Business

Crestone Brewing Co. Supports ReCycling With Brew

For the month of December (or until they run out), Cestone Brewing Co. will be donating $1 of every “Recycling Superhero” sold to San Luis Valley Recycling Superhero, Bill Burch owner of the Waste Free SLV San Luis Valley Regional Recycling Center.

superhero“He and his wife Tina,” Crestone Brewing posted on their Facebook Page, “are two truly awesome human beings who make it possible for hundreds of people and businesses in the San Luis Valley to recycle.” They have had some issues with their truck lately, and without their vehicle what they do is not possible.

Crestone Brewing created Recycling Hero, a delicious Red IPA want to raise as much money as possible so “we can help them pay for the necessary repairs they need to KEEP ON TRUCKIN’ AND RECYCLING!”

You too can show Bill & Tina how much their services mean to the valley, the planet and all future Earthlings. Head over o Crestone Brewing and enjoy a most delicious beer while helping save the planet, one sip at a time crestone-brewing-superhero-brew

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Saguache’s 4th Street Food Store Recognized for Model

This week the Saguache Today social media feeds picked by a good news story from the Solutions Journaism Network highlighting the 4th Steet Food Store in Saguache. Writer Leah Tood interviewd CoFounder Mareg Hoglin during her August visit to the San Luis Valley. Readers can read the FULL STORY: HERE.spacer

You can get your fresh fruits and veggies at the 4th Street Food Store located in downtown Saguache.

You can get your fresh produce and other healthy optionss at the 4th Street Food Store located in Saguache. CLICK HERE to read the Solutions Journalism Network story.

spacerIn other Saguache Works news, today September 7 is the last day of the $5 bag sale at the Blue earth Thrift STore. Shoppers can take advantage of an inventory surplus with only $3 per bag on men’s, women’s and children’s clothing! Boutique items are excluded from this sale and are priced as marked.

Did you know that this community-minded non-profit will also be celebrating four years in business this month? To celebrate the occasion, Saguache Works will have a Fall Open House coinciding with the Saguache Fall Festival on September 17, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.! More details will be forth coming, so stay tuned! Or stay in touch with all things on the Saguache Works Facebook Page.

One of the new programs the 4th Street Food Store has recently started is the TASTING AT TWO ON TUESDAYS for showcasing the store’s broadening selection of healthy food choices! So head to 404 4th Street in downtown Saguache at 2 p.m. each Tuesday to get a taste of their latest delicious additions Let the fall Harvest begin!

The produce rack at the 4th Street Food Store is stacked with fresh produce - come and get it! Photo: Saguache Works

The produce rack at the 4th Street Food Store is stacked with fresh produce – come and get it! Photo: Saguache Works

Fresh Apricots Coming Friday to Downtown Saguache

It’s Summertime in Saguache Today! And that means the season has arrived for fresh Western Slope fruits and vegetables!

You can get you rfresh summer fruits and veggies at the 4th Street Food Store located in downtown Saguache.

You can get your fresh summer fruits and veggies at the 4th Street Food Store located in downtown Saguache.

The 4th Street Food Store is pleased to announce that weekly deliveries will begin this Friday, July 8 from locals Suzanne and Kent Talinde, whom many of you may remember from their many years at Farmers’ Markets. This week they will be bringing cases of Western Slope apricots and cherries; much more will be coming soon.

Fruits and vegetables are available in the store, by the pound or piece, and we also will be taking orders for cases or partial cases of individual items at bargain prices. Check with the 4th Street Food Store on Mondays or Tuesdays for availability and prices through the season.

The Food Store also receives fresh local produce every Friday from our partners with the Valley Roots Food Hub based in Mosca. Local potatoes, tomatoes, salad greens, spinach and mushrooms are among the items currently available, in addition, of course, to meats, poultry, dairy and eggs.

The weekly truck arrives with more food to re-stock the shelves at the 4th Street Food Store in Saguache. Photo: Lynn Nowiskee/Saguache Today.

The weekly truck arrives with more food to re-stock the shelves at the 4th Street Food Store in Saguache. Photo: Lynn Nowiskee/Saguache Today.

A nonprofit project of Saguache Works, the 4th Street Food Store is committed to making fresh, healthy foods available and affordable to area residents.

In partnership with LiveWell Colorado and the Double Up Colorado program, those eligible for SNAP benefits also will receive up to $20 worth of free Colorado produce for every $20 they spend at the 4th Street Food Store.

