How Red Dog Coffee in Manitou Springs Got its Name

“I’m a designer and an artist, but my wife has the best ideas,” says David Thomason, co-owner of Red Dog Coffee in Manitou Springs. “Always has.”

David is referring to Laura Thomason’s revelation about what to name the coffee shop and how to brand it. At one point, ten people were working on coming up with a name for the coffee shop, but good names are hard to find.

reddog-on-the-street

You may already know David and Laura as the owners of Pikes Peak Chocolate & Ice Cream down the street. If you do, you’re probably asking yourself the same question I asked David.

“Why a coffee shop?”

The Thomasons didn’t start out planning to open a coffee shop. They started out by renovating the building that housed a coffee shop and when the owner of that shop got out of the business, they decided to start one up themselves. After all, Manitou needs a place where people can refresh themselves after walking around the town. A coffee shop is an important part of the Manitou experience!

Coffee in Manitou Springs

Of course, just as with a home, when one has free rein with a space the temptation to change it is strong. The Thomasons took down a wall. And then they discovered the space needed new electrical wiring. They took down more walls and discovered plumbing needs. If you’ve ever worked on an old house, you know the drill.

When I worked on an old house I ate a lot of delicious sandwiches like this.

When I worked on an old house I ate a lot of delicious sandwiches like this turkey guacamole sandwich on the Red Dog menu.

The renovation work took a lot longer than expected, which is pretty much how all renovation projects go.

Unlike the old houses I’ve worked on, the Red Dog space had been home to a variety of businesses and the Thomasons uncovered remnants of them… wallpaper, flooring and an old mural.

This is the best part of the story and I’m sorry I don’t have a picture of this mural to show you. An artist (who is still alive, by the way) had created a paper-strip mural for a business called Red Dog’s Bar in the 1950s.

That was it! That was the name! They would call it Red Dog Coffee.

Red Dog Coffee Manitou Springs

The mural had little dogs in it that were all caricatures of people the artist knew. Unfortunately, it was too old to restore and they had to cover it up again, but it was the inspiration for both the name and the logo.

The logo is a cat! What's that about?

The logo is a cat! What’s that about?

Since David is a professional designer, he wanted an interesting logo, but couldn’t think of a theme. Laura came to the rescue, suggesting the cat.

“Ever since, we’ve had fun because people approach it differently,” he comments. People ask about it. “Some are diffident, some ask what went wrong and some are confused.”

Confused or not, check out the shop. They carry locally roasted Colorado Coffee Merchants’ coffee, serve food and just added beer & wine. You may not be able to see the mural anymore, but Red Dog is a little piece of Manitou Springs culture and welcoming place to relax.

Note to the FTC: David brought me a lovely coffee mug with the Red Dog logo and some chocolate from Pikes Peak Chocolate & Ice Cream. I cannot say with honesty that this didn’t affect my article about Red Dog Coffee. My opinion is easily swayed by good chocolate. 

***

copyright 2016 Hungry Chicken Homestead

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Five Products at Cole’s Gourmet Candy That Make You Feel Like a Kid in a Candy Store

How long does it take to feel like a kid at Cole’s Gourmet Candy after you walk in?

About 45 seconds.

candy-gift-baskets-colorado-springs

Cindy Cole greets you and takes you on a tour of this shop on N. Academy, across from Chapel Hills mall. Something strange happens as she shows you the bulk candy, the nostalgic sodas and the old-fashioned candies. You gradually change from a guarded adult to an excited 7 year old.

popcorn-shop-colorado-springs-4

Except this time you’ve got money and you can buy whatever you want.

Cindy finishes the tour and starts giving you samples. Try this popcorn we make here in the shop! Try this house-made fudge! Try a bit of this house-made popsicle called a paleta!

The shop is a little oasis of happiness in a stressful world. Here are five products that will make you happy, whether you eat them or not!

