Food and Drink

#021 Cured – Connecting People and Food with Will Frischkorn

 

Hey everyone, thanks for tuning in to Colorado.FM – The Colorado Podcast for this episode with Will Frischkorn of Cured here in Boulder.

Cured is a small grocery and deli that is dedicated to reestablishing our connection with food.  Be sure to stop by when you’re in town to grab a sandwich or a curated picnic basket for your day enjoying the outdoors.

Online, you can find Cured at CuredBoulder.com  and on Instagram @CuredBoulder and Twitter also @CuredBoulder.

If you can leave a review on iTunes, that really helps get the word out about the show and be sure to subscribe on iTunes, apple podcast, Stitcher, or however you like to listen to podcasts and signup for our email list as well.

Thanks a lot.

 


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Show Notes

[05:00] Roommates – Boxcar Coffee Roasters

[06:00] From the Tour de France to food – bringing the European influence home

[10:45] Educating the customers – being the connector to the producer

[15:30] Why Boulder

[18:45] Managing growth – what’s working, what isn’t

[21:00] What’s from Colorado, what’s made in house

 


Relevant Links

Cured Boulder

Lady of the Sunshine Wines

Boxcar Coffee Roasters

Light Root Community Farm

Mountain Flower Goat Dairy

New Beet Foods

Chautauqua

Mt. Sanitas

Brainard Lake Recreation Area

Ward General Store

Frasca Food & Wine

Todd Reid

 


Related Episodes

Jessica Beacom- The Real Food Dietitians

Piante Pizzeria

 


Transcript

 

You’re listening to Colorado.FM, the Colorado Podcast. Now we’ve been talking a lot about gear lately and you know, that’s a big part of what we do here in Colorado. But another big part is after that day outside is we are so fortunate to be able to just eat and drink so well at the end of the day.

So that’s been something I’ve wanted to get into a little bit more the local food scene and were able to kind of kick that off and, and hopefully go down that wormhole a bit with this episode.

So in this episode I speak with Will Frischkorn of Cured here in Boulder and so they are a small shop of just hand curated items. They’ve got an amazing deli, charcuterie and cheese counter with really knowledgeable staff throughout. And so you go in there and it’s just an amazing experience to almost like a more European shopping experience to go in there and speak with the purveyors of these amazing foods they’ve teamed up and share a space with a Boxcar coffee.

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It’s the kind of store that you just like hanging out it. I’m now a lot of us in boulder do know this story already. It’s a real favorite for people in the area and you know, hopefully this information will help you if you were heading to town, if you’re coming up, you know, whether for a vacation or even just for the day, this is really the place to stock up whether before you’re heading out for hikes or you know, if you need food after you’ve spent the day outside. Now if you are going before you’re part of your plan to go outside, they’ve got amazing sandwiches. Go in there, just grab something really good and you know, forget about those bars that you’ve been carrying around for your hikes. Just go get a great sandwich. Um, and also they do curated picnic baskets and you know, so it can really be a nice part of your plan if you’re going to spend the day outside, you know, and again, the picnic baskets, you know, there are a good thing for locals to grab too.

So really cool people. I’m amazing story, low family owned business and will himself, uh, you know, it is him and his wife that run this place, but I only had a chance to meet and speak with will. His story’s really fascinating. He had actually written in the Tour de France at at one point and you know, so it was a professional cyclist and this is what he transitioned to and so you can kind of really get a feel for all that time that he spent in Europe. Um, you know, as a cyclist and that connection with food that you, you kind of have over there. But again, you know, this is a important part when we talk about having a perfect day here in Colorado. A lot of times it’s getting outside and then getting some good food and some good beers. And you know, we’re just really fortunate to have all of this farm fresh produce and amazing craft beer that’s being made right in town.

And so again, hopefully this is just the start of, you know, getting to know this, this side of life a little bit better here in Colorado if you want to find out more about cured, you can find their website@curedboulder.com. Um, they also are cured boulder on instagram and on twitter. And twitter’s kind of interesting for them because they post up, you know, their menu of sandwiches daily. So if that’s something you want to keep track of their twitter feeds, where to find it out. So anyway, I hope you enjoy it. Here’s my conversation with will frischkorn have cured boulder.

Um, thanks for taking the time to meet me. Like we’re having a chance to chat for a second. This is one of my favorite places in town. And so, uh, sitting here in your wine shop in the morning, uh, you know, it was really a pretty perfect way to start the day. We’ll happy to, happy to do it. And yeah, this is our one quiet place in here we can hide out for just a couple minutes surrounded by delicious bottles and things first. First thing in the morning. First Day of the week. Yeah. And eat breakfast wines. We actually, we have one lady that makes, it’s called Lady of the sunshine. It’s this beautiful bottle of California biodynamics something in and she actually calls her wines. Breakfast wines. We should open one. Let’s, let’s cut. Exactly whenever you’re ready. Man. I’ve, I’ve already got myself off to upon espressos from the boxcar sit out.

So now it’s time to. Exactly. They’re good roommates. Their boxcar. We’re lucky. Yeah. This place is killer. And so, uh, yeah. So people, um, you know, not in boulder, so we’re at the shop and you might hear some coffee being ground in the background and some, uh, you know, there’s a nice bustle in the, in the space. It’s just a comfortable place to hang out. We’re, we’re, we’re lucky. We’re two businesses that share space here. So sort of before a real collaborative spaces started going a handful of years ago. We did it out of necessity. We, uh, we’re looking at, you know, two businesses trying to figure out how we locate in the area of Pearl Street. We wanted to be in spaces were all either too big or too small and they were all expensive. And we go, well, we’re both looking for about half of what that one is.

Let’s, let’s do it together. Um, and it’s been an amazing synergy, mean we’re seven years in, two brand new businesses. Both husband and wife operated so unbelievably lucky. Looking back and my dad, he’s a business consultant. I was like, you guys are idiots on so many counts. This is like a ticking time bomb. What are you doing? Or like, I think it’s kind of work. It’s like, well, I’ll go, go for it. You guys will have fun. And we’ve been, we’ve been lucky. Oh, that’s hilarious. Nothing like the, uh, the old sage looking down and being like, I don’t know that this doesn’t really sound like much of a plan that you guys. Sure you’re gonna drink a lot of good wine, right? Yeah. How can you go wrong? Right? You got all the good vices like cheese, wine advice and essential it all. It all depends on perspective.

