Walking into McDevitt Taco Supply‘s headquarters at 4800 Baseline Road recently, you face our new hybrid Covid-19 reality square up — definitely not business as usual, but a bit of magic crossed with founder love.
High tops and tables linked together form a narrow pathway to the counter, where one person enters at a time to order. The plants sprawled among select grocery items along the tables echo the plants hanging from the wooden planters in the walls.
With restaurants required to shut their doors to the public at the end of March, business owners had to quickly pivot to new models of operation. One of our favorite taco spots in Boulder, McDevitt converted its storefront into a mini market.
The market, which opened on April 29, sells everything from McDevitt’s regular menu to-go to meal kits, pickled cabbage, onions and kimchi, quarts of house-made margaritas to Speedwell Farm & Gardens produce — and then just for fun (and maybe necessity) — succulents and toilet paper.
Bradford McDevitt, who co-owns the taco shop with his brother Clayton, met me at the counter in a colorful face bandanna.
“We realized no one could come in and dine anymore because it’s basically illegal,” says Bradford, “so we had to pivot. I had a jar of spices, and talked to my friend who has the wholesale plant license — she got us a bunch of different plants, we talked to Speedwell who got us the kale, eggs and arugula, got the chicharrones … We’ve sold over 20 succulents so far!”
With all the plants making up for the life that diners normally bring to the restaurant, McDevitt’s vibrant storefront not only transformed their to-go station into a completely different experience for visitors but creates a platform for local businesses to sell their products as well.
Along with Speedwell Farm & Gardens, McDevitt’s mini mart features nitro cold brew from Boulder-born Wildbarn Coffee, local OLIKO ginger beer (also OLIKO x tequila for a kick, McDevitt’s Jalisco Mule), Sanitas Brewing Co.’s The Bandito Mexican Lager, Conscious Coffees, and shots of Boulder’s local Suerte Tequila.
As everyone takes a gentle slide toward normalcy, Boulder small businesses have found creative ways like McDevitt to keep the engine running.
“Cinco de Mayo was the busiest day in history for us,” says Bradford. McDevitt sold 130 quarts of margaritas that day. “At one point we had forty people outside social distancing. They didn’t mind waiting an hour for food!”
Header Image: McDevitt’s transformed storefront. Source: Tatyana Sharpton