Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jesse Murphy

Niwot Market celebrates 15 years


Photo courtesy of Alison Steele Niwot Market and the Steele family, (from left) Seth Steele, Alison Steele and Bert Steele, are celebrating 15 years in the Niwot community March 12.

Niwot Market has chalked up 15 years of serving the town, and owner Bert Steele said that it has become more than just a business.

“It’s been really rewarding to be in a small community,” Steele said. “It becomes more than business, it becomes friendships. It’s more than just trying to make money.

“You’re doing something, being part of a small community and trying to help where you can.”

The official date for the celebration is March 12, and the market has made 250 commemorative mugs to give away to customers who spend more than $50. Once they’re gone, they’re gone.

Steele said that since the store opened, they’ve always tried to keep a local focus.

“For us, we try to get products that you can’t get at the chain stores,” Steele said. “So many of these (local) manufacturers are small, they can’t get into the chains. Especially the organic produce farmers, they’re just too little for the big guys, but they feature some really nice produce.

“Then we have a big line of Colorado products, we have a full wall of them. That’s something we do to set ourselves apart from competitors.”

Another thing that sets Niwot Market apart is the relationships they have built with their customers.

“So many of our customers have become friends,” Steele said. “You really appreciate that part of it. So many come every day, you get to know them. You have real friendships and real conversations. That’s pretty nice, it’s been rewarding and I appreciate that part a lot.”

The market is also a family affair, with Bert’s children Seth, Alison and Kirsten all working in some capacity at the store.

They are currently working to upgrade the store, including replacing refrigeration.

“Little by little we’re trying to upgrade and keep it nice and keep it clean,” Steele said. “I feel like you’re servicing people instead of just selling them stuff.”

Along with the upgrades, the customer service aspect includes bringing in quality items.

“In a lot of instances, we’re offering products that aren’t available elsewhere,” Steele said. “That’s really good, all of our local suppliers offer good products. Sometimes it’s more expensive, but it is really good stuff and we like having it in here.”

Going up against box stores isn’t always easy, but Steele said that through the quality, variety and unique products they offer, Niwot Market is in a good spot.

“It’s a tough game,” Steele said. “Competitors are big and they’re rough. It’s a lot of work — which we don’t mind — but we try to be the best that we can. Either way, it’s rewarding.

“Freshness becomes more important than a good price. So we buy tightly to ensure freshness. That’s why we try to be unique in our products and get that freshness.”

The murals also make the market unique. Local artist Tom Studdholm is working on the newest.

“Everything is a matter of opinion,” Bert Steele said. “But we like the murals. They draw attention to the Colorado products, and with local artists it makes it something unique. It’s always a work in progress.”

The official anniversary day is March 12, the store is open from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.


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