With no prior retail experience and a $5000 loan, The Cupboard opened for business in the fall of 1972 in the Northern Hotel building at 174 N. College Ave. in downtown Fort Collins. Pioneering customers encountered a few crocks of wooden spoons, some handmade pottery, and an assortment of baskets scattered about this small store. Their requests for kitchen implements not found in Fort Collins steered the inventory towards meeting their needs and in the process defining The Cupboard as a kitchen specialty store. The goal was to provide unique and functional merchandise at reasonable prices that would appeal to all households.

In 1978, needing more space, The Cupboard moved one block south to its current location at 152 S. College Ave. It could now offer a complete array of kitchen gadgets and cookware not found in Fort Collins. By 1989, owner Carey Hewitt doubled the size of the store. Tabletop merchandise, including dinnerware, glassware, and linens had become a logical complement to the original food preparation merchandise. Another expansion was needed five years later in order to accommodate The Cupboard’s cooking classes, a large selection of cookbooks, and a growing inventory of small kitchen appliances, specialty food, candy, and coffee. Though the merchandise is constantly changing The Cupboard strives to provide a welcoming, exciting shopping environment for their customers in downtown Fort Collins.