Boulder

The podcast episodes in this section are focused on Boulder, CO.

One of Colorado’s fastest growing towns, Boulder really has something for everyone and these interviews highlight some great people, companies, and activities to make the most of your visit to Boulder.

#005 3 Guaranteed Wins When Entertaining Guests in Boulder

Hey everyone! Thank you for tuning in for this episode of Colorado.FM – the Colorado podcast.  In this episode, I recap some things that made having guests in town a true success.

When you live in a place like Colorado, people are bound to start showing up.

In addition to some of the things I had already figured out after a few years of living here, I was also able to apply recommendations from previous guests.  This new local knowledge has really made an impact on my quality of life, so I’m super excited to pass it on!

I hope you enjoy this episode.  It’s a bit different.  But be sure to let me know what you think, and be sure to pass on your can’t-miss strategies for entertaining guests when they show up!

 


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Selected Links from the Episode

Tin Shed Sports

Salto Coffee Works

Chautauqua Cottages

Kitchen Next Door

Mt. Sanitas Loop

Royal Arch Trail

Podcast: Fanny Toorenburg on Nederland

 


Show Notes

[1:15] Chautauqua cottages for the win

[3:45] Escaping the heat in Boulder Creek and Nederland

[6:35]  Our family day hike: Sanitas – Red Rocks – Lunch at Kitchen Next Door

 


Transcript:

Hey everyone. Doug here from colorado.fm. Thanks for tuning in. I’ve been between guests here for a little while but I did want to just discuss something that I think we probably all have in common here in Colorado, especially in the summer, and that’s having guests. I just had some friends in town and of course you’re always under the gun to come up with really amazing things to do, so I wanted to touch base on a couple of things that really made for just a can’t-lose vacation both for you and your guests, since having guests isn’t always that easy. What I was able to draw on was even some of these recommendations from our prior guests on the podcast, new things that I’m learning about the area, and already just getting to know these people and picking their brain is starting to pay off in my life. Of course, I’m here to pass those recommendations on to you.

Let’s just start off with the first thing that really made this a success. In this case, my guests, they come to town every summer. What they have done for the last few years is rented a cottage at Chautauqua here in Bolder. The Chautauqua cottages are just amazing. You’re really stepping back in time. Of course, Chautauqua’s been there since the late 1800s. They started off with canvas tents and wooden floors. Those evolved into cabins and some of those cabins have been renovated into little cottages over time. They’re just amazing. They’ve stayed in a few different ones and each one is unique. What that allows us to do is, first of all, of course it’s hard to have guests in your house and sometimes it’s just impossible to have a whole another family in your house. This gives them a simple and affordable way to stay right here in Boulder. Second of all, the location, you just can’t beat it. If you’re coming in from out of town and you can stay right in Chautauqua, then you don’t even have to drive in the morning. You just hit the trails. You’ve got restaurants and the ice cream place. Music is playing every night. It’s just amazing. That’s just a total win as far as location.

What it also allows for is us to kind of have like a vacation, staycation, little home away from home. Since they have a place to kind of home base out of during the day, we would hang out over there, go for hikes, have a place to come back to. Again, the kids are just running around because there’s no cars driving through there. We even pulled off a nice sleepover, which led to a great day. Here’s the day, kids sleep over at the cabin in Chautauqua, get up in the morning and hit the trails, maybe head up to Royal Arch. Nice, long hike. Come back, grab some ice cream. That’s it. It’s a total win for both of the families involved. Lots of fun, lots of things to do, location right at the foot of the Flatirons just can’t be beat. If you have some guests, if you’re in Boulder and you have guests coming to town or even if you’re just in the area, you might want to check it out and head up, get everybody to stay over at Chautauqua for a few nights. It’s just really super fun and lends something unique to your trip.

The next thing we did that was an absolute win was escaping the heat. Pretty hot in Boulder when they first arrived, so we headed up canyon towards Nederland. Just getting up there, you drive in half an hour but it [inaudible 00:04:08] feet of elevation, dropped the temperature 20 degrees. Of course, everyone around here knows that, if you just head into the hills. But sometimes you forget just how easy it is. You don’t have to head two hours to Breckenridge or something like that. We just head right up into Nederland, stop at one of those pull-offs along the way and jump in the river, pull out some chairs and have a couple of Colorado’s finest beers. It’s just really a great way to spend the day.

What I was able to add to the Nederland trip … Nederland is, if you haven’t been there, there’s a funky little town well-known for having the outdoor ski resort in the winter, of course. But it’s really a great town in the summer as well. When I interviewed Fanny Tornburg earlier in the podcast, she recommended and just enlightened me to a place in Nederland that I had never heard of. It’s this great combination, the Salto Coffee Works and Tin Shed Sports, which is owned by a family and it’s got the coffee shop and the bike shop right next door. But I finally had a chance to check it out and I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t been going there for the last few years. It’s amazing, patio, shade, everybody’s hanging out. They’ve got amazing Mexican food in this place, which totally blew me away, a real authentic Mexican menu, great coffee, and again, we were able to escape the heat from up there. Already, my interviews with some locals paying off with that.

One of the reasons why I was missing their location was that it’s just kind of off the drag just enough that you can’t really see it, so even if I stopped in Nederland on the way home from Eldora, grabbed a pizza or a bite to eat, I wasn’t seeing this place. Definitely worth checking out if you’re up that way. That was kind of day two of a total win, hitting the river, getting some elevation, and cruising around Nederland. Of course, there’s great, eclectic, fun shops up there, but my new favorite place up there is definitely Salto Coffee Works.

As you know, I like to ask my guests where some of their favorite things to do, what’s their perfect day if they have the kids, if they have nothing to do, if they have a day around town. Here’s mine, and we were able to pull this off with our guests. It’s just a hike and walk to town that we love to do and it really creates a win for the day. I live on the north side of Boulder, so what we’re doing is heading into Sanitas, but via the Goat Trail that starts up on Third Street and Forest. That’s not always a convenient place to start for everybody, but if you’re on this side of town, you probably know about that. And if you’re looking to switch up your hike, it might be worth parking up by North Boulder Park and starting from up there, just to mix it up.

You head up the Goat Trails, super fun way to start the hike, nice and steep. Some nice little places to scramble up for the kids. Once we get up to the top of the Goat Trail, we tend to just head down the Dakota Ridge, because I’ve still got kids with little legs so I’m not heading up to the peak at this point. Obviously, there’s plenty of people in town who are dragging their little kids up there but that’s just the way we like to do it. We’ll head down Dakota Ridge towards Napleton and then head up Red Rocks, go climbing around on the Red Rocks for a little while, head back to Pearl Street, and hike it right on into town and grab something great to eat on Pearl Street. That’s really the thing that is amazing about living in Boulder and a lot of places in Colorado is that you can take a hike like that and end up right in town and grab a good lunch and a cold beer. It just makes for a really enjoyable day. One of our favorite places is Kitchen Next Door. You start throwing some kale chips and garlic smashers at people and everyone seems to be pretty happy. We’ll loop around and just hike right home and that kind of completes the loop.

Having guests in town, like I said, is always a challenge. It’s fun to have some of these things that you can just kind of have in your hip pocket. If you’re heading to the Boulder area and you’re not really from around here, there’s three ideas I think that can really help make your trip, whether it’s and overnighter or even just a day trip, a total success. Part of it’s drawing on my experience and part of it’s just drawing on some of the recommendations from guests. Little bit different episode today. I hope this is informative and I look forward to bringing you some new guests soon.

#004 Colorado Camping and Purposeful Traveling with Author and Travel Writer Joshua Berman

Colorado.FM Interview: Joshua Berman

Hey everyone!

Welcome to this episode of the Colorado.FM podcast where I had the pleasure of sitting down with award-winning travel writer, Denver Post columnist and Colorado camping aficionado Joshua Berman.

Josh’s articles and photography have appeared in the likes of The New York Times, National Geographic Traveler, San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe, Outside Traveler, 5280, and many more.

Josh is a freelance writer specializing in Travel/Adventure, Wilderness Education, and Spanish language education, especially in Central America and Colorado.

In our conversation, Josh tells how he was able to weave a common thread through writing from his time in the Peace Corps to his work for Moon Travel Guides where he is currently tasked with updates to both his Nicaragua Guide and, perhaps more relevantly to this podcast, the Colorado Camping Guide.

Josh has worked as a fixer in Central America for such shows as Bizarre Foods, and brings his love for Central American culture back to both his classrooms and the Colorado community as a whole through what he calls Nicarado events where Nicaraguan artists, writers, poets, come to Colorado.

You can find Josh online at http://joshuaberman.net as well as on twitter @tranquilotravel and on amazon where you can find his catalog of books.

Of course, we’ll be sure to put all of the relevant links from this conversation in the show notes.  So now, here we go.  My conversation with travel writer and columnist Joshua Berman.

 


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Selected Links from the Episode

JoshuaBerman.net

Joshua Berman Denver Post author page

Joshua Berman Amazon page

Moon Colorado Camping

Moon Travel Guides

Valmont Bike Park Boulder

La Choza Mexican Restaurant

Chautauqua Meadow Music

Empowerment International

Peace Corps.

Ryan Van Duzer

 

Campgrounds:

Transfer Camp Ground

Teal Lake Campground

Great Sand Dunes National Park – Pinon Flats Campground

 


Show Notes

[2:30]  Boulder – Nicaragua – Pakistan – Back to Boulder

[6:30] Honeymoon adventure becomes a book

[8:20] Back to Boulder

[9:25] Landing the Colorado Camping Guide

[14:35] Some standout campsites in Colorado

[17:45] Nicarado Connection – Nicaraguan cultural exchange in Colorado

[22:45] Being a ‘Purposeful Traveler’

[27:30] Some local favorite spots – Valmont Bike Park, Chautauqua Meadow Music

[29:30] Who Josh would love to hear on this podcast: Ryan Van Duzer

 


 

Transcript:

Colorado Podcast Interview with Joshua Berman

Josh Berman:                       Hello, everyone. And thanks for tuning into this episode of Colorado.FM – the Colorado podcast – where I had the pleasure of sitting down with award winning travel writer, Denver Post columnist and Colorado camping aficionado Joshua Berman. Josh’s article and photography have appeared in the likes of the New York Times, National Geographic Traveler, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe, Outside Traveler, 5280 and many more.

Josh is a freelance writer specialing in travel adventure, wilderness education and Spanish language education, especially in Central America and Colorado. In our conversation, he tells how he was able to weave a common thread through writing from his time in the Peace Corps to his work for Moon Travel Guides where he is currently tasked with updates to both his Nicaragua guide and, perhaps more relevantly to this podcast, the Colorado Camping Guide.