Please call 719-655-0216 for more information, or to place an order, or just come visit us at 404 4th St. in downtown Saguache.

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Next Tuesday, Next Chamber Speaker in Saguache

Continuing through the summer with their successful Chamber Speaker Program, the local nonprofit in charge of promoting commerce will hold its next Saguache Chamber General Meeting on Tuesday, June 7 with guest speaker, Terry Gillette.

Terry Gillette, Owner/Proprietor of Gillette’s Trading Post stands in front of his shop located off Highway 285 in Saguache Today. Photo: Saguache Chamber of Commerce.

Terry Gillette, Owner of Gillette’s Trading Post stands in front of his shop located off Highway 285 in Saguache Today. Photo: Saguache Chamber of Commerce.

Terry Gillette, Owner/Proprietor of Gillette’s Trading Post, will provide a glimpse into the rough and tumble world of an old-fashioned trading post in the San Luis Valley. After 25 years serving his country, Gillette retired with his wife Carla and decided to move their business to the underserved town and community of Saguache, Colo.

While the business first opened up in 1996 in Van Meter, Iowa, today you can find Gillette’s Trading Post at 410 8th Street, just off Highway 285 . The pull-off-the-high location is perfect for folks traveling through the valley in need of a wide variety of hunting, fishing, Army surplus, and camping supplies, as well as top-notch gunsmith services.

From hunting and fishing gear, to military surplus and supplies, stop by Gillette Trading Post for all your outdoor adventure needs. Photo: Saguache Chamber of Commerce.

From hunting and fishing gear, to military surplus and supplies, stop by Gillette Trading Post for all your outdoor adventure needs. Photo: Saguache Chamber of Commerce.

Come and learn more about Gillette and his busy and eye-catching establishment. Willy’s and Humvees are parked outside stopping travelers from all over the country.

Gillette will be bringing something special for the attendee who has the lucky number. So join the fun and learn something new about a Saguache business on Tuesday, June 7, 6 p.m. at the County Road & Bridge at 305 3rd. St. in Saguache.

Please contact the Chamber at info@saguachechamber.org or call Barry at 719-322-7298 if you have any questions about this meeting or if you’d like to know more about the Chamber Speaker Program.

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Blue Earth Café Opens In Downtown Saguache

By Kathy Bedell © Saguache Today

Blue Earth Cafe_LogoThe beginning of summer always marks the Grand Opening season for new Business. And so it goes for the new coffee shop in downtown Saguache. So it’s a big welcome to the Blue Earth Café, a new venture started as part of Saguache Works. Located in the back behind the popular 4th Street Food Store in downtown Saguache, “behind the bank.”.

“We specialize in fine coffees, teas and snacks, most of which is organic” says the new café’s manager Jopa, a familiar face and name in the san Luis Valley.

The new coffee shop is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will celebrate its Grand Opening this Memorial Day Weekend, May 27 – 30, with some Live Music. So be sure to swing into downtown Saguache during your Memorial Day Weekend travels to check out the latest venture. Oh, and since they’ll be doing live music throughout the summer, be sure to talk to Jopa about any musical talents you care to add to the venue!spacer

spacerBlue Earth Cafe Music Line-Up – Memorial Day Weekend

  • Friday, May 27 * 3 – 6 p.m. Barry Monroe
  • Saturday, May 28 * 6 – 9 p.m. DJ Tranquility
  • Sunday, May 29 * 3 – 6 p.m. Armand Peloquin
  • Monday, May 30
    • 3 – 6 p.m. TBA
    • 6 – 9 p.m. Crestone Love Tribe (drum and dance)

Be sure to stop in when you’re downtown, grab a cup of coffee, catch up on some local news, and listen to some great live music. The Blue Earth Café is (officially) located at 404 4th Street, Saguache, CO. You can also connect with them on the Saguache Works Facebook Page.

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Homegrown Totes Available Online and in Saguache

Now in its third year of production, Homegrown Totes is a fiber arts cottage industry that now employs five part-time sewers, plus several interns and a team of part-time marketing professionals. The business model has proven successful and is now taking the next step in the world of Ecommerce. Now, more people than ever can buy their very own Homegrown Tote, made in Saguache Today!

So be sure to check out the new Homegrown Totes website, as well as their Etsy site. If you’re not familiar with this social media platform, it’s touted as the world’s most vibrant handmade marketplace where shoppers can buy and sell handmade or vintage items, art and supplies.

This Homegrown Tote is brown velour with a green paisley lining.

