Style & Shopping

New Market Forces

How Timnath is creating community with a new outlet for local artisans, craftspeople and foodies.

Remember timnatH, that sleepy hamlet on Fort Collins’ eastern edge? As of this past May, it’s taken a big step toward achieving its stated goal of “cultivating community through culturally responsible commerce.”

With the opening of the CF&G Public Market Collaborative on Main Street, the town of barely 3,000 is set to make its mark as the newest hip gathering spot for Northern Coloradans. With its farmers market, coffee shop, meeting spaces and of course, partnership with a brewery (Timnath Beerwerks), Timnath is becoming more than the town on Super Walmart’s mailing address.

According to Becca Bay, CF&G owner and founder, there are many outlets already available for local artisans and craftspeople. But she says the same supply chain simply doesn’t exist for creators of cottage foods and beverages—such as salsas, jams and breads. The CF&G provides space and resources to help merchants do things like test new products and define their branding, or as Bay puts it, “incubate them for more scaleable growth.”

“The farmers market is only a fraction of what we offer,” Bay said. “There’s a movement for local goods and food and knowing the story behind the products that you purchase.”

The historic Colorado Feed & Grain landmark has been around since 1920, so a large part of the collaborative’s genuine charm is how it celebrates the building’s history as a cultural hub for agriculture, food and community. Fusing a century-old décor, heavy on pre-WWI furniture, with wifi and mocha lattes (and hawking wares like designer dog treats and bath bombs at its Sunday, Holiday and Pup-up markets), the CF&G’s aesthetic ensures that visitors can be steeped in the good old days while still getting work done à la 21st century.

Through its numerous partnerships with entities like the Small Business Development Corporation and an online farmers market that supports local food traffic, artisans pay a membership that allows them to not only get their goods on a shelf, but to participate in a host of networking opportunities in places like the Workhouse, located upstairs, outfitted for contemporary necessities like teleconferencing, meeting spaces and fundraisers.

“We’re cultivating community and celebrating tradition while also realizing that change is going to happen,” Bay says. “This is hopefully the physical representation of that approach. I want it to be more than just commerce, but an experience.”

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