Josh has even worked as a fixer in Central America for such shows as Bizarre Foods and he brings his love for Central American culture back to both his classrooms and the Colorado community as a whole through what he calls Nicardo Events. Where Nicaraguan artists, writers, poets, et cetera come to Colorado. You can find Josh online at joshuaberman.net as well as on Twitter at tranquilotravel and on Amazon where you can find his catalog of books. Of course we’ll be sure to put all the relevant links from this conversation in the show notes but for now, here we go … my conversation with travel writer and columnist Joshua Berman.

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Doug:                                         Josh, thanks for being here today on Colorado.FM, The Colorado Podcast. I really appreciate you coming in.

Josh Berman:                       My pleasure, Doug.

Doug:                                         As we let on in the intro, you’ve been a travel writer for over twelve years, or even longer probably.

Joshua Berman:                       I’d say about 20 years.

 

Doug:                                         Okay. Man that’s a long career and you’ve also had a chance to do some of your travel writing right here in Colorado and so that was part of what was really interesting to me. You got in with Moon Handbooks but before we get into that, why don’t we back up and just tell us what led you on your path into writing and how that brought you to Colorado.

Joshua Berman:                       When I was 22, so recently out of college, I ended up in Boulder for a year and I got a job at a new startup magazine called Gravity where I was an intern. First an unpaid intern and then got on and learned the business of making magazines here, basically. And there was doing a whole bunch of other thing too. I was waiting for my Peace Corps application to go through and I ended up going to Nicaragua in the Peace Corps which eventually, 10 years later, was gonna lead me back to Colorado when I met my wife. But at first it was … yeah, went to Nicaragua with the idea that I wanted to keep writing. So I did my Peace Corps experience but also edited the Peace Corps publication with a buddy of mine.

While we were down there, this was 1998-2000, we realized there was no complete guidebook to Nicaragua. At all. And he and I worked together on the volunteer publication. So we wrote it and that got me into writing guidebooks, writing about travel, writing about Nicaragua. And what had happend was I had a niche all of the sudden put in my lap. I was the Nicaragua guy. I knew about travel there and that, to this day almost 20 years later, that’s one of my expertises, is travel in Nicaragua. So it was all pretty serendipitous. And ended up there and ended up writing this book and getting into guidebook writing and working for Moon. We wanted to write for them because they’re books are very thorough. So now I’ve written five titles for them and it’s about 19 years later and I’ve got three kids and I’m in Colorado and still figuring out away, yeah, to keep with this freelance travel writing thread through my life as I do other things.

Doug:                                         Yeah. That’s amazing. When you were going into the Peace Corps, were you already writing a lot at that point? Were you thinking, “Man, I’m definitely gonna get a good story out of this.” Or, did you go in for different volunteering reasons and travel reasons and then thought, “Man, I should start writing this down.”

Josh Berman:                       The writing was secondary probably. Although, because while I was waiting for the application to go through and was working at Sport & Fitness Publishing and learning about magazines and realizing, actually, it’s not … this is something I want to do. I actually put off Peace Corps for four months or so because it was going so well at the magazine. But I figured out a way to support it pretty much immediately, by doing this volunteer publication. So, yeah, my primary reason, I wanted to learn another language. I wanted to live abroad. I wanted to experience that. I worked in environmental education so I was working with teachers down there. And some disaster relief. We were there for Hurricane Mitch, 1998.

I also just knew if you throw yourself into these incredible scenarios then the story’s gonna be there and that was a big theme of it. Putting myself out there in situations where I knew there was gonna be some kind of great story to tell.

Doug:                                         Sure. And that became that common thread that you were starting to develop, kind of became a part of your marriage as well. Right? When you took off on another adventure on your honeymoon … and I learned this through you and I also saw some of these videos on your website, including your Boulder TEDx talk which we’ll be sure to link to and things like that. So you took off on a honeymoon and ended up with an amazing story and wrote a book on that as well.

Joshua Berman:                       Yeah. I met my wife … I met her in Baltimore of all places. She was from Colorado and we met through our mutual Peace Corps friends. She had done Peace Corps in The Gambia in West Africa. And we met, it was all pretty quick. We got married pretty quickly and decided that … we had each been in the Peace Corps. We had each had this transformative experience abroad but we knew that to have that experience together somewhere would really help us make up for lost time. We met when we were both 31 years old so we did it as a way to pressurize our new relationship. We went abroad. We signed up to volunteer in India and Sri Lank and Ghana. We connected those volunteer stints with several months of travel so we really kind of milked out … and did some freelancing while we were going along as well.

So we ended up traveling 16 countries in 16 months and came back and there’s the answer to your first question. That’s when we landed and Colorado. We wanted to come back and be here, we love the mountains … be near her family and accessible to my family back east and we landed where my wife got a job at the hospital. She’s a registered nurse who works with childbirth. The first job she got was Boulder and here we are. It’s been about 12 years now that we’ve been in Boulder and three daughters later.

Doug:                                         Gotcha. Did you have much experience with Colorado before you got together with your wife?

Joshua Berman:                       A little bit. Yeah. Growing up I had an uncle and aunt and cousins in New York, growing up in New York. And they would take me to Colorado and that’s … I did learn to ski. We came on some vacations here. But it really was that year before the Peace Corps where I lived in Boulder. I slung bagels at Moe’s on Broadway. I was a security guard at the Boulder Theater. And, oh yeah, I had this magazine job. And then amidst all that going up and going hiking and backpacking and snowboarding.

Doug:                                         Right.

Josh Berman:                       It was a little bit hard to give up when the Peace Corps invite finally came. It was definitely a fun year.

Doug:                                         That’s interesting. So you’ve done your 16 months of travel. You’re back in Colorado and you already at that point have this experience with Moon writing the first Nicaragua book. Is that correct?

Josh Berman:                       Yeah.


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The Colorado Camping Guide

Doug:                                         Bring us to getting in charge of the Colorado camping book.

Josh Berman:                       I wrote the first four editions of Moon Nicaragua with my co author Randy Wood. And then we gave that up and some other people continued it and I’ve recently taken it back. So I’m going to Nicaragua next week to update the seventh edition of that book. Randy and I also wrote Moon Living Abroad in Nicaragua. I wrote the Moon Belize book for ten years for four editions of that. I did a regional book for them that was called Maya 2012 that was about the Maya calendar and the whole Maya region.

Then, a couple of years ago, I heard that the author of the Moon Colorado camping book could no longer continue the book. The way these work is somebody has to update these guidebooks every two or three years and that person’s name, with Moon, still goes on the cover and they get to update the text and take it over and make it theirs and I had that opportunity. I’ve been camping for years. Growing up, back east, going Outward Bound as a student and then as an instructor. I worked for a few years for them. I’ve done quite a bit of wilderness education and worked as a Wildland Firefighter one year. Managed to find jobs that paid me to sleep on the ground and go camping.

And as I travel around Colorado and get to know more places, and take my kids camping and try to get them into it, it just seemed the perfect timing for this. To take it over. Because updating the book forces you to get out there and do it. There’s no … real no excuses. You have a deadline and you have to literally visit as many campgrounds as possible. Which we did and I’ll get to update that next year as well.

Doug:                                         Bring us into what that was like when you first took over the Colorado camping book and what that meant for your time as far as having the family. When did you do this and how did you get out there and see as much as you could of Colorado? There’s gotta be thousands of camp sites in this state.

Josh Berman:                       There are. There’s 480 campgrounds that are listed in my book. I knew I had to hit as many as I could and otherwise I had to find out has the price changed? Has the number of sites changed? Are reservations accepted now? There’s not that much that changes at a campground but sometimes they do get closed and new ones open. So you really do have to take a pretty thorough approach to sweeping the whole state and for me it’s all about balancing act with my schedule as a Spanish teacher and being able to work on my breaks and take on these bigger writing projects during the summer breaks, basically.

The goal was, two summers ago, the kids were ages two, five and eight. The youngest still in diapers. And we decided to go on a thirty day trip around the state. Pretty much anchored in the main national parks and national monuments and camped at almost a different place every single night. Tent camping. Setting it up, taking it down. Making sure that the little one didn’t fall in the fire or off a cliff. And it was exhausting. It’s not relaxing to camp with your family. It’s like there would be the little moments, a beautiful moment of sitting next to the camp fire and everyone’s relaxed and not fighting and safe. And then it’s … all mayhem breaks loose. And it’s just finding those moments and not turning the kids off to it. They enjoyed it. They saw a lot.

Doug:                                         Yeah, I would imagine.

Josh Berman:                       My wife grew up in Colorado and she said in that summer our kids saw more of Colorado than she had growing up there.

Doug:                                         I would imagine that would be a feat that’s hard to replicate. Until, maybe, I guess next summer if you update that book again. I don’t know what you’re committed to on that but, yeah … I just did a couple of days of camping at the Sand Dunes a couple of weeks ago and by the end of the second night everyone was pretty much ready to pack it in. So I can imagine what day 30 looked like of the camping caravan.

Josh Berman:                       Yeah. Hot springs help. We would break up the camping by staying in a few … and that’s what we did last summer, was do the similar loop anchored to the hot springs. And there was just enough to do and see around the state. It really is amazing how much is there.

Doug:                                         Yeah. And so, out of 480 … I’m sure it’s difficult and I’m sure you get this question a lot. If you could get away for … I guess a couple of things. Like the weekend or versus, you had a little extra time. What places just stick out in your mind as being those places that were just super special where everbody seemed to be happy and entertained? And, I don’t know, something … maybe there was a nice river there or something. But whatever it was that just brought it together that really made it a great spot.

Josh Berman:                       I’d say there’s a lot of amazing ones. And the tricky thing is, the biggest question we always get too, is the reservations on the weekends thing. It really is hard to go out on the weekends. And you either are the kind of person that makes the reservations five, six months in advance or you can adapt if you don’t get into the campground you want and you’re kind of ready for that. But just about every campground we went to in the San Juan National Forest in the southwest of the state blew us away. Always in a different way. Transfer Campground is north of Mancos and that was in a beautiful aspen grove with this view of some sacred mountains.

The Teal Campground was one of our favorites. That was 22 miles north of Pagosa Springs and we ended up … it’s a first come first serve place and two years in a row we ended up at site 12 where you can walk your tent down this hill and just be in the middle of this huge meadow, looking out over this lake. So we started developing some little traditions. Hopefully, I’d like to make it back there. And Sand Dunes, too is one of our favorites. If you get a site on one of the outer loops in the Pinon Flats campground there, the one inside the park, that’s just spectacular.