  1. Root Beer

Cole’s has what must be the most comprehensive selection of root beer in the state! I can’t remember how many different kinds they have, but they covered several shelves.

old-fashioned-sodas-colorado-springs-2

They don’t just have root beer. The shop carries all kinds of old-fashioned sodas, including some flavors I’d never heard of before!

old-fashioned-sodas-colorado-springs

2. Moon Pies

I’ve read about Moon Pies, but had never actually seen one. Did you know they come in chocolate flavor?

moon-pie-colorado-springs

I also found Ice Cubes, weird flavors of gum and a selection of candies made in Colorado, such as Hammonds of Denver. Cole’s carries bulk candies as well, including a childhood favorite of mine, Jordan Almonds.

3. Chocolate Covered Popcorn with Sea Salt

Who came up with this idea? This stuff satisfies cravings for both sweet and salty food at the same time!

popcorn-shop-colorado-springs-3

It’s just plain dangerous to keep this in the house and I can say the same about the Extra Buttery popcorn. I brought home a small bag of it, but nobody else got to taste it. I ate it all before the other residents of the Homestead even knew it existed.

homemade-popcorn

I swear I didn’t mean to. It just happened.

Cole’s carries dozens of popcorn flavors, from cinnamon to bacon cheddar to caramel cashew. The menu is two pages long. All of their popcorns are made in the store in a fascinating mixing machine, but that’s a story for another blog.

popcorn-shop-colorado-springs-2

4. Paletas

Paletas are the popsicles you would make if you didn’t just buy them from the ice cream truck. They are made out of fruit and cane sugar with additions of coconut milk and rice milk for creamy versions.

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The paletas are made in-house, with organic ingredients whenever possible. They are colorful, flavorful and fun! You can try a sample before choosing a flavor.

5. Fudge with Silly Names

Don’t ask me why, but the “Moose Poo” flavor of fudge is very popular. It comes in a set with other moose-themed flavors during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, but you can also get it by the pound.

I went with the more traditional chocolate fudge.

homemade-fudge

All of the fudge is made in-house and samples are available.

The owners, Cindy and Tom, tell a story that describes how you feel at the end of your visit. A lady and her husband came in once and bought a huge bag of popcorn. As they were leaving, the lady exclaimed, “We need more of this!”

“What do you mean?”, retorted her husband. “You’ve already got a huge bag.”

“No,” she responded, gesturing to the store itself. “More of this.”

And she’s right. A little more delight makes the world a much better place.

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***

Note: I got this interview with Tom and Cindy because Colorado Springs digital marketing firm Uzu Media hired me to write the content for Cole’s new website. The fact that I am being paid and am acting like a responsible grownup does not affect my written opinion of the shop or of Cindy’s magical power to make you feel like a happy child once in the store. 

***

copyright 2016 Hungry Chicken Homestead

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Born of Butter: Grass-Fed Ghee Made with Love

Ghee has been called many things. It’s clarified butter, it’s a form of healthy hydration, but if you ask me its most important quality is that it’s amazing in popcorn.

Conscious Roots Ayurveda Ghee 2

That is not a typo. You don’t put it on the popcorn like butter. You pop the popcorn in the ghee.

I got this locally produced ghee from Leslie McWilliams of Conscious Roots Ayurveda, a local Ayurvedic Practitioner who sells her homemade, organic product at the Colorado Farm and Art Market.

Ghee is actually clarified butter, an oil made from butter that has a smoke point around 500. Leslie sometimes starts with Larga Vista Ranch cream and makes the butter, and when the cream is unavailable she buys organic butter.

Conscious Roots Ayurveda Ghee Ingredients

She boils the butter at 350 degrees until the milk proteins are boiled off. The resulting oil is lactose-free, but it still has a buttery flavor.

Leslie, a registered nurse, is studying to become a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist and makes the ghee as part of her practice. “Every disease process begins in the digestive tract,” she explains, and the ghee offers hydration as well as fat soluble vitamins.

It’s not just the food that can help us be healthy. Leslie points out something every homesteader already knows … that we connect to each other through food. “That’s our most important form of relationships,” she explains. “If you don’t look at your phone for one meal a week, you’re going to get results.”

(Whether during a meal or while watching the chickens or in the garden, I know this to be true. Leaving my phone in the house helped me figure out why the zucchini aren’t producing fruit. All the flowers are male!)

As an Ayurvedic practitioner, Leslie believes that the way we eat is more important than what we eat. Stress halts digestion and on-the-go eating habits aren’t the best way to get nutrition. “If you had that same meal sitting down and you gave thanks to whatever higher power you give thanks to, the body will use the food right away.”