Right, right. Cool. Well, let’s, um, you know, you kind of mentioned getting started in, in finding like a perfect a roommate, so, you know, I was just doing a little research and so, I mean, in 2008 you’re riding the Tour de France. Yeah. So a pretty abrupt but exciting change. I finished my cycling career early, retired young. I’m kind of at that point where I went, yeah, this is, this is amazing. I got to do the races that dreamt of as a little kid. Um, I’ve managed to make a living for 10 years living all over the world, riding my bike and paid to do it. Um, and I was good. I wasn’t great, but I was good. Um, you know, I was talented but not gifted. Um, and found that point where I’m like, this is probably about where I’m going to go. I might get a little bit better.

I could probably do this for six, seven, eight years, but I’m never going to be one of those guys that make so much money that when I stopped I can just be done. There’s always going to be a next chapter. And I was kinda excited to just get on with that next chapter, um, while I still loved riding a bike and still love playing and still had spilled some years and could also do before kids. Um, I looking back especially, I feel so blessed that my wife and I who started cure together, um, we did it before kids because, because man, those first couple of years they were together. We were here 60, 70 hours a week and you can’t do that once a little people come at. Right? So it was kind of a fun. It was a fun transition and it was a transition into stuff we loved, you know, I grew up loving racing bikes and got into that, um, along the way, fell in love with food.

I’m pretty darn early. Um, and then, uh, you know, different part of the country. My wife did the same thing. Food was a big passion for her and when we kind of have that, uh, made the decision, let’s stop racing bikes. Um, you know, what’s next? I worked in this port for about a year. I’m on the management side of it. Team learned a little about that, learned it wasn’t quite what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Um, and we went to what, what is, what do we want to jump into and food was it, um, we, we almost did a restaurant. We’re kind of bouncing back and forth, these two business ideas in our heads and then looked around and said, you know, we’ve got a bunch of friends in the food world. I’m all over it and I don’t think we have a single couple that we know who are married, who have young kids and who have a restaurant and all those pieces still exist in the same circle.

Uh, so let’s not try to be the exception. Maybe we could be, but let’s still retail. Let’s do something that, that when we looked back at boulder and wanted to come back home here from living in Europe, we felt there was an, each, there was no know, more grocery stores here per capita than anywhere in the country. Um, but no specialty, nothing, nothing small. They were all big for whole foods. And three, king supers and s to Safeway. I mean it’s overwhelming, but they’re all big stores, so how do we do something? It feels like, you know, with an American spin that feels like the markets that we love shopping in in Spain, right? Yeah. And that’s like the reference, right? Like I’m cycling’s the type of sport that brings you to Europe, especially at elite levels and your relationship with food in Europe is just totally different. That’s not how we do it here in America. So I’m guessing that that a big part of that experience, living and living in that

environment is what rubbed off on them.

It was a big influencer. Yeah. No, I mean growing up both, both of us respectively had families that, that loves food and our own ways and enjoyed it and loved cooking together and eating and drinking and having, you know, having food. Be a, a social connector. I think rarely do you like to cook a great meal and sit there by yourself and just talk for a couple of hours. It’s like, no, you do it with friends, at least with a significant other or a good buddy. Um, and I think food is an amazing. It’s an amazing social lubricant. Um, alcohol of course helps too, but, but uh, but it’s something really magic about it and for us the opportunity to then live in Europe and get to go to all these places and see all these producers and the people that you might’ve even enjoyed here at home but not been able to connect with it gave us that opportunity and then almost as much as anything that the experience of shopping there, of, of cooking, of hunting your food on a daily basis, not going to a big grocery store and you know, cool, I’ve got what I need for the week, but you know, every day going out and what am I, what am I gonna eat today?

What looks fun? It looks great. What’s inspiring? That was something that really struck us as, as unique and special and that we wanted to play with.

Right? Yeah. No, and I think that some of that just way of life, that’s just the way it’s always been done over there. This is what’s starting to Kinda catch hold here, right? Like hugely satellite stop shopping, big box. You don’t need to stock up for the month. You can go out and then if there’s a person behind the counter is going to be an expert in that and that’s part of what the experience is here as well. I mean when you come here, I mean you go just go to the cheese counter and ask them what’s good and in the idea of being able to taste it, no one where it’s from the labels kind of explain it and it seems like you, a big part of that is making these adventurous type things a little more accessible.

Very much so. I mean we are in our core values, you know, education is a critical one of those and it’s educating obviously our team but, but especially our customers. How do we, how do we share a bit of knowledge about the food people are taking home and I think it’s a, we’re in a period right now that’s looking back. I think it’s one we’re actually going to look at is pretty pivotal in America’s sort of food scene and food systems, but people really want to know. They want to know about what they’re eating. And, and I, I honestly feel that when you know a little bit about what you’re eating, it tastes better. It’s more meaningful. Um, so if we can help almost as middleman is the wrong word, but as the connector between a person who’s making something awesome and we try, you know, every product in the shop is something that’s made by a person.

It’s not a, it’s not a company. I mean there’s, there’s a legal entity behind it, but we try to champion things that are, that are authentic, that are real, that are made by, by humans, but they’re probably pretty damn busy making that stuff. The reality is they’re not probably going to meet every person that eats their food, but we can be the connector between a great craftsperson and the end user, the theater. Um, and if we can share a little bit about story, know, hopefully it helps amplify what they’re doing and raise awareness and, and also people appreciate it a little bit more. It’s, it’s fun to do. And like you mentioned, it’s tons of work for these, like smaller batch producers. I know I live here in boulder as well. You know, I’m lucky enough to have been in an environment where you can connect with your food a little closer for example.

It’s incredible. Yeah. Yeah. A good friend of ours is one of these people making milk. They’ve got a dairy farm and we go over there and we take it up and we bring it home and it’s not even pasteurized and it’s the whole dynamic thing. It’s actually light route. Oh yeah. Yeah. And they’re amazing people and every time you go over there they’re working. Man. It’s crazy. And so, you know, the idea of marketing and selling and then connecting with the customers is like, you know, after you’ve already been up running a dairy farm is just insane. So yeah, like stores like this to support these brands are definitely a critical part of the. No, we do that as one of the most important things that we do is helping. Helping small producers make it. Um, and in our, in our introductory session, I’ve got a couple of new people starting today.

