Meet Andrea Leo | Owner of Sun Market in City Park West


Hi Andrea! Can you introduce yourself to our readers? Tell us a bit about your background story and what led you to open Sun Market in the Summer of 2021? (Why the name “Sun Market” ?)

 Hi, my name is Andrea Leo, I’m the owner of Sun Market and a Mom of Two. I live in the neighborhood and aways wished there was a corner store to walk to. When I got the idea for the store, it was during Covid. Times felt beak… I hope that things would get better one day and when they did I imagined my store being a center for the community and a happy pace to shop. Sun Market seemed like a good name for my vision. Also “everything under the Sun” and it’s Sunny location, so the name works on many levels!

How would you describe Sun Market? Why did you feel the Whittier Neighborhood needed a local market?

Sun Market has something for everyone: every price point, personality, and pallet. I would describe Sun Market as a neighborhood corner store with an emphasis on local products, hard to find products, quality products,  basic staples, convenience store classics, and fresh produce, all at an affordable price and a pleasant atmosphere.

Why did you choose Sun Market’s location? What makes your neighborhood stand out?

I chose Sun Market’s location because I got incredibly lucky and the perfect spot for a corner store went for rent a few days after getting the idea. I love my neighborhood and I’ve lived on 22nd Ave twice. It felt like an extension of my home. Plus I shop at all of the other businesses on 22nd Ave so it’s nice to feel a part of the 22nd Ave independent business family.

Why should Denverites support smaller, locally owned markets like yours? 

Because they don’t exist without you. Small businesses are the life and blood of community and when you shop small we support each other. Also, it’s great to be able to speak to the business owner about your needs. I know most of my customers by name and I carry their favorite products because they’ve asked for it. You don’t get that type of attention at larger corporate stores.

Do you feel like you get to know many of your customers personally? Do you feel like an integral park of your community? 

 Yes. 100%. Seeing my customers everyday is the best part of my day. And hearing my customers tell me thank you for being here and I’ve added so much to the community gets me through the tough days. 

What challenges come with owning a small local market? How did the pandemic effect your business?

Staying on top of a rotation of food with a shelf life during times supply chain issues is always something that will be hard to navigate. Opening during covid had many complications of course, but the pandemic was also the catalyst behind having a small business – necessity is the mother of invention!  Because of homeschooling during the pandemic I needed a job that my kids could be at work with me. The kids did homeschool at the store while I prepared for opening. Opening took a lot longer to happen than I planned on because working with the city while the Webb building was closed to the public slowed things down. The light at the end of the tunnel was that I always hoped Covid would lesson and human interaction would resume. When it did I would have a spot for the community.

What types of items do you sell that bring joy to your customers? Or are essential to them throughout the year?

I hope my entire store brings joy! And I’m open 363 days a year so there’s lots of joy to be had throughout the year (even snow days).  I try to have a little bit of everything, including local items that you can only find at my store. We have all the essentials including milk, eggs, meat, and produce. I always source my produce from local distributors who sell at farmers markets in season and I always price my vegetables competitively because I think it’s important that people are not priced out from fresh fruits and veggies. If someone is in the mood for the convenience store classics, and that’s what brings them joy, I have that too! 


Take a moment to humble brag on yourself: What accomplishments you are most proud of since you’ve opened?

I am usually so busy trying to run the store, keep it stocked, take care of my kids and home, and all the other responsibilities of life that I don’t take the time to take a moment and take it all in. Every once in a while I do, and it’s always a revelation. I look around the store and think about what it looked like back when I had the idea and what it looks like now, and think “holy crap, I did this”! 

Are you from Denver? Why did you choose to call your neighborhood home? 

I’m originally from South Florida, but I’ve lived in Denver for about 20 years. I’ve lived in many neighborhoods in Denver: Park Hill, Cap Hill, and Baker. But I’ve called City Park West/Whittier home since 2013. I love that it’s centrally located, down to earth, and there’s a real sense of community.

How would you describe the personality or “Vibe” of Denver? 

Denver is full of smiles and possibilities.

What are your favorite local Denver Spots? 

City Park, 22nd Avenue (Obviously), the museums and botanic gardens, and all of the restaurants. There are so many good ones!

Request Information