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Where In The Town

11:01 AM, Nov 19, 2010   |    comments
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Honey Smoked Fish Company

Gregg Moss did not have to drive all the way to the coast to find fresh salmon. The Honey Smoked Fish Company flys the fish into it's headquarters in Aurora, Colorado, packed in ice.

The company was founded by Kevin Mason and his wife Lisa. Kevin learned about the seafood indusrry by working with his father, who owned a fish market in Los Angeles for more than three decades. 

The couple saw the potential of selling hot smoked fully cooked salmon that is vacuum-packed and ready to eat. They use a unique, secret firing process to ensure a moist and flavorful product. While the fish is treated in a marinade, the honey is actually added to the wood and then smoked into the fish.

The products are sold in 35 states to restaurants, country clubs, large grocers, food distributors, natural foods retailers, and warehouse clubs throughout the United States. Their products are sold at King Soopers and Costco to name a few.

http://www.honeysmokedfish.com/

EVOL Burritos

The workers at EVOL Burritos are fast. Every minute they perfectly roll about 70 burritos. All of them are frozen and then sent out to stores around the country-- including King Soopers, Whole Foods, Sprouts and Sunflower Farmers Markets.

The company admits that it is building an edgy brand, which attracts a younger demographic including snowboarders, skateboarders, and outdoor enthusiasts. It's easy to see why they like them. The burritos are delicious.

http://evolfoods.com


MouCo Cheese Company

Most people don't realize that making great cheese means closely watching a clock. At MouCo Cheese, the company's staff strictly times each part of the process, ensuring their ColoRouge and Camembert cheeses age properly. It is because of this diligence that the company's cheeses turn out so good.

The company was started by Robert Poland and his wife Birgit Halbreiter. Poland grew up in Boulder and learned the importance of accuracy while working as a fermentation manager at a local brewer. Halbreiter grew up in Germany and was trained and worked for one of the world's largest soft-ripened cheese manufacturer. Together and with the help of Halbreiter's father, an expert cheesemaker, the couple was able to open their own artisan cheesery. Now their cheeses are sold throughout the country at King Soopers and Whole Foods stores and are served by some of the nation's top restaurants, including the Brown Palace.

http://www.mouco.com/
NetDevil

The company's 170 employees have done something remarkable; they've turned a childhood toy-- LEGOs-- into an interactive online video game, called LEGO Universe.

The game bursts with energy, as LEGO worlds past, present and future come together in an ever-expanding, interactive environment. Fans worldwide can team up online with thousands of other players, join the brave Nexus Force alliance, and employ creativity to battle the Maelstrom. And as you might guess, the game allows players to build using LEGO components, just like in real life.

LEGO Universe is the third game NetDevil has designed.

http://www.netdevil.com/


Twist & Pout

While Twist & Pout's pocket-sized products deliver the oils, butters and UVA/UVB protection your lips need; the lip balms come in stylish spheres, satisfying the inner trend setter in many women.

The company spends a lot of time making their products stylish. They offer dozens of different designs from zebra stripes to team logos, so there is something for just about everyone.

From creating the plastic spheres to printing the fabulous designs to assembly, all of the work is done in Colorado.

http://www.twist-and-pout.com/


Milagros Soap Company

Started by a mother and daughter-in-law team, Milagros offers fun handmade soaps and body products, which cater to people with dry and sensitive skin. The company's first shop was located in Breckenridge.

All of Milagros' soap is now created by-hand inside the shop on Brighton's main street. From soaps that smell like your favorite cocktails to others that capture the scents of different seasons, there really is something for everyone. Plus, special designs have been carefully incorporated into nearly all of the soap bars.
Milagros is completely family owned and operated and has gained attention by various national and regional magazines, garnering awards.

http://www.milagrossoapcompany.com/

Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey

Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey is a 94 proof, small-batch whiskey distilled in Denver. It is the first microdistillery making whiskey in Colorado.

The company prides itself on making whiskey from a unique four-barley fermented wash that consists of carbon filtered Rocky Mountain water and western barley that is grown in the Northern Rockies.

Gregg took a tour and watched as the wash was distilled and aged in 50 gallon white oak whiskey barrels. Ten to twelve barrels are combined to make each batch consisting of 2,500-3,000 bottles. Each bottle is filled by hand by volunteers and each label is handwritten identifying the distiller, batch number, the youngest barrel in the batch and a unique comment.

