We had the good fortune of connecting with Allison Burgund and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Allison, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
When I was little, we ground our peanut butter from peanuts at the co-op in town, that’s where peanut butter came from. We put it in a glass jar we brought. My father, who worked for the EPA, would bring us endangered species stuffed animals. We had a collection of patches from habitats he had worked to protect. I hand-sewed them on my first backpack from the first @rei store in Seattle. We swam (we lived on Bainbridge Island in the PNW) in the freezing Puget Sound wearing @saltwatersandals sandals that are made of leather and rubber to protect us from all the sharp barnacles. Crunchy? Yes, but it was hardly popular back then, it was just good. The baseline to all of that was nature, being in nature, valuing nature, protecting nature. We can’t all have careers saving nature, uh, duh. But we can all do small acts, and repeat often to help. Refilling is one way to feel good and help our town, our nature, our planet. I am proud to offer this option, and it feels a little like home to me.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Fill & Refill is the only refillery and sustainable goods store in the Vail Valley. To date, in the little over a year we have been open, we have saved 5,628 plastic bottles from our landfill and almost 5k more pieces of plastic packaging from the landfill. We are proving that small acts, repeated often can make change. This number of saved plastics makes me thrilled at the possibility of neighborhood refilleries increasing and flourishing in the years to come, and hopefully it is encouragement for companies to offer their products in bulk. We are most proud to know that customers are so ready for change, they drive from up to 2 hours away to refill. Starting and building a company during a global pandemic has been rough. However, since I have only had a company during a pandemic, this is all I know. The supply chain slow-down has severely affected the shop, from a shortage of bottles (global increase in used for hand sanitizer) to a slower production schedule for most of the products. The excitement and gratitude from the customers on a daily basis, has been the antidote to the anxiety and uncertainty. Every time a customer says thank you, I know I’m doing the right thing, at the right time.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Outdoor activities are the essence of Colorado, and the reason I am here. A snowshoe or skin to a 10th Mountain Division hut (named for the 10th Mountain Division of the U.S. Army, trained to fight in mountains and snow) for a weekend of relaxing and snowboarding would be our first stop. A gondola ride to The 10th (restaurant on Vail mountain also named for the 10th Mountain Division) for cocktails with a view would be a must. In Edwards, we would grab a Schmidt Mac Burger and a manhattan at The Craftsman or poke bowl and a great glass of wine on the patio at The Drunken Goat.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The Colorado Small Business Development Center Network (SBDC) has been an amazing resource for helping me develop my business. My husband, who continuously says ‘keep going!’
Other: Location: 210 Edwards Village Boulevard, A110, Edwards, Colorado 81632
All photos @ejdilley