It doesn’t seem like it’s been a year, but Feb. 15 marked the first anniversary of the MountainAries Market in Guffey. The market is located at Colorado Highway 9 and the Guffey turnoff.
Over the past year, the market has grown quite a lot and features dairy products, meats, in-season produce, bulk dry goods including nuts, grains, flours, trail mixes and herbs.
The market also carries the MountainAries skin care products, which are made right there on the premises. All their skin care products are handcrafted from scratch, using organic ingredients where possible.
The market also carries household products, pharmaceutical items, body and bath products, pet foods, coffees and teas, and snack items. They will also gladly order items they do not stock.
Olimpia Robinson owns the MountainAries Market, and Ashley Stone helps run and manage the store. Both women own the skin care products line that they make in the small building next door to the market.
MountainAries also has a minimum waste policy, and they refill jars, use small reusable cloth bags, paper bags and compostable plastic, mostly from non-virgin materials. They also try to use locally made items when they can.
Their coffee has been a big hit, said Robinson and they are expanding their coffee and tea section into their office space. They will be purchasing new machines and a larger espresso coffee maker and will also be adding items like iced coffee and smoothies, said Stone.
The market has many items by local artists including paintings by Kathy, outdoor painting by Peggy, scrap work from Sundance Sheepskin, metal art by Bill Soux, handmade hats by Ruth, mittens by Cherri (60 percent of the proceeds go to the Guffey community Charter School’s elective classes), jewelry by Roy (a disabled veteran), rocks collected by Meggan, some local author’s books and crafty fire starters by Tracey.
Robinson bought the building in April 2018, and even with the help of family and friends, it took Robinson and Stone a lot longer than planned or expected to get the market up, running and open.
Originally the building was the West homestead house that had been moved from Guffey to the present location. The building sat vacant and open to the elements for years before local realtor Geri Salsig refurbished the building and opened a real estate office there for several years.
The MountainAries Market has been a real boon to those who can’t, won’t or don’t want to drive to Canon City, Woodland Park or elsewhere for groceries.