Doug:                                         Yeah. And that’s the reward you get, right, with camping? We were just there, like I mentioned, and it’s a little gritty in your teeth and maybe you didn’t sleep all that great. But when you walk out the view is just spectacular. It’s so … I mean, as soon as you walk out of your tent it’s just one of the most amazing things that you can see. And it almost doesn’t make sense, right? All that sand in the middle of the mountains. And so your mind’s just really working pretty hard on that. But those are great suggestions. I appreciate it. And, of course, like I said we’ll make sure we put links to any resources we mention in the show notes so that people can find these places. Because if something like Teal sticks out in your head, that’s probably pretty special amongst that month of traveling. And if you get there and spot 12 is taken it’s not my fault.

So that’s really interesting how you’ve been able to tie that experience … and I’m sure if I asked you the same thing for Nicaragua you would be able to go off, but that’s a different conversation, I think. But one of the things that is really interesting that you’re doing is bringing your love of Nicaragua and it’s culture right back here. So why don’t you tell us a little bit about some of the cultural things you’re doing to help bring awareness and bring some of that Nicaraguan culture right here back to Boulder and Denver and Colorado.

Joshua Berman:                       Sure, yeah. I feel really lucky to stay really connected with Nicaragua. It’s a very special country in Central America by itself, but also to me personally and I’m able to travel back there once or twice a year doing different work. And just stay connected to my friends and adopted family down there. And I discovered very soon after we moved here 12 years ago I discovered, I call it the Nicarado connection. There are … sometimes it’s official. One of Boulder’s official sister cities is [00:18:52] in Northern Nicaragua and there are several delegations that travel regularly from Boulder to Nicaragua. Several at CU Boulder who do that. There’s a lot of work, there’s a lot of international work that’s based in Colorado that does work in Nicaragua. Whether that’s bringing groups down there or supporting water projects down there. There’s NGOs that are based here and I just found that there’s a strong connection and I wanted to take advantage of it.

 


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Over the years I’ve invited Nicaragua friends, musicians and writers and people to come visit. And they’ve come. Visited my Spanish classrooms. We’ve done radio shows. We’ve done live concerts and fundraising efforts. There’s a group called Empowerment International who just had … one of their graduates came up and visited some or our schools. They’re based in Grenada, Nicaragua and Boulder. And it just doesn’t feel like it’s a coincidence that that’s happening so I just feel really lucky to be able to keep that up and to bring that … just to share some of it.

In Peace Corps it’s called the third goad. The third goal is bringing knowledge of your host country back home and teaching people about that experience and what you learned there. So for me to have that alive in my classroom and in my community and in my city is … I feel pretty lucky to do that.

Doug:                                         And like you said, as a teacher, that’s gotta be really special. Any time you get a chance to make it real, right? And if there is one thing that people knock Colorado and the front range for is kind of a lack of diversity. It’s always interesting to me though that there are all these opportunities out there to engage in the world that you just need to go look for them. And then, on top of that, people like you who are bringing the world to us … our kids benefit so immensely because in the classroom they’re learning Spanish and they’re doing some of these activities, but it makes it real when you bring in a poet from Nicaragua and they can talk and they can listen in their language and still understand what’s going on. It’s just like a really special moment and I’m sure they remember those days more than all the other ones combined, probably. I’m sure you can get a good sense for what the classroom’s like when you’re able to do that.

Joshua Berman:                       Yeah. There’s more opportunity than we realize. Even literally just down the … in front of our noses. Right across the street from the school where I teach there’s a taqueria called La Choza and that’s my standard field trip. I’ll take the 8th graders there, the high school students there, and we sit down and we eat tacos. They’re like Mexico City style street tacos but they have to … I make them talk with the people there and say how are you and what’s your name and where are you from. And how interesting is it that everyone we meet in North Boulder is from Zacatecas, the same state in Mexico? There’s some interesting community there and it’s just a matter of not only knowing that language but just knowing the cultural … what’s accepted to be able to approach somebody and talk to them. That’s the big thing that I learned in Nicaragua was you just talk to people all the time. So trying to keep that going here.

Doug:                                         I think that really ties in. I mean, not all of us had that intense experience of being in the Peace Corps even if we have traveled pretty extensively. And you just don’t get that real tie in to the community when you’re a traveler. And so I was looking at your TEDx video on your website and you talk about being a purposeful traveler and I thought that was kind of interesting. And one of the things you said was that travel is not supposed to be easy. What does being a purposeful traveler mean to you?

Josh Berman:                       It’s a couple of things. One thing is it’s just traveling with a mission. With a job to do. Whether that’s I need to go visit as many campgrounds as I can in the next 30 days or whether it’s I’m going to Nicaragua next month and I’m going through this book and systematically checking it hotel by hotel and looking at all the prices and everything and just making sure that’s up to date. So knowing that you wake up in the morning and, yes, I’m in this beautiful place with these incredible people, but my job is to walk the grid of the city. Of this beautiful colonial city and duck in and out of cathedrals but really look at it systematically. And I like having that direction and that drive when I’m traveling. Sometimes.

When I’m with my family I like it also. And they often are with me when it’s on assignment. For my column in the Denver Post which is around Colorado, where everything outside of Denver is … we’re technically researching it when we go there. But it’s always a different pace when it’s with the family. But I like the idea of having a goal when you’re traveling. Or a theme. When < and I began our honeymoon, that extended honeymoon, we started in Pakistan. And the reason we did that is because her great grandfather had spent 50 years of his life there. He was a Presbyterian from New York and a scientist and a biologist and he had spent so much time there that we knew that if we went with the mission of looking up his past that doors would open for us. And they did. Immediately. Amazing doors opened for us there just because we mentioned his name and we went there … that whole family origin quest and I’ve hear of people doing that kind of trip and that’s fascinating to me.

So it’s really available to anyone, not just travel writers on assignment. But, make a reason for your trip or set a theme to it or make a research project out of it just for yourself or for your blog or whatever it is. And I think that that’s … it makes it easier to find something that you’re passionate about. It’ll bring it to life for you and it gives you a different lens to see each day through when you wake up in that colonial city.

Doug:                                         Sure. And you get to bring that home once you get back. On your website it also mentions you had a gig as the fixer for Bizarre Foods show with Andrew Zimmerman.

Joshua Berman:                       Yeah. Yeah.

Doug:                                         So, speaking of purposeful travel … did you have to eat anything weird when you did that with him?

Joshua Berman:                       I did. My job was to research and come up with the menu that he was gonna eat. It’s an hour long show. So the Travel Channel came to me in 2009, I had been writing the guidebook for about eight years and I had this network of people all over Nicaragua that I needed to do the guidebooks. And I was like, “What else can I use this network for?” And then the Travel Channel came asking questions about researching the show and I said oh, there it is. And I started calling all my friends that I knew down there and the chefs and the guides and I pulled together six stories for them. And I flew down there with them and then they ended up using me in one of the scenes as taking Andrew back to my Peace Corps site, to my village and treating them to some dishes there.

Doug:                                         Oh, nice. It’s amazing that you have been able to keep that common thread going from that experience through to your current life. Including, like you said, leaving in a week or so to go to redo that book again. I like to start wrapping these things up by asking people some of their favorite spots and activities to do. You already mentioned obviously from your camping trips some great spots. What about just right here in Boulder? When you have a Saturday, whether it’s just to yourself or with the kids, what’s a can’t lose kind of day for you?

Joshua Berman:                       When it’s with the kids and the weather is perfect, which it usually is here except for the couple handful of hot days and the handful of cold days, but my kids love going to the Valmont Bike Park. It’s free. It’s active. We try to go early. The other day when we went the four year old face planted on the very first little hill-

Doug:                                         Nice.

Joshua Berman:                       … down into the skills loop so that ended that trip early. The kids are now … they’re still pretty young but they’re getting out there. So bike park and the library … make it to the library for story time, and that’s the morning. But it’s just so easy. They’re not big hikers yet but we’re trying to edge them toward that way and there’s so many places to do it. And tonight there’s a free concert down at Chautauqua, out in the meadows there, and there’s just no shortage of things to do here. Whether it’s just going downtown and hanging out next to the creek.

Doug:                                         Yeah, the bike park is a great one. That place is amazing. It’s a really great, local resource. And then the Chautauqua concerts, what do they call those again? [crosstalk 00:29:13]

Joshua Berman:                       Music in the Meadow, I think.

Doug:                                         Music in the Meadow, okay.

Joshua Berman:                       The Jeff & Paige concert that’s sponsored by the city and Open Spaces.

Doug:                                         Okay. Right.

Joshua Berman:                       So, pretty classic Boulder scene. A lot of kids running around.

Doug:                                         Right. Yeah. So that’s a good one even if you’re just coming in town just to look up.

Joshua Berman:                       Every Monday evening during the summer, 5:30. The show starts at 6, there’s a family hike right before that so …

Doug:                                         Oh, there you go. And then the last thing I like to ask is, who would you love to hear on this podcast? You got any ideas for that?

Joshua Berman:                       You know, there’s so many great characters around the state and around Boulder. But one of my favorite is Ryan Van Duzer … is a Boulder boy who I first met him because he was in the Peace Corps in Honduras and we had some common Peace Corps friends. Exc pet when he finished his Peace Corps he got on his mountain bike and rode it home to Boulder from Honduras.

Doug:                                         Stop!

Joshua Berman:                       So he’s kind of a long distance cycling adventure guy. Travels the world but is based right up the road here. So he and I check in, every few months we’ll see each other and sit down and catch up. He films shows for Nat Geo and Travel Channel and Discovery all around the world but he’s just based in his little place up there.

Doug:                                         Oh, no way. Wow. Well, that’s a conversation I would love to have.

Joshua Berman:                       Bicycle Missionary, I think, would be part of his title.

Doug:                                         Okay. Nice. I’ll have to look him up and, again, put any links and maybe with your help I can get in touch with this guy. That would be fantastic.

Joshua Berman:                      We can nail him down.

Doug:                                         Yeah, if he’s not riding around somewhere, right?

Joshua Berman:                       Yep.

Doug:                                         Awesome. Well, I gotta say it’s just really interesting to hear some of the backstory on how you’ve ended up here and, again, this common thread that you’ve been able to weave through your personal and professional life is just fascinating. And so thanks for sharing the story with us and thanks for all those great recommendations. That’s the kind of information I think we can all use.

Joshua Berman:                       Well, thanks for having me Doug. Yeah, just keep … we’re exploring whether we’re doing it down the block in Boulder or around the world or down Nicaragua. So [crosstalk 00:31:37]

Doug:                                         Right. Just explore, every day of your life, right? Just keep exploring. Awesome. All right. Thanks again.

Joshua Berman:                       Thank you.

Doug:                                         Hey, everyone. Again, thanks for listening. As we mentioned in the intro, you’ll be able to find all of the relevant links and resources from this podcast in the show notes. Be sure to subscribe to this podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or however you like to consume podcasts. And you can also join our e-mail list for updates. If you can, please leave a review on iTunes. It really helps us get the word out on the great folks we were talking to here at Colorado.FM. So again, thanks a lot and we will talk to you soon.


