| VailDaily.com

Eagle’s Color Coffee has a growing base and a glowing reputation

EAGLE — Three years ago, Charlie Gundlach took over the former 7 Hermits Brewing location in Eagle Ranch to chase his dream of offering downvalley residents a truly remarkable coffee-drinking experience.

More than 1,000 days later, his Color Coffee shop has become a bustling hangout with a national reputation.

“It’s been a ton of work, and certainly not everything panned out exactly, but by and large we are very happy about where we are right now,” said Gundlach. “There is a great energy here in Eagle and we are happy to bolster the community.”

Like the community it serves, Color Coffee is poised to grow in the coming months with a new partnership in the works and building national buzz about the business.

Moxie Bread

A truly great cup of coffee deserves an equally delectable pastry compliment. Beginning this summer, those treats will be on the menu at Color Coffee.

Moxie Bread, a renowned bakery based in Louisville, is partnering with Color Coffee.

“We are going to build a bakery (at the Color Coffee shop in Eagle Ranch) and begin offering heirloom wheat baked goods,” Gundlach said. “It took us a while to decide how to approach it, but we are looking to have the bakery up and running by mid-July.”

Gundlach said Moxie specializes in French-style bread. Look for country-style sourdough bread, baguettes, croissants and more at the shop.

“We felt there was a lack of fresh baked goods options downvalley and we wanted to be in control of freshness,” said Gundlach.

National buzz

Three years into operation, Color crews roast almost 1,000 pounds of coffee a week and serve 40 wholesale accounts. Their work has drawn some national attention.

Coffee aficionados nationwide listen to James Harper’s podcast called “Filter Stores,” an episode of which helped them discover Color Coffee.

“James is a great guy, and what he wants to do is share some of the untold stories of the coffee industry,” said Gundlach. “He was a start-up entrepreneur who needed money to travel. Now he has done six to eight podcasts.”

The podcast with a Color Coffee tie delved into the story of a farm in Costa Rica, which has weathered political unrest to grow its unique beans. Filter Stories wanted to offer some of the farm’s product to its listeners and Color Coffee stepped in to help.

“The idea was to have some of the coffee air-dropped, and we roasted it here,” Gundlach said. “It was not cheap to get 60 kilos of coffee shipped from Costa Rica, and we roasted it all in one day. Then we sent coffee to 20 different countries.”

“It was the first podcast of its kind where you could hear the story and taste the story,” Gundlach continued. “Essentially this story captivated James’s listener base to the level where he can fund his travels, and he recently received a notice from Apple UK that they had put his show on their main page of podcasts to listen to.”

Meanwhile back at the ranch

If opening a bakery and helping a national podcast wasn’t enough to keep things fresh at Color Coffee, Gundlach said his shop has also begun working with a new coffee delivery service and signed up to be a specialty retailer for Breville, the Australian manufacturer of quality home brewing coffee machines.

Color Coffee is now a roasting partner for Pearl Coffee Box, a Blue Apron-like service that sends subscribers various coffees each month.

“We are getting our coffee out to a bunch of new drinkers,” Gundlach said.

The Breville retail agreement involves partnering with the company at trade shows and new product launches and providing training to its customers across the region. Color Coffee one of its 10 USA specialty coffee roaster/brand ambassadors working with Breville.

Gundlach noted that previously, Breville home brewing products were only available from certain retailers, including Williams Sonoma, so selling the company’s home espresso machine will be a coup for Color.

“We don’t usually recommend a home espresso machine, because what you get at the café is so much better than what you can make at home,” said Gundlach. “But this product, priced under $1,000, is a game changer for the home espresso enthusiast.”

He added the Ritz Carlton at Vail will be placing Breville machines in its rooms and Color will work with the hotel to supply the coffee and offer brewing profile recommendations.

To learn more about Color Coffee, visit the business website at colorroasters.com or the café at 717 Sylvan Lake Road.

The first annual Rocky Mountain Burger Battle will serve the best beefy creations in the valley

The inaugural Rocky Mountain Burger Battle, set for Thursday, June 20, will feature the valley’s best burgers. The event is a kickoff event for the Vail Craft Beer Classic this weekend – because after all, the second-best pairing to pizza and beer is burgers and beers.

