The Springs' first Sunflower Farmers Market (sfmarkets.com) is set to kick off its opening festivities at 6:30 a.m., Wednesday, May 27, at 1730 Dublin Blvd. Why get up that early? Only to line up around the block like a geek outside a Star Wars premiere: The first 200 customers who make a purchase at the natural and organic grocer receive a free Sunflower reusable shopping bag filled with groceries. May the force be with you.
Small goes big
"We believe that instead of a small number of large food companies, there should be a large number of small food companies" reads part of a mission statement on foodzie.com. The recent start-up sells artisanal food products from small producers around the country, online. Though not all items are organic, fair-trade or sustainably made, necessarily, the site claims they all are unique in some way.
A search for Colorado products this week yielded 72 selections from places including a Boulder chocolatier, a Denver tea distributor, a Fort Collins cheesemaker and a Colorado Springs jerky producer (Black Forest Bison).
Once around, still spinning
Swirl Wine Emporium (717 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, swirlwineemporium.com) will celebrate its first anniversary from noon to 9 p.m., Saturday, May 23, with free wine tastings, food samplings and live music. On June 13, the store will draw a winning ticket in the raffle for a bottle of 1986 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, worth more than $1,000. Proceeds go toward expansion and restoration of the Manitou Springs Public Library, and $5 tickets can be purchased at Swirl, Black Cat Books or the library.
• Purchase a $49.95 copper mug from Colorado Coffee Merchants (302 E. Fillmore St., coloradocoffeemerchants.com) and receive free coffee fills in it for a year. Owner Eric Umenhofer speculates the mug will pay itself off in a matter of weeks for some coffee drinkers who already frequent his roastery's tasting room. With a self-service pouring area, he says commuters can literally be in and out.
• Bristol Brewing Co. (1647 S. Tejon St., bristolbrewing.com) recently started brewing its own (totally non-alcoholic) Chief Root Beer; a pint with one free refill runs $3.
• Attend "A Taste of Spain" three-course fondue and six-course wine dinner at 6 p.m., May 27 at Melting Pot (30-A E. Pikes Peak Ave., 385-0300). Seats are $60, including tax/tip.
• La Petite Maison (1015 W. Colorado Ave., lapetitemaisoncs.com) will host a four-course Argentinian wine tasting dinner at 6:30 p.m., May 28. Seats are $60 plus tax/tip.