This Homegrown Tote is brown velour with a green paisley lining.

The eco-friendly Homegrown Totes are available in various sizes and styles, and designed and produced on site at 406 4th St. in downtown Saguache.

A nonprofit project of Saguache Works, the cottage industry aims to create jobs, promote economic development and encourage the creative spirit.

Made from 100% recycled materials (most in the form of thrift store donations), the totes are affordable handmade and one-of-a kind. They are available retail at the 4th Street Food Store, Joyful Journey Hot Springs, the Orient Land Trust, Elephant Cloud, the Alamosa Food Co-op and at a growing number of outlets throughout the region.

For more information, or to get involved, please call 719-655-0216.

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Buy Bulk, Save Money And Eat Healthy in Saguache!

If you’re like most in Saguache, you’re on a limited budget and may not think you can afford healthy food. That may not be true.

At the 4th Street Food Store, at 404 4th St. in downtown Saguache, their mission is to make healthy eating affordable to all local residents.

The 4th Street Food Store is part of Sagauche Works and provides residents with fresh, healthy food options. Photo: Saguache Today

The 4th Street Food Store provides residents with fresh, healthy food options. Photo: Saguache Today

Consider buying staple food items from our bulk bins. If you’re buying a pound of rice, a bag of flour, rolled oats or organic blue corn meal, did you know that you’re paying twice the price for the packaging as you are for the food? All you have to do at the 4th Street Food Store is to scoop as much as you need of each individual item into a plastic bag. They’ll weigh it for you, and it is will cost less than half of the cost pre-packaged.

Another way to save money is to order particular products you use frequently from one of their distributors—United Natural Foods (UNFI) the Valley Roots Food Hub (VRFH) or Scanga Meat Co.– for just 10% above wholesale cost. You’re welcome to browse the catalogs, or ask for assistance in placing an order.

Bulk foods to order are available at the 4th Street Food Store.

Bulk foods are available at the 4th Street Food Store.

And if you don’t need a whole case of Amy’s black bean soup, for example, maybe they’ll split a case with you, or can help you connect with another customer who will buy the other half.

Thanks to their partnership with the Valley Roots Food Hub, fresh local produce is always available at extremely affordable prices.

Come in and check out the other prices, as well. The 4th Street Food Store in Saguache may be a lot lower than you’d think. As a nonprofit project of Saguache Works, made possible by dedicated volunteers and community support, the local food store charges approxiamtely 15% less than the average health food store. Consider, too, the money you save by not having to drive out of town to shop for fresh, healthy food.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Saguache County Commissioners, the 4th Street Food Store also offers a 20% discount to those eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly Food Stamps, who purchase food with their EBT cards

For more information, or to help in any way, please call 719-655-0216.

The 4th Street Food Store is located in downtown Saguache.

The 4th Street Food Store is located in downtown Saguache.

Fresh Food Fridays

At 4th Street Store

Craving fresh greens?

The 4th Street Food Store features leafy green kale and a variety of living lettuces, delivered every Friday by our partners at the Valley Roots Food Hub.

These greens come from Brightwater Farms just outside of Monte Vista, a startup family business dedicated to hydroponic year-round greenhouse production. Sold with their roots intact, they feature excellent flavor, high nutritional content and great staying power. And they are priced at only $1.67/bunch.

Also available, at extremely affordable prices, are agraricus button and portobella mushrooms from the Colorado Mushroom Farm in Alamosa and certified organic butternut squash from the Arkansas Valley Growers

Look for lots more fresh, local produce at the 4th Street Food Store as the season progresses.

Other Valley products available year-round include GMO-free, all natural eggs from Ab Yoder’s Amish family farm in Monte Vista, a selection of goat and cow cheeses from Laz Ewe Two Bar Goat Dairy just outside Del Norte, and a variety of local beef, bison, pork and poultry products.

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Last Order Up: Save Saguache’s 4th Street Diner

By Kathy Bedell © Saguache Today

“Order Up,” sounds the bell from the kitchen of the 4th Street Diner & Bakery in downtown Saguache, followed up quickly by “a little help, please” as owners face a permanent CLOSED sign if the $12,500 tax bill isn’t settled by sundown tonight, May 3.

4th Street Diner Owner Ester Mae Last (standing) talks to local patrons about the eatery's current predicament. Photo: Lynn Nowiskee/Saguache Today

4th Street Diner Owner Ester Mae Last (standing) talks to local patrons about the eatery’s current predicament. Photo: Lynn Nowiskee/Saguache Today

“He said he’d be coming up with a locksmith tomorrow (May 4) to seize the property if I can’t come up with the money,” explained diner owner Esther Mae Last describing her last conversation with Colorado sales tax-man Mike Weaver.

