David Rouse thinks there should be an eco-friendly shop, where people can refill their essential household products, in every Denver neighborhood.
“It doesn’t make a lot of sense if you have to drive from Englewood or Aurora to downtown if you’re attempting to reduce your carbon footprint,” Rouse said.
So, the Denver entrepreneur found an open spot in Capitol Hill, where he’s aiming to open Off The Bottle Refill Shop at 220 E. 13th Ave. in May.
Rouse signed a lease last month for the 1,400-square-foot space, formerly home to Queen City General Store, which has moved into a smaller space next door. He is starting the business with his wife Marisol Garcia and his partner Daniel Landes, who built and sold vegetarian eateries Watercourse and City O’ City. The latter is located on the same block.
Landes and Rouse also own a small hotel in Mexico called Osa Mariposa, where Landes has another vegetarian restaurant. The two have always put an emphasis on sustainability in their business, according to Rouse, and he said the hotel works to keep waste to a minimum.
“When this space became available, we thought, ‘Let’s do something else we’re passionate about,’” Rouse said. “‘Let’s help other people become sustainable and help them bridge the gap between a more conventional lifestyle and a more eco-friendly standard of living.’”
Landes will run day-to-day operations at the hotel, while Rouse will focus on the refill shop, he said. Rouse is a Denver native and previously ran a record label called Paco Garden Records.
Off The Bottle Refill Shop will have a similar set up to other shops around the area, like Joy Fill on Tennyson Street and The Zero Market in Stanley Marketplace. It will sell soaps, shampoos, detergents, and other household items without the need for plastic or extra packaging. There will also be reusable glass and metal containers.
Rouse said he plans to sell products from Colorado-based vendors, such as Littleton-based Juniperseed Mercantile and Longmont-based Colorado Aromatics. His wife is a make-up artist by trade and also wants to add eco-friendly makeup.
“As far back as I can remember, I have always been bothered by the concept of a landfill and trash in the streets, and I’ve been vegan for most of my life,” Rouse said. “I am always searching for ways to make a difference through my actions, habits and perspectives. So, this is just another way to create a better space for all of us to exist in.”