The holidays are a busy time in Longmont and the Front Range. Communities come closer as they find new ways to celebrate, and Longmont’s small business owners are creative and intentional about how they use their holiday time. From an elaborate dinner celebrating their employees to a joyful window display, here is how your favorite Longmont small businesses celebrate the holiday season.
—By Emma Castleberry for LONGMONT MAGAZINE
The Flower Bin
Don and Lee Weakland
The Flower Bin hosts an open house every year on Thanksgiving weekend. The popular event includes a visit from Santa and his elf, refreshments like holiday cookies and apple cider, and music by a harpist and dulcimer player. This year’s harpist is Shelby Roberts, a student at CU-Boulder, and Jeffrey Rogers, who has been playing dulcimer at this event for more than 20 years. This is also when The Flower Bin has a complete inventory of holiday greenery, including live and cut trees, garlands, and Flower Bin-grown poinsettias.
A well-loved holiday tradition at SNOW Apparel is Gentlemen’s Shopping Night, an event that first started in 2017. “On the last work evening for downtown businessmen, we offered a shot of whiskey with every gift card purchase,” says store owner Snow White. “Each year the celebration grew larger. Last year for our 5th anniversary men’s night, Dry Land Distillery provided a ‘proper’ tasting of their award winning whiskeys. This year we’ll have more shot glasses!”
Barbed Wire Books
Customers and visitors alike look forward to the elaborate displays set up at Barbed Wire books involving their signature mannequin, Barb Dwyer. “Each year, our mannequins – Barb Dwyer being one of them – celebrate Christmas in our window with a vignette that sometimes shows the things that can go wrong at Christmas: Santa’s GPS’s failing right at an inopportune time, his wagon getting stuck in a snow drift, or he and Mrs. Claus dreaming of a Caribbean vacation,” says Kathe Heinecken, owner of Barbed Wire Books. The store is open every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas) but passersby can view the displays anytime.
Alex Lepe, owner of Blue Agave Restaurant in Longmont, uses the holidays as an opportunity to celebrate his dedicated staff. “We do a dinner for the employees,” he says. “We close before Christmas only for one day and make them dinner.” The feast includes classics like pozole, tamales, and pork loin, as well as ponche navideño, a warm drink made with fruit and cinnamon sticks. “We do it to say thank you for their work for us and the way they help the business,” says Lepe.
Happy Hounds Dog Care Center
Holiday traditions look a little different at Happy Hounds Dog Day Care, because the holidays are one of the absolute busiest times for their staff. “In this industry, we don’t take off for the holidays, really, “ says Happy Hounds owner Olivia Neill. “We are here, making sure everyone’s dogs are safe while they travel. Some years in the past, we have done a sort of “We Survived the Holidays” party where I take everyone out to lunch or breakfast. We try to celebrate when the popular traveling season is over.”
As for Neill personally, she celebrates the season with anything holiday lights-related, whether it’s Zoo Lights at Denver Zoo or the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, or Blossoms of Light at the Denver Botanical Gardens. She also makes a point to see The Nutcracker every year in Boulder.