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This Valentine’s Day, your significant other isn’t the only one in need of affection. After enduring closures and decreased sales due to the pandemic, local retailers could use some love, too. That’s why we asked purveyors in the northwest Denver area which of their neighbors you should visit for heartfelt gifts that will make your honey—and the local economy—happy.
Begin your spree at a Tennyson Street shop already adept at spreading the love: 10 percent of book sales at this independent bookstore and wine bar go toward BookGive, a Denver charity co-founded by Nicole Sullivan, BookBar’s owner. BookGive uses the funds to donate free tomes to the community, ensuring your bookworm’s adoration for literature breeds a new generation of bibliophiles.
BookBar’s Sullivan often pops by her Tennyson Street neighbor to browse boho dresses and jewelry (think: bracelets and earrings from Denver’s Stacy Sterling Jewelry). The selection recently grew wider thanks to Lariat’s expansion in November, so Sullivan recommends leaning on the boutique’s owner, Dana Ford-Buerger, for guidance: “She’s amazing at pairing pieces you’d never expect to look great together.”
Whenever Ford-Buerger needs a last-minute present, she turns to this West Highland florist, “because it stocks gorgeous giftable items along with the stunning blooms,” she says. Pairing a candle, hand-poured in Denver’s Rosy Rings Studio, with a bouquet of surprising flora (like lush magnolia leaves) makes your gift feel a tad more thoughtful than 11th-hour grocery store carnations.
Romina Palacios, Perfect Petal’s boutique manager, pulls together themed gifts at Berkeley home goods shop Miller Lane Mercantile. “You grab a mug, and then they sell coffee, and honey that you can put in the coffee,” Palacios says. Not the most imaginative giver? No problem: Owner Calli Swofford will curate a Favorite Things box (from $75) based on your love’s interests, such as home decor or self-care.
To Swofford, this 20-year-old West Highland establishment’s longevity is easy to explain: “You can tell that everything is carefully selected, almost like perusing a culinary aficionado’s home pantry,” she says. Bring that expertise to your own abode with the Cheesemonger’s Picks Cheese Assortment. The $40 bundle guarantees two soft and two hard cheeses plus a bleu and pairs perfectly with a bottle of wine and a roaring fireplace.