 

#002 Boulder Creative Collective – Supporting Art and Artists in Boulder

Boulder Creative Collective on Colorado.FM, The Colorado Podcast

Hello everyone, and thank you for tuning in for this episode of the Colorado.FM podcast.  In this episode I will be speaking with Addrienne Amato and Kelly Russack of the Boulder Creative Collective, a home for art and community here in Boulder.

Our conversation ranges from the inspiration for starting the BCC to how it has evolved from a series of pop-up art exhibitions to the BCC Warehouse – a permanent exhibition space with studios for resident artists of all kinds – including writers, toymakers, all sorts of creatives.

Addrienne and Kelly offer their unique insight into the creative pulse of Boulder as well as their suggestions for engaging in the art scene around the state, but especially here in the front range.

Online, you can find them at bouldercreativecollective.com and on Instagram also @bouldercreativecollective.

 


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Selected Links from the Episode

 


Show Notes

[1:25] From pop-ups to the BCC: Warehouse – the journey

[4:30] Sanitas Brewing

[8:00] Building an accessible, inclusive art community

[11:00] The BCC: Warehouse – a day in the life; the artists it has attracted

[14:30] The neighborhood – a community of artists, makers, eccentrics (and driving bulldozers!)

[18:45] Supporting the artists – Art On Loan program

[25:30] Where Addrienne and Kelly go to get inspired in the area

 


Transcript:

Colorado Podcast Episode with Boulder Creative Collective

 

Hello everyone, and thank you for tuning in to this episode of the Colorado.FM podcast. In this episode, I’ll be speaking with Addrienne Amato and Kelly Russack of the Boulder Creative Collective, a home for art community here in Boulder. Our conversation ranges from the inspiration for starting the BCC, to how it has evolved from a series of popup art exhibitions to the BCC warehouse, a permanent exhibition space for resident artists of all kinds, including writers, toy makers, and all sorts of creatives, not just visual artists.

Addrienne and Kelly offer their unique insight into the creative pulse of Boulder, as well as their suggestions for engaging the art scene around the state, but really especially here in the front range. Online, you can find them at bouldercreativecollective.com and on Instagram also, @bouldercreativecollective. So here we go, my conversation with Addrienne Amato and Kelly Russack of the Boulder Creative Collective.

Okay, Addrienne and Kelly, thank you so much for being here. As I said in the introduction, these are the two behind the Boulder Creative Collective, and they’re going to kind of take us through the story on how they got together, recognized a need for some new art influence in Boulder, so if you could just kind of take us through the journey. You started with pop-ups, ended up with a great warehouse. How did you get there?

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Addrienne Amato:

I think an important piece of the story is how this journey began, and probably how a lot of ideas in Boulder are created. We were actually hiking Sanitas, which is just in our backyard. We both live a walkable distance away from the mountains, so we were just on a hike one day, and were chatting about what we felt was missing, both having moved here from different locations. I was living in a bigger city, I was in Boston at the time. Kelly was in Park City, but we felt that Boulder was missing this essential part of our lives and daily experiences, and we felt like we needed to fill it and that’s how the idea for the pop-up began, and in the first two, was it? About two years that we did the pop-ups?

Kelly Russack:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Addrienne Amato:

We really focused on transforming people’s homes and unexpected places into a gallery-like or an event-like space, and we’d alter them drastically so they were very different from what they were. The very first pop-up we did was Kelly’s living room, but that one really ended up looking like a traditional gallery space in the end, and then from there … And I think in that very first one we also named the Boulder Creative Collective.

Kelly Russack:

We did.

Addrienne Amato:

Right? Yeah, I mean, that’s a name we’ve had since the very beginning that’s never changed, so we felt that really fit what we were trying to create and still think it fits today. Do you want to talk a little bit more about the journey beyond that? Beyond the pop-ups and sort of how we moved into the warehouse space?

Kelly Russack:

Sure. I would love to. So, we did three homes pop-ups and like Addrienne said, the first one was in my house, first floor, then the next one was in a garage and we painted it out and power washed it and buffed it so it was super inviting, and then the third was just a blowout at Addrienne’s and we were lucky enough to have an outdoor space to use because we had 200 people going through her home and so that was when we knew we had kind of outgrown the homes.

Speaker 1:

Gotcha.

Kelly Rusike:

Because who really wants 200 people going through their lives without-

Speaker 1:

But that’s amazing.

Kelly Russack:

Yeah. It was crazy. So we brainstormed and decided to reach out to our local business friends and asked … Well actually, rewind. We went public when we went to the Sanitas Brewing, and they had sponsored some beer for us for Addrienne’s event, and it was the first time that our art event was open to the public, because it was always nerve-wracking, just not knowing how many people are going to arrive and that was always definitely scary for me to let go of, because who knows? I mean, all walks of life, everyone’s invited, but then at the same time, you know, there are limitations. So, we had an event at Sanitas Brewing where we transformed their tank space, and we had freedom to do everything that we wanted.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Addrienne Amato:            Including using the scissor lift.

Kelly Russack:

The scissor lift, and then we needed more wall space because when we first saw the space, Michael, the owner, he walked us through and each time we went back the space got smaller and smaller, because his business was growing and all of a sudden he had this gigantic cooler. Luckily it had a magnetic metal that we could use to our benefit, so we hung artwork on the cooler and that was just really fun. That’s where people … It was more inclusive just because it was open to the public, so then … Because he didn’t close shop for us, so then we just got a lot of outsiders and interest.

Speaker 1:

Sure. And that’s kind of, from what I’ve been reading and just knowing you guys, that’s really one of your common themes and one of your motivations anyway, which is bringing art to more people and kind of getting it out there, so I’m sure that really fit with you as far as opening up, I guess, like you said, to outsiders.

Kelly Russack:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Speaker 1:

That’s awesome. Was the Sanitas connection something that you guys knew of? Was that just a good example of Boulder businesses supporting people, or is that … ?

Addrienne Amato:

I’m not really 100% certain how this all … How we met him. Did we just cold-call him?

Kelly Russack:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). A lot of how we operate at the BCC is under the motto, “What’s the worst that someone can say? No?” So I think I cold-called them and just said, “Hey we’re going to have an event. You want to give us two kegs for free?” They called back after a little bit of follow up and kept kind of bugging them. I think Michael, the owner, called back and we explained what we were doing, the idea of it, and they gave us, I believe, the equivalent of about two kegs, but they brought cases, so they came to my house, so that last home pop-up that we did and served beer and that was one of our biggest shows, so that was where we made the connection with Sanitas. I think it was really, we thought they has cool space, they had good beer. They were a little bit younger at the time, not as established, but a lot of people knew of the brewery, so it just ended up with a happy connection, and they were willing to help us out, and then that’s how we got that connection to do the pop-up in their space.

Speaker 1:

That’s excellent. I love that. One of the things you kind of mentioned, when you were first both had moved here from these other places that had more established and thriving art scenes I guess, were you surprised at the lack of support for the art scenes in Boulder? Because people tend to think of it as a real creative-type town. Were you surprised that there weren’t more people doing what you guys wanted to do when you got here?

Kelly Rusike:

Well, as we all know, Boulder has changed at a rapid rate, and so when Boulder was very different four years ago, seven, eight years ago, and so there were a lot of artists, but there were a lot of people doing a lot of different things, and it wasn’t a full community effort to make this cultural impact, and so people were out there, open studios, it’s been around forever.

NoBo art district … The city was on the verge of trying to create something, so things were around, but where did we belong and who did we connect to and with? And so when we were on our hike, that’s when the idea was born, that we wanted something that fit our lifestyle that invited us in, that we felt included, that all walks of life are not exclusive. We want everyone to enjoy art, so anytime people say, “Hey, I don’t have a babysitter, I don’t know if I can come to your opening” it’s half the reason we do what we do, is because our kids … we want our kids to be surrounded by art and culture, and so that’s a driving force as well. There were things happening and then now over the course of, what are we? Four years? Almost fours years?

Addrienne Amato:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Kelly Russack:

We’re all building these strong relationships with one another and supporting each other in openings and cross promotion, so it becomes a stronger network within the Boulder city and beyond.

Speaker 1:

Sure.

Kelly Russack:

Does that answer your question?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, no, that’s great. Definitely as you know, you’ll find my kids at your openings and event as well. It’s an awesome family experience, and like you said, not all … We take our kids to a lot of art places whether it feels welcome or not, we like to do that anyway, but you’re right, it doesn’t always necessarily feel welcome, like you’re just kind of forcing yourself in there anyway.

Addrienne Amato:

Right.

Speaker 1:

So it’s nice to actually go somewhere and just it is feeling like a family atmosphere and it is feeling like, not like a stuffy kind of environment, which is definitely not what you guys have. Take us to the warehouse. You got the new space, and I guess by new, couple years?

Kelly Russack:

Just over a year. Yeah, we’re just over a year old.

Speaker 1:

Okay, and you’ve got tenants in there who can rent space and they’re Boulder artists of a lot of different types? It’s not just visual artists, there’s a lot of different types of people in there and even other entrepreneurs, which I guess … Has that been a surprise to you guys? Is that what you’re going for, like a really diverse set of tenants? Is that just kind of what came to you? Take us through where you are now and what the warehouse … What’s going on a day in the life at the warehouse right now?

Addrienne Amato:

Well, we view the warehouse as not so much of a gallery and more of an alternative art space, and I think when you have alternative spaces, you attract alternative types of thinking people, whether they’re businesses … We have a toy maker in there, we have a paper maker in there, we have writers, we’ve had painters, we’ve had designers, what else have we had? Photographers.

We’ve had a whole list of different types of creative outlets working in there, and I think sort of the grounding force within all of the people that have rented from us is, they can see sort of the potential in not only the warehouse, but the area of Boulder that we’re in as well. It’s a little gritty, it’s a little off the beaten path, it’s a little less shiny than other parts of Boulder are becoming, a little unordered in that kind of chaotic sort of way that’s interesting and kind of breeds that sort of creative thinking, so I think that that’s something that attracts the kind of people that are coming to us.

I don’t know if that was really what we thought in the beginning. Maybe we thought it would be sort of based in fine arts and the type of work that we do, but we uphold that end of the work and the output that goes into the space, and then there’s all these different sort of genres and types of groups and organizations and creative thinkers coming into this space working, so it’s been a good eclectic bunch that we’ve had in there, lots of characters.

And also our neighboring businesses as well are quite full, character types. If you’ve ever come out to our warehouse, it’s never a boring day out there on the lower east side, as we like to call it. It definitely has its own kind of feel over there, and I don’t think there’s any other part of Boulder that sort of still has that kind of feel. It is connected. There are a lot of local businesses over there. It is still a little weird and funky and what I think Boulder used to be and what we hear that it used to be like maybe 10 years ago, 15 years ago, so there’s still some of that raw quality left when everything is coming in and kind of being built up and the market is what it is in Boulder, so I feel like we’ve got a special little niche out there.