At times, the story reads like the script from a Broadway play about how some good town folks are “gonna lose the farm if they don’t pay their taxes,” but the truth of the matter is, in a small rural town like Saguache, closing down the beloved local eatery goes far beyond the farm, to the ranchers that provide the local meat for the menu, to the folks that gather daily to exchange good news over a hot cup of coffee, and perhaps most importantly, to 9 full and part time workers currently employed at the 4th Street Diner.

Last week, the situation bumped up to an urgent status as Last received another call from the Colorado Department of Revenue finally playing the “pay-up or else” card. It didn’t take long for the word to hit the street and right behind that, came the online frenzy ,as social media feeds helped spread the news about the beloved eatery’s looming lock-up.

The economy repercussions of the state's decision to seize the property and close the doors, include 9 full and part time employees from the dishwashers to the waitresses, these folks will be out of work!. Photo: Lynn Nowiskee/Saguache Today.

The economy repercussions of the state’s decision to seize the property and close the doors, include 9 full and part time employees from the dishwashers to the waitresses, these folks will be out of work!. Photo: Lynn Nowiskee/Saguache Today.

In her own words, Ester explained on the Go Fund Me crowd source-finding website: This is really hard for me to do. To ask you for money or ask you guys to help me, but it is the only way I’m going to be able to save the diner. Whether you are able to help or not, I thank you, and hope that you do, please pass it on. Thank you, Esther and family.

As of today the account was still $6,000 from its goal of $12,500. The back story on the cash flow echoes similar situations faced by many small business owners: I had a dream and let someone else handle the money. Or as captured in Last’s own words: This is also my first business, and I started off without much experience in managing a business. The diner’s bookkeeper was not handling money correctly, and we fell behind. I should have been overseeing that as I realize now.

If you are interested in helping save the 4th Street Diner with a financial contribution, readers may do so at the established Go Fund Me page or at Aventa Bank in downtown Saguache by contributing to the Sales Tax account for the 4th Street Diner.

Made from scratch, home cooking is what diners can find at the 4th Street Diner, if it can keep its doors open. Photo: Lynn Nowiskee/Saguache Today

Made from scratch, home cooking is what diners can find at the 4th Street Diner, if it can keep its doors open. Photo: Lynn Nowiskee/Saguache Today

Easter Mae Last started the 4th Street Diner in July 2010.

“It was started as merely an idea that had for many years,” explained Last. “Eventually my dream came true, and I was able to buy a building in Saguache in hopes to start the 4th Street Diner.”

Since then, the downtown restaurant has become a central hub, the gathering place for ranchers to talk about the weather over a hot cup of coffee or for families to celebrate a special occasion. For travelers passing through the San Luis Valley, those smart or lucky enough to make the turn off Highway 285 experience that sensation of stepping back in time, a return to Mayberry. The name Ester Mae alone brings the promise of good, home cooking and there’s no doubt that it’s the food that keeps folks coming back.

There's something delicious to put in your

There’s something delicious to put in your “pie hole” down at the 4th Street Diner & Bakery. Photo: Lynn Nowiskee/Saguache Today.

The menu offers a lot and its all fresh, made from scratch. It’s the meat from nearby ranchers, the greens and vegetables from local farmers and the love put into every homemade pie. It’s the healthy home-style portions served with a friendly smile that seem only to be found in small, rural communities.

But for anyone who’s ever struck out and started their own business, the challenges of keeping the doors open come fast, and stick around far too long. It was at the end of last year that Last began to feel the struggle of entrepreneurship set in.

“It’s tough during the winters, we can hardly meet our monthly bills, much less put aside what we need to pay in taxes,” explained Last. Like most small town businesses, the tide of tourism can have a strong impact on the bottom line. Summertime is the busy season in this rural, agricultural community that has seen a resurgence of sorts in its downtown business district in recent years. Most would attribute that in part to Ester’s dream. The 4th Street Diner established the anchor to others investing in the area, creating a stronger arts community, a thrift store, a food store and most importantly a place for folks to gather with their neighbors and friends.