 

And you’ll use the ghee right away, especially if you like popcorn…

Popcorn with Ghee and Salt

Ingredients

1 tablespoon ghee
1/4 cup popcorn kernels
1/4 teaspoon salt

Heat ghee in a saucepan with a cover over medium high heat. Add the popcorn and salt, if desired. Shake up the pan so that all of the kernels are covered in oil and add a little more ghee if necessary.

Cover the pan and stay in the room to listen to the popcorn. After a few minutes it will begin to pop, first slowly then quickly and then slowly again. When the pops are about 2 seconds apart, turn off the heat. You can let it sit a little longer to get a few more kernels to pop if you want.

Remove the lid carefully to avoid spilling the popcorn. Note that a kernel or two may pop after you open it, sending popcorn around the room like a small fireworks show. Be careful. The unpopped kernels are hotter than the popped corn.

Pour into a bowl and serve.
***

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Coffee in Colorado Springs: Rosco’s Coffee House

What is that place on the corner of Bijou & Walnut? And why is there a burro standing out in front of it?

Rosco the Coffeehouse Burro

I passed by Rosco’s Coffee House at least a hundred times last year and wondered what it was. It’s such an odd building, a hundred year old thing that looks like a house, standing next to a wig shop that also looks like a house. People would sit outside sometimes, but it wasn’t until somebody asked me why they had seen a burro on that corner that I decided I really had to know.

Rosco's coffee offerings

It turns out that Rosco’s is the pet project of Tony & Jann White and Rosco the Burro is Tony’s Burro Racing partner.

“Jann does most of the work,” quips Tony, “I’m just the face of the donkey.”

The Whites started up this coffee shop because they wanted to do something for the neighborhood. They’ve owned the building since 2006 and had noted that while the east side of the Bijou I-25 bridge teems with businesses, the west side doesn’t have much. The area has been gaining some neighborhood hangouts in the past few years, like 503W and Brother Luck Street Eats, and they felt it was time to add a coffee shop.

The building itself was built in 1901 and has been everything from a grocer to a pharmacy to a “phone room”. It was owned by the Musick family and used as a drugstore and pharmacy from 1913 to 1921 and you can imagine Tony’s surprise when Jenna Musick walked across the street and asked for a job! What an interesting coincidence, especially considering that Jenna had not known her family had a connection to the building.

Rosco's Food

I am a huge fan of this coffee shop! I schedule meetings there all the time because …

Rosco's special coffees

  • It’s quiet and you can nearly always find a table. They don’t play loud music and you can hear what everyone says. They even have a conference room upstairs that we can use once we’ve bought our cups of coffee
  • The coffee is really good and the baristas are friendly
  • They have local art shows and we are always inspired by the interesting art on the walls
  • There is always a chance that Rosco will join our meeting. No business meeting is complete without a burro, I always say.

Rosco's coffee mugs

Rosco actually announces his visits and you can follow along on their Facebook page. They also announce book signings and other events on that page. Recently, they had a “Run with Rosco” contest to see who would get to go with Rosco on a training run. Rosco and Tony are a Pack Burro racing team, in which they run five to 25 mile races together. Pack Burro Racing stems from mining days and they have had formal races in Fairplay since 1949.

“It’s definitely a team sport. You have to have patience,” says Tony.

Check out Rosco’s at 432 W. Bijou St., immediately west of the I-25 exit. And if you see Rosco the Burro, tell him I said hello!

Rosco the Burro

***

©Hungry Chicken Homestead 2016

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Colorado Springs Local Business: Clean N Jerky

Mischelle Marro of Clean n Jerky tells me she likes to talk and I believe it!  She was one of the first people to start a conversation with me at our gym, Progressive Fitness Crossfit when I first joined.

Colorado Springs Local Business Clean n Jerky 1Mischelle has done CrossFit since 2010, which is an important part of the story because she got in the best shape of her life.

And then, like so many people, she went a round with cancer.

“I flew through the radiation & chemo treatments,” she said.  She credits CrossFit and the Paleo diet for her quick recovery.