Speaker 1:

Sure. No, that’s fantastic. I mean, it is a great space, and some of the other businesses in the area make a visit to the warehouse more than just that, like you’re visiting all the neighbors, you’re visiting the whole experience. We were speaking to this a little bit before we started here, some of the … Do you collaborate? Do you get a chance to kind of interact and get together with these neighboring business too much and maybe coordinate different events, or are you feeding off each other in ways that have been maybe unexpected when you moved into that space?

Kelly Russack:

Well, we haven’t collaborated per se, but it’s not that we’re not going to. You know, it’s just the timing needs to be right, but we have the Green Guru, which is next door to us. They have … It’s a bike shop, they design repurposed up-cycled bike accessories, like sacks and bags and things, and then they have a brewery in there, so a little boutique brewery, which is super convenient, because then people can come and view art and go grab a beer, and then we have a bunch of car guys, like Saab and Volvo and they’re test driving and trying to find the problem in the vehicle, so they like to holler and screech.

I think the fact that we’re not a mechanic and that we bring a different vibe to the warehouse, because the Green Guru guys have been there for like, 10 years, so when we were looking at the space, they were hoping that we would come in and stick around, because they weren’t … they wanted energy, and for us, they never really know what’s happening, like last week or two weeks ago, we had a big print event, so we decided to partner with another art group in town, Flatiron Press, and we rented a steamroller, a construction vehicle, and we womanized, manned, that vehicle, and drove it over planks of wood that were all inked up and made large prints, and the guys next door definitely came over as spectators, and I think they sent their customers over to come and see what we were up to on a Saturday afternoon.

Speaker 1:

Sure, just a regular day at the warehouse, driving bulldozers, making art.

Kelly Rusike:

Just a regular day, yeah, exactly.

Speaker 1:

With the beer and bike guys right next door. I love it.

Addrienne Amato:

There is one … I’d say the biggest collaboration with all the area businesses is we created a map for a lot of businesses that were east of 30th, south of Valmont and north of Pearl, so kind of over in that east side quadrant we went around to all of the local business that were doing really interesting things, that have been there for a long time, and put together a map so people could actually really visualize and see al of the stuff that is going on. There was Colorado School of Yoga, Truman Boot company, I don’t think … Did we put Sanitas-

Kelly Rusike:

Rowdy Mermaid is there.

Addrienne Amato:

Rowdy Mermaid, they make kombucha, so lots of various different interesting businesses, and a lot of businesses that people know of, including Green Guru, Rock and Resole, it’s a huge climbing town, so those guys have been down at the west end of the building as well, forever, so we all know we’re over there, and everyone that’s over there definitely likes it for a reason, so that’s been our biggest, I think, collaboration and connection, was we organized that map project so people could see what was happening on the other side of Boulder, so it’s kind of the opposite than the west end, we’ve got the gritty east end warehouse district.

 


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Speaker 1:

No, that’s awesome. Speaking of all those other businesses, tell us about some of the things that you’re doing specifically to support the businesses and artists that are in your warehouse, so beyond offering them a space to work, I know you’re doing lots of openings, you’re obviously publicizing and trying to help them grow their business side of being artists and one of the things you mention is this art loan program, so why don’t you tell us a little bit about that.

Addrienne Amato:

the art on loan, we had this idea before we actually had the warehouse space, so I think while we were still doing pop-ups, we thought how great it would be to … Since we had kind of moved into using local businesses to do these pop-ups that were one-night efforts and it was a lot of energy to then tear it all down that night.

You’re talking three, six months of planning and then within 24 hours it’s done and over with and gone and cleaned up and the business is back to normal as usual, so we thought, what if we approach all of these business owners that we have now come to grow our relationships with, and offer our curatorial services to bring the artists that we know, the artists that we’ve worked with, into their businesses, and we really work with the business and what is their brand identity and what kind of work really fits in the space, so we’re not just going to put in random artist in there, we really try to fill in their wall space, literally, with the type of work that we feel their customers or clients or the people that just work in the space would really connect with and kind of vibe with, you know? We’re not just going to put something random in place that would totally be unfitting, so that’s one program that we have that’s outside of the warehouse.

Kelly Russack:

And then another way of supporting artists, we have our tenants, and as tenant, you have access to the exhibition space, so at no extra cost, which is great, because then an artist is in the space and creates a body of work, they have the space to put on an event and to exhibit and have their own opening. So that’s something that we believe is beneficial to artists in Boulder and obviously our tenants, so the Boulder Writers’ Warehouse, they’re in our space, and they’re always having workshops and readings and performance and the list goes on, and then for the greater population outside of our warehouse, artists … We have a sliding scale, because we really believe in artists being seen and networking with the public and having conversations, so we follow up with artists, we support them, we promote them, we guide, assist, mentor, all of the above, in order for their … What? Their …

Addrienne Amato:

Career?

Kelly Russack:

Yeah, their career. Yeah, yeah. And their exposure. I guess that was the word that I was looking for, exposure.

Speaker 1:

Excellent. No, I mean it’s … We were speaking about this before, a lot of artists and a lot of just people, they have a hard time managing the professional side of what they need to do. They just want to go and create, but they’re not good at getting exposure, they’re not good at maybe handling, developing the relationships with potential customers, that keeps their dream alive, right? That pays for the space and pays for their bills and allows them to have the time to pursue that side of their life, so I’m sure your services are appreciated when maybe that’s just not something that comes naturally to some of these more artistic types, it’s pretty common, so it’s really neat. It’s not only a neat space, but it sounds like it’s a cool community, both inside the warehouse and outside.

 


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I saw, wanted to just kind of wrap up with a couple of quick questions, one art-related and then a couple kind of more, maybe Colorado-related. We all kind of moved here for our own reasons, but one of the things that is common is that we kind of go for a little more balance in our lives, like you said, you came up with this idea hiking up Sanitas, which I love. I think that really gets to the crux of what’s happening out here, but I did, when I was reading through your website, I saw on one of your artist profiles that you asked this question of them. “If money was no object, which piece of art would you like in your personal collection?” I wanted to ask you that question.

Addrienne Amato:

Oh, geez. I need to think about that for a minute.

Speaker 1:

We can edit out long pauses, don’t worry.

Addrienne Amato:

Okay. Okay. Both are kind of local. I would commission Hollis and Lana to do … They’re a Denver-based art collaboration. I think they’re partners, maybe they’re married, I’m not sure, but there’s a mural on the side of Madelife that I think actually is going to be going away soon, so if you haven’t seen it, you should drive by Madelife. It’s really organic shapes and kind of looks like bodies and flowers and it’s got really beautiful colors. I think I’d love them to do a mural somewhere wither inside or on the exterior of my house, someplace kind of unexpected, maybe an entire powder room so when you go in there it’s kind of overwhelming, something like that. I’ve always love that idea. And to have an artist like that transform a space like that would be really cool, and then if I could ever own a piece, probably one of my biggest inspirations as an artists is Clifford Still, and having the Clifford Still Museum in Denver is pretty rad, I think. It’s one, an amazing building and two, he’s an amazing artist and an artist that a lot of people actually aren’t that aware of, so that’s another space if you haven’t been there, you should check out the Clifford Still Museum.

Speaker 1:

That’s fantastic, and it’s something that I meant to ask and kind of skipped over, which is what are some of your favorite spaces in this area that you like to visit to see good … Whether it’s local or whether they’re drawing from outside of the area artists, that doesn’t really matter but what are some of your favorite spaces to go get inspired?

Kelly Russack:

I would say the MCA in Denver is pretty great. Standing out on the east side of the building and just looking out, always looking at the heart and looking out over the cars and the pedestrians down below. I really enjoy that space, and they’re always really welcoming and super cool and open and funky and just inspiring, for sure.

Addrienne Amato:

There’s a lot of co-working spaces in Denver that are really interesting. Art Gym is pretty cool. They’re sort of like us but in a different way. They have an exhibition space and they have more co-working spaces than they do … they don’t have private studios like we do, so it’s an interesting space for what they offer. You have a membership, you can go in and they have all like state-of-the-art tools, so whether you’re a jewelry maker or a print maker or a painter or a woodworker, you can go into their space and have access to tools that most people don’t …

You can use them if you go to art school, or if you’re lucky enough to connect with someone who has those tools but they’ve got this great co-working space for artists and creative people along with having the exhibition space, and they bring in a lot of really cool local and regional artists as well. I think that’s another cool space around here.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so maybe moving away from the art, when you’re not at the warehouse doing the BCC stuff, what do you like to do? What’s a great family Saturday or a great … If you can get away for the weekend in Colorado, you have any favorite, any places topping the list?

Kelly Russack:

An easy Saturday is the farmers’ market and taking a stroll down there and mingling with random community people that you bump into and getting good food and always people watching, and then to get away … Gosh, I always leave the state, which is unfortunate, but Crest Butte is on my list this summer because I hear the wildflowers are incredible and the water and the views, so that would be my go-to.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it’s an amazing place and it’s a crowd favorite in this state, right? For a reason.

Addrienne Amato:

I have an out-of-state one too and an in-state. We’ve been talking about going down to Santa Fe again. I love going down to Santa Fe because it’s not only inspiring naturally, just the real southwest feeling. We’re kind of on the edge of that here in Boulder, but there’s also the art and the artist influence down there, so you kind of get the best of both worlds. You get the nature, and then you can see why all these famous artists moved down there and left places like New York and places that we’ve lived also, and then I think in state, I’m trying to go to Aspen this summer as well, and the same thing, summertime, wildflowers, you’ve got the Aspen Museum, the Aspen Institute, again, another really cool place for the natural beauty along with some historical artist references, both historical and contemporary, so those are probably top two on my list that I could get in my car and just drive to in half a day.

Speaker 1:

Right. Those are great ideas. Finally, I would just like to ask, who would you love to hear on this podcast?

Addrienne Amato:

Local? A local person?

Speaker 1:

Or a Colorado person. Doesn’t have to be a Boulder person and it doesn’t even have to be an art or an entrepreneur, just somebody who, anybody doing something really interesting, amazing, that people should know about.

Addrienne Amato:

Well, I think Bear Rogers would be super entertaining, because he’s an amazing artist and he’s in the cannabis world in Colorado, so he has great stories to share, and also a really good friend of ours, Will Day, he’s another happy man. Leah Brenner, she’s really making a big difference in the public art scene here in Boulder, and she’s lovely to chat with.

Speaker 1:

Those are great ideas.