It's a family affair at the 4th Street Diner & Bakery as the spoon turns delicious homemade dishes that will hopefully still be served up in downtown Saguache. Photo: Lynn Nowiskee/Saguache Today

It’s a family affair at the 4th Street Diner & Bakery as the spoon turns delicious homemade dishes that will hopefully still be served up in downtown Saguache. Photo: Lynn Nowiskee/Saguache Today

But by the end of last year, the day to day burdens of being the chief baker, bread maker, and money taker were starting to stack up, along with a growing sales tax bill.

“I put the diner up for sale,” said Last. “The bank wouldn’t loan me any more money and with winter ahead, it seemed like the only thing to do.” And while the restaurant is still formerly on the market, Last remains committed to her dream, if the debt can be paid. Otherwise, she adds laughingly, maybe someone will buy it and I can come and work for them.

Which brings the story to today, the day that could very well be the last one the 4th Street Diner & Bakery is open. So what will the closing scene be for this small town play? A last supper of local beef and greens, topped off with a big hunk of homemade pie? Or perhaps a rally cry of triumph by dawn’s early light, demonstrating that the entrepreneurial dream is not dead in rural America, especially not in Saguache Today!

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In her own words: 4th Street Diner Owner Ester Mae Last:

The 4th Street Diner & Bakery is located at 411 4th Street Saguache, CO 81149. (719) 655-6411

Saguache Chamber Presented State Report, Successes

Last month the Saguache Chamber of Commerce held their annual meeting providing a State of the Chamber report. The event was held at the Saguache County Road and Bridge Meeting room on April 5.

The Saguache Chamber of Commerce Board gave their annual report last month prior to the seating of newly elected board members. Photo: Saguache Today.

The Saguache Chamber of Commerce Board gave their annual report last month prior to seating of newly elected board members. Photo: Saguache Today.

The organization gave their overview on the annual events they support from the Hollyhock Festival, to the Intertribal Pow Wow, to the Saguache Art Festival, with lots of great things in between, the nonprofit group outlined their successes of 2015.

For the full State of the Chamber 2016 Report: LINK.

In addition, new board members took their seats at the April meeting and outgoing volunteers were thanked for the service in moving things forward to help promote tourism and a healthy business community in Saguache.

One of the chamber’s popular new additions is the Speaker Program which continues tomorrow Tuesday, May 3, with Greg Mills, CEO of Aventa Credit Union. Aventa Credit Union_Saguache Today

Aventa was established nearly 60 years ago as the Colorado Springs Employees Credit Union. Today, renamed to reflect its geographic spread, Aventa serves over 21,000 members throughout Colorado Springs, Pueblo, and the San Luis Valley. Come and learn more about this member-owned, not-for-profit financial institution and how it came to reside in the beautifully refurbished bank building on 4th Street in downtown Saguache. Come and discover the valuable insight that Mr. Mills will share with attendees.

The Saguache Chamber monthly meetings (as always) are open to the public. This program will be on May 3 at 6 p.m. at the County Road & Bridge at 305 3rd Street in Saguache. Please contact the Chamber at info@saguachechamber.org or call Barry at 719-322-7298 if you have any questions about this meeting or if you’d like to know more about the Chamber Speaker Program.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the Saguache Chamber of Commerce, connect: HERE. As they state: The purpose of the Chamber is “to promote the business community, to organize civic functions, to provide community services and to encourage tourism and economic development within and for the Town of Saguache, Colorado and the surrounding community, and help promote Saguache County.”LINK_ 2016 State of the Chamber

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Saguache Works Secures Future, Buys Buildings

By Kathy Bedell © Saguache Today

Saguache Works has come a long way in a short time, and the community-based nonprofit is here to stay in downtown Saguache.

Saguache Works officially purchased the buildings it occupies at 404-406 4th Street on February 5, allowing the nonprofit to achieve virtual self-sufficiency and create jobs. Photo: Saguache Today.

Saguache Works officially purchased the buildings it occupies at 404-406 4th Street on February 5, allowing the nonprofit to achieve virtual self-sufficiency and create jobs. Photo: Saguache Today.

Its recent purchase of the buildings it occupies, at 404-406 4th St., from Blue Earth Business Opportunities (BEBOP), a privately owned LLC, “was made possible by years of hard work on the part of an extremely dedicated team of volunteers, ongoing community support, and financial assistance from the First Southwest Bank Community Fund,” says co-founder Marge Hoglin.

If you have traveled through the San Luis Valley along Highway 285 and dared to turn off into downtown Saguache, no doubt, you’ve witnessed a renaissance of sorts in recent years. While this historic main street has enjoyed the anchor of the 4th Street Diner and a growing, organized arts community, Saguache Works has been a major force in furthering actual revitalization of downtown.