Okay. One of the first things I always share is like, none of us, anybody in here is going to get rich doing this. We’re not going to get rich on selling groceries that have incredibly slim margins. You’re not going to get rich working for us because, well, we have the margins and the producers that were, were selling product from there slaving away trying to make something awesome. But the reason we’re all doing this is not to get rich. It’s because it’s meaningful because it’s, it’s cool because it’s delicious because we get to surround ourselves by buy awesome products and awesome people. Um, and hopefully, you know, help help chug it all forward. Yeah. It’s funny, I was reading a book last night and I was this book that I’m in love with right now and not, and it was, you know, thinking about this meeting and they, and they were talking about, right, it’s about writers and art and really it’s, it’s way more about that kind of environment.

I mean, the people making these things are artists with their craft and narrative craft needs to be supported by an ecosystem and you know, it’s. And you’re an artist in your own right, like curating this thing. It must be incredibly fun to get. They’ll get me wrong, but it’s awesome. It’s awesome. That’s a lot of work. We taste a lot of product. That’s one of those fun things we get to do is choose what goes on the shelter because that also means we get to then steal it all and take it home. But yeah, I mean it’s, it’s an exciting time in the food world in America because there’s so much out there. Um, but there are a lot of people who are still figuring it out or it’s not quite there yet and it’s, it’s actually just as it’s cool to help those guys with, with positive, but real feedback, you know, here’s, here’s what you’re doing, right.

Here’s where I feel like there’s some shortcoming, like how do you help everybody, everybody do it better and rising tides. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We get to, we get to eat and drink a lot. It’s, it’s pretty good. Exactly. I was thinking about that, like, you know, speaking of food at home, I mean your covers must look amazing. Are they just a microcosm of what’s going on here? That’s pretty much the selection of what’s here and then what’s just about to be here for you. We, we, well yeah. And your kids like lunchboxes must be unbelievable to have our two year old, literally like my wife will be like pick them up from school and driving, driving up the street. It’s like money cured cheese comes in and just like sits down at a table and is like a quarter pound of Cheddar. It’s amazing. Exactly.

That’s perfect. So, so in that transition, um, you know, we talked about kind of why the store, but why boulder was, were you already kind of home based here? Were you looking for places? I know you say cycling is huge here, so I don’t know if cycling kind of had cycling and brought me here when I was a kid. Yeah. Um, but we looked elsewhere. We kind of developed this model while we were still in Europe, the idea of it and business plan and went where, where’s this fit in America. Um, and tried to pull ourselves out of, like automatically coming back to boulder, which is where my wife was born, lived all over, but it was back here. I’d moved to Colorado when I was 16 to live at the Olympic training center down in the springs when I was 18, turned pro, came up to boulder and kind of always had a house here since I’m even living in Europe.

Was back and forth a couple of years that I wasn’t here, rented our house, but we had a home here and friends were here and it was kind of a logical. Um, and it was fun to go, you know, is it, is it borders at Santa Barbara as it bend? Is it, is it Santa Cruz? Like we’re all of these little places that kind of older size and demographics we thought this might fit and then in the end go, no, let’s just boulder folders, folders, home and, and it’s awesome there. Yeah. Yeah. And how has it, um, you know, this community, one of the interesting things and one of the things that this podcast is even really about is, you know, what is really behind the magic of not just bolted, like what’s going on in the front range has just blown up, you know, it’s so supportive.

It seems like, you know, what’s your experience been like? Just fits the business side. Starting wild to watch, you know, I’ve been here for 20 years now and I moved from, uh, moved from West Virginia, completely different world, amazing mountain biking, kayaking, outdoor recreation. Like crazy to the point where you’re like, it still undiscovered. You go back there and it’s, it’s epic and there’s no one there. Where here we have, you know, half the trails of my neighborhood park did when I was a kid, you know, but like 700 times the users, but it’s a place that attracts people that, that I think are similarly like minded and want to want to play. I want to get outside one, uh, one of value lifestyle as a part of life. Um, work hard but, but enjoy life. Um, but it’s been wild to watch the transformation of, of, you know, California especially sort of drifting this direction, but people from all over that have come from successful backgrounds and go, I want, I want to live there.

This place is cool. Um, and are excited about all the things that brought people here 40, 50 years ago. Um, it’s, it’s an amazingly supportive community. That’d be a small business then people will really, if you’re doing a good job, people want to champion that and then support it. I’m going to go out of their way to do so. Which is so meaningful for all of us that are, that are trying to make this happen. But people also excited. I’m excited to have, you know, something like this. We timed, luckily timed well I think 10 years earlier we would have been out of business in a year or five years earlier. We might have struggled for a couple and then been done and we uh, we got lucky to start at right around the time where I think they were just a lot of people here that, that had been living in San Francisco and New York and bigger cities and going whereas the small place, um, that you have in big cities. Um, but we didn’t have here yet.

Yeah. You know, I am one of those people. I mean, I, you know, I’ve lived in New York and out on the west coast as well. And, and yeah, there’s like that. I think it’s Marie’s like a cheese store in New York. Yeah, I mean there’s a line down the street to shop at this like cheesemonger. Right. Completely. It’s amazing. And so that’s the kind of environment that, you know, in a, in a lot of other places maybe you didn’t have that kind of support. Like people are literally waiting in line to get this one item on their grocery list and so

no, and we are, you know, coming here on the holidays and we get a little bit of energy, like, wow, imagine what it’d be like to be in a big city. Right. It’s already too much. We like, or like every day you come to the counter, let’s taste some stuff. We’ll hang out for a little while. We’re, we’re lucky here in that way.

Right. Yeah. That’s like the perfect balance. Yeah. And that’s what was I going to get at, you know, one of the things that, you know, part of that supportive environment is it’s allowed you to grow a bit. Like you did open a place in Denver, I believe. Right.