Stranahan's is named after George Stranahan, who also owns the Flying Dog Brewery formerly of Denver, now located in Maryland. Jess Graber, retired firefighter, is the majority partner and founder of the company, and in the case of Gregg's visit, a tour guide too!

Learn more about this company by visiting:

http://stranahans.com/ 

Previous Where In The Town visits

LaFarge Concrete

Gregg traded his business suit for a bright green construction vest and hardhat as he toured a quarry near Golden that LaFarge Concrete uses to blast, gather and crush rocks for use in all kinds of paving jobs, including many local sidewalks, driveways and streets.

Gregg spoke with Todd Ohlheiser of Mountain West Aggregates who helps manage the quarry from the vantage point of a huge quarry truck. They produce 18 different rock products here.

The quarry can get extremely noisy, especially when blasting begins. The average size blast is 30,000 tons which consists of 50 drill holes drilled 35 feet deep into the ground. Each hole is loaded with approximately 400 pounds of
explosives for a total of 20,000 pounds of explosives per blast.

They use water to help keep the dust down, and LaFarge tries to reclaim what it takes from the quarry, minimizing the environmental impact from its operations as much as possible.

Learn more about LaFarge Concrete by visiting:

http://www.lafarge.com/ 

School groups can visit the operation by calling 303.657.4000. The company also hosts an open house every June.

Phipps Imax 3D

New seats, new speakers, a new screen and a 3D digital projector are all part of a newly opened upgrade to the Phipps Imax theatre in City Park. The Denver Museum of Nature & Science opened the Phipps IMAX in 1983 and it was very popular with visitors, but sales dipped because of competition from commercial IMAX 3D theatres.

Museum executives say most of the newest IMAX documentary films are now being shot in 3D, and that's the way the directors and producers want them to be seen. The first two movies getting shown as part of the Phipps redo are "Hubble 3D" and "Under the Sea 3D."

The Museum is among the first three U.S. museums to undergo digital upgrades to the latest IMAX technology, which claims to deliver the world's most immersive movie experience.

Enhancements include IMAX's digital projection system, IMAX's latest digital sound system, and a new IMAX screen, plus new flooring, new side curtains, and wider seats.

Hubble 3D

In May 2009, the crew of the Space Shuttle Atlantis launched a mission to make vital repairs and upgrades to the Hubble Space Telescope, the worlds first space-based observatory, 350 miles above the Earth. 

On board was an IMAX 3D camera, operated by the shuttle astronauts. It captured stunning sequences of the five intricate spacewalks required to make those repairs, as well as close-up images of the effort to grasp the orbiting telescope with the shuttles mechanical arm at 17,500 mph, and one unexpected problem that threatened to sabotage the entire mission.

Under the Sea 3D

This film features exotic and isolated underwater locations, including Southern Australia and New Guinea, and gives moviewatchers the chance to encounter some of the most mysterious and stunning creatures of the sea.

For more on the Phipps upgrade, please visit www.dmns.org

34 Degrees Crispbread

This Louisville cracker company was founded by Craig Lieberman, who explained his company's unusual name came from the latitude of Sydney, Australia.

That's the city where Lieberman discovered his passion for food and wine while attending grad school. It's also where he got his first taste of Australian crispbread, the inspiration for his company's thin and crispy crackers. He admits his only previous experience was making croutons for Pepperidge Farm when he was in high school. But he did a lot of self-teaching along the way to what's become a very successful operation.

34 Degrees churns out some 1.1 million crackers every day. Several retailers carry them, including King Soopers, Safeway and Whole Foods.

Gregg checked out how the crackers are made in a high-speed machine that bakes them in just 60 seconds, spinning them out warm. They zip out to packaging with "landing pads" on one side to hold cheese more efficiently.

Lieberman's bakery is gold certified and regularly audited by Silliker, the leading internationally accredited food testing and consulting network. He says business has been very good despite the challenging economy, with growth averaging about 30% per year.

His advice for others hoping to run their own company? "Just believe in what you do."

Learn more by visiting http://www.34-degrees.com/

Drag Racing School

After 24 years of business the Frank Hawley's Drag Racing School has graduated over 16,000 students, each receiving their National Hot Rod Association Competition Licenses.

"Age, gender and background are irrelevant" professional racer and founder Frank Hawley said. "The desire to improve your personal performance is all that is needed."

Frank Hawley's Drag Racing School offers a number of classes all over the country and students can expect to be in the class and on the track. Whether someone is trying to become a professional or just looking for a one time adventure, this class is for you.

Psychological, human behavior, physiological and neuropsychological studies have been done in order for student driver's to reach their top potential.