Colorado Springs Local Business Clean n Jerky 5Mischelle had worked in the restaurant industry for years when a CrossFit trainer inspired her idea to make Paleo friendly jerky.  Followers of the Paleo diet look for grass-finished beef and don’t eat sugar, but jerky found in the average grocery store often omits information about the source of its beef and a lot of them contain sugar.  Mischelle already had a relationship with the Maytag family of Maytag Ranch in Hillside, Colorado, a ranch that raises small herds of beef on pasture.  In fact, she had grown up on a ranch herself, so she knew her beef!

Colorado Springs Local Business Clean n Jerky 4Once she had settled the question of where to get high quality beef, Mischelle worked out a recipe with only a handful of ingredients.  Her products contain Colorado honey instead of white sugar for sweetness.  She also uses coconut aminos instead of the more common, but Paleo unfriendly, soy and worcestershire sauce.

“I like to eat and I like to eat clean,” she says.  “Cleanliness is the appeal.  The fewer items in the product, the more appealing it should be.”

Colorado Springs Local Business Clean n Jerky 2The name, Clean n Jerky, comes from an Olympic lift called the “Clean and Jerk”, used in CrossFit.  The name fits.  The product is “clean”, a term that means close to its natural origins and it’s jerky.

Mischelle has big dreams for Clean n Jerky.  She wants to see it sold in every CrossFit gym in the country.

“I want smokestacks … with jerky smoke,” she says, smiling.

For now, you can buy Clean n Jerky locally at the Colorado Farm and Art Market or at Mountain Mama Natural Foods.

“I like that doing this keeps me in the CrossFit community, which is like a family, ” Mischelle explained, “And it keeps me motivated to work out and do better.”

“CrossFit has given me life.”

 

 

Colorado Springs Local Business: Cacao Chemistry

If you were going to start a business, how would you do first?  The chickens and I started slowly.  I took a class, they wrote a business plan. I started a blog, they worked on their antics to give me writing material.  After a year or so, we decided to try selling something.

Evidently, not everyone does it in this slow, planned fashion.

Evidently, not everyone does it in this slow, planned fashion.

“On Thanksgiving weekend, we decided to start a chocolate business,” says Sam Lang of herself and her partner Travis Ashing.  They didn’t want to miss the rapidly approaching Christmas season, so they set the Opening Day of their business for December … at the Broadmoor Chocolate Festival!

“We filed the paperwork and I made 1200 truffles in two days,” she said, without looking excited or overwhelmed at all.

I was sitting on the edge of my seat.  “How did it go?”, I asked.

“It went well,” she said.  “We got invited to participate in the Indulgence Festival.”

Sam made 2000 samples for the Indulgence Festival and began running out after 90 minutes.

Sam made 2000 samples for the Indulgence Festival and began running out after 90 minutes.

The business, Cacao Chemistry, makes chocolates with a European profile.  “I’m a pastry chef who doesn’t like sugar, ” explains Sam.  “I like a balance of all the primary flavors.”

I didn't know chocolate held passports, but I do like it when I can taste the non-sweet flavors in chocolates.

I didn’t know chocolate had nationality, but I do like it when I can taste the non-sweet flavors in them.

I had a really good time at this interview.  Not only was it fun to hear Sam’s subtle jokes, but I had the unusual opportunity to taste chocolates in the presence of the chef.  Good chocolate is as much fun to talk about as it is to eat.  Here are bits of our conversation about a few different pieces.

Sparkling Strawberry:  This is a dark chocolate ganache with wine and strawberry jam.  I bit into it and could definitely taste the ganache and the strawberry.  And then I noticed a fizziness.

“Is that a sparkling wine?”, I said, surprised, delighted and mystified.

“It’s unflavored popping candy,” Sam explained.  It’s impossible to make the fizz in the wine stay in the ganache, but the candy on top makes you taste it!

The Sparkling Strawberry is in the center.

The Sparkling Strawberry is in the center, looking innocent.

White Buttered Coffee:  You can see this one at the bottom center of the picture below.  It has a creamy center with high butterfat butter.  Where does it get the coffee flavor?  From the bean on top!  Nothing tastes more like coffee than coffee.

