Fresh is best
Here in the Marczyk produce department, we focus on finding local items first, organic if it's good, and conventional if that's all that's available or affordable. You won't find heirloom tomatoes in the winter or butternut squash in the spring, because we only have those items when they are in season. Of course, we will always have certain staples year-round, like lettuces, carrots, potatoes and onions, but we believe that building a little anticipation around that first sweet, juicy, fragrant Colorado peach and then going absolutely crazy with peaches when they're available makes them taste that much better.
Local comes first
Let's just get real for a second... If you are a locovore living in Denver, you've got your work cut out for you! We have a shorter growing season. The weather doesn't get hot enough to grow things like citrus fruits. Or avocados. Tomato and pepper season is all too brief. But, all challenges aside and sometimes against all odds, the farmers in these here parts grow some incredibly amazing fruits and vegetables and we do everything we can to get our hands on them while they last! Our produce buyer, Roger Burleigh (pictured here with Claudia Ferrell of Berry Patch Farms), has built direct relationships with our local farmers. He takes the time to find out what they're growing and how much we can commit to purchasing with every change of the season. That's why in the late summer, you'll suddenly see the market get overtaken by Ela Family Farms peaches (not to mention their delicious jams, jellies and applesauce). And we talk to Peter Volz over at Oxford Gardens (pictured below) about how many carrots he's planting each year so we can commit to selling only Oxford carrots, the most flavorful, floral, sweet and crisp carrots you'll ever taste. Roger has even negotiated year-round supplies of certain local items grown indoors, like the incredibly sweet and flavorful tomatoes from Rocky Mt. Fresh, or the beautiful, tender live lettuces from Growhaus. We even drive to Munson Farms, ourselves, just to pick up Bill Munson's ever-so-sweet, juicy, delicious corn on the cob. So good you might not even want to cook it!
Spreading the local love
The local produce doesn't stop in the produce section - you can find locally grown items all throughout the markets! Look for Leffler Family Farms dried heirloom beans amongst the pantry staples, or Hunt & Gather's jewel-toned, strawberry-like prickly pear cactus fruit, foraged from the foothills of the Rockies, in the frozen case. When peach season hits at Ela Family Farms, we're not just buying up their perfect peaches to sell fresh, we're buying their seconds to turn into luscious peach pie and peach ice cream. Every year in the late summer, Claudia over at Berry Patch gives us a huge haul of per juicy, ripe tomatoes which we use for our frozen Roasted Tomato Soup, and in the Fall she brings her roaster and a big load of chile peppers over and we roast them up right outside the market. If you join us on Friday nights for Burger Night throughout the summer, you'll notice that all our sliced tomatoes and lettuce used for burger toppings is sourced locally. Really, local food is just kinda our thing and we're proud to admit it!