"I have attended many courses in my time and I have never experienced such an intelligent, detailed, fun and confidence building experience as was presented in the last two days." Steve Randall, Frank Hawley student driver said.

Frank Hawley Drag Racing School classes are open to all and prices from $1000 to $7000 depending upon the class. For more information visit http://www.frankhawley.com  
or call 866-480-7223 for dates and locations.

Gates at Bandimere Speedway will open at 4 pm and the first run is at 4:30 pm. Adult general admission is $10 and children ages 12 and under is free.

9News Intern Nicole Sandoval contributed to this story.

Colorado State Fair

This is the last weekend for the 2010 Colorado State Fair, which winds up on Labor Day. Each year, nearly half-million people attend the fair, located in Pueblo.

The 2010 Colorado State Fair will mark the Fair's 138th year as Colorado's premier celebration of agriculture. In addition to showcasing Colorado agriculture, the annual event features one of the country's largest traveling carnivals, artwork, crafts, food competitions, thrilling rodeo action, a wide variety of food and merchandise booths and a Fiesta Day honoring Colorado's ties to Hispanic culture.

This year, a Strongman Competition is also being held. One division is for men; another for women.

Learn more about the fair at www.coloradostatefair.com

Colorado Sport International Air Show

The air show is August 28th & 29th. The gates open at 8:00 a.m. daily. This show features the *Red, White & Loud Tour*, starring platinum country music  artist Aaron Tippin and the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Consolidated
B-24A Liberator 'Ol 927, one of only two flying B-24's in the world.

Static displays include: 

 * Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey 
* German Tornado
* P-51 Mustang
* And hundreds of other aircraft 

The Air Show features:

* F-16 and F-18 tactical demonstrations
* Team Chaos - performing all-out aerobatics in the midst of
smoke, fire and the roaring engine of their jet-powered truck.
Team Chaos features opposing solo aerobatic pilots Gary Ward
flying an MX2 monoplane and Randy Harris flying a Skybolt 300,
combined with Neal Darnell piloting "Flash Fire," the team's
jet-powered truck.

For more details please visit www.CoSportAviation.org

Bloomin' Promotions

Gregg spent the morning at Bloomin' Promotions. Co-Founder Don Martin says the company began in 1995 as a small manufacturer of earth-friendly, handmade, seeded greeting cards.

When the cards are planted, they grow. Post-industrial shred paper is the main ingredient in their seeded paper, along with soy-based inks and organic pigments. They say the production process is part of their commitment to being eco-friendly.

The company's greeting cards have been translated into seven languages and sold worldwide. Besides the cards and a stationery line, Bloomin' Promotions has a robust promotional and advertising business.

Learn more at www.bloominpromotions.com

Dig This

Dig This is the nation's first-and-only recreational heavy equipment playground. It lets adults get behind the controls of  earth movers. Most of the time, you have to drive to Steamboat Springs to have this kind of fun. That's where owner and founder Ed Mumm has his Dig This operation.

But for Father's Day weekend, Mumm has brought his giant sandbox experience to Aurora for what he is calling "Mega Days."
Participants will operate huge Caterpillar 330 hydraulic excavators and D7 & D8 track-type bulldozers, equipment almost twice as large as the ones found at Dig This' Steamboat location.

After an operational and safety orientation, participants will get behind the controls in climate controlled, radio monitored cabs and maneuver equipment in individual work areas for 20 minutes. Operational sessions cost $130.00 each.

"We've rounded up some of the largest earth-moving machines in the Caterpillar arsenal for Mega Days," said Mumm. "For non-industry folks this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play with massive equipment. Our hope is to see the Denver area event lead to future Mega Days events in other regions."

The Mega Days special event represents the first time Dig This has taken operations off-site from Steamboat Springs, CO. Scheduled for June 19th and 20th, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm each day, Mega Days will be held at the Wagner Equipment Company facility at 18000 Smith Road in Aurora, CO.

To learn more about Mega Days and other Dig This programs, please visit: www.digthis.com  or call 1.888.DIG.THIS (1.888.344.8447) or 970.367.4402.

Galley Graphics

Galley Graphics in Littleton is the only water transferring printer shop in Colorado. Founder Tom Galley uses a process often called hydrographic imaging.

Galley explained that this is a "surface decoration technology" that uses a specialized film printed with natural and geometric designs to decorate nearly any item.

Snowbards, dash kits, auto interiors, architecture, handles, switches and many other surfaces lend themselves to this film dipping process according to Galley.