“We’re hoping that this first year gets a lot of exposure and we can show what the event’s about,” said Ryan Slater. “We’d love to see it grow and have everybody be into it so much that we can make it a standalone weekend event.”

Slater, who coordinated the event with Team Player Productions, has been organizing the Denver Burger Battle for 10 years, and thought it would be a great idea to expand the festival into the Rockies after last year’s Vail Craft Beer Classic. He envisioned it as a sister festival to Denver’s burger battle, and has been planning it since.

The Burger Battle will serve as a Thursday night kickoff event to the Vail Craft Beer Classic this weekend.
Steve Peterson | Special to the Daily

He asked around in Vail which restaurants would be the best competitors, and after reaching out to those establishments and gaining traction for the event, he started receiving applications from other places as well. He encouraged contenders to make creations that festival-goers could also order in the restaurant, but the menu will feature new concoctions and current favorites.

Vail Brewing Co. and Bonfire Brewing Co. will be serving a new collab beer – a hazy pale ale – as well as pouring their own suds. VBC is also hosting an after-party, and burger battle wristbands get wearers $1-off beers.

“We’re happy that the first year – trying to convince people is a little tough – but we’re happy with the lineup. We got a good array of what eagle county has to offer,” Slater said.

Slater said a couple hundred people have already purchased tickets to try the valley’s best burgers. Tickets are still available for online purchase, and can also be bought at the door day-of. For entry into the event, which runs from 5:30-8:30 p.m., patrons pay $45 plus fees. There are also several packages available, but those close online on Thursday.

The Double Double package grants admission to the Rocky Mountain Burger Battle and the Denver Burger Battle on Aug. 1 for $125. The VIP Double Deluxe package grants the same as the Double Double, but with VIP entry in Denver. There’s also a Vail Craft Beer Classic package. For $170, the Beer & Burger Weekender Package holders get entry into the burger battle, and two Craft Beer Classic events: Sip at the Summit and VIP Toast of Vail.

Some competitors are serving their version of a classic burger, and others are going with less traditional flavors.
Special to the Daily

Burgermeister

Here’s a list of the competitors, and what they’ll be serving, per the Rocky Mountain Burger Battle website:

Backcountry Wings | Minturn
The Backcountry Burger

The Backcountry Burger consists of hand-pressed locally sourced certified Black Angus Colorado beef topped with bacon-onion jam, distinctive Tillamook white cheddar cheese and Back Country’s own sauce. With a finishing touch of sliced pickles and served on a buttery brioche bun, this burger is an experience not to be missed.

White Bison | Vail
White Bison Burger

Hailing from the heart Vail Village, the hearty bison burger from White Bison is topped with delicious caramelized onion, cheddar, and house pickles. All of this comes together with smoked tomato aioli on an English muffin. 

Illegal Burger | Multiple locations, flagship in Denver
Off the Record

The Off the Record burger is served with a legitimate all-natural Never Ever Beef patty, pepper jack cheese, lettuce and tomato topped with Daikon sprouts and our creamy delicious avocado jalapeño aioli all served on a butter toasted brioche bun.

Craftsman | Edwards
Schmidt Mac

The Schmidt Mac is made up of grass-fed Colorado beef from Colorado Meat Co., garnished with Nueske’s bacon, American cheese and shrettuce – short for shredded lettuce. It’s topped off with special sauce, thyme onions, and spicy dill pickles, all on a toasted sesame seed bun.

Hotel Talisa restaurant | Vail
Talisa Grass Fed Beef Burger

The Talisa Grass Fed Beef Burger prides itself on being 100% local grass fed beef raised Eagle, Colorado. Topped with shallot marmalade, onions, pickle chips, sharp cheddar, and lemon aioli, this juicy burger is sure to make your mouth water.

Bully Ranch, Sonnenalp Hotel | Vail
South of the Border Burger

The Bully Ranch South of the Border Burger takes beefy goodness to the next level with seven times the beef, smoked gouda cheese and tasty smoked bacon. Topped with traditional lettuce, onions and tomatoes, it gets a modern twist with addedhomemade guacamole, pickled onions and a little kick of pickled jalapeño.