Addrienne Amato:

Those are all awesome, local people that are interacting with the art community in different ways. I think it would be really fun to get some of our tenants on here and sort of hear about their endeavors and the end experiences within the warehouse and why they’ve come to the warehouse and what they’re contributing to the community, so Boulder Writers’ Warehouse, Dan [Rudnicky 31:16], Maeve Falen, who else is still on there? Even Greg Afeared, who’s one of our past residents, but he’s developing a T-shirt line, so a lot of the people that have rented with us.

Kelly Russack:

Adry Norris.

Addrienne Amato:

She’d be a good one.

Kelly Russack:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Addrienne Amato:

An artist that, she lived in Lyons, she rented from us and now he’s in Denver, she would be an interesting person to talk to as well. She’s on a different artist tack, so she’d be a really good person to talk to.

Speaker 1:

Excellent. That sounds like a-

Addrienne Amato:

You’ve got a list now.

Speaker 1:

Enough to keep me … Yeah, that’s a list. That’s enough to keep me busy for a while, and I really appreciate those ideas. Well, thank you so much for coming in and telling us your story. I think it’s just amazing, and it’s been really awesome to watch you grow over there in that space and look forward to continuing to attend your events with our wild kids running around.

Addrienne Amato:

Thank you.

Kelly Russack:

Thank you.

Speaker 1:

Everyone, so, that was Addreinne Amato and Kelly Rusike from Boulder Creative Collective. Remember, you can find them online at bouldercreativecollective.com or on Instagram, also @bouldercreativecollective. Be sure to check out their website for upcoming events and gallery opening, et cetera, just some really great events going on over there. If you enjoyed this podcast, please leave a review and be sure to subscribe at colorado.fm and you can find us on iTunes. Thanks a lot.

#001 Jessica Beacom of Real Food Dietitians

Jessica Beacom (@therealfoodrds) is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in Boulder, CO and half of the duo behind The Real Food Dietitians.

Jessica has been practicing nutrition for more than 14 years helping folks find freedom from diets and calorie counting to find true health and wellness through a real food diet.

Through their website (therealfoodrds.com) Jessica and her partner Stacie have created an amazing resource for recipes and menu planning guides that will suit any busy lifestyle.

My favorite quote from the conversation:

That floppy head of broccoli you’re wasting could have been a new pair of skis.

If you are like me and feel constantly under the gun to create good, healthy meals that the family will enjoy, but want some new ideas, this episode is absolutely for you!

 


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Selected Links from the Episode

The Weston A. Price Foundation

It Starts With Food

The Loving Diet

The Alley Loop Race Series – CBNordic.org

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

 

Show Notes

[2:45] Path to Colorado and the Dietitian world

[7:00] The Accidental Mompreneur

[15:00] Whole 30 Diet and Motivation

[18:30] Meal Planning – Secret cooking weapon!

[25:00] Favorite ski spots, activities with the kids, local outdoor activities that win

[31:00] Who would you love to hear on this podcast?  (spoiler alert: It’s Fanny Toorenburg of Hill Road Merino)

 


 

Transcript:

Colorado Podcast Episode with Real Food Dietitians

Doug Stetzer:

Hey, everyone. Doug Stetzer here, and thanks for tuning into this episode of Colorado.FM – The Colorado Podcast. Today, we’re going to be speaking with Jessica Beacom, a registered dietitian and nutritionist based here in Colorado right in Boulder. She is half of the duo behind The Real Food Dietitians, a food and lifestyle website that encourages you to eat clean, live well, and be awesome.

You can find them at therealfoodrds, that’s therealfoodrds.com, and also on Instagram @therealfoodrds. I really encourage you to check into their Instagram. It’s one of my favorite feeds to follow. The recipes and the food is amazing and, as she will get into in the interview, it’s really kept simple, something that’s really accessible, and I think that’s a challenge for most of us out there that are trying to eat well but can’t really be consumed with the cooking.

A little more about Jessica, she’s been practicing nutrition for more than 14 years, helping those she works with find freedom from diets and calorie counting and helping them find true health and wellness through a real food diet. It’s really amazing how she ended up in Colorado … her route took her from Minnesota, to Montana, to Alaska, to Boulder … and how their business has really thrived in this environment. Here she is, my interview with Jessica Beacom of The Real Food Dietitians.

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Jessica, thanks for coming into the studio. How are you today?

Jessica Beacom:

Hey, Doug. I’m good. Thanks for having me.

Doug Stetzer:

Excellent. Today we wanted to talk about The Real Food Dietitians and the people behind it. Real Food Dietitians is … From their website I’m reading, “Dedicated to sharing healthy recipes and nutrition tips that can be easily applied in everyday life.” Tell us a little bit about where you come from, how you ended up in Colorado, and were you always in food? How long have you been doing this food thing? What brought you into the dietitian world?

Jessica Beacom:

Okay. This is a long story. No, I’m kidding. I’m originally from Minnesota. When I graduated from college, or from high school actually, I moved to Montana to be a ski bum. As I was ski bumming, there was a university, and I thought, “Well, you know, maybe I should get a degree,” so I got a degree in nutrition. Then I went to the University of Alaska to do my internship. Then, from there, I got a job in public heath and stayed there for a few years. It was a crazy job. It was like 70 hours a week. Then I moved back to Montana and I worked in a hospital. It sucked my soul from me, and so in 2011, after my second child was born, we moved to Colorado because that’s where my husband’s from. We got here and I was a stay-at-home mom and got really into the whole Weston A. Price movement, cooking everything from scratch, soaking, sprouting, souring, fermenting, everything, just like my whole life was food. Then a huge garden, my own chickens.

Then a couple years into that, I was totally stir-crazy. I needed to go back to being a professional and having a brain again, and so I decided to go back to private practice. I worked in private practice and I specialized in digestive disorders and autoimmune diseases, and it started to suck my soul again because it was so much work and everybody was so sick. Then, everybody would always say, “You should have a website,” like, “Can I get that recipe?” Then it was like, “Oh, yeah. I should have a website where I can put the recipe.”

I met my business partner, Stacie, right about this time at a conference in New York City, one that I almost didn’t go to and she almost didn’t go to, and we just happened to sit next to each other that day. Long story short, we decided to write a book. It was going to be an ebook. It was going to be a small ebook. We’re going to give it to our clients like, “Hey, here’s our recipes you’re always asking for.” The book turned into a 96-page monster, and then two more followed it. Then we finally decided, “Yeah, we should start a business,” and so we started an online meal plan membership where you could go in and every month we would send you a menu, and all of the recipes, and the shopping list. We were pretty sure it was going to be the greatest thing on the planet, and it was total bomb. Our moms signed up and their friends. We ended up, after three months, pulling the plug on it. We refunded everybody their money and were like, “God, we’re so sorry.”

Doug Stetzer:

It’s like, “That was an experiment.”

Jessica Beacom:

Yeah, it was a soul sucker. Yeah, it sucked the life out of us. Then we decided one day … I remember it was October of 2015, we were like, “Hey, let’s just blog.” Neither one of us really knew what went into a blog, and I didn’t really know how to build a website. I had somebody build my private practice website. I flew to Minnesota where Stacie lives, and in three days we built a website and we started this blog. The photos were awful, and we were like, “Yeah, we’re gonna do this.” It was October of 2015. Fast forward 18 months now, and we have this really big blog, and I have learned to build websites and … so yeah, that’s kind of where we are, so how I got here physically and then how I got to the blog.

Doug Stetzer:

Yeah, that’s really interesting. You have this clinical background, and that environment just wasn’t really working for you personally.

Jessica Beacom:

No.

Doug Stetzer:

Although it was working for your clients, because they were like, “Hey, we want more of this. We want more of your good food.”

Jessica Beacom:

Yeah.

Doug Stetzer:

I happen to know for a fact when you’re bringing in your dill pickle carrots from the garden and things like that, that people want them. They’re like, “I want a jar of that. Stop giving me one. I want a whole thing.” I can imagine what your clients were thinking at that time. Then, it’s really serendipitous, I guess, this meeting up with your partner and then going through this really probably common and painful entrepreneurial journey of missteps and just-

Jessica Beacom:

Spending.

Doug Stetzer:                       .

.. craziness, “If you build it, they will come,” nonsense that a lot of us, I think, have been through in the web world. “I’m gonna put up a website,” and that’s it. “Stand back everyone, the money’s about to come rolling in.”

Jessica Beacom:

We were going to kill it. We were going to break PayPal.

Doug Stetzer:

Yeah, exactly. “I hope Chase can handle the money coming in,” right?

Jessica Beacom:

Exactly.

Doug Stetzer:

That’s really interesting. I think one of the things that I was hoping to identify when I start talking to people is some of these common threads that we go through when we decide we want to live somewhere. We want to live in Colorado, and so you come here, and maybe you have a regular job or maybe you’re an entrepreneur. I think there’s such a great amount of entrepreneurial spirit around here, and that’s what’s really interesting. There’s these common threads that people go through regardless of the industry, and it’s just always funny to hear what steps in the journey actually got people here.

Jessica Beacom:

Yeah. I mean, I would say I’m an accidental entrepreneur. I never planned to be an entrepreneur. When I got here and I wanted to go back to work, I applied at a local hospital. They told me I was way too overqualified, which I kind of knew based on what I’d been doing in Montana and Alaska, that I would be overqualified for a very simple clinical position, but I didn’t want the managerial stuff that came with what I had been doing. I finally, after eight months, begged this hospital just to give me a job. They kept saying, “You’re too overqualified. We can get a new grad for like 20K less a year.” That’s the thing with Colorado is everybody wants to live here. They want to be here.

 


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In my field, there’s so many dietitians and there are so few jobs available, so for me, I was an accidental entrepreneur. I was like, “Well, screw that. Now I have to figure out something for myself,” so that’s when I went to private practice, but that wasn’t a good fit, either. For me, I felt like there were so many people who could do the clinical stuff, but there weren’t a lot of people who could do … I guess I felt like my genius was food, and that coming up with stuff that’s easy, that’s super-doable for everybody every day … because that’s what people were asking for, so yeah, I accidentally became an entrepreneur.

Doug Stetzer:

Right. That kind of brings us, I think … It dovetails well into The Real Food Dietitians, your business. It’s the website realfoodrds and your Instagram realfoodrds, @realfoodrds, right?

Jessica Beacom:

Yeah. We’re just @therealfoodrds, R-D-S. Yep.

Doug Stetzer:

Okay. You mentioned that this journey is really only 18 months in the making, and here you have 25,000 followers. I love your Instagram. It’s really amazing. That’s how I, I think, interact with you most as far as professionally. Just following that and seeing your recipes and … Again, getting back to that quote that I read at the beginning, that it can be easy, and a lot of your recipes try to keep the ingredient list kind of down.

Jessica Beacom:

Yeah.

Doug Stetzer:

Tell us, I guess, first what is real food to you, and why we should all be eating a real food diet.