You know, we keep talking about Denver. We have, we opened it, we opened a second one here in boulder. Um, it was kind of our experiments, seeing what, like, what that might change. We did it for two years. We actually just closed it and it was a really good business lesson. It was a great lesson in how important location is. Um, I think everybody says that, I think we’d known that, um, and we tried, but it was a really fun exercise in scaling, but small scaling and then going, you know what, this isn’t right. We have all of these other things that are working, you know, what we’ve ended up doing is our, our catering operation has grown like crazy and that’s become a huge focus. Our gifting business, something that’s just organic now is something where, you know, I think by the end of this holiday season we’re going to be looking at warehouse space, which is shipping, shipping goodies of goody boxes of food all over the country to places that don’t have a cured.

Um, it was really fun. And we create these boxes and we send them, you know, often there are people that have visited the shop or lived here in boulder that aren’t here anymore. Um, and we can send a little slice of what we do here everywhere. Right. Um, and it’s been the realization with, with additional location was that’s not the wisest move, let’s focus on these things because. Because they’re working. Gotcha. Yeah. Which has been been cool. Denver’s pulled though. Denver is huge. I mean for people that aren’t in Boulder or Denver listening, boulder small, we’re 120,000 people at Denver is a couple million and just booming. Right. Um, and you walked down there every time we go to the city, this is just this, this energy. We, you’re like, oh, well you kind of want a piece of this. Sure. But uh, but boulder you said balance earlier, boulder has an amazing balance.

Um, and for us as a family business, um, you know, my wife and I still, we’re, we’re here more than we’re not, you know, it’s how do we, how do we strike a balance for a business that works, that can support us and our kids, um, but still be happy. Right. That’s cool. And I was curious, speaking of curating boxes and curating goods around here, like is it all or significantly domestic? The question then like, even within that slice, like how much is coming from like local Colorado guys, if you had to put a percentage on it, you know, if you, the wine shop since we’re sitting here right now, sorry to hear, not that much as Colorado. Um, almost all of our beers, almost all of our spirits are Colorado. Okay. We’d be idiots not to. I mean this is one of the hotbeds for both of those industries in America and it’s just, it’s just fun.

Um, champion, the guys that are here, we have a couple of Colorado wines, but we want to, we want to share the best stuff. Um, and while I think it’s fun to support local, local has to earn it on the merit of the product, not just by being within a radius of the shop. Um, and we, uh, we do the same thing upfront. I mean, our wines come from all over the world, but there’s, there’s a lot of biodynamic, a lot of natural, a lot of small producers, wherever they’re from, um, upfront, a lot more as Colorado. Um, the gluten free crackers that we champion new beat, she’s based here in boulder and I will handstand say they’re the best gluten free crackers in the world. And the fact that, you know, Trish, who bakes them, drops them off herself every week, is that much cooler.

Um, you know, every product from Colorado upfront earns a spot on the shelf because it’s a great product. Um, and it’s just awesome when it’s close to home. Um, and we’re lucky that because of sort of the hotbed that’s, that we’re a part of here, a lot of that stuff is here, you know, obviously all of our produce is here, a handful of cheeses, handful of Charcuterie, a lot of the crackers, the preserves, all of our honeys, chocolate, a lot of, a lot of those goodies are, are people that are, you know, just down the road. Yeah. And what are you making in house? We do, um, a lot of our, a lot of our business now is prepared foods. We do a huge sandwich business, um, a lot of those ingredients. That’s fun. I mean, we ran the numbers the other day. I think I’ve eaten 2,600 of them the six days a week, seven years plus or minus maybe a $1,500.

That’s about that. When my wife jokes, she’s like, you’re not at the shop today, why are you going to get a sandwich? I’m like, well, it’s there and they’re good. Sure. Um, why should a be different? But yeah, I mean it’s, it’s just fun. But a lot of the ingredients that go on those, a lot of our, in all of our salads, all of our dips and spreads and things in the cold case jams preserves. Parte is, um, a lot of that product comes out of the kitchen in the back that also does all of our, all of our catering operation. But it’s fun. We’re working on more and more stuff in there. Um, because it’s, it’s cool to be able to smack our, Our name on that as well as, you know, having products made by friends right in the, in speaking to the, you know, there’s a nice combination of those including like the sandwiches again, there, they, they’re awesome.

And in part of one of the ways that you get to enjoy some of those things are the picnic baskets that you guys do. And the big new vaccines are fun. Those, when we opened, we were like, like, we’re going to be a picnic shop. Um, and the first year we sold like two picnics. Damn, that was such a good idea. Let’s keep plugging in. The next year we sold like 20 and we’re like, well that’s still not work. In the next year it was like 100 and now I feel like every day a couple go out the door and she’s just so fun because it’s, we’re in Colorado. Yeah. This is 300 days a year where you should go sit and eat some, eat somewhere outside. Help helping people do it in one of the reasons. I mean, one of the whole reasons I even do this podcast is just to pick people’s brains and get local knowledge and share it, even if it’s just for myself.

Um, you know, if you were going to come into town, grab a picnic and go somewhere, like if, you know, when you have a day off, like what’s one of your favorite spots, like what’s one of the things that just kind of works for you and the family. And you know, like two years ago we had literally been assets enough. We made a map, my, like my wife illustrated, she’s like, here are like seven favorite picnic spots. Um, because a lot of people come to down and do just that, right? Um, and there are two places that I think are just quintessential boulder. One is Chautauqua. Um, it’s a turn of the century know early project where they created a cultural hub up on this hill above boulder. I’m sure you’ve been there. There’s hiking that’s endless. It’s red at the foot of the flat irons, you know, there, there are more pictures tag at Chautauqua from bolder than like anywhere on the interweb.

But it’s beautiful. You get up there and it’s this huge lawn and you look down on town and, and they’ll probably be 50 other people picnicking. Um, but you still have your own little slice and it’s amazing. And then the other thing we love doing is, is heading up into the mountains just a little bit. Um, and there are a number of different spots, but, but Mt. Sanitas is I think one of boulder’s like, no, it’s our benchmark hike. It’s we live right at the bottom of it. It’s an hour run from our house to it, probably five days a week. I’m at about halfway up there. The called the hobbit chairs. Um, you sneak off the side of the trail and there’s this little plateau. Um, and some people have built these stone chairs and you can sneak up there even with our kids. That’s a little bit of a hike, but, but they can do, it’s 20, 25 minutes from the house at their speed and you looked out on town and, and you’re, you’re up in the mountains right now.