Bol | Vail
Eaton Ranch Bol Burger

The Eaton Ranch Bol Burger is created with an Eaton Ranch – located in Edwards – beef patty and Haystack Mountain – located in Fort Collins – goat Monterey Jack cheese. It’s topped with poached egg, crispy shoestring potatoes, arugula and served on a house-made English muffin. Tender belly bacon, Tillamook cheddar cheese, L.T.O. and mayo on a brioche bun.

Gypsum buys restaurant at I-70 interchange to spur redevelopment

GYPSUM — The town of Gypsum will soon be the proud owner of a restaurant located at the community’s gateway.

But Gypsum isn’t planning a move into the burger-slinging business. Rather, the real estate contract signed Tuesday to purchase the Gypsum Grill represents the town’s latest effort to redevelop the community’s Interstate 70 interchange area.

According to Gypsum Town Manager Jeremy Rietmann, Gypsum Grill owner Arturo Palacio accepted the town’s offer to purchase his commercial property for $960,000. The restaurant building and parking area cover slightly less than one acre. Palacio had listed the property for sale at $1.195 million.

“This is an investment the town has considered for many years,” said Rietmann. “In order for us to achieve some of the goals of our master plan, we needed to do this.”

Changing needs

Rietmann noted that when Palacio built the Gypsum Grill 29 years ago, Gypsum was a very different community.

“We think Arturo has done a great job up there and has been a long-time local business operator,” said Rietmann.

But back in the 1980s, traffic at the Gypsum I-70 interchange was mainly composed of town residents who were headed upvalley to work. While those folks are still entering I-70 at Gypsum, they have been joined by people traveling to the Eagle County Regional Airport or Costco.

“We see that area of town as the most likely site to be able to generate incremental sales tax growth,” said Rietmann. “Those would be new dollars in the community, not just a shift of spending.”

It isn’t hard to predict likely business options at the site. Interstate interchanges across the nation include fast-food franchises, convenience stores and fuel options.

“I think everything is on the table because it is so early in this process,” said Rietmann. “The long term goal is redevelopment — something that can provide an amenity that appeals to more peop0le and maybe creates a more appealing entrance to the community.”

Beautification

Rietmann noted that people often remark that Gypsum’s entrance doesn’t do the town justice. In fact, he noted the I-70 entryway actually disguises the great community behind it.

The town has already taken steps to improve its gateway. Several years ago the town purchased the rental cabin site — often called Turgeonville — located between U.S. Highway 6 and Gypsum Creek. As the condition of the cabins worsened, Gypsum made the decision to tear them down and create an open space parcel just south of the Union Pacific railroad overpass. The overpass itself got a makeover last summer with fresh paint and masonry. The town also placed a new variable message sign at the site.

Rietmann added that in 2018 Gypsum worked with the owners of the Wylaco location to do landscaping and build a fence on their southern property line to improve the visual corridor next to the Eagle River.

When Gypsum takes over the Gypsum  Grill site, those beautification efforts will continue. The town also hopes to work with the owner of the adjacent property — the HiWay 6 Store and Shell gas station — on a redevelopment plan.

“The properties could both work together as pieces of a whole that will make sense in the end,” Rietmann said.

In the more immediate future, Gypsum has until its March 8 closing date to figure out what it will do with the Gypsum Grill once it owns the property.

“All options are open. One option that may be worth our while to pursue is to lease the property back to Arturo or find an interim operator,” said Rietmann.”The longer-term goal is to find a good prospect that is interested in purchasing the property and doing something new. I think it is very likely that there will be demolition at some point and it will be an entirely new operation.”

 

 

Gypsum’s newest eatery Max & Lily’s Cafe offers comfort food

GYPSUM —Located at one of the community’s highest traffic intersections and painted a cheery shade of yellow, it’s tough to miss Gypsum’s newest eatery — Max & Lily’s Cafe.

Now owners Linda Buckley and Dale Nelson want to build word of mouth enthusiasm to match their visual impact. Just two weeks after opening, they figure that effort is off to a strong start.