He says water transfer printing, unlike conventional printing, is able to coat complex three dimensional shapes with very high quality. Seeing it in action is mesmerizing.

Check it out for yourself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzwQJoejHxs

http://www.galleygraphics.com/

Oskar Blues Brewery

Oskar Blues is a local brewery that is setting itself apart by canning its beer in cans. The company began in Lyons back in 2002. Back then the founder, Dale Katechis, did everything by hand. Now machines do the work.

The operation has certainly grown. By 2008 the company was making about 17,000 barrels. Today the number has grown to about 45,000 barrels.

Early on, Oskar Blues differentiated itself by providing its brews in aluminum cans.

"There are a lot of advantages to the can," explained Chad Melis, the company's marketing director. "First and foremost it is much more environmentally responsible. Aluminum is much more recyclable than glass. It's also very portable."

The cans also decrease fuel usage and costs for the company, since they are 35 percent of the weight of normal beer bottles.

During Gregg Moss's Where In the Town visit, Melis also praised the aluminum packaging for protecting the brew.

"It's good for the beer. It eliminates sunlight all together which damages beer and allows a little less of the ingress oxygen into the beer, which is also bad for beer," Melis said.

Oskar Blue's popular Dale's Pale Ale and other flavors are packaged in cans that are lined with a special coating so that the beer and metal never touch.

From the beginning, the company has always combined their beers with foods. Currently they own three restaurants in Longmont and Lyons. In many cases their chefs work to find new ways to incorporate the brewers' work into their offerings.

"Our beers are so unique from our lager to our stout. We have so many different flavors to play with, for whatever we are doing from chocolate with stout or Chub with barbeque," said Jason Rogers, Oskar Blue's Head Chef.

The company was recently selected as one of the 50 Colorado Companies to Watch by the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Every Thursday 9NEWS reports about another company, highlighting its success in this difficult economy.

To see those stories, visit http://www.9news.com/life/programming/shows/mornings/ctw/  

Denver Auto Show

The Denver International Auto Show is the largest new car display between the Mississippi River and Los Angeles. The show features more than 500 vehicles from 30 manufacturers and fills five football fields.

The show offers one-stop shopping, crossovers, concept cars, luxury cars, SUVs, trucks, vintage racers, classic cars, hot rods, custom styling and accessories area, and entertainment for the whole family, including the Kids Stop Pit Stop.

The show also offers the Ride & Drive - programs to test drive select new GM and Kia models.

Ford will once again have a significant presence at the show.

They plan on showing off the new turbo-charged diesel engine in the SuperDuty line of trucks, which improves upon fuel economy.

They also plan on celebrating the latest versions of the award-winning voice-controlled communications and infotainment SYNC® system, and its partnership with the new MyLincoln Touch technology.

The release of the new 2011 Ford Fiesta is also turning heads. The Fiesta is Ford's new small car, which has a projected best-in-class highway fuel economy of 40 mpg and more than 10,000 pre-sale orders. Ford has recruited a couple of 20-somethings who go by the handles of "Lemon" and "Kanz" to make the auto show circuit and talk up what they call The Fiesta Movement.

Check out their blog at:

http://www.fiestamovement2.com/den/team-profile/team-denver/ 

Denver traditionally wraps up the season of major auto shows around the country.

The auto show runs now through April 11th. The remaining hours are noon to 10 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Ticket prices start at $10 for adults, $5 for children 7-12 and all kids under 6 are free.

For more information, including a list of exhibiting manufactures - visit www.denverautoshow.com.

Boulder Creek Winery

Gregg got a tour from owners Mike and Jackie Thompson who say they blend new world technology with old world artistry in handcrafting a line of classic-style wines.

Visitors to the winery can check out their Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah wines, as well as a private reserve blend. The Boulder Creek Winery offers free wine tastings, tours and a gift shop.

The Thompsons are big believers in educating visitors about the art of winemaking, as well as the history of it, including where wine corks come from. To learn more please visit:

https://www.bouldercreekwine.com/ 

Uhl Studios

Uhl Studios is described as a place where all the art has an attitude. They specialize in aviation, racing and pin-up art and they have quite the A-list of clients, including Tonight Show host Jay Leno. Their corporate clients include Harley Davidson, Coca-Cola and FedEx.

Limited edition prints are a big part of their business, but they are now expanding with a t-shirt line featuring Uhl Studio designs. Gregg spent time visiting with studio founder David Uhl and his partner Daniel James. Gregg watched Uhl put the finishing touches on a commemorative piece he is doing for the Daytona 500.

