The first thing you need to know about Leevers Locavore, Highland’s shiny new natural grocery store, is that there are cupholders in the shopping carts. They’re for wine and beer, which you’re encouraged to pick up upon entering this glorious market so you can sip while you shop. They’re equally adept at holding water, kombucha, coffee, or whatever other beverage you’re interested in drinking while browsing the well-stocked aisles.
The next thing you need to know is that the selection of items you’ll want to buy (and things you didn’t even know you wanted to buy) is pretty fantastic. The best example: Local protein master Justin Brunson curated Leevers’ meat program, creating his dream meat case with a butcher shop-level range of products.
Most of the products—bacon, sausage, chicken breast, ground beef, pork, and lamb—come from Brunson’s own River Bear American Meats, which only uses family farm- and naturally-raised animals. But Brunson wants you to have goose and rabbit and prosciutto to eat, too, and so he brought in a smattering of meats from his favorite (also responsibility-minded) brands.
The prices aren’t as nuts as you might be expecting. At opening, chicken breast cutlets were going for $8.99 a pound and ground beef for $4.99 a pound. But if you want to go big, you can do that, too; a high-end case hawks Kobe, prime, and dry-aged beef.
“You can get a $3 steak, or you can get a $30 steak,” Brunson says. “There’s something for the family of four and something for someone like myself who’s a big baller when it comes to meat.”
The excellent selection extends beyond the meat, and Leevers stocks a variety of options at different price levels. There’s certainly a focus on local (it’s in the name and all), but what it can’t get from nearby suppliers, the store supplements with natural and organic brands.
“Every chance we get we feature local brands,” says general manager Chris Franklin. “Certain sections have a larger local presence than others.”
That means that most of the beautiful produce display probably doesn’t come from Colorado, but the shelves of Big B’s juices and teas, rack of Pappardelle’s pasta, and case full of Dram and Sparkling CBD sodas do.
Of course, Leevers also has the less-glamorous basics you need from a grocery store: garbage bags, diapers, pet food.
There’s also a coffee bar; the Bottle Shop for beer; grab-and-go sandwiches and salads from Olive & Finch and Etai’s Bakery Cafe; and oh yeah, three restaurants. Basil Doc’s pizza, One Two Three Sushi, and Brunson’s third outpost of Culture Meat & Cheese are there, too, with ready-to-eat foods in case you’re too tired to cook after all that shopping.
“We wanted to take the best elements of a food hall—all that energy and excitement—and apply it to a grocery store,” Franklin says.
Those cupholders are certainly a good start.
If you go: Leevers Locavore is open daily 7 a.m. until 10 p.m.; 2630 W. 38th Ave.