Colorado Springs Local Business Cacao Chemistry Assortment 8Peppery Mint:  This one is never exactly the same twice because the spices behave differently each time, even if Sam puts in exactly the same amount.  That’s half the fun.  One time, I ate one with a strong peppery flavor and another time the mint dominated.

The mint is in the middle.

The mint is in the middle.

You can follow Cacao Chemistry on Facebook to see where they will be or visit their website to order.  They are also opening a store on 6455 Omaha Blvd. this year.

I’ll end this article with another quote from Sam.

“I think I was born to be an entrepreneur.  I really like that part of it.  I’m all about the growth and being something successful, no matter what it is.”

***

©Hungry Chicken Homestead 2015

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Colorado Springs Local Business: Mountain Pie CO

Did you see this booth at the Colorado Farm and Art Market (CFAM) last year?

Maybe not ... It tends to be obscured by people standing in front of it.

Maybe not … It tends to be obscured by people standing in front of it.

Closer up, it looks like this:

These pies were baked and then brought straight to the market before they could even cool off!

These pies were baked and then brought straight to the market before they could even cool off!

The Mountain Pie CO has been at the CFAM Ivywild Winter Markets too.  I’m there all day since I work for CFAM and I like to wait until I just can’t wait anymore and then I visit with co-owner Tara Campbell and buy a pie.  I find myself a quiet corner and carefully bite into it (since it’s still hot from the oven).  It’s about the most satisfying thing in the world at that moment; tender crust, lots of flavorful filling and a good balance of flavors.

Look at the words imprinted in the crust and let me tell you why that is remarkable.

Look at the words imprinted in the crust and let me tell you why that is remarkable.

I’m afraid I must speak for a moment about public food enemy #1 of our era: gluten.  Have you ever made bread?  Gluten is the element that makes the dough springy.  You press your finger into well-kneaded dough and it bounces back.  Different types of flour have more or less gluten, but generally if you mix wheat flour with water and handle it a bit, you’ll get some springiness.

The pie in the picture above has words pressed into it.  That should be impossible, considering the springiness we just talked about, but there it is!  How do they do it?  Honestly, I’m not entirely sure, but Matt Campbell, the baker, told me it takes five days to make one of these pies and it involves something called a Scotch pie curing technique.

Whatever Matt’s secret technique is, it sure does make a tender crust!  Yum!

It's worth noting that the Mountain Pie COs pies do not contain lard, like many NZ pie recipes.  Matt uses butter and cultured sour cream for the fat.

It’s worth noting that the Mountain Pie COs pies do not contain lard, like many NZ pie recipes. Matt uses butter and cultured sour cream for the fat.

I asked Matt and Tara how they got into the Remarkably Tender Pie business and Matt told me  he is from New Zealand, where meat pies are available everywhere.  His mother is American and since he always wanted to see where she came from, he came to visit and stayed.

“I loved it!  Never had a desire to go back home … except to have  meat pie!”, he said.

He started making them and Tara tells how she thought they were all delicious … until he made the next improved batch.

From Matt’s perspective, “Our first batches were crude and heartbreaking.”

I asked how long it took to get them right and he said it’s taken a while.  They’re close now, but he keeps improving them.

I'm with Tara.  I think they are delicious right now.

I’m with Tara. I think they are delicious right now.

Mountain Pie CO officially became a business on April 19, 2014 and today Tara does the marketing while Matt does the baking.  He does A LOT of baking!  You can order these pies online, you can get them frozen at Ranch Foods Direct and you can get them at festivals and farmers markets, hot out of the oven!  You can even rent Matt, Tara and the pie warmer for private events.

“Unless you’ve had one of our meat pies, you can’t compare it to anything.  It’s the Rolls Royce of pot pies,” explains Matt.

I don’t need to compare it to anything, even fancy cars.  I’ll be too busy, curled up in a warm corner like a sleepy cat on a winter day, eating a pie.

(Note: All the pictures in this article came from the Mountain Pie CO Facebook page and link to their website.)

***

©Hungry Chicken Homestead 2015

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Colorado Springs Local Business: Azteca Gourmet Oaxacan Cuisine

“I just love to make tamales,” says Lorena Jakubczak, owner and tamale maker of Azteca Gourmet.

