Boulder duo launching culinary market in Denver Tech Center

BOULDER — A Boulder entrepreneur and a local natural-foods veteran are combining their business prowess to create a popup outdoor culinary market in the Denver Tech Center.

Kathey Pear and Jonathan Kates, both of Boulder, have founded Foodies Outdoor Markets. Their first location, Foodies Belleview Station, will be at 4901 S. Newport St. — near the junction of Interstate 25 and Belleview Avenue in Denver — with plans to open June 5.

Kates has a long history as a food-company executive. His background includes having run the supply chain for Wild Oats before it was acquired by Whole Foods.

For Pear, the venture is quite the diversion from her career of starting up, growing and selling a pair of office interior and furniture businesses. She sold Citron Workspaces, which had been based in Louisville, in 2014 to Golden-based Source Office and Technology. Citron has since moved to Denver.

“I had done furniture,” Pear said in an interview this week. “I was really ready for a change. I discovered food halls and outdoor food markets when I was doing a lot of traveling around the country. I kept saying, ‘We really don’t have much like this in Colorado.’

“(Foodies) is really a blend of pieces that I’ve seen in other places.”

Foodies is partnering with developers who are building a mixed-use project called Belleview Station, where the Foodies market will operate on Sundays and Thursdays from June until October. The market will include about 40 booths featuring freshly prepared food, live music, a large dining tent, a beer and wine tent, and an arts and crafts space.

Hours on Thursdays will be geared toward the lunch and happy-hour crowd from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., while Sundays will be more geared toward the residential community from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“We’re trying to make it a really pleasant, relaxing, comfortable experience,” Pear said.

Pear, who said startup costs have been in the $100,000 range, said Foodies will make money by charging vendors a percentage of gross sales rather than leasing spaces.

She said the DTC location was chosen because she and Kates felt it was an underserved area “as opposed to Boulder, which has quite a bit going on on the weekends.” But she said she would like to start something similar closer to home at some point as well.

“We’d love to have something in the Boulder area, but we didn’t want to start too big,” Pear said. “Two days a week in one location seemed manageable.”

BOULDER — A Boulder entrepreneur and a local natural-foods veteran are combining their business prowess to create a popup outdoor culinary market in the Denver Tech Center.

Kathey Pear and Jonathan Kates, both of Boulder, have founded Foodies Outdoor Markets. Their first location, Foodies Belleview Station, will be at 4901 S. Newport St. — near the junction of Interstate 25 and Belleview Avenue in Denver — with plans to open June 5.

Kates has a long history as a food-company executive. His background includes having run the supply chain for Wild Oats before it was acquired by Whole Foods.

For Pear, the venture is quite the diversion from her career of starting up, growing and selling a pair of office interior and furniture businesses. She sold Citron Workspaces, which had been based in Louisville, in 2014 to Golden-based Source Office and Technology. Citron has since moved to Denver.

“I had done furniture,” Pear said in an interview this week. “I was really ready for a change. I discovered food halls and outdoor food markets when I was doing a lot of traveling around the country. I kept saying, ‘We really don’t have much like this in Colorado.’

“(Foodies) is really a blend of pieces that I’ve seen in other places.”

Foodies is partnering with developers who are building a mixed-use project called Belleview Station, where the Foodies market will operate on Sundays and Thursdays from June until October. The market will include about 40 booths featuring freshly prepared food, live music, a large dining tent, a…