Brandi Beauvais: Shopping local


Steamboat Springs has two thriving, local, natural grocery stores downtown: Healthy Solutions, at 335 Lincoln Ave., and Bamboo Market, at 1110 Yampa St. Healthy Solutions is closing its doors Sunday, and not by choice.

It seems to me that the city of Steamboat Springs sold out Healthy Solutions, a locally owned and operated business of 20 years, by approving a non-local natural grocery store to occupy the same Third Street and Lincoln Avenue location. Apparently, what I consider “shopping local” and what the city encourages as “shopping local” are two different things.

I think small local businesses are what make this town charming and personable to locals and guests alike. How many more locally owned businesses are going to be allowed to just fall through the cracks?

Brandi Beauvais

Steamboat Springs


Scott Wedel 4 years, 10 months ago

It is not government's responsibility to prevent businesses from competing or to declare a local monopoly for a local business owner by preventing corporate-owned competition.

If SB locals want to support particular SB individuals that own businesses then do business with those locals. But do not ask or expect government to limit competition so that certain businesses are not allowed to open in SB.

It should be well established by now that the City's definition of "shopping local" only refers to capturing sales tax.


John Weibel 4 years, 10 months ago


Over time more local business' will return and the economy will thrive. The government needs to get out of the way and let that happen. The economics of the distribution system is fading, if I can sell my potatoes at what Wal-mart plus a little in prices I will be happy (as long as forecasted yields are there - and I have enough water).

As opposed to "conserving" property, the county should be figuring out how to make ag profitable again as it can be a major economic engine in the future. Food prices are probably going to go through the roof this year and the county working towards investing in ways to profit from the low hanging fruits would be smarter than simply throwing a conservation easement on land.

Figure out how to take PERA funds and get them to invest in growing the local economy as opposed to dumping them into stocks and bonds that who knows what they are going to help.

Look at the whole and quit working inside the box. That there box should be thrown out and we should look outside the room the box was in.

Heck Vitamin cottage could purchase locally frozen foods, produced in our restaurants in the mud season and distribute them regionally. There are always silver linings to every cloud. Vitamin Cottage's entry into the region could be huge for the region and regionally produced foods.


mark hartless 4 years, 10 months ago

Scott is, of course, exactly right.

I find it highly elitist to suggest that locals, many of whom are struggling just to make ends meet, should continue to be at the mercy of a monopoly rather than have the ability to get better prices on good nutrition. Ditto for all other products.

What about the POOR Steamboat "locals", Brandi? Don't they deserve quality nutrition too?

How does an entity (person or business) get to be a "local" if the community refuses to ever let them in, Brandi?

Didn't Healthy Solutions have the right to purchase that building and thereby protect itself from such proximate competition?

How much cash did people like Brandi donate for the "Save Healthy Solutions" fund-raising drive? Probably not a dime.

What you consider "shopping local", Brandi, has nothing to do with shopping. It's actually expecting the force of government to be brought to bear and interjected into completely private situations so as to engineer a world YOU consider perfect.

That's not saying much, as you seem to give no consideration whatsoever to the owners of the new store, their families and children, the workers in the new store, the customers of the new store, the taxpayers, the construction workers who have been employed readying the new store, etc, all of whom will see benifits from the new store.

But nooooo. That means nothing compared to the "sense of well-being" and warm cozy feeling that Brandi gets when she gets to "shop local". PLEASE. BTW, I did business there in the past, including today.


Amanda Grimes 4 years, 10 months ago

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Thanks for being a supporter of the local business where I work, Brandi! Me and my coworkers love serving you and the good people of this community. Healthy Soulutions will be missed!


John Weibel 4 years, 10 months ago

Yes Healthy Solutions will be missed. But there is also the potential for something positive to come from Vitamin Cottage moving in. The government should not step in to save this business or that. They should only step in when one is hurting someone else.


Scott Wedel 4 years, 10 months ago

And maybe Vitamin Cottage will be much worse than Healthy Solutions. Who knows and it doesn't matter.

Free market is not about deciding good vs evil. Free market is about investing and making profits.

The role of government is not to catalog popular local businesses to protect and unpopular businesses to find and subsidize competitors. The role of government is to provide a business environment where the rules are the same for all investors.

Healthy Solutions had the option to move to another location or otherwise compete against Vitamin Cottage. It appears instead that Vitamin Cottage made an offer to buy Healthy Solutions that was acceptable to the owner. Vitamin Cottage chose to close Healthy Solutions.

Even now, if there are locals with the skill and energy to compete with Vitamin Cottage by opening a Vitamin Solutions (or whatever available name) then there is nothing Vitamin Cottage could do. In fact, the new competitor could be a cooperative charitable organization giving all profits to Nepal. And there is nothing Vitamin Cottage could do about that even if it causes their new SB store to lose money and close.

Free market means just that. It is not a "good market" or a "local market".

BTW, I like the following as my message signature: I may have shirts made. I may have to put up a sign board with this message as well.

"Scott is, of course, exactly right." Mark Hartless on July 3, 2012


jerry carlton 4 years, 10 months ago

Scott, Maybe you can buy the Balloon Rodeo T-shirts at a huge discount and find room on them to add "Scott is, of course, exactly right." to them. You could sell them at the Free concerts. I smell maybe a movie deal in this.


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