Actually, I already knew that.  I had the considerable pleasure of sampling Lorena’s strawberry-chocolate-chipotle tamale at a lunch a few years ago.  Anyone who tasted this innovative dessert could tell the owner was enjoying her craft.

Dessert tamales aren't totally unheard of, but I had never eaten one before.

Dessert tamales aren’t totally unheard of, but I had never eaten one before.

Azteca specializes in vegan and vegetarian tamales, both savory and for dessert.  You’ll find tamales with locally grown vegetables like chard & asparagus on the menu, as well as a variety of fruit and nut tamales.

Some are traditional style from Lorena's family and others are her innovations.

Some are traditional style from Lorena’s family and others are her innovations.

Lorena is a native of Oaxaca, Mexico and told a great story about how she came to the U.S.

“I came to visit a friend and met my husband!”

Nothing beats a love story that leads to a fabulous dinner & dessert, in my humble opinion anyway.

In Mexico, tamales are often made with leftovers.

In Mexico, tamales are often made with leftovers.

How did they go from ordinary married people to tamale innovators?  The couple were making traditional tamales for guests one day and remembered they had some leftover pumpkin pie filling from a recently made pie.  Would it be good in a tamale?  They tried it and it was a hit!

“That was our first American style tamale,” Lorena said.

American style tamales are an important part of Azteca’s line.  People tend to like the regional flavors wherever they live and Coloradans are no exception.

Knowing my attachment to desserts, Lorena gave me some to try, including a “pina colada” tamale with coconut and pineapple.  That was perfect for me!  It’s not particularly sweet and has just enough fruit and coconut that they balance.  The coconut bits were fun to chew… Ok, maybe I’m just gloating because I have teeth and the chickens don’t.  Nonetheless, coconut is very good in a tamale.

I also got to try a chard tamale, a squash tamale and an asparagus tamale.  Some had beans in them, giving them a little more heft.  My favorites are the ones with cheese.

Tamales look like little flat gifts when you take them out of the package.

Tamales look like little flat parcels when you take them out of the package.

The tamales are frozen when you get them and you prepare them by steaming them in the banana leaf wrapper.  Don’t eat the banana leaf.  It won’t hurt you, but it doesn’t add anything to the experience either.

The apple pie tamale has cooked apple filling and raw apples for texture.

The apple pie tamale has cooked apple filling and raw apples for texture.

You can find Azteca Gourmet at the Colorado Farm and Art Market and at vegetarian specialty markets.  Or go straight to the website to order online.

Note:  Lorena graciously gave me permission to use the pictures on her website for this article.  It’s harder to get a good picture of a tamale than you’d think!

***

©Hungry Chicken Homestead 2015

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Colorado Springs Local Business: In Joy

I had yet another embarrassing conversation recently.  I was having coffee with Jillian Dwyer, co-owner and baker of In Joy Baking at the newly opened Red Dog Coffee in Manitou Springs.  Red Dog is owned by the Thomason family and David Thomason was in the shop at the time.  Well, I did what I do best and introduced them, hoping they might discover their mutual interest in good food and locally owned businesses.  So what did I say to David?

“I’d like to introduce you to Jillian Dwyer, maker of best truffle ever!”

I stopped, but it was too late.  The words were already out.  How could I forget that the Thomasons also own the Pikes Peak Chocolate and Ice Cream shop, which may in fact sell an amazing truffle?  (I don’t know if they have truffles or not, but their chocolate turtles are delicious!)  I tried to get out of it by pointing out that Jillian’s truffles are gluten free, but most truffles are gluten free and all I could do was cover the awkwardness by turning around and ordering a latte.

These truffles are what caused all the trouble.

These truffles are what caused all the trouble.

Jillian makes a lot of things and she makes them well, but when I have one of these truffles I hide somewhere so that I can give it all of my attention.  The chocolates in the picture are espresso almond truffles.  The center is a dark chocolate, almond infused sphere of perfection.  It’s not especially sweet, which tells you it’s not trying to hide anything.  Sweetness covers up the other flavors and it would be a terrible crime to hide the essence of these nuanced, delicate chocolates.

Here is the inside of this marvelous, dairy-free confection.

Here is the inside of this marvelous, dairy-free confection.