Jessica Beacom:

Real food, okay. To me, real food is food that, ideally, doesn’t come from a package. Being a realist, being a mom, and being, I guess, a mompreneur, I get that sometimes you have to use packages. When my real food journey started, it started because of a major health crisis I was having in 2012 that landed me in the hospital with a scary anaphylactic issue. I came home and I picked up a book called It Starts With Food written by Melissa Hartwig and Dallas Hartwig, and it talked about real food. To them, it was getting rid of grain, and soy, and alcohol, and sugar, and dairy, and just peeling back everything that could possibly be allergenic or you could be sensitive to. That was my first foray into “real food” other than Weston A. Price, which, to them, real food is sprouted greens and whole milk dairy, which we’d been doing, but obviously it wasn’t enough.

When I read It Starts With Food, I did a Whole30 and I improved a little bit, but then I went on to something called The Autoimmune Paleo Protocol. I did that for nine months and improved markedly, and so I stayed on a Paleo diet. I mean, I primarily eat Paleo now, and it’s been almost four years, but in that real food realm. When I say real food, I mean it’s not dyed. It’s not artificially flavored. It’s as minimally processed as possible. It’s wholesome, close to the earth, probably something you’re going to … like your grandma, your great-grandma would recognize. My great-grandma, if she walked into a supermarket, she’d flip out. She wouldn’t recognize half of it.

Doug Stetzer:

Like, “What is all of this?”

Jessica Beacom:

Even my great-great-grandma, like, “What is this shit?” To me, that’s real food. Yeah.

Doug Stetzer:

Okay. I want to get back to it because I definitely identify with this constant tweaking your diet because of certain health issues. My personal thing is not life-threatening. I don’t land up in the hospital, but I have skin issues. When I was in New York City and was out entertaining clients every single night and just had this insane, fast-paced lifestyle, I mean, I wore it on the outside. I have psoriasis, and you can see it. Things start to change. Your family situation changes. You’re slowing down and they’re deciding to live in a place like this instead of a place like New York City. Again, this kind of gets back to the growth in this area, and so I think it’s a common thing that is going on with a lot of people. They’re choosing lifestyles over just a constant work environment or things like that. When I get off having vodka as my primary source of-

Jessica Beacom:

Hydration?

Doug Stetzer:

.. dietary nutrition, then all of a sudden, my skin is great and I look better and feel better. It’s super weird. I don’t know. It may be magic. I’m always constantly do that. Since then, I’ve stripped out a lot of the dairy, and the sugars, and caffeine, and things like that, but because I have this real physical manifestation of when I’m unhealthy. That was just interesting. I haven’t really gone super far down the road, but I do constantly tweak my diet, and I think about what’s going in, because I feel it as soon as I veer too far off the course, which kind of leads me now … I wanted to ask you a little more about this Whole30, because I didn’t really know what it was until you were telling me that you and your husband were doing the Whole30 Diet. I researched it a little bit, but … I’ve kind of integrated elements of that diet into my life, but I’ve never done the full cleanse, the full effect.

Jessica Beacom:

The full Monty?

Doug Stetzer:

Right. Having the beer on Thursday night or Friday night is … that’s a tough one. Tell us a little bit about Whole30 and what that is.

Jessica Beacom:

Okay. The Whole30, it goes back to that book I mentioned, It Starts With Food, written by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig. The Whole30 is a program that they had designed that takes grain, dairy, soy, legumes, sugar, alcohol, and most processed foods out of your diet for 30 days. The idea is that, by taking them out, you’re able to kind of reset. Then when you re-add them back, you do so in a slow re-introductory way so you can see, “Does gluten bother me? Does dairy bother me? Does alcohol bother me? And how do they manifest when I eat them?” The other good thing is that it allows you to look at your food habits or your behaviors around food like are you addicted to sugar, or do you think you need something, or do you eat mindlessly, do you eat for stress reasons? It can be hard. It’s 30 days. You just have to commit to like, “Okay, for the next 30 days … ”

Really, honestly, I think if you have a health condition like you’re saying, and it’s that important to you to feel better, 30 days is really a drop in the bucket. I think about the 12-and-a-half years I was on chronic daily steroids because of my autoimmune disease. That 30 days was nothing to me. Then even to go another 90 days, taking out even more than what the Whole30 takes out, was nothing compared to the previous 12-and-a-half years of hell. It really depends on your motivation. If you’re doing it for weight loss, it’s probably not going to be motivating enough, but if you’re doing it because you just feel like crap, you probably can get through it. I don’t know.

It gets a lot of crap. People are like, “Oh, it’s so strict,” and, “Oh, it takes out this.” Especially in my field being a dietitian, people are like, “You cannot live without grain.” Well, you can. “You cannot live without dairy.” Well, you can. You can actually thrive without these things. People like you and I who have things going on who wear our diet basically on the outside or the way we look … I mean, I walk through public spaces and I can look at people and be like, “Ooh, they really gotta get off the dairy,” or, “Oh, you know, I think gluten’s probably their issue.” Yeah, so for people like you and I, it’s a lot more compelling to take that journey. Then your 30 days is over and you go back to doing whatever you want minus whatever you didn’t like about your previous diet.

Doug Stetzer:

Sure, sure. Yeah. Again, that point about not being on a diet, right? Your motivation is feeling good, not losing a few pounds or anything like that. That motivational level is totally different.

Jessica Beacom:

That’s kind of the, I think, the premise behind our entire website and our philosophy is that we don’t talk … Even though we’re dietitians, we don’t talk about food as like, “This is a bad food, and this is good food, and this food will help you lose weight,” because it’s not going to be the same from person to person. Everybody’s essentially an N of one, so they’re a study of themselves. What works for me isn’t going to work for you. What works for you isn’t going to work for the next person. For us, it’s looking at food like, “If this is something that works well for you, then … ” I mean, and it goes beyond food. It goes beyond nutrition, too. It’s like is it fast? Is it easy? Is it nourishing? Is it something you’re not going to get totally stressed out about? Yeah, we’re really big on that whole, “Your food shouldn’t be stressful.”

Doug Stetzer:

Sure, sure. You see that all over your website, and that’s … Like you said, making things accessible. It needs to be part of your lifestyle every day, and so that’s a big part of what’s on your website, meal plans, a lot of recipe ideas that are not complex, and a clear and solid love affair with your slow cooker.

Jessica Beacom:

Yeah, and my Instant Pot.

Doug Stetzer:

Yeah. I do most of the cooking in my house, and I’m horrible at planning. I’m always just pulling stuff out at four o’clock like, “All right. What am I gonna invent, like, out of what is available?” I do not really cook with the slow cooker, but your recipes always inspire me to think about it, and so tell me, the slow cooker, is it just where it’s at?

Jessica Beacom:

It is. I mean, I think the slow cooker’s great for anybody who has the ability to plan ahead. The night before, if you can take 10, 15 minutes and set something up so in the morning you turn it on … You put it in the actual slow cooker and you turn it on and then put the lid on. When you come home … Especially on days when we take the kids to the pool, I won’t go to the pool unless there’s something waiting in the slow cooker for them, because it’s like critical mass. We hit critical mass the minute we hit the front door on so many nights. Yeah, the slow cooker’s kind of like a big saving grace for most people.

I think if you can’t plan far enough ahead … Sometimes I fall in this, too, not because I can’t plan far enough ahead, but if I’m developing recipes for the website, I’m kind of all over the place. I might be developing a dessert, or a cocktail, or an entrée, and then it’s not really anything that’s cohesively going to come together in a meal, you know?

Doug Stetzer:

Right.

Jessica Beacom:

Yeah, we could have pork chops, and pudding, and mojitos, but it’d be-

Doug Stetzer:

It’s like, “Hey, kids. Mojito-flavored … we’ll call it soup, I guess, for tonight.”

Jessica Beacom:

Exactly. For me, then, I’ve kind of switched to the Instant Pot, which is a pressure cooker, and I don’t really have to think ahead. I can convert anything from a slow cooker to an Instant Pot recipe and do it in like 15 minutes, so a 6-hour slow cooker recipe can be done in 15 to 45 minutes.

Doug Stetzer:

Oh, all right.

Jessica Beacom:

Yeah.

Doug Stetzer:

I like the sound of … That’s more my speed, yeah.

Jessica Beacom:

That’s I think what you need, that. That’s what you need. You can do it frozen. You can put your frozen chicken in there.

Doug Stetzer:

No way.

Jessica Beacom:

Oh, yeah. Totally.

Doug Stetzer:

Oh, this is revolutionary, everybody.

Jessica Beacom:

You need one of those.

Doug Stetzer:

Things are about to change around this house.

Jessica Beacom:

I know, right? Instant Pot for the win.

 


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Doug Stetzer:

Instant Pot, yeah. Okay. I’m making the notes, don’t worry. That is a good idea. Again, it has to fit your lifestyle. I am not a good planner, especially around meals or, really, much else. It’s like just throw everything in the turbo charger. That really works for me. Awesome.

On the website, lots of recipes, lots of meal prep, so the shopping actually lists that you need to do as well.

Jessica Beacom:

Yeah. We just did a big series. It was 12 weeks of meal prep menus. The idea behind a meal prep is that on the weekend you set aside a couple of hours, you go grocery shopping, you get what’s on the list that we have made for you, and then you go into the kitchen and you prep five recipes. You can do it within two hours from start to finish. Those five recipes won’t get you through the entire week, but they will at least give you a good start. You might have two entrees, a soup or a salad, a dessert or some kind of a snack, and then one other. Yeah, getting into meal prep is huge. It’s kind of the gateway drug to organization. Even for somebody who doesn’t plan or isn’t good at planning day to day, if you can plan for a weekend meal prep and knock out a few recipes, it makes a huge difference.

Doug Stetzer:

Yeah, okay. I need some rehab on that, but I’m going to work on it, because I do get tired of just … When you cook like I do, you tend to have two or three go-to things, and you’re kind of on the treadmill as far as that. If there’s a couple of winners that you know the family will eat and you know you can whip it up, you tend to just keep those things around. Even if I just added two new things to that, I think everybody in the house wold probably appreciate it.

Jessica Beacom:

Totally. You know, too, I think if you’re the kind of person who walks in and you just kind of cook off the hip all the time, you tend to have a lot of extra groceries in your house because when you go shopping, you’re like, “Oh, I should grab this, this, and this, and this just in case,” but you don’t have a plan, so you end up spending a lot more money than what you would normally spend. You also end up wasting a lot because a lot of times the broccoli will go floppy in the crisper. You didn’t get to it. You had a plan to, but you didn’t. Yeah, I think the value of a meal plan is that you can be prepared. You can just get what you need, just use what you need. Yeah, it ends up saving you money too and time.

