About Denver Dweller

Dwell \ˈdwel\ :
1. to live in a particular place
2. to keep the attention directed
3. to speak or write insistently

Denver Dweller began as one part love letter to Denver and and one part collection of ideas and services for living locally. What is living locally? It can, and often is, defined in many ways: It’s shopping at independent stores. It’s eating at locally owned restaurants. It’s connecting with your neighbors more deeply than a passing wave. It’s getting your groceries directly from local farmers. It’s buying handcrafted wares from area artisans and makers. It’s embracing our local services and organizations. And, it’s getting out and participating in the authentic experiences of all that Denver life has to offer.

My hope is that this blog will help you to discover parts of Denver you didn’t know existed (it’s helping me to do this!), and will continue to grow and catalog resources for living locally in your neighborhood community, as well as the larger community of this fantastic city we call home.


I am a Denver-based mama with a love for all things local. After a decade of working in communications, I had the opportunity to merge my love of the written word with local living when I began working at Downtown Colorado, Inc., a tiny nonprofit with the big mission of providing community and economic development assistance to Colorado communities. Finally a chance to support the local indie businesses I loved — other than with my own personal bank account!

Community nerd that I am, I truly get excited about things like walkability, placemaking, neighborhood sense of community, and (obviously) shop local. (But, hey, doesn’t everybody?) And, I really, truly love my adopted hometown of Denver.

In my professional life, I’ve organized a multitude of community and economic development conferences and events to provide ongoing education to hundreds of Colorado local government and business leaders. I’ve also written grants for nearly half a million dollars in federal funds to support community and economic development activities in communities statewide — funds that would not otherwise have entered the Colorado economy.

I loved my work. It was a tough decision to walk away from it to stay home with my kids. (I prefer to think of it as a hiatus.) So, I am continuing my personal mission of community-building and supporting small business here on this blog. (And, occasionally on HuffPost.)

Local First Colorado www.localfirstcolorado.orgMost recently I’ve been working with a number of local businesses to launch Local First Colorado, a movement (and soon-to-be a full-fledged nonprofit organization) to build awareness around the importance of supporting our local, independent businesses. (Take the Local First Pledge to shift your daily habits to trying a local business first!)

My family and I dwell in the northwest Denver neighborhood of Berkeley, just a 3-minute walk from its fantastic shops, restaurants and community gathering places. You can usually find me hanging out on Tennyson Street, or you can reach me at heather@denverdweller.com.

heather garbo family

Above photo by Andrea Flanagan Photography. Headshot by Darcy Kitching of Places Make People.