Do you remember that feeling you used to get as a kid every time you’d walk into a toy store and marvel at the seemingly infinite display of new and awesome toys to play with? This uninhibited excitement and enthusiasm is a feeling that we as adults tend to experience increasingly less often as the years pass by, it seems. On occasion, though, something new and exciting comes into our lives and in experiencing it for the first time, we are brought back to that childlike blissful state. For me, yesterday was one of those days when I stepped foot in an incredibly unique little store in Aspen called The Aspen Emporium & Flying Circus and felt this rush once again.
My good friend Lucia had mentioned this place to me a few weeks back when she gave me a little chocolate truffle rose for my birthday, which she happened to pick up at this then unknown store recently opened by her friend. But it wasn’t until my good friend Nozomi took me to one of her newest little obsessions in Aspen that I recalled the connection.
This little gem of a market has everything to offer: delicious artisan foods, organic produce, natural body products, boutique doggy treats, homemade jewelry and clothes, and just about every little hand-crafted trinket you can imagine. I love the idea of supporting local artists and food producers, but seldom can you find a place where such vastly different products are available under one roof. Heaven.
And what far greater value there is in buying local and organic! Honestly, considering the amount of produce I bought yesterday for only eighteen bucks, these words have never sung truer. One of the common misconceptions regarding local, organic products (and in particular, produce) is that it’s drastically more expensive than what you might find in a large-scale super market. Okay, sure, it might be a little more expensive to buy, say, artisanal mustard over the store brand yellow mustard. But it’s important to remind myself what I’m actually paying for: taste(!), far greater nutritional value, supporting environmentally conscious and sustainable farming and processing methods, supporting a local business rather than simply pumping more money into the hands of the greedy, health and well-being (both in the present and the long-term), and lastly my own integrity, to name only a few.
Sure I break the rules from time to time, like this delicious handful of goldfish crackers I’m currently munching on (because, seriously, if you don’t enjoy goldfish crackers there is something seriously wrong with you). I don’t ever want to get all political on this blog, and my intention here is not to push my own values onto others. I’m just a firm believer that wholesome and organic food is truly good for the soul, and I hope that everyone gets to experience that for themselves.