May 1, 2023
A collective gift card program spotlights West Denver’s culturally-diverse small business community
If you’ve spent much time in Denver, you’re familiar with the trendy Lodo, SoBo, LoHi, and RiNo districts by now. But there’s another Denver community full of authentic local food and culture, exciting and unique retail, and hardworking resident-business owners – and it’s ready to shine!
The next time you’re headed to brunch with friends, ask if they’ve ever heard of “BuCu” (Business and Cultural District). BuCu West is actually not a neighborhood nickname but rather a nonprofit organization focused on community and economic development. BuCu West – along with the West Denver Renaissance Collaborative (WDRC), Denver Housing Authority (DHA), Sun Valley Community Center and Kitchen, West Colfax Business Improvement District, the Little Saigon District, NEWSED, and Mi Casa Resource Center – collaborate across Denver’s District 3 in a West Denver Small Business Coalition. The coalition is joining forces to serve all of the underrepresented businesses in the neighborhoods between West Colfax and Florida Avenue, and Sheridan to Santa Fe Drive.
This thriving community has long been at the heart of Denver’s vibrant multicultural identity, and the introduction of the West Denver Marketplace Gift Card will make it easier to help support the diverse residents and businesses that make it so special.
The West Denver Small Business Coalition is at the helm of the grant-funded West Denver Marketplace Gift Card project. They believe this is an innovative way to draw attention to everything the area has to offer and to provide capacity to small businesses that aren’t set up to sell gift cards of their own.
Used just like a debit card, the Gift Card encourages exploration of all the wonderful shops and services in the area. Most importantly, it makes it easier to keep our dollars local!
Need some pointers on how to make the most of your West Denver Marketplace Gift Card? Try this sample itinerary:
9:30 am: Wake up. Tired already? No judgment, but you might want to start with a boost from one of the delicious and energizing smoothies from Morrison Nutrition Center, or maybe a coffee or tea from Boba Chic is your preference.
10:30 am: Feeling better? Take those good vibes shopping! Hop across the street to Botas El Rey for authentic Western Wear, or visit Truong An Gifts, the first Asian gift shop in Colorado where you will find tea sets, dishes, and bamboo plants. Artesanias Mi Mexico-Denver offers traditional and handmade Mexican embroidery, jewelry, and garments, and if plants are your passion, you won’t want to miss the Rose Lady Flower Shop and Blooming Ideas Florist!
12 pm: Are your feet getting sore already? Again, no judgment. Try popping into Naturista la Botica to learn about holistic solutions, or visit One Stop Bike Shop and get rolling! Peruse dozens of murals that decorate Morrison Road along the way.
1:00 pm: It’s time for some food, and the West Denver community will not disappoint. Choose from 36 restaurants and food trucks, including Las Tortugas for sandwiches, Viet’s Restaurant for Pho, Tacos Primavera for – you guessed it – tacos, KuTea for boba tea, and even rock n’ roll ice cream at Bule Bule.
2:00 pm: Perhaps you saw a flyer for the First Friday Art Walk on Santa Fe or a cultural event on Morrison Road and you don’t want to miss it. But you also saw your reflection in one of the restaurant windows and decided you’d better hit up a salon first. Fortunately, Tina’s Salon, Estetica del Sol, or Estilistas Princess have you covered.
Bedtime (whatever that means for you!): Look back on your day, feel good about the wonderful small businesses you’ve supported, and make this your go-to gift idea for every enthusiastic Denverite on your list!
These were just a small sample of the participating businesses included in the West Denver Marketplaces Gift Card. Purchase your card online at West Denver Marketplaces or in person from the BuCu West Development Association office and plan your own day exploring and supporting the diverse, talented, and hard-working business owners that call West Denver their home.
Dollars spent locally have a positive impact on small businesses, and your support helps preserve the beautiful multicultural heritage these business owners and residents bring to Denver.
A fabulous gift for Denver longtimers and newcomers alike
If you LOVE exploring new places and neighborhoods in Denver, share that experience as a gift. Give a West Denver Marketplaces Gift Card to your favorite fellow Denver-lover and knock out this suggested itinerary together. Or choose your own unique West Denver experience to share.
Find a directory of ALL participating businesses here:
More businesses are being added to the Gift Card program regularly. Follow the Gift Card and its newest additions on social media:
The West Denver Marketplaces Gift Card is part of the Downtown Gift Card concept from payments provider Miconex in association with payments technology solutions provider EML Payments. Downtown Gift Card systems run across the US, in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Montana, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, South Dakota, and Virginia.
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