Josh Sampson has been in Denver for less than a year and has already revolutionized the way small businesses operate here. Inspired by his passion for Urban Farming, Josh found Sustainability Park, a three-acre lot in the Five Points district and decided it was the perfect spot for his big idea. We had the pleasure of speaking with Josh this past weekend at The Big Wonderful and hearing about how it all started.
Josh moved here in January from Brooklyn where he was very involved in the music scene. He compares what he is doing now to what he did in Brooklyn with his recording studio, rehearsal studio, and live music venue. After spending some time in L.A. last year, he decided that, “the coasts have seen it all,” and that Denver has a great population of people ready for fun things.
In 2013, Josh graduated from an Urban Farming program in Milwaukee. There he was involved with Growing Power Inc., an organization started by Will Allen that supports the development of Community Food Systems. Once he moved to Denver, Josh found that the Denver Urban Farmer’s Collaborative was in the forefront of Urban Farming in Denver. Josh told us that Denver is “a food desert” and it is vitally important that we support urban farming efforts because they are the future of sustainable agriculture.
Josh believes Five Points is the last place in Denver that is truly diverse. He saw the up-and-coming neighborhood as an opportunity to bring some interesting people together. Out of the 78 neighborhoods in Denver, the unique architecture and urban farming helped him decide to set up The Big Wonderful in Five Points.
During the planning process, Josh discovered that rather than focusing on one subject—like Bonnaroo focuses on music—Denverites are looking for the full experience. Hence the tiki bar, exotic food, flea market, music festival, beach volleyball, dog park, and lawn games that have become The Big Wonderful. Josh also identified the Smorgasburg—a flea food market in Brooklyn—as The Big Wonderful’s “distant cousin”. For those in Denver curious about The Big Wonderful—Josh assures us that there is something for everyone. Adults can hang out and grab a drink at the tiki bar while enjoying some live music and the kids and the dog can be entertained for hours in the sand pit.
The Future of The Big Wonderful
The Big Wonderful will continue to be on Saturdays at Sustainability Park (On 26th between Lawrence and Arapahoe) through the end of October. Josh then plans on taking a short break to regroup and plan for the upcoming seasons. Don’t worry though—he’s assured us that The Big Wonderful will have several events during the winter season. We are looking forward to watching its continual growth and the impact it has on Denver’s small businesses.
Check out more interviews with Josh here!
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