That’s just perfect. Yeah. And just for reference, that speed is, is two and four year olds feed, right. So that’s. So that’s totally adult leak up there at any level. Exactly. And that’s um, you know, sometimes the things that work better, there’s the ones that are in your backyard completely because, you know, you’ve got an hour to do the whole lunch, not an hour to drive somewhere go, you know, whatever. And so, uh, so that’s really appreciated. And then you as a cyclist, what’s your, you know, if you’re, you know, it doesn’t even have to be cured related obviously, like if you’re going to do a day, you had some people coming into town and they were like, all right, let’s do a ride and then come into town and get some food. Like what’s a good routine that works for you on that one? You know, I love, I love our ability to access the high mountains from right here in town.

And if you’re a pretty fit cyclist, I think there are few better rides here than riding just north of town. You go up lefthand canyon, takes you up to a little town called ward great cookies at the word general store, and then you can continue up words that like 10,000 feet, you can keep going to brainerd lake, which is about 11 and a half. Uh, yeah, I think 11 slash 11 eight. Um, this gorgeous lake. If there are people that don’t want to ride, they can bring the picnics up. You can meet there, do that action. It’s an x. They can go for a hike. I mean it’s just, it’s stunning. You’re right. You look up at the continental divide, um, and then it’s all downhill back to town and it’s epic and they actually did some nice road improvements. You there? God, it’s amazing. New Climbing Lane, like.

Exactly. That’s going to make that ride like a little bit better. You’re beating the cars at the time because they’re like, they’re waiting to get in the gate and on a bike you just cruise right by. Yeah, exactly. I mean, yeah. So that’s amazing. Those are great suggestions. And you know, sometimes you should talk was one of those things, you know, when you drive by there, no matter how many times you do it, you’re just like, man, this is, I could just lay in the grass here and it’s like the Maroon bells up in Aspen and you’re like, how many times have been buying, how many times I’ve taken the same picture, but it’s still good. Exactly. And if you have a picnic basket, all the more, you know, you’re even more set. Um, yeah. Well, you know, I really appreciate you taking the time.

There’s just one last question I’d like to ask my guests in. Um, and I think since you’re so connected with a local Colorado businesses that, you know, you could probably send me a spreadsheet, but, um, who would you like to hear, um, you know, on this podcast if you could, you know, whose story do you think, uh, you know, people that are listening to this type of thing would really enjoy hearing. You know, there are a couple of people I think would be really countless people. It’d be fun, but there are two that are, that are both within a block of us here are cured. They both have small businesses that are booming. Um, one, uh, his name is bobby stuckey. He owns a restaurant called Frasca. It’s right across the street. It’s one of America’s best restaurants right now. Um, and bobby champions champions balance in a pretty amazing way of being a seriously lead athlete.

Couple of marathons a year while running, I think five businesses including Frasca, um, and just a level of hospitality that you just don’t experience. Um, he’s amazing. Super Charismatic and just that damn good guy. Um, and then the other, just down the street, the other direction. I’m an artist, a todd reed. He’s a jeweler. He was a climber a long time ago. Started playing with metal and now make some of the most amazing. I’m very like raw creative sculptural jewelry. He did our wedding bands for us a long time ago. Oh No. I’ve been to, to know him for a long time and have had some pieces of his that the coral gets to wear more than, more than I do. But, uh, but his stuff is just, it’s so unique. Raw, raw diamonds, rough goal, really pretty. Um, and also just a fascinating guy. He tells, tells a good story.

Oh Man, I would. Those are excellent suggestions. I mean, I’ve definitely, you know, I’ve had some good luck connecting with kind of the gear crowd and have really wanted to get in more with like you the food and drink crowd because it’s such a booming part of all of what’s going on here. And like you said, I mean the, the beer side of things, some of that is, uh, you know, it’s what’s going on in Colorado is, is the best of what’s going on really in that whole kind of market. And so it’s, thanks for the suggestions. I definitely will reach out. Um, and I don’t know if there’s anything else you wanted to mention about what’s going on here, but again, I really appreciate you taking the time. Um, you know, this truly is one of my favorite places in town to, to hang out in, in a, you know, it’s really great to meet you. Well thank you. No, thanks for having me on and you know, for people that aren’t in boulder and can’t just come by and say, hey, check out our website. It shares a bit about our story, what we get to do, um, you can find those, those boxes, send them to yourself or somebody else and we love, we just love sharing good stuff, however, however we can. Yeah. Excellent. Alright, I think we should go eat some cheese. Let’s do it for breakfast one. Exactly. Thank you man.

Okay. Well, I hope you enjoyed that conversation with will from cured. I certainly enjoyed meeting him and it’s just fun to hear these stories behind places that I personally frequent so often. And hopefully if you make your way up to boulder, you’ll uh, check it out. It’s definitely worthwhile. If you’re enjoying this podcast, please take the time to subscribe. You can do that either via our mailing subscription, our email subscription, or on itunes, stitcher, or however you enjoy listening to podcasts. Thanks for listening and we’ll see you soon.

 

#011 Piante Pizzeria – Elevating Vegan Comfort Food in Breckenridge

Piante Pizzeria BreckenridgeJason Goldstein of Piante Pizzeria on Colorado.FM – The Colorado Podcast

 

Piante Pizzeria Breckenridge LogoThis episode is another on my tour de Colorado, but not on a bike.  I’m just not that hardcore.

Here in Breckenridge, I had a chance to catch up with an old friend Jason Goldstein, who recently moved to Breck.  He may be following me, I don’t know.

Jason is the chef and owner, diabolical mind behind Piante Pizzeria, a vegan pizzeria that’s dishing out traditional Neapolitan pizza, except with cashew based cheese and some really creative and delicious vegan toppings.

If you’re rolling your eyes right now about pizza without cheese, I’m telling you you’re going to miss out.  Check out their yelp reviews.

Of course, the journey is just as important as the destination. So we get into Jason’s really interesting journey from his previous career to going to culinary school and how his family deciding on relocating to Breckenridge – which includes a motorhome and visiting over 40 states.

Online, you can find Piante Pizzeria at piantepizzaria.com and on instagram @piantepizzaria.

And, of course, we’ll be sure to put any relevant links to find references we talk about in the show notes.

