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That’s A Wrap

Wrap your locally bought gifts in locally made gift wrap.

If the abundance of flag-emblazoned T-shirts, hats, bumper stickers, and coffee cups is any indication, Coloradans (native or otherwise) take a lot of pride in their state. This month, smitten Centennial Staters can share their adoration by wrapping holiday gifts in locally designed and printed paper available only at the 16th Street Mall’s Denver Pavilions. Last year, the shopping center commissioned two Denver artists, Sabin Aell and Debbie Clapper, to create red and green gift wrap. This holiday season, the triple-decker mall will hand out rolls of the paper (plus gift bags adorned with a skyline print by Mile High City photographer Norman Dillon) during the on-site Horseshoe Holiday Markets on December 7 and 14.

The catch: Only shoppers who buy something from a Colorado business, such as the I Heart Denver Store, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, or Cali & Mo, can claim the complimentary gift wrap—and there are only 700 rolls to go around. Just one more reason to get your shopping done early.

(Bonus: Check out 5280‘s local gift guide and 31 days of stocking stuffers.)

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That’s a Wrap

Boulder’s Evol Foods rethinks the frozen burrito.

Giving the tour of his roaring boulder burrito factory, a hard hat–wearing Phil Anson proudly stirs a vat of freshly made, organic salsa. “Why can’t you love your burrito, love your food?” he asks in a way that feels part-sermon, part-PR. For the past decade, Anson has been working to recast the frozen burrito—that college-era, convenience store, quick-calorie fix—as a wholesome food. His earnest enthusiasm about the topic sometimes channels celeb chef Jamie Oliver (right down to the jeans, pearl-snap shirt, and perfectly tousled hair). • Anson named his burrito company Evol (“love” spelled backwards). And the company’s commitment to sustainably raised meats, hormone-free cheeses, and all-natural, organic ingredients (with no preservatives) does make it, well, lovable. Health food chains such as Whole Foods now carry Evol’s expanding line of products (including flatbreads, pizzas, and burrito bowls) across the country.

Anson launched the company, originally called Phil’s Fresh Foods, as a kid out of college. An avid climber, the University of Denver grad sold his handmade burritos from a cooler at the climbing crags in Eldorado Canyon—energy grub for the Boulder rad dudes. By 2002, he’d acquired his factory and was distributing all-natural burritos regionally. Five years later Anson went national, and in 2009, Tom Spier and Brendan Synnott, the guys who created Bear Naked Granola, approached. Under their partnership and tutelage came the name change and the new product lines (capturing more of the frozen-food market). But that original, humble climber mission remains: good, nourishing food for not a lot of cash. “Burritos are often just crap,” Anson says, “but they don’t have to be.”

This article was originally published in 5280 December 2011.
Cheryl Meyers
Cheryl Meyers
Cheryl Meyers is a contributing writer to 5280 Home, which means she gets to spend her days writing about Colorado’s most beautiful indoor spaces.