Meet Cara; Founder of Grape Street Greeting Co.
Tell us about you and your business! (Ex. How long you’ve been in business, What brought you to your craft, How people can find your business)
Grape Street Greeting Co. is a local purveyor of mildly offensive, highly entertaining gifts and cards all made here in Denver by me.
I started this business almost six years ago after getting laid off from a corporate marketing job. I had been a copywriter and creative marketing professional for almost 20 years, and I found that I needed a creative outlet while job hunting.
It started as just something to make my friends laugh, but now this is a very full-time job for me, and Grape Street Greeting Co. goods are carried in more than 70 shops and boutiques across the country, including some great ones here in Denver. You can also order directly through me online at grapestreetgreetings.com and find me acting up regularly on Instagram at @grapestreetgreetings.
What neighborhood do you live in?
I live with my husband and son and two crazy dogs in the Park Hill neighborhood.
Why did you choose to call your neighborhood home?
There are so many reasons to love Park Hill, and I feel like we would choose it over and over again if we ever had to move. Park Hill is full of the most caring, diverse, amazing neighbors living in all kinds of homes that all have so much history. The local shops and businesses have become our favorite places to walk to and meet friends, and the schools are really great. This community really pulls together both to help others, and to throw great events like The Park Hill 4th of July parade that has become one of our favorite summer traditions. I think my very favorite thing about Park Hill is walking through the neighborhood at this time of year; the changing leaves on these hundred-year old trees are my favorite dog-walking backdrop.
A couple years ago, we remodeled our 1927 bungalow and added a home studio for Grape Street Greeting Co. Being able to work from home in a studio created just for my business has just made me love Park Hill even more.
What are your favorite local places?
Oh, there are so many. Here in Park Hill, you can regularly find me working on my laptop at Cake Crumbs Bakery or Neighbor’s Wine Bar when I need to get out of my studio. The staff at both places knows our names when we walk in and it just makes our neighborhood feel that much more ours. I also love grabbing fresh produce or a sandwich at Spinelli’s Italian Market right down the street from our house and checking out the ever-changing book selection at the Park Hill Co-op Bookstore; it’s Denver’s oldest volunteer-run shop, and we are proud members.
Outside of the neighborhood, I have a special spot in my heart for the Stanley Marketplace. I’m there about five times a week punching out my stress at an amazing, woman-owned gym, Fly Kickbox, and my husband and I also love to have a drink or take a class at Create Cooking School. We recently did a German cooking class there that was such a great date night! You can also find the best shops at the Stanley, and my faves are Trunk Nouveau and Aktiv Sportswear.
My other favorite places around town include Jolly Goods gift shop in the Berkley neighborhood, The Bookies bookstore just off South Colorado Boulevard, and Fiction Brewery on Colfax.
I think you’re probably sensing a theme about what I like now: books, shopping, and good wine and beer. But with working out thrown in for good measure!
What do you love about Denver?
You would really have a hard time convincing me to live anywhere else. Denver is such a special place. You get a little bit of that big-city, urban feel, but with close proximity to the best nature can offer, too. I love the sun and the blue skies, and how we always get a few reprieve warm days during the winter to keep our spirits up. I love how everyone has dogs and beat-up Subarus and it’s just understood that we’re going to be outside doing something cool whenever we can. I love that it’s socially acceptable to wear jeans and flip flops basically anywhere and that we all know there are going to be a couple days in the Fall and the Spring where we use both the heat and the AC within a few hours, and maybe even put some socks on with our Birkenstocks. I love that people are just nice here. I spent a couple years living on the east coast in my early 20s and so many people in New York used to ask me, “why are you being so nice?!” I think it was just all that Colorado ingrained in me; I didn’t know how else to be. I think the moral of the story is that if there’s anywhere you’d want to be during a global pandemic, I’m pretty sure it’s surrounded by the nicest people in the country—with a six foot distance between us all, obviously.
Are you from CO?
I am! Well, my family moved to Colorado when I was two, so I guess I still don’t qualify for a NATIVE sticker, but I grew up in Colorado Springs and relocated to Denver in 2000. After more than 20 years in Denver, it is definitely home now, but I still have family in the Springs and get down there on and off. There’s something pretty cool about growing up with Pikes Peak looming large above you every day that will always make me treasure Colorado Springs, but Denver is where I belong.
How would you describe the personality or “vibe” of Denver?
Denver certainly has a specific vibe, doesn’t it? I think I would describe it as friendly and progressive and smart and down to earth. I guess I’d call the Denver vibe a little bit Stock Show and a little bit Meow Wolf, and somehow we all make that work. I just love it.
Of Your Neighborhood?
Park Hill has one of my favorite vibes in town. It’s such an eclectic mix of people, and I love the way my son gets to grow up being a part of that. There’s a little bit of a small-town feel to the neighborhood; the community events and businesses really capture that, and the spirit of helpfulness of so many neighbors always pleasantly surprises me. I really feel looked out for in Park Hill, and I love that our son has so many neighborhood friends. There’s something about a crew of kids playing happily out front that really makes you know you’re home.