"This is 1949," Uhl explained as he pointed to a canvas decorated with three boys jumping off a Florida pier with a classic motorcycle behind them. "Back in the beginning, they used to race on the beach. I usually start with black and white photos and turn them into color. I try to keep the palette old so it looks 'antiquey' 'cause it's an old piece."

Uhl got his start as an illustrator using a ballboint, and didn't even complete his first painting until 1998 after getting some instruction at the Art Students League.

"Back in the ballpoint pen days, Dave used to do a lot of drawings," James explained. "Now with our new t-shirt line, basically I come up with a concept for a t-shirt and I'll have Dave do an original drawing."

Both men say they never feel like what they are doing is work, since they spend the day sitting, drawing and painting. "There's nothing better," Uhl said with a smile.

For more information on Uhl Studios please visit http://www.uhlstudios.com/

X-treme Challenge Arena

Gregg was dodging balls and bouncing on a bike at X-treme Challenge Arena, located at 9499 Washington Street in Thornton.

It is a unique gym that offers stunts, competition and challenges for kids and adults.

"It's a lot of fun no matter who is here. We have something for kids five and six here and everything for adults and team-building opportunities. We have had the Army here," Franchise Owner Randy Meyer said.

 

The franchise idea was started seven years ago by former American Gladiator Kyler Storm. Storm appeared on the original show from 1994 through 1997.

 

He says the idea of the extreme gym has caught on fast.

 

"We've combined extreme sports with physics. That's my passion. People can show off what they got and harness this energy and be superhuman and have fun. The youth love us, adults love and corporate America loves us," Storm said.

 

Meyer has owned the Thornton gym for two years. He bought it after turning down the original ground-floor opportunity in 2003.

 

"We had a great customer base so it took the risk out of it," Meyer said.

 

X-treme Challenge arena offers minimum groups of 12 a one-hour experience for $14 a person and the two-hour experience for $25 a person.

 

For more information, head to the X-treme Challenge Arena Web site.

Fiona's Granola

Gregg looked quite fetching in his trademark Where In The Town hairnet for a behind-the-scenes tour of Fiona's Granola, located at 1820 Industrial Circle in Longmont.

Fiona Simon, a single mom, says she has been making granola since she was 14 and she got the idea for the business after wanting more flexibility in her work hours to be with her daughter.

"I just did a lot of soul searching and this idea came, boy, I could try to sell my granola," Simon said.

In 2002, her first year of business, her all-natural granola got picked up by Vitamin Cottage and Whole Foods.

"I didn't even have a bar code for the product. It just all happened so fast," Simon said.

Now, her line has grown from just granola to trail mix and energy bars and it can be found in several local stores.

CoraFaye's Cafe & Catering

Gregg was out at CoraFaye's Cafe & Catering, located at 2861 Colorado Boulevard on 9NEWS 5 and 6 a.m.

"One Christmas holiday I didn't feel like cooking and I thought it would be great to have a place like this to buy my food so that's how I started," explained the owner, Priscilla Smith.

Smith opened CoraFaye's Cafe in 2006 and a week later, we had the big blizzard in Colorado. But she says she has survived, and is now turning out "soul food" on a regular basis.

Wild As The West Show

Gregg spent the morning sampling National Western action. He played guinea pig to trick roper Rex Purefoy, who is on view as part of the rodeo's Wild As The West Show.

"Of all the cowboy tricks, roping is the most difficult and the hardest to learn," Purefoy explained. "It takes years and years and forever practicing. Each trick takes three months or longer to learn. Some rope tricks take two to three years!" he said.

Purefoy demonstrated the Zigzag, the Drunken Preacher, and the Butterfly.

Gregg also was on the receiving end of a bullwhip, as Purefoy snapped a pipece of styrofoam out of his mouth. Later, Gregg spent some time with Maurice "Mo Betta" Wade of the Martin Luther King Rodeo that was being staged at 6 p.m. Monday.

"You will see a lot of action and a lot of drama. We've got the bucking horses, the calf roping, you've got the bull riding. It's very exciting and very electric," Wade explained. 

"We have cowboys coming from all over the country; California, Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama. We have people from all over the country coming in for this rodeo," he said. Wade said the rodeo is a chance to highlight an often overlooked piece of western lore. 

"Black cowboys have been written out of the history books for years," Wade explained. To learn more about the National Western, please visit: http://www.nationalwestern.com/nwss/home/home.php 

(KUSA-TV © 2010 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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