers, but it's still from a massive commercial farm. This is the real deal, and I assure you, you can taste the difference.”

Asked what the store means to her, new customer Nancy Tibbets said one word: “Hope.”

“Hannah said the guy who raises the pork is just 26,” said Tibbets, who grew up on a ranch in southeast Colorado. “It does my heart good to see young people involved in agriculture. Food doesn't grow at the grocery store, and it's important to understand where it comes from and who's making it.”

King has visited the farms of many of her vendors, she said, touring local pastures and more. She's got big plans for the store, including a kombucha bar, coffee station, and a local wine room.

“People told me this wasn't a good idea,” King said. “They told me the profit margins won't be high enough. If it fails, it fails, but I stand behind our vendors, and I'm doing what I love.”

King moved to Littleton recently to be nearer her family, she said, after years working for the federal government in Washington, D.C.

“I got so tired of the waste, the bureaucracy, the feeling that what I was doing didn't matter,” King said. “In my spare time I worked at farmers markets and bed and breakfasts, and I knew I wanted to do something where I could get to know people.”

Prices are a little higher at Littleton Market, King said, but she hopes customers enjoy the opportunity to get high-quality food produced with heart.

“I want this place to be a collaborative effort,” King said. “I want people to let me know what they want to see here, and we'll make it happen. This is just the beginning.”

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