By Lisa Hutchins
There’s much to love about The Country Market. For one thing, it’s a friendly down-home grocery store with a touch of the unexpected. It’s also locally owned and operated by Scott Webermeier who works on-site most days. The market is a reliable grocery ally, especially for residents on the west side. Not only is it famous for made-to-order sandwiches, it’s a refuge during high season’s summer tourist madness. Best of all, The Country Market likes shoppers who bring their own bags. In fact, their July shopping bag giveaway event put beautiful, extra-roomy reusable bags into the hands of a whopping 5,000 people!
The bags were given away free with a minimum $30 purchase at The Country Market. “The plastic bag issue has been a problematic concern of mine for years,” Webermeier says. “This seemed to be a way to take a small bite out of an ongoing issue.”
“We’re venturing into organics and naturals,” Webermeier notes, adding that the store is putting together an appealing mix for customers. The Country Market features products that come from Colorado—honey, jam, bakery items, meat (including elk and bison) and pastured eggs from City Farm in Montrose. There are bulk trail mix bins and brands like Organic Valley you can’t get anywhere else in town. One notable feature is the store’s Allegro Coffee coffee bean bin. Not only is the coffee organic and fair trade, but you can grind your own beans into a reusable/recyclable brown paper bag. Customers even get a discount for bringing their own mug or thermos for coffee to go. The store has an on-site butcher, meaning that except for hamburger, they don’t use Styrofoam trays for meat. “We’ve gotten away from Styrofoam,” Webermeier says. “We’ve taken it out of the mix.”
The Country Market’s beautiful reusable bags may be gone for the season but mark your calendars: Webermeier will have them again next summer!
The Country Market of Estes Park
900 Moraine Avenue in National Park Village, 970-586-2702
7:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. daily
Lisa Hutchins is a professional writer based in Estes Park. She’s an administrator for the Estes Recycles Facebook group and edits the Estes Valley Watershed Coalition quarterly newsletter. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org