Ploughboy Market

Ploughboy Market employees stand outside the business, which was named the top “green” restaurant in the state in The Nature Conservancy’s Nature’s Plate contest this year. From left are Kerry Nelson, Sam Montgomery, Natalie Sharp, Michele Ferrand, Cindy Merchant and Dave Nelson.

Conservation organization The Nature Conservancy named Salida’s Ploughboy Market as the top “green” restaurant in Colorado in its second-annual Nature’s Plate contest.

The contest was a people’s choice contest for top “green” restaurants that focus on sustainable seafood, free-range and grass-fed meat, organic produce, locally sourced food and tap water, rather than bottled water.

Ploughboy beat out four other finalists in the state, including Colterra in Niwot, Tasty Harmony in Fort Collins, The Kitchen in Boulder and WaterCourse Foods in Denver.

“Kerry (Nelson) and I were without words the day they announced (the award), which doesn’t happen,” Ploughboy Marketing Director Sam Montgomery said with a laugh. “I think it’s so amazing that the small town of Salida banded together and beat out the other finalists in Denver and Boulder. It’s unbelievable really.”

Montgomery said the company focuses on sustainability in four areas: economic sustainability, community sustainability, planetary sustainability and self sustainability. Ploughboy only sells food from Colorado and recycles and reuses as much as it can. For instance, the company collects food scraps in “chicken buckets” that local farmers can pick up to feed their livestock.

Owner Kerry Nelson said the company tries to act “in a deliberate and thoughtful way.”

“I don’t think we’re doing anything revolutionary; we just try to do things in a smart way,” Nelson said.

Nelson thanked the community for its continued support and for the votes that won them the award.

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