Chile Vendor Told To Pack Up Peppers Can Stay In Albertsons’ Parking Lot

By Kathy Walsh

DENVER (CBS4) – You see chile pepper vendors all around Colorado this time of year. But one, in particular, has been burning hot over possibly being ousted from her Denver location.

Marilyn Manchego, owner of A Taste of Questa, said she was told to pack up her peppers by the close of business Monday. Manchego has been upset and so have her customers.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“They’ve been here for so long, they’re like family,” said Kesha Dan who comes from the Stapleton/Park Hill area to buy chiles at Manchego’s stand at South Broadway and Alameda.

This is the fifth season A Taste of Questa has been roasting chiles in the Albertsons’ parking lot there. But this year, Manchego is fired up.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“I’m upset. I’m trying not to be angry, but I do think it’s extremely unfair,” said Manchego told CBS4’s Kathy Walsh.

According to Manchego, a week ago, the store director of that Albertsons, Daniel Kelly, told her to pack up her peppers and find another place.

CBS4's Kathy Walsh interviews Marilyn Manchego, owner of A Taste of Questa (credit: CBS)

CBS4’s Kathy Walsh interviews Marilyn Manchego, owner of A Taste of Questa (credit: CBS)

“Which is pretty much impossible to do this late in the game,” said Manchego.

She has a letter from that same store director giving her permission to do business in the parking lot from Aug. 10 until Nov. 15.

Manchego purchased permits and $2 million worth of liability insurance. She said she was told shutting down her stand had to do with the Albertsons/Safeway merger.

“Safeway’s corporate was not wanting any vending done in the parking lot,” said Manchego.

“I don’t want them to go and I don’t think they should have to,” said customer Kesha Dan.

It turns out, Dan doesn’t have to worry.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

After CBS4 contacted Albertsons/Safeway about the chile vendor eviction, Kris Staaf, Director of Public Affairs sent us this statement: “After further review of licensing, permits and insurance, Albertsons and the property manager have agreed to allow A Taste of Questa to continue to sell roasted chiles in the parking lot at Broadway and Alameda until mid-November. The company and the property manager will evaluate any future requests.”

The eviction was averted. A Taste of Questa peppers will stay in the parking lot, at least through the 2016 chile season.

Kathy Walsh is CBS4’s Weekend Anchor and Health Specialist. She has been with CBS4 for more than 30 years. She is always open to story ideas. Follow Kathy on Twitter @WalshCBS4.

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