The precipice was a plethora of boarded-up storefronts and abandoned downtown buildings, which had earned the town’s 4th Street business district a “Most Endangered Place” designation from Colorado Preservation.

Determined to save their town from extinction, residents rallied to the cause and launched the Saguache Downtown Revitalization Project. Building facades were painted; new sidewalks, pavement, streetlights and benches were installed. It was all very lovely, but jobs in the region remained scarce, the population continued to dwindle and businesses struggled to survive.

The Saguache Works story, which is a “Win-Win” for the community, began in May 2012 when Hoglin and Lindy McDaniel, two retired “old ladies,” purchased the old, and mostly vacant, buildings.

Co-Founders Marge Hoglin (left) and Lindy McDaniel (right) announced the Grand Opening of the 4th Street Food Store in summer of 2013, providing healthy, local foods to the community. Photo: Saguache Today

Co-Founders Marge Hoglin (left) and Lindy McDaniel (right) announced the Grand Opening of the 4th Street Food Store in summer of 2013, providing healthy, local foods to the community. Photo: Saguache Today

Both had been active in the Saguache Downtown Revitalization project and wanted to bring business activity back to downtown. So they formed BEBOP, invested their own personal funds and bought the property. Given the population and demographics of Saguache, they figured a public-private partnership would be necessary to make something happen. That led to establishing Saguache Works; they applied for and received their 501(c) 3 status from the IRS.

The two women spent the summer of 2012 scrubbing and painting, replacing ceilings, tearing down walls and installing new fixtures.

Finally in September, their first project, The Saguache Welcome Center, Gallery & Gift Shop opened hoping to draw in travelers off Highway 285 to support local artists and other downtown businesses. While it took some steadfast determination to make it through that first winter, their efforts paid off and by the summer of 2013 there was a noticeable shift and increase in visitors.

The BEFit Studio for exercise, dance and yoga in one of several Saguache Works programs.

The BEFit Studio for exercise, dance and yoga in one of several Saguache Works programs.

By then, their ventures had grown to include the BEFit Studio for exercise, dance and yoga, at 317 San Juan Street, as well as the Blue Earth Thrift & Mercantile. The thrift store became the anchor, providing a focus for community volunteers, a place for merchandise to be recycled and made available to low-income families, and a means to generate income for the fledgling nonprofit.

But if the programs of Saguache Works are to be referred to as the feathers of the winged wonder, then surely it is the volunteers who have became its beating heart. Ask any one of the dozens of Saguache folks who volunteer at the thrift store, exercise studio, or fiber arts cottage projects why they do it and you’ll find a common thread. It’s because of how Saguache Works has changed their community, created a central, vibrant meeting place that provides goods and services that people actually need.

Like food, people needed good, locally harvested food. And so in the summer of 2013, Saguache Works created the 4th Street Food Store, which initially shared space with the Welcome Center and featured a limited selection of mostly local foods. Today, they will special order, can order in bulk for just 10% over wholesale cost, and offer a 20% discount to low-income residents using an EBT card (formerly food stamps). Now open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the 4th Street Food Store has – without a doubt – made a substantial improvement on the quality of life for hundreds of Saguache residents.

The weekly truck arrives with more food to re-stock the shelves at the 4th Street Food Store in Saguache. Photo: Lynn Nowiskee/Saguache Today.

The weekly truck arrives with more food to re-stock the shelves at the 4th Street Food Store in Saguache. Photo: Lynn Nowiskee/Saguache Today.

Since its humble beginnings, Saguache Works has continued to evolve and change. McDaniel retired in the summer of 2014 and moved away to be closer to family. The food store has gradually expanded and serves a growing segment of the population. The thrift store generates adequate revenue to help subsidize food prices, and lower prices are drawing more people to eat healthy.

At this point in the story, it’s important to note what really propels public/private partnerships like Saguache Works. Most successes will point to one person, who keeps the vision alive, particularly during the challenging times when others walk away. In this case, it’s the ever-humble Marge Hoglin.

Generally understated in approach and appearance, Hoglin represents the entrepreneurial drive known in business circles for getting the job done. When a project involves 100 year old buildings, small town politics and the coordination of a growing group of paid staff and volunteers, it’s not exactly what folks list among their retirement plans. But Hoglin was made for these sorts of challenges.

