The Sweet William Market
The Sweet William Market is celebrating its eighth season in Stapleton, and the vintage & lifestyle event is bigger than ever.
Its 80 vendors bring everything from clothes and artwork to crafts and candles to The Green every month.
“The thing that I’m excited about is the thing that I’m always excited about, which is I love sharing my vendors with Stapleton, said Realtor and market owner Kim Kouba. “It’s amazing to watch shoppers with their mouths wide open, just so happy about what they’re seeing that they can’t find anywhere else in the city.”
Sweet William fits the community.
“The people who live in Stapleton are urban-minded people,” Kim said. “They really want something clever and unique … so I think that’s why the market’s fun for them.”
She has also seen residents make a day of it.
“The market is very social. The wives will come down and shop, and the husbands will come down later with the kids and they’ll all go to lunch,” she said.
Jennifer Carabetta has been a vendor at the Sweet William Market since the beginning.
“It’s just the kind of market that I would shop at … I tend to only sell at markets that would draw me in as a customer,” she said. “I also love that it’s in our neighborhood.”
Jennifer’s business, Dizzie Izzie, sells handmade skirts, tutus, lounge pants, women’s clothing, accessories and a lot more. She named the company after her daughter.
“It’s honestly a homegrown business. I didn’t even go out with a business plan,” she said. “I just made a bunch of tutus and a bunch of reversible skirts and then I started adding to the line as my daughter grew.”
She said the market brings something special that people don’t always find every day.
“So many things are right at our fingertips to buy … we’re all on the hunt for something special for our friend, for our mom or for whomever,” Jennifer said. “When you go to a market like this, you feel proud of what you find.”
Now Jennifer greets customers who have stopped by her market booth year after year.
“It’s so cute because people have been coming to my booth for so long – it’s so rewarding,” she said. “You kind of have a routine. You have lunch from the food vendors … and now, moms I’ve known bring their daughters. But as Stapleton grows, every single weekend I meet people I’ve never met before.”
Andrew Schurger is one of those food vendors.
His Bombo’s Rocky Mountain Shave Ice business serves up cool favorites every market day.
“The first Sweet William of last year was actually our first event,” Andrew said. “We had assumptions on how shave ice would be received in the neighborhood based on the number of kids … but we were pleasantly surprised about how well it did.”
Andrew found a new appreciation of shave ice when he visited Hawaii recently. It’s everywhere on the islands, and he brought back some traditions with him.
“If you go to Hawaii, one of the most common things you’ll find is the sweetened, condensed milk on shave ice,” he said. “It’s called a snow cap.”
Andrew also offers ice cream, toppings and ice-flavor combinations that he has sourced across the nation.
“We have 33 flavors that range from your common strawberry or cherry to blue raspberry, which is probably our best seller because the kids love it,” he said.
While stops like Bombo’s provide the treats, Ethan Koehler’s band provides the ambience.
The Binding plays at each market, and all of the band’s members live in Stapleton.
“Amazingly, we all live on the same block. We share an alley … word kind of got out that three of the fellas were getting together and just tinkering,” Ethan said. “They had guitars so we started getting together in one guy’s basement.”
He plays the keyboard and sings. The six-piece band also plays at area venues and performs at Stapleton Rocks … a Concert for a Cause.
“It’s still a casual, fun thing … it’s somewhere we invest energy beyond our day-to-day responsibilities,” Ethan said. “I think the music brings energy and a different mood to the market. A market can be pretty quiet, but this takes it to a new level.”
The Sweet William Market also has philanthropic partners that receive complimentary booth space at the event.
The Morgan Adams Foundation is one of those partners. The foundation raises money and awareness to help children and their families affected by cancer.
“Ultimately, our objective is to underscore the need for better, less toxic treatments for cancer,” said Joan Slaughter, the foundation’s executive director. “There isn’t a lot of funding for pediatric needs and pediatric research, in particular, but we’re also focused on quality-of-life and aiding the long-term effects of treatment.”
Joan began the foundation after her daughter, Morgan, died of a brain tumor in 1997. Now the foundation serves a crucial community need.
The Sweet William Market is also named after Robin French Haight’s son, Will. He was battling cancer during the market’s first season in 2005. Once he was diagnosed at age 2, Robin and her husband turned to the Morgan Adams Foundation.
“Will just turned 11 … he faces struggles every day related to the treatment that saved his life, but what really drew my husband and I to the Morgan Adams Foundation was they really do have this two-pronged approach of focusing on the treatment as well as the long-term effects of cancer.”
Learn more about the Morgan Adams Foundation.