After a year and a half of Castle Rock’s Mercantile by Farmgirl Foods offering a whole world of locally produced foods and goods right in the heart of downtown, its doors will close on April 13.
Luckily for shoppers keen on Colorado products, the Mercantile is getting a new life as Farmgirl: Food, Wine and Spirits, a small market with a heavy focus on local food, which will open this summer in the Meadows near the Adventist Hospital.
Owner Melissa Clement said the move was prompted by a combination of a rent increase and a nonrenewable lease, but the switch in location gives her a chance to reestablish the market and do away with the consignment element of the Mercantile.
“I’m excited because I get to go back to what I like best, which is food,” she said. “There’s no market on that side of (Colorado Highway 85) … so I’m really hoping it’s going to draw more people in, especially because it’s such a walkable space.”
Prior to opening the Mercantile, Clement operated Farmgirl Foods as a catering business and small market vendor-style inside a consignment shop, so she considers the upcoming rebranding to be a return to her roots.
Clement curates an array of meats, cheeses, spreads, produce, hot sauces, snacks and more to feature in her store, and now she will get to add beer, spirits and wine to her shelves.
Popular brands that will follow Farmgirl to its new spot include Tree Line Bloody Mary Mixes, Strongwater, Merfs, Sawatch Artisan Foods, Rose’s Creamery, Pastaficio, Cooper’s and Sauce Leopard.
“I’m trying to be really smart about what I bring in,” Clement said. “A lot of the products come from word-of-mouth … and I spend a ton of time doing research.”
Farmgirl will also bring back some of the food education classes done at the Mercantile, such as a charcuterie 101 session, an introduction to wine tasting, candle making and food and alcohol pairings.
Clement said she is looking forward to collaborating with the businesses surrounding her new shop, like the Whiskey Lodge and Crush Wine Bar, to host even more unique events.
“I’d like to be able to have products that showcase what they serve so that people can then get inspired to go home and create it themselves,” she said.
Clement was inspired by her own experience with a local market in Connecticut to create a gathering space for people curious to learn more about what they eat and who value supporting local.
“I’m doing this because I truly love it and because it’s important to me what I put in my body and on the plate,” she said.
Farmgirl doesn’t have an exact opening date yet, but Clement is planning for early June depending on licensing and permits. For more information, go to www.farmgirlfoods.com.
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