Historic Power Plant Becomes Home to Cheese Importers

Built in 1931, 103 Main Street was the original home of a diesel-fueled power plant that supplied the City of Longmont with electricity until the late 1960s. The building had two additions in 1938 and 1951, and operated around the clock to provide electricity to the citizens of Longmont. In 1969, larger generating plants replaced this plant, and, in 1979, the City’s sanitation department began using the building. Those services were provided until 1997, when the City’s new sanitation facility was completed on Airport Road.

Frank Morgan, superintendent of Longmont’s electric department, and Mr. Hanna, a city councilman, stand in front of the electric plant on Main Street between First and Second avenues. (Longmont Museum, courtesy photo)

In 1997, the building was declared a local landmark and from 1998-99, the City supplemented funds from the Colorado State Historical Fund Grant and completely renovated the facility. The building was used as a storage facility for tens of thousands of objects from the Longmont Museum’s historical collection from 1999-2011.

The Longmont Municipal Power Plant was transformed into a storage facility for the Longmont Museum. (Photo courtesy of the Longmont Museum)

Cheese Importers, a combination retail store, bistro and cheese warehouse had their eyes on a potential new home at 103 Main Street. A Longmont standby since being founded in 1976 by Linda and Lyman White, the business was looking to expand operations to add retail and dining space. The distinctive brown-brick building would attract more attention on Main Street than its location on South Pratt Parkway. In August 2012, the White family proudly opened their new location, featuring imported French candies, Spanish honey, gourmet kitchenware and cheese from practically every corner of the earth. The upstairs is devoted to a French-style children’s shop, a.k.a. Babar and Madeline, along with a women’s boudoir boutique with imported perfumes and delicate accessories. There is also overflow seating for the bistro and an intimate meeting room for parties up to 20. This landmark for gourmet food features French music, and allows you to be transported to another place and time.

Find yourself transported to another place and time at Cheese Importers. (Photo courtesy Samm White)


Downtown Colorado, Inc. awarded Cheese Importers first place in Best Adaptive Reuse or Rehabilitation in a large community for its partnership with Longmont on 103 Main St., which was built in 1931 and has also served as the city’s workshop, office space and storage over the years. The city agreed to lease 103 Main St. to Cheese Importers in 2012. The Longmont City Council approved selling the building to the White family in March, 2016.

Cheese Importers is located at 103 Main Street in Longmont. Hours are Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m, Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Their phone number is (303) 772-9599. www.cheeseimporters.com