Max & Lily’s — located at the intersection of U.S. Highway 6 and Valley Road, catty-corner from Eagle Valley High School — began its breakfast and lunch service on the first day of 2019. Since its Jan. 1 opening, Buckley and Nelson said more and more folks are dropping in to check out the cafe.

“We have had such a positive response from the community. It really feels good,” Nelson said.

Buckley and Nelson describe Max & Lily’s as basic American comfort food. The cafe is open for breakfast and lunch Tuesday through Sunday. The morning menu features classics such as pancakes, biscuits and gravy, eggs and breakfast sandwiches. At lunchtime, the offerings transition to burgers, sandwiches and salads. There are also some house specialties such as chicken potpie, veggie or meat lasagna and homemade soups and chili.

Along with its dine-in options, Max & Lily’s offers a grab-and-go service and customers can call in or order from the cafe website. While dining room service ends at 4 p.m. daily, working parents can pick up dinner on their way home because the cafe crew is still on site until roughly 6 p.m.

New option

With its breakfast and lunch menus and its pick up options, Max & Lily’s wants to bring a different dining option to town.

“We hope were are adding to what Gypsum has to offer,” Nelson said. “We are trying to be different, not to do what other businesses are doing.”

The duo brings years of food service experience to the new venture. Buckley arrived in the valley back in 1978.

“I have been a personal chef and caterer in the valley for years and years,” Buckley said. Last summer she launched a popular food truck operation — Baked and Loaded — that featured specialty baked potatoes.

Nelson has been a local for more than two decades and since arriving in 1991, he has worked front of house jobs at a number of local restaurants. He is also a skilled fine cabinetry carpenter.

Their respective skills were all called in to play when they took over their cafe space last fall. Buckley had been using the kitchen at the restaurant to support her food truck business so she was already familiar with the space and saw its potential.

“What a little gem. What a hot spot,” Buckley said.

After signing their lease, Buckley and Nelson got to work remodeling the space as community members avidly followed their progress. The remodel turned into a 10-week project. Buckley’s brother Bernie trekked out from Pennsylvania to help and Nelson’s parents also pitched in.

“We were exhausted when we opened. But now that I am cooking, I am in my happy place,” said Buckley.

Early response

After being open for a few weeks, Buckley and Nelson say the community has embraced Max & Lily’s.

“The biscuits and gravy are flying out the door every morning,” Buckley said.

As the cafe settles in, the duo envisions the next step for the space. They aren’t planning to expand into dinner service, but rather want to open the restaurant for special event booking — church groups or book clubs or private parties. Max & Lily’s is in the process of obtaining and beer and wine liquor license so evening gatherings can include adult beverages.

But for now, the duo is dedicated to launching their brand and creating a following.

“It’s getting easier and easier, every day,” Buckley said.

And, getting back to the old real estate mantra of “location, location, location,” it’s hard to miss the fact that the cafe is open for business. The yellow paint just amplifies the visibility.

“It makes the building seem welcoming,” Nelson said. “It also has a bit of a whimsical feel.”

That sense of whimsy is also evident in the cafe name, which celebrates the owner’s canine partners. Max is a 2-year-old heeler mix adopted from the Eagle County Animal Shelter. Lily is a 12-year-old Border Collie-Australian Shepherd mix. Not only is the cafe named after the two dogs, but the business logo designed by local artist Jane Parker features their likenesses.

First cannabis-based medicine approved by FDA arrives in the U.S.

For the first time, a marijuana-based medicine approved by federal regulators is available for prescription in the United States.

The medicine, called Epidiolex, is used to treat seizures related to Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndromes, two forms of epilepsy, which is a neurological disorder, according to a news release.

“Because these patients have historically not responded well to available seizure medications, there has been a dire need for new therapies that aim to reduce the frequency and impact of seizures,” said Justin Gover, chief executive officer of GW Pharmaceuticals, the United Kingdom-based company that developed the drug, in a statement.

The oral medication was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in June. It is made using plant-derived cannabidiol, which lacks the high associated with marijuana.

Epidiolex, when added to other anti-epileptic treatments, reduced the frequency of seizures in patients during clinical trials, according to GW Pharmaceuticals.

Read the full story on The Denver Post website.