(After I wrote that, I stared, unseeing, at the computer screen for several minutes, daydreaming about truffles the way a child daydreams about recess).

I’m not only delighted by Jillian’s truffles, but also by Jillian herself.  She told me about the name of her business while we sipped coffee at Red Dog.  She says it’s not just the food itself that should bring us joy, but the spirit with which we eat.  She points out that in our day to day lives we get caught up in our endless to do lists and forget to focus on joy.

Jillian helps us focus on that joy by making foods that are, as she says, "meant to be eaten with friends". Here is her Unleavened Seed Bread, which you can buy as a mix.

Jillian helps us focus on that joy by making foods that are, as she says, “meant to be eaten with friends”. Here is her Unleavened Seed Bread, which you can buy as a mix.

The truffles and the bread mixes are available through In Joy’s online store or in Hunt or Gather’s store or Buying Club.

 You can also get this gluten free Farmhouse bread in a mix. It tastes just like regular bread!

You can also get this gluten free Farmhouse bread in a mix. It tastes just like regular bread!

I got to eat that Farmhouse bread with friends once when our gracious hostess baked one and served it hot, with butter.  We devoured it!

The word “gracious” brings us back to my story about David and the truffles.  He didn’t say a word about my gaffe, but engaged Jillian and her husband Chris in conversation.

That’s why I love our community-minded local businesses!  They don’t get stuck on social errors.  They’d rather focus on joy.

***

©Hungry Chicken Homestead 2015

Join Chickens on the Mailing List to learn about Colorado Springs locally-owned businesses, keep up with local homestead & garden events and read stories about the hilarious homestead chickens!

 

Colorado Springs Local Business: The Cheesecake Artist

Kami Coldiron, baker and owner of the Cheesecake Artist, tells the best story about how she started making her fabulous cheesecakes.

“I was about eight years old and I was following my mother around the house,” she recalls.  “‘I asked her if we could make cookies.”

Note that Kami is one of seven siblings in a military family.  Her mother patiently responded, “Honey, why don’t YOU make cookies?”

“I don’t know how,” answered young Kami.

“Can you read?”, said her mother.

“Yes,” responded Kami.  And a legend was born.

Kami learned to follow a recipe and bake on her own.  She loved baking and made all sorts of delectable desserts for her family.  Not long after, she picked up her mothers mini-cheesecake recipe and made it from scratch for a school bake sale.  The cheesecakes sold well and she found her passion.

Kami continued to make these delightful little "junior cheesecakes" into adulthood.

Kami continued to make these delightful little “junior cheesecakes” into adulthood.

Kami has honed the recipe over the years.  Her siblings are tough critics and she had to adjust the recipe for altitude when they arrived in Colorado Springs.  Finally, she had this conversation with her brother when he grimaced over dessert.

“You don’t like it?”, she asked.

“No.  I love it,” he responded.

With that, she knew she had perfected the recipe.

This is Kami's Irish Cream cheesecake with ganache.

This is Kami’s Irish Cream cheesecake with ganache.

Kami has a day job, but her friends had encouraged her to start a bakery.  Finally, she though, “Why not try it?”.  It was a chance to branch out and try something new.  It’s essentially the same way she approaches baking.  Why not try something new?  She patiently works out her recipes and is patiently building her business.

Her friends help her.  She has a way of extending her family out to her friends.  She talked about what a blessing they’ve been.  One friend even comes to the market every week to help her put up and take down her tent!

Kami takes special orders.

Kami takes special orders and does holiday assortments.

You can find The Cheesecake Artist at the Colorado Farm and Art Market on Saturdays at the Margarita at Pine Creek or contact Kami through her Cheesecake Artist Facebook page.

Kami also makes other baked goods, such as these Bride and Groom Cupcakes.

She also makes other baked goods, such as these Bride and Groom Cupcakes.

I’ll leave you with Kami’s own words about why she does this work with her family, her friends and strangers.

“I love baking and I love to see the joy of what I’m doing spread to my customers.”

(Note to the FTC:  Kami once gave me a cheesecake without charging me.  This happened sometime in the winter and it was delicious.  Since then, I have not been able to keep myself from buying them and eating them before noon.)

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© 2014 Hungry Chicken Homestead

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