Doug Stetzer:

Yeah. I think that’s actually a conversation we have a lot around here, which is why our grocery bill’s so huge and why … Yeah. It’s really frustrating when things are just going bad in your fridge. You’re trying to keep fresh foods around. You’re not trying to just open cans all the time, but when something goes bad, it’s just so annoying.

Jessica Beacom:

Oh, yeah, because you’re like, “Oh, my gosh. I could have put that money towards a pair of skis.” You know what I mean? I mean, that’s the Colorado mentality, like, “Oh, man. I could have put that towards skis,” or-

Doug Stetzer:

That one head of floppy broccoli could have been a pair of skis. I like that.

Jessica Beacom:

I mean, it ultimately adds up, or it could have been new mountain bike tires or something else. It’s like, “Shit.” I always see it that it’s a loss of opportunity because I let this food go to waste.

Doug Stetzer:

Totally.

Jessica Beacom:

If I didn’t make a plan and we’re like, “Oh, we have to go out to eat …” You really can’t dine out in Boulder for less than 50 bucks unless you’re going to the Mickey D’s.

Doug Stetzer:

Totally. Right.

Jessica Beacom:

Then I’m always like, “That 50 bucks,” like, “Yeah, I had to cook at home, but it probably would have cost me like 12, 15 bucks, so the other 40-something could have been towards a pair of skis.” You know?

Doug Stetzer:

Right. Exactly.

Jessica Beacom:

Or a lift ticket somewhere.

Doug Stetzer:

Oh, man. Absolutely.

Jessica Beacom:

That’s funny.

Doug Stetzer:

I totally run that equation in my head all the time. Then I’ve got one of my kids who totally prefers the house food. When I’m like, “Okay, let’s go out tonight,” they’re like, “I don’t want to go out. I want home food.”

Jessica Beacom:

Right.

Doug Stetzer:

Once you’ve started cooking-

Jessica Beacom:

Those are Boulder problems.

Doug Stetzer:

Yeah, exactly. Exactly. The home food is just better than the going out food.

Jessica Beacom:


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Yeah.

Doug Stetzer:

There’s a lot of other things that goes into that, but that’s super fun.

Jessica Beacom:

I mean, we do have awesome restaurants here in Boulder, but some days I want a break from cooking, and I’ll be like, “Oh, we should go out.” My husband will say, “No way. Your food’s better.” I’m like, “No. Come on.”

Doug Stetzer:

Yeah. It’s like, “Yeah, but I do that for work.”

Jessica Beacom:

I know. I do this for a living. I always say like, “I cook for a living.”

Doug Stetzer:

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Every once in a while, I just want it to arrive, and then I want the plate to disappear also.

Jessica Beacom:

Exactly. I know.

Doug Stetzer:

Yeah, exactly.

Jessica Beacom:

That’s how we end up at Upslope, but you cannot live on beer.

Doug Stetzer:

Well, that’s debatable, but that kind of brings us right back to where we started about my health issues.

Jessica Beacom:

Mine, too.

Doug Stetzer:

Excellent. Well, speaking of the families, I think … Again, all these recipes, all this stuff, The Real Food Dietitians website, all of this stuff will be in the show notes, these books that you’ve been mentioning.

Jessica Beacom:

The Instant Pot?

Doug Stetzer:

Yeah, the Instant Pot. Oh, my gosh.

Jessica Beacom:

The life changer.

Doug Stetzer:

I cannot wait to order one of these things. All of this will be in the show notes. Since we’ve brought up the skis, I mean, again, this is why people are moving to Colorado.

Jessica Beacom:

Totally.

Doug Stetzer:

This is what’s going on here. I mean, there’s supportive infrastructure for entrepreneurs. People are doing amazing things in a lot of different industries. Boulder, they talk a lot about the tech, but what I’ve come to learn is that there’s this amazing infrastructure for the food industry. There’s just great things going on, but we’re moving here for the lifestyle for a lot of different reasons. Since we brought up the skiing, we might as well talk about it. I would ask you what’s your favorite thing to do, but I think we all know at this point, so skiing where? Favorite spot?

Jessica Beacom:

My most favorite? I’m pretty partial to Crested Butte just because it’s big and wide-open. They just have some sweet snow. We do ski locally at Eldora most of the time.

Doug Stetzer:

Totally.

Jessica Beacom:

Just because I am not a sit-in-I70-with-my-kids kind of person. By the time you get there, all the snacks are gone. They have to pee. They have to poop. Somebody’s got to get out. It sucks, so we usually ski locally, but then if we do, we’ll go out … Yeah, I like Crested Butte. Winter Park is fun. It’s not super far away.

Doug Stetzer:

Yeah, Crested Butte’s amazing.

Jessica Beacom:

It is amazing.

Doug Stetzer:

They had their craziest season. I was just looking at some pictures of the houses buried. I did not make it out there this year, but-

Jessica Beacom:

We went for the Alley Loop, the cross-country ski race, and literally the snow banks were over the houses. It was so amazing. We ended up getting “stuck” I guess. We opted to get stuck there, and it just dumped. It was so amazing.

Doug Stetzer:

Yeah. The getting stuck when you actually … It snowed after you decided to get stuck?

Jessica Beacom:

Right.

Doug Stetzer:

Instead of it snowed before you actually got stuck.

Jessica Beacom:

Well, we knew it was coming.

Doug Stetzer:

You’re like, “Well, it’s gonna snow … ”

Jessica Beacom:

So we might as well stay.

Doug Stetzer:

Yeah, so, “We’re kind of stuck mentally. We just can’t get ourselves to leave.”

Jessica Beacom:

“We just cannot get off the mountain to get over the pass in time.” That’s what it was. The kids were like, “No, just one more, just one more run, one more run.” We’re like, “Well, you know, we’re limiting the time we’re gonna have to get over the pass,” and then there was no more.

Doug Stetzer:

That’s okay.

Jessica Beacom:

It was fine.

Doug Stetzer:

Exactly.

Jessica Beacom:

That’s the hallmark of a good Colorado parent, whether or not you let your kids miss school for skiing.

Doug Stetzer:

Oh, yeah. Yeah, it’s preferable, actually, the weekdays.

Jessica Beacom:

Right.

Doug Stetzer:

The weekdays, everybody knows that. How about here in town? You mentioned Eldora. We do a lot of skiing together at Eldora with the kids. It’s just amazing. To have that a half-hour away from the house instead of when I was driving five or six hours to go up to Vermont every weekend up on the East Coast, so that’s great. What about just on a regular Saturday? You’re getting out of the house with the kids. Favorite hikes, spots, rivers, lakes, anything?

Jessica Beacom:

Yeah, we go to Chautauqua a lot and hike up there. Sometimes we go to NCAR, which is just at the top of the hill there, and then hike from there up the hill and then back down. If we’re taking a longer trip and it’s going to be a couple of hours, we’ll go to Rocky Mountain National Park up in Estes. That’s kind of our go-to. We go there a lot. It’s easy to kind of lose yourself for the entire day, and then you leave, and then, of course, everybody wants ice cream, and just kind of a chill place to be.

Doug Stetzer:

Yeah. If you’re just coming, whether you’re from Denver or coming from anywhere else in the country to visit and you end up in Boulder for the day, so Chautauqua’s just … I mean, it’s amazing. It’s beautiful. It’s right there. There’s like millions of trails.

Jessica Beacom:

Yeah, it’s easy.

Doug Stetzer:

Then to have Rocky Mountain National Park, which I can’t really verify this, but I think it’s probably the second-most visited national park in the country to Yellowstone or something like that.

Jessica Beacom:

Yeah, I have no idea, but it doesn’t feel busy. It’s so big it doesn’t feel busy.

Doug Stetzer:

Yeah. That’s just like an hour-and-a-half, so that’s a day trip. It’s a real special treat for people who live here.

Jessica Beacom:

It’s cheap. It’s like 40 bucks for the whole year.

Doug Stetzer:

Yeah, exactly.

Jessica Beacom:

40 bucks. You pay 40 bucks and you can go whenever you want.

Doug Stetzer:

Yeah, and you’re going to see some elk, and you’re going to see maybe some bears, something like that.

Jessica Beacom:

Yeah. If your kids like buses because they don’t have to be in car seats like mine do, then you park at the park-and-ride and you just take the bus. Then you get to a trail head and then you hike from one trail head to the next place. We usually go to the top at Bear Lake and then we hike down to the falls and down to Bierstadt Lake, and then we can pick up the shuttle whenever we want.

Doug Stetzer:

Oh, that’s great because I usually just drive up there, but if you take the shuttle then you don’t have to make a loop out of it. You can just hike in a straight line and pick it up somewhere else.

Jessica Beacom:

Yeah. You park at the very bottom at the park-and-ride. You can go wherever.

Doug Stetzer:

I’ll love that. Finally, before we wrap up, I want to ask people who come on the show who they would love to hear on this podcast, whether in your industry, not, anyone else. It doesn’t even have to be because they’re an entrepreneur, just people who are doing amazing things, just anyone who comes to mind that you would love people in Colorado … just they need to know about these people.

Jessica Beacom:

Oh, totally. I have to tag my BFF, Fanny. She runs Hill Road Merino, and so she’s making wool clothes for adults and for children so that they can play outside and stay warm. Yeah, you have to have her.

Doug Stetzer:                       Yeah, and she’s got an interesting story.

Jessica Beacom:                Totally.

Doug Stetzer:                       I don’t know her that well, but I do know her through the school. We’re all wearing Smartwool these days, and these merino clothes are super amazing.

Jessica Beacom:                I think she’s amazing in that she is an elite athlete, a skier, a cross-country skier, and then a runner, and so she balances mom life with her athlete life with this business that she started as a hobby. She started making kids’ clothing to keep her kids warm, and then now she’s got this giant business. Yeah, I think she’s a great one to talk to. She’s got it going on. She makes me look like a total hack.

Doug Stetzer:                       I don’t know about that. I will reach out her with your help and try to get her on here because that would be an amazing conversation. She’s got a really cool story.

Jessica Beacom:                She does.

Doug Stetzer:                       Awesome. All right. Well, thank you so much for coming on here.

Jessica Beacom:                You’re welcome.

Doug Stetzer:                       I hope everybody has learned a lot about what you’re all about. I really appreciate it. It was a great story. Thanks a lot.

Jessica Beacom:                Hey, thanks Doug.

Doug Stetzer:                       All right.

All right, everyone. Thanks for listening. I hope you enjoyed that interview with Jessica Beacom. Remember, if you want to check out more of our interviews, head on over to the website at colorado.fm. You can also find this podcast on iTunes.

If you know somebody who you’d love to hear on this podcast and you want to reach out, shoot me a note at doug@colorado.fm. I’d love to hear from you. All right. Thanks a lot.

 

 


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