Saguache Works Co-founder Marge Hoglin offers free samples of items sold at the 4th Street Food Store during one of their healthy eating programs. Photo: Saguache Today

Saguache Works Co-founder Marge Hoglin offers free samples of items sold at the 4th Street Food Store during one of their healthy eating programs. Photo: Saguache Today

For those unfamiliar with her story, Hoglin began her career as a journalist, working for the “Longmont Times-Call” before starting a statewide women’s magazine in the early 1980s. After nearly a decade of publishing, Hoglin’s next venture was the unlikely call as proprietor of a bed and breakfast in Allenspark, Colo., which she ran for more than 14 years. Eventually it was the sale of Sunshine Mountain in 2007 that – unknowingly – created the seed money for Saguache Works. Hoglin’s success in two of the most challenging industries – publishing and lodging – developed the determination necessary for her next venture, waiting in the San Luis Valley.

The Saguache Works business model is working. It’s not selling a spin, or reciting irrelevant statistics. Nor does it rely completely on government subsidized grants. This nonprofit business model actually has a revenue stream – several in fact, which allow the nonprofit to achieve virtual self-sufficiency and create jobs.

One of its most recent endeavors is a high school student internship program, which provides real life work experience and leadership training to local youth.

Totes_AdIn its third year, Homegrown Totes is a fiber arts cottage industry that now employs five part-time sewers, plus several interns and a team of part-time marketing professionals.

But it was that big step on February 5 when the nonprofit purchased the buildings it operates in, from the private partnership that created it, when things came full circle. Saguache Works stands as a model of what can be the best in public and private partnerships. And it’s just one of the ways that business is being done in Saguache Today!

If that concept interests you, community members are invited to become involved and to help shape the future of Saguache Works. Potential new projects include development of a nonprofit coffee shop and community commercial kitchen. If you would like to volunteer, or to participate in any way, please call (719) 655-0216.

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Newsman Coombs Makes the News in Saguache Today

There’s a local celebrity in the midst of the 500 residents of Saguache, although you wouldn’t know it by his unassuming demeanor.

The Saguache Crescent: bringing Saguache County the news in print since 1879. Photo: Saguache Today

The Saguache Crescent: bringing Saguache County the news in print since 1879. Photo: Saguache Today

And while you won’t find this local star signing autographs on the corner of San Juan and 4th Streets, you might find some one-of-a-kind, ink-producing sounds coming from his office on any given Tuesday in downtown Saguache.

Lately, when he’s not printing the news, local publisher of the Saguache Crescent Dean Coombs has been making it, by racking up views on You Tube and other social media platforms as video reports and stories continue to bring attention to what very well could be the last Linotype-produced newspaper in the world!

But in this small town in the San Luis Valley, the weekly production of the Saguache Crescent is more than a story, it’s the way people in this county still get their news, their stories. And that’s thanks to the continued commitment of the printed word by third generation newsman Dean Coombs.

However, it’s outside interests in the old-school manufacturing of this weekly periodical that have made Coombs a rising star. From CBS Sunday Morning to Colorado Life Magazine to The Associated Press’ The Big Story, which just posted a video report a mere 5 days ago that has already tallied nearly 9,000 views, Coombs and his magical machines have come into full focus. In fact, many locals would say that he’s one of the biggest tourist attractions in town.

But as Coombs nears retirement with no family member or apprentice to pass along this 19th century printing knowledge to, Saguache residents wonder where the future of local news may lead. While he has officially worked for the paper since he was 12 years old, stories of Coombs being rocked to sleep in a baby carriage that was attached to the printing press, cranking back and forth to meet deadline, have become legendary in recent years. It’s a case of the newsman becoming the news, often overshadowing local garden club highlights or library programs written about in the paper.

And while no one knows what the future holds, it’s time to honor this life-long news man by bringing readers links to a variety of video reports and stories about the Publisher of the Saguache Crescent Dean Coombs. This is what makes him “EXTRA” special! And thanks for keeping the presses – and the news – rolling along in Saguache Today!

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4th St. Food Store: Shop Locally – Save Time and Gas

No need to drive 100 or more miles, over cold and snowy roads, to find healthy food or specialty items for you and your family.

The 4th Street Food Store is open daily in downtown Saguache.

The 4th Street Food Store is open daily in Saguache.

The 4th Street Food Store in downtown Saguache, has what you need or will special order anything you want.  You can order in bulk, for just 10% over our wholesale cost, or simply submit a request and they will stock what you are looking for.

A nonprofit project of Saguache Works, the 4th Street Food Store is committed to making fresh, healthy food available and affordable to all area residents.   They offer a 20% discount to low-income residents using an EBT card (formerly food stamps), and regularly donate a substantial portion of proceeds to the Saguache County Food Bank.

Bulk foods to order are available at the 4th Street Food Store.

Bulk foods to order available at 4th Street Food Store.

In partnership with the Valley Roots Food Hub, the food store also support local food producers and features as many local products as possible.

Call 719-655-0216 or stop by 404 4th Street in downtown Saguache and let them know how they can better serve you.  The 4th Street Food Store is open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.spacer

Order Your Turkey at Saguache’s 4th Street Food Store

It’s not far off, have you starting planning your Thanksgiving meal? Often touted as America’s culinary holiday, Thanksgiving is the holiday that’s all about the food, all about family and friends gathering around the table and enjoying traditional food as well as their own family recipes that have been passed down through the generations.

Come on in to the 4th Street Food Store and order your Thanksgiving turkey today! Photo: Lynn Nowiskee/Saguache Today.

Come on in to the 4th Street Food Store and order your Thanksgiving turkey today! Photo: Lynn Nowiskee/Saguache Today.

If you’re looking for the turkey to really be the centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table then the 4th Street Food Store was what you need. This popular grocery store is now taking orders for Natural Turkeys. Shoppers can chose from a variety of natural and organic birds, ranging in price from  $3.44/lb to $2.69 lb.

Residents do need to order their Turkey at the 4th Street Food Store, indicating their preferred size. Then when you culinary centerpiece arrives, they’ll let you know and you can come and pick it up and pay for it.

Of course, once you get the Thanksgiving turkey secured the 4th Street Food Store offers a variety of other organic and natural foods to compliment your bird. So make your side dishes really stand out with the all-natural flavor everyone around the table expects.

tere's something delicious to put in your

There’s something delicious to put in your “pie hole” down at the 4th Street Diner, Order your pies today!

Of course, once the main meal is over, it’s all about dessert! It’s time to break out the pumpkin pie and whipped cream, the cranberry cake or whatever your family’s favorite treat to top off a great meal. And while many like to bake from scratch if your schedule or culinary awkwardness have you looking for someone else to deal with dessert, then the 4th Street Diner has what you need. So be sure to order your favorite Thanksgiving dessert from Saguache’s favorite eatery locate in downtown Saguache.

So there’s today’s Thanksgiving news. It’s time to start planning that annual meal that takes hours, if not days to come together, and about an hour to devour!spacer

Historic Ute Celebrates Films and Theater in Saguache!

The holiday season always puts everyone in the mood for a good movie. And what better place to see it than the historic Ute Theater located in downtown Saguache? So make it a holiday treat, complete with dinner and some holiday cheer!

This weekend, Nov. 20-22, film lovers can catch the classic “Wizard of Oz.” Who doesn’t love to follow the Yellow Brick Road? wizard OzThis family classic (rated G) is everyone’s favorite 1939 American musical film, known for its use of Technicolor, and based on the 1900 novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum. The film stars Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale with co-star Terry the dog, billed as Toto and a cast of hundreds! For show times and tickets visit their website: Ute Theater.

Then on Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 27 & 28 the historic Ute Theater will be presenting Unbranded, an Indie Film. According to the film’s website, the synopsis of the film is as follows: Four young Cowboys hatch an outrageous plot to adopt, train, and ride a string of wild mustangs 3,000 miles from Mexico to Canada through the wildest terrain of the American West. The trip became an epic journey of self-discovery, tested friendships, and iconic landscapes that included runaway horses, a sassy donkey, perilous mountain passes, rodeos, sickness, injury, and death. The Audience Award winner at Telluride Mountainfilm and Hot Docs Film Festival, Unbranded is a soaring tale of danger and resilience, an emotionally charged odyssey that shines a bright light on the complex plight of our country’s wild horses.


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Classic Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” Returns to Stage

The annual Ute Theater presentation of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” is being performed for the community in early December. Of course, many are familiar with this story of a bitter old miser named Ebenezer Scrooge and his transformation into a gentler, kindlier man after visitations by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. 

Saguache's annual presentation of Dicken's

Saguache’s annual presentation of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” is in rehearsals at the historic Ute Theater. The play will present the first part of December – stay tuned! Photo: Lynn Nowiskee/Saguache Today.

The group is still in need of some additional people to be part of the Stage Crew for the first week of December. Rehearsals for this holiday classic are on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7 p.m. at the Ute Theater in downtown Saguache.

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