I hope you enjoy this conversation with Jason Goldstein of Piante Pizzeria.

 


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Show Notes

[02:35] The long journey to Breckenridge

[08:35] Why pizza?

[11:45] It’s all about the cheese! Creating a traditional (vegan) Neapolitan pizza.

[15:00] Building a little family with a different approach to resort town employees

[17:15] Splurging on ingredients

[19:00] Response from the vegan community

[23:00] The unexpected connections of opening a vegan pizzeria

 


Relevant Links

Piante Pizzeria

Piante Pizzeria on Yelp

Miyoko’s Kitchen – Vegan Cheese

 


Related Episodes:

Breckcreate

Breckenridge podcast episodes

Food & Drink podcast episodes

 


Transcript

 

 

Jason thanks for having me. Thanks for being on the show. Really appreciate it. You know we had spoken a little bit about this before but you were on the east coast of New York finishing culinary school. You had your little family growing family going and you were kind of thinking about what was next. I don’t know if you were specifically think in a pizza place in Breckenridge in particular but why don’t you bring us into how you ended up in Colorado.

So once I left my prior life and career in the hardwood lumber industry and my wife who’s like a traveling yoga teacher realized that we didn’t need to live in New York anymore. We asked ourselves where in the world or more specifically the United States because we’re not ready to leave the United States yet could we. And do we want to live.

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It’s a pretty daunting question. There’s 49 other states besides New York to live in. You know and we want to get out of the northeast so we bought a motor home and said let’s go and find out where we want to live. So we hit 42 states in 14 months with our family. Nice. Yeah. With your two kids and a dog loaded up the 42 of them and my wife who is leans more towards the beach culture and surfing and stuff like that.

I was like there’s no chance she’s going to want to move to Colorado. So. So we started our search in actually the northeast like New Hampshire and stuff like that and maybe buy a farm with the barn and you know raise some animals and just kind of live our life like this once you leave New York. You realize that most of the other states in the country not all but most are less expensive considerably than New York.

So your financial help offers a lot more options to leave New York. So that was one of the reasons why we did leave. Right. And you know the weather up there in New Hampshire in Maine was just too rough for us to even consider moving forward of that project. Sure. So then we cruised down you know the eastern seaboard down to Florida in some really cool places some good surf town is down there.

But you know my wife you know she wasn’t feeling it you know to move there. Like you know beautiful state. Lots of cool stuff but not there so then from Florida we hung a left and you know we weren’t trying to skip these other states there’s a lot of good things but you know it just seemed like a place that we could relocated we didn’t know anybody in these other states didn’t and they seem to not be as open minded as like Colorado or some you know these western states you know move into like Mississippi I don’t know anybody in Mississippi right.

How am I going. Like I don’t even know where to begin. If I was going to move down there. So you know so. So we got to Florida. We hung a left you know and went down the street across the southern border of Georgia Alabama Texas and we knew no offense to any of those places we knew those weren’t any states that we wanted to look into.

So you get to California and yet we love California and stuff but there’s some issues that don’t jive with our belief systems.

So we skip California and then you got Washington and Oregon which are absolutely beautiful States great and but everybody told us you know you’re not going to see the sun for eight months. It’s hard. It’s hard. So we’re like not going to do that one right away. We knew about Colorado all along. It wasn’t like it was like a surprise like we were saving that for more of the end of the trip to Lake you know. Right.

So let’s not just go straight there. Exactly. Exactly. In the country Let’s adventure Let’s see what else is out there. To people. And there’s a lot of other really cool places that we like. Madison Wisconsin is a really cool little town. You know they’re growing. They’re growing their produce like in the middle of the highway is like in the medians it’s like really like vultures thinking culture over there and you know when we left the earth got to Cleveland Ohio we could live here like you know.

But you know certainly it just wasn’t. It was still more of like the same type of light lifestyle. You know we really wanted to change our lifestyle. So in places like Montana and Idaho and you know I grew up in New Jersey, seventeen hundred people per square mile.

And then you get to a place like Montana where there’s seven and it was pretty nice. You feel it.

Yeah. You really feel you spread your wings a little bit. But still like so isolated you know for like you know our star type of lifestyle. So you know we came down to Colorado and you know we thought maybe Boulder you know a lots of friends of relocated to Boulder. Good friends. And it just was still like two hours from the mountains. It was a big deal for us and it was just a very busy fast paced little city you know.

So just we wanted to be more in the woods so Breckenridge really was the sweet spot. You know 90 minutes or 90 minutes to two hours to the international airport 90 minutes to downtown Denver and you know world class alpine skiing and all kinds of other things so. Sure. What I didn’t like as far as the business goes a million and a half people come through this town every year so I figured out a good shot you know compared to other ski towns for sure.

Absolutely. I mean that’s that’s part of the special thing that’s going on in this town in particular and it’s a handful of towns in Colorado have kind of achieved this real solid almost four year four season economy right. They’ve diversified and they have great people in town making sure that these million and a half tourists are coming in almost steadily. I mean obviously the ski season still dominates but but summer is just as big. It seems like. Yeah exactly.

You know the biking and the hiking and all the events I mean just before you know I talked to you as I was speaking with the people over the break create and you know all of the things that they’re doing as part of their charter with the city to keep the calendar full. And you look at the calendar for Breckenridge or something like every day.

It’s crazy. I can’t I never I never even anticipate any of this moving here. You know right.

You don’t know when you come here to just to travel just to go skiing for a week. You’re just that’s all you do. You show up at the mountain. You go to the mountain. Exactly. And so yes it’s totally different when you get to move into a place as a local like that and just start making friends and really and then opening a business.

You know how did that all pan out. Like you when you moved here I’m sure you had some you know you’d been developing some thoughts when you’re sitting in the driver’s seat of a motor home for 14 months. You had a lot of time to think I’m sure.

But you know in this time you know you had your wife who had been diving deep into the lifestyle and you had you know kind of already been there for a long time but just really letting your culinary education kind of percolate around you know how you wanted to make it fit your life. And you know your views on you know what healthy eating and healthy living is all about. And so there was the opportunity to allow you to kind of open Piante Pizzeria up and right here in Breckenridge.

