Alfalfa’s Market hired a local artist to create a massive sculpture of a rooster that weighs 5,000 pounds and is 8 feet tall. The sculpture is massive and made of metal.
The new rooster sits outside of Alfalfa’s Market at 1651 Broadway in Boulder. The natural foods market recently unveiled the rooster in a community ceremony. The sculpture is considered a gift to the community from the market, which traces its roots many years back in the Boulder community.
“We consider this our gift to the community,” said Mark Retzloff, Alfalfa’s CEO and co-founder. “We’ve long admired Robert’s work and first talked to him a year ago when we were remodeling the store to bring Alfalfa’s back to Boulder. Boulder is known for its unique sculptures scattered around town. We collaborated with Robert to create our Rooster – Alfie – as an iconic addition to Boulder’s eclectic sculpture collection. His use of old farm equipment from local farmers is a symbolic reminder of the hard working farmers who grow the fabulous food we sell in our store.”
The artist who made the sculpture spent 11 months and 1,400 hours working on it. It also took 3,000 pieces of farm equipment. The artist is from the Niwot area and created the work of art in his workshop there.
The artist, Robert Bellows, also made another well-known Boulder sculpture. The Owl sculpture sat at 16th and Spruce streets for some time. The Owl then went to Alfalfa’s. Now the new Rooster, named Alfie, will take his perch at the corner of Broadway and Arapahoe in Boulder.
Robert Bellows scours Colorado’s farm communities to reclaim scrap metal from plowshares, sickle guards, tractor springs and other old farm equipment discarded by farmers who have embraced new technologies in farming. Bellows believes using this recycled material adds an extra dimension to his art and forges a deeper connection with the patron. More than 40 years ago, at the young age of 20, Bellows was inspired working as a farm-hand on a 13,000 acre cattle ranch in Wyoming. He saw discarded farm implements, old tools and worn down machinery that was scattered about the farms he visited, and was inspired in his art by the old way of doing things. For the last 44 years he has lived in Boulder County and has created beautiful sculptures out of reclaimed scrap metal from local farms.
The natural grocer said the rooster symbolizes the efforts of Boulder County farmers and others across the region. The rooster was made using local materials. The farming equipment was both donated and purchased.
The Rooster just wasn’t Bellows work alone. Others volunteered and helped, including local teens and veterans.
“Alfie is doing his job, establishing his territory, building his nest,” said Bellows. “He is powerful, yet gentle. There was a moment while constructing the Rooster that I realized he needed a heart, so I built him a heart using more than 200 steel plugs. Much like Alfalfa’s, he is here for the community. He is led by his heart.”
Alfie the Rooster also has a 25-pound heart within his chest. The sculpture features two glass scopes so you can see the heart using a light.
Founded as Pearl Street Market in Boulder, Colorado in 1979, Alfalfa’s Market grew to be one of the nation’s leading-edge natural products retailers throughout the 1980s and 1990s. With 11 stores and an iconic reputation for being a community gathering place filled with an infectious passion for natural and organic foods, Alfalfa’s Market was acquired by Wild Oats Markets in 1996. Now, 15 years after the merger, Mark Retzloff, an original Alfalfa’s founder, Barney Feinblum, Hugo van Seenus and Jimmy Searcy have resurrected the Alfalfa’s name.