‘The glow of the holidays’: Denver’s Cherry Creek North features lights, local shopping


Vendors at this year’s Cherry Creek North Holiday Market are excited to have conversations with people and help shoppers find the perfect gift.

“People like to support local businesses,” said Erik Swanson, owner and founder of The Log Candle. “Especially when it’s something that somebody made out of their garage.”

The Log Candle is a unique item that Swanson came about through what he called a “happy accident.” Swanson has a background in graphic design, but enjoyed dabbling in woodworking as a hobby. He set out to make a bird house in the late spring of 2020, and by June that year, he ended up creating his Log Candle.

Swanson later left his cubicle job and started making the Log Candles fulltime — selling them at the Mile High Flea Market and outdoor arts-and-crafts markets throughout the metro area.

“People seem to really enjoy them,” Swanson said. “It’s something they have never seen before.”

The Log Candle is, like it sounds, a candle made out of a small log — which come from local tree trimmers, Swanson added. When wax is added, it feeds the flame, which spreads across the top, creating the candle effect. It is meant for outdoor use, and people have enjoyed them for their patios, balconies and porches, Swanson said, adding that some people have even taken them on camping trips.

Swanson, of Englewood, is one 30 vendors at this year’s Cherry Creek North Holiday Market, and many of the 30 are local crafters/artisans or small business owners.

The market, produced by Fetch Concepts and now in its second annual year, opened on Nov. 18 and runs through Dec. 24. It is located on Fillmore Street between First and Second Avenues.

A family business

Madison Stewart’s sons are tending House of Stewart’s booth at the market this year.

“They like the fun atmosphere” of the holiday market, she said, “and that people like tasting the candies.”

The House of Stewart makes traditional Scottish candies. This includes caramels and the Scottish tablet, which isn’t found in the U.S., except for rare occasions such as world markets, said Stewart, owner and founder of the Denver-based business.

The House of Stewart got its start in May 2016. Stewart is an Army veteran and went to law school — the only baking she did was on the weekends for her family.

“I never imagined a career in the candy business,” Stewart said.

However, she frequently traveled back-and-forth to Scotland on leisure trips and enjoyed the Scottish candies so much that she would bring back as many that she could.

“Then I decided that other Americans would probably enjoy the candies as well,” Stewart said.

Today, House of Stewart candies and confections ship across the U.S., and Stewart is looking to open a storefront in Las Vegas early 2022.

People enjoy the candies and fancy packaging, which is catered to adults, Stewart said. The candies are great for parties or gifts — “And for yourself,” Stewart said. “If you’ve had a hard day and want to treat yourself, why wait for a special occasion?”

Much more to ‘wander’ about

The Holiday Market is part of Cherry Creek North’s Winter Wanderland, which offers a variety of free, festive activities for the entire family. The Winter Wanderland Light Walk features Cherry Creek North’s 600 trees adorned with nearly a million lights.

Another not-to-miss attraction is the U.S. debut of Creos’ domino effect,” created by Ingrid Ingrid, which is located at Third Avenue and Milwaukee Street. Creos is a Canadian company that presents touring interactive installations. The interactive and musical travelling art installment came to Cherry Creek North from Montreal, and will only be in Denver until Dec. 31.

“We want to provide a place for our community to create lasting memories they return to year after year,” said Nick LeMasters, president and CEO of the Cherry Creek North Business Improvement District in a news release. “This event has grown into an incredible opportunity for families to feel the glow of the holidays around every corner in Cherry Creek North.”

Something unique and interesting to be found

The walkable Cherry Creek North neighborhood includes 275 businesses, of which, 70% are locally owned, said Jeannie McFarland Johnson, director of marketing and communications for Cherry Creek North.

By shopping locally, not only can people help small businesses thrive, but they also won’t need to worry about the supply chain, McFarland Johnson.

“It’s fantastic not working in a cubicle anymore,” The Log Candle’s Swanson said, pointing to the community’s support for some of the success of his small-business venture.

People like shopping at holiday markets because they can find something unique, and see interesting things, Swanson said.

He expects to have lots of different, fun conversations with people at this year’s Cherry Creek North Holiday Market, he said.

And he expects people will gather around the Log Candles’ fire, he said.

“Because it puts out a little warmth,” Swanson said.

Cherry Creek North, Holiday Market, Winter Wanderland, Denver


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