Well we didn’t initially think that we wanted to open up a pizza place because you know I’m a pizza lover connoisseur coming from New York and actually turning vegetarian allowed me to eat pizza. You know being vegan there’s no pizza but vegetarian you can eat pizza and like you know running around with a young family and I’m doing work and doing stuff like pizza was always the constant comfort food.

I could go into a pizzeria by myself get a couple of slices sit down and not feel weird like most other restaurants it’s like you don’t usually go into them and sit by yourself because like when you sit in a restaurant by yourself I mean it’s all cool and all but it’s also a little you know it could be a little weird.

You know I don’t know but I’m fine with it now. But you know so it was just really great food for me and it kept me from going vegan for a year and a half. Literally that was the only thing that I would eat that was not vegan for radio. And we were vegan or house and stuff like that. So I thought I was with come out here and open up like a little coffee shop the bakery because I figured I could sell sugar anybody.

Like people don’t care if they see a cupcake they don’t care if it’s vegan or not. You know when they when they’re eating pizza everybody has an opinion about pizza. Sure. You know it’s one of those foods that has a history. It’s a communal food.

And I was just like man thank God this Japanese vegan woman named Miyoko out of California really perfected the art of making cheese out of nuts. OK. And she made this vegan cheese. It’s just so it coincided with when the vegan pizzeria was like coming into form. And when I discovered the shoes I was like wow I can make like real Neapolitan pizza with this cashew based cheese and people don’t even know the difference. Right

. And that really is. It really was the hang up and that’s something like you said is really recent. I mean even if you are not vegan or not even a vegetarian but you were just open to go into the restaurant sometimes and trying this food. The cheese would be a hangout like if you’ve got a veggie burger with the cheese on it. You’re like oh. So. So that’s a recent thing actually that allowed you to do this.

Yes. It’s very recent and it’s one of those things that it’s really exciting to be in on the ground floor like with these other companies and the fact that it’s blowing people’s minds when they come into the restaurant that they can’t believe it’s of being type of situation because we we really follow the laws of Italian Neapolitan to laws of making pizza. Crust and our sauce all that type is like really traditional Italian Neapolitan style pizza. Right. And then the only the only variation this cashew based she’s right you know and that’s interesting like you mentioned that it’s it’s not really just you you’re know being on.

At the beginning of a trend including like your suppliers and your vendors and things like that you’re kind of all on a journey together. Yeah totally. So that’s really that’s amazing. So you found a place in Breck that had the wood fired.

Well that’s the other story here. Move to Breckenridge and we moved in August and it’s probably like now late late September we’re just starting to settle into our house and stuff and I was just like man like now what.

You know I mean I do want to you know get on the mountain and go snowboarding every day. But this is October and you know I’m 40 43 year old guy. What am I going to do with it like that. I’m not here to snowboard. You know to do something you know. So I went on my phone. I was like restaurants for sale in Breckenridge. And I didn’t have a huge budget on financing myself so this little pizza place was for sale.

And I went and checked it out and I was like I could afford this and it was more like we didn’t have a business plan we didn’t like you know it was just my wife and I we really didn’t know many people up here or the culture or anything and we went over there and really let’s just see if we could do it right.

That was all as I can we do it. Will people respond to this if we could do it here in a place where there’s not a vegan restaurant for 50 miles and then I feel like we could really do it in a lot of other places too. So it was more like you know just to see you. We’ve never done this before. Sure. So can we do it in like you know it wasn’t a huge risk if it failed.

You know it wasn’t going to like bury or family or anything like this. It’s been quite a learning experience from just like all the stuff still regrettably in the restaurant to getting your license to getting logo’s to getting banking accounts. I mean it was an arduous process you know. So anybody that wants started a new business just be ready that there’s a lot of unexpected things that are going to come your way like insurance and taxes and stuff like that like always be prepared for those type of things you know and those are the things that get people right.

Like I have this idea. Having the idea is one thing like kind of executing on the idea and especially a lot of times when you’re dealing with the kind of creative type types of people that’s those are the things that are really hard for them and that are the stumbling blocks. That’s the reality of owning a business right there in your city taxes on time and all that kind of good stuff.

Well I tell people all the time that like you know if I if I just had to rely on the culinary school part of my education in life then the place I would have been closed in a month.

Right.

 


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You know it was a twenty seven years of business in New York in doing that. That’s that’s what kept me going. Right. You know. Yeah. The culinary school was great but you know I mean that gets you the good recipes and understanding how to run a kitchen. Right. But that’s that’s one part of it. Sure. You know well and getting people is the other huge part. Oh yeah. And that’s terribly warn me about up to.

And not warm like warmed in the sense of what you’re dealing with just of a population that they’re coming into seasonal work and things like that. And so they just having that the time I think there’s a culture in the restaurant industry and in the in the world especially when it comes to tourist towns that you’re going to get late. You know not great workers and people that are like focused on other things and you know they’re just doing it to like pay their rent and get their lift pass.

And I haven’t had that experience really. I mean the workers that we have are they seem to be very enthusiastic about working in the restaurant and I feel like we’re we’re building like a little family over there. Tell you the truth with these people and I really want to put a lot of effort into this interview and into the world is that lake. But we put our time and effort into our staff and not worry about you know quarterly profits and stuff because at the end of the day the staff will get you there.

It may not happen in two months. I’m in this for 20 years and I don’t know if like I don’t care what happens you know at the end of this quarter. Right. You know I’m worried about is going to happen 10 years from now. Sure. And the better I could train my employees and the more loyal I am to them and they are to me the faster they will get the better they will be with my customers. And overall everybody wins right. You know I’m not too late to be your bottom line profits at the end of the month you know.

Sure. And you know there’s a lot of you have a chance to go and visit your business over the course of kind of this whole weekend that I’ve been staying here you know hanging out in the back of the kitchen you are really seeing that just the people there do seem to have attracted an amazing crew and you’ve kind of mentioned that the words kind of get now that it’s a nice place to work.

You know it’s a good atmosphere. And that’s absolutely rubs off when you walk in that place you feel it and then you know the other thing you mentioned is you know it’s not totally focused on the bottom line. A lot of that also spills over like into your ingredients and we spoke a lot about a lot about that. You know the tomatoes are something like the cost between the cheapest ones and the best organic ingredients usually isn’t really all that great.

Now it may become a when you add it all up with all of the different ingredients it is an investment in those things but that that’s just important to you it’s not you know you’re not getting the cheapest ingredients you’re probably getting the most expensive ones.

But it totally shines in the quality of the product at the end and that’s something that comes back to you know your kind of culinary education and things like that to restaurants. You had a chance to get involved with is just like I’m not a great chef. You know you don’t have to be a great chef if you have the best ingredients you’re your products. Probably going to be pretty awesome.

That’s usually what they say right. You know and like I see a lot of restaurants out there they spend a lot of money on advertising and you know commercials and all kinds of things that discounting their food and happy hour specials. This is like the restaurant world this is like the business of running a restaurant. And like we’re not doing any of that stuff we’re actually trying to change that model. It’s like not to pay my employees are going to pay for my ingredients.

You’re not going to see my advertisement on the front page of the newspaper because I’d rather put my money into my ingredients to my employees than into advertising and discounting the artists. It just makes more sense to me. I mean they might be 99 percent of restauranteurs out there telling me that I’m out of my mind and that’s how you do it but that’s what I’m trying to do and it seems to be working so far so right. You know and the response has been great. It’s just been really good so far knock on wood.

Yeah. I mean it seems like not only is your staff becoming a kind of a little bit of a family over there but you’re developing kind of the regulars and the reputation and by you know you haven’t even hit your first comment this season yet. So those are really you know that that’s going to be really interesting to see how that goes. But you started off by building you know a reputation kind of in Breckenridge and also with all of us front Rangers who come to Breckenridge and it’s really shining through and all here as a community man.

The one interesting thing about vegans now I have to gluten free people to that list because we at Piante Pizzeria do make a you know in-house gluten free crust that people were like you know going crazy over they can’t even almost tell the difference for my regular crust so that’s doing really well but these people will travel for this type of food it’s like you know I tell people story all the time and I’ll get a group of six that came in from somewhere in the Midwest anywhere in the world and they all know about our restaurant they just stumbled in and they’re like oh you guys have like real cheese and I say that with quotes because the cheeses you know that’s another story about it or pepperoni.

You know we’re going to we’re all looking for you know what I find you know as Peter you know regular standard pizza place across the street once and I’m over there and the next group comes in of four and they came from Fort Collins which is like two and a half hours away and they came just to come.

They love Breckenridge but they’re coming to try our vegan pizza and they tell us and we have so much positive feedback from people. I think that also helps with my staff because they hear it like because I’m not there all the time. You know they’re the ones that want to go and talk to the chef talk to the owner or to tell people like how great when you’re serving people food that they never had in their 40 50 60 years old and this is the first time they ever had this in their life. That’s pretty it’s a pretty rewarding experience for whoever is involved with that process you know. Right

Yes. Because like you said it’s a whole experience from the minute they walk in the door. It like with the music you’ve chosen for it and I mean people come in and cry.

I mean I’ve had people literally like I haven’t had pizza in nine years.

Right and they’re crying because they can’t believe what they’ve had. They can have this experience again in their life you know. Right

Because they made this lifestyle decision and it involved cutting out certain things that they love that they love. Yeah sure. That’s amazing man.

Well it’s just seems like you’ve really touched on something and obviously you know trends in food are just changing and you know people even like me so I’m not a vegan. But I was just thinking to myself when I was making myself a cup of tea in your kitchen this morning that you know our pantries first of all I had to dig.

You know when you are at somebody else’s house I had to do all your covers so sorry about that. But you know your pantry doesn’t really look that much different than now. You know there’s a lot of the same stuff going on. And then I you know I might put it like some chicken on my salad or something like that. And then and then at the pizza place like same thing like pizza and a salad is probably one of my favorite meals.

Man. So of course you like I mean we’ve talked about the pizza we haven’t talked about the other stuff that’s on your menu but your salads are just they’re amazing. And then you know you have the pizza experience and you know I don’t need if the food is good and the crust is good and you know you’re getting these crazy toppings on there and it’s just clicking.

All of the kind of mental boxes of what you expect when you sit down for that meal than that then you’re satisfied when you came out you don’t really worried about. Well was that dairy. Right. It’s like you’re your mouth’s happy your brain’s synapses are happy. lay down your belly fat in your belly.

And then and then you walk out and you don’t feel like all heavy which is you know pretty like amazing to have that experience after a pizza dinner.

And I’ve got to say to like I want to add like I had a vision in my head of like my customer base when I open up I’m like that’s probably going to be you know millennials and more females than males just from my biased about you know veganism. Like from my chefs school class was two guys and 10 girls so like just going by those numbers I’m like figure in that it’s going to be more heavy on the female side.

But when I see guys that come in that look like bikers from Texas and I’m standing there and I’m like oh my god this guy is going to like have a fit when he finds out what I’m trying to sell him over here. And the next thing I know he’s hugging me because he’s been vegan for a year and a half and lost 30 pounds because his doctor told him to get off the animal proteins and he’s like so happy and hunted our restaurant down.

I’m like wow man I can’t believe like you know 75 year old people from Oklahoma come into my restaurant you know and you know you know sorry about my bias you know but like I’m like wow you are a vegan right. Yeah. Proud of it. And I’m like man I never would have expected you know.

Well that’s what happens when you take a chance right. And you know I mean you travel the country you say you had a chance to see people from all these different places and kind of experienced all that our country has to offer. And now they’re kind of you know you settled where fits your lifestyle but those people you know we’re we’re a country of road trippers man we love it.

But he knows that. And you know whether it’s in your wagon or on your motorcycle or in your RV man we’re on the road you know.

So even bicycles more on bicycles there. And because you rode your bike from where. It’s unbelievable.

So you know when you open the doors to a foodie experience like you get to have that special kind of interaction.

Oh that’s the other thing too is that like from traveling the country we realize that you know we could drive from Maine to Florida of Florida to the southern tip of California and from California up into the southern tip of Washington and find like vegging plant based food. Like pretty much without too much of an issue. But if I want to drive from the East Coast to Colorado and drive through the heartland good luck right.

You know and that’s one of the reasons why we wanted to bring it here to Colorado because even Denver being a major metropolitan city I think only has one or two like plant based restaurants where it’s like there’s more plant based restaurants in Omaha than there are in Denver. And for me I