The Fox Den brings a zero waste future to Fort Collins


Collegian | Reuel Indurkar

The Fox Den: No Waste Cafe & Roastery on Laporte uses reusable mugs and has no trash cans in the seating area May 4.

Kadyn Thorpe, Arts and Culture Reporter

The Fox Den: No Waste Cafe & Roastery is the zero waste cafe Fort Collins didn’t know it needed. As one of the newest additions to the Fort Collins food and drink scene, The Fox Den has created a unique dining experience. The Fox Den opened in mid-March and is a cafe Fort Collins has never seen before. 

The Fox Den is committed to running a zero waste operation. This means when you order a coffee, tea, beer, wine or any other beverage served here, it is served in a reusable glass.


If you are just stopping by to grab a drink and wish to take it with you, you are encouraged to bring your own cup or pay a deposit for a to-go jar. The deposits are $1 for cold drinks and $1.50 for hot drinks, which come with a fabric sleeve. All to-go glasses are refunded when customers bring them back. 

“Within our first couple of days after opening, about half the customers were bringing in their own cups,” owner Patricia Acheson said. “I haven’t had anyone who has been really mad about the deposits we charge for the to-go cups.”

When you enter The Fox Den, you are met with reclaimed decorations and furniture. All furniture pieces within the shop are part of their zero waste philosophy. The cafe is filled with local artists’ work, bright vintage furniture and the smell of freshly brewed coffee. 

There is a small part of the cafe where you can buy things like bags of their No Waste Coffee to take home and brew yourself, which is also available at Lucky’s Market near Colorado State University campus. If none of the prepackaged coffee grounds are what you want, you can check out their coffee bean refill station. Bring your own jar, or use one they have to get your favorite coffee for home brewing. There are compost bins throughout the cafe, one for food and one for paper, to prove The Fox Den truly is a no waste cafe. 

Each customer is encouraged to stay and enjoy their drink or pastry while they work or mingle with friends. When customers order, they are prompted to choose a mug hanging from the wall. All mugs and glasses are sanitized before being used to ensure each customer gets a clean and delicious drink. They have couches and chairs set up so customers can get comfortable while they enjoy their coffee. The Fox Den also offers food choices from paninis to pastries. 

Acheson said she always dreamed of opening a zero waste coffee shop. Last year, on a bike ride around town, she found the vacated building of Micromat Laundromat and knew it was time for her dream to come true. She had owned and operated a couple coffee shops while she lived in California, but she wanted one where people could come sit, work and hang out. This year, The Fox Den was born. 

“The response from everyone has been amazing,” Acheson said. “(Fort Collins is) a really welcoming community.”

With a cafe like this, there is no surprise that many people have already claimed it as their new favorite place to work and relax with a cup of coffee. You can check out The Fox Den off Laporte Avenue and support the no waste mindset Acheson hopes other businesses in Fort Collins will pick up on. To learn more, visit their Instagram page @nowastecafe_foxden.

Reach Kadyn Thorpe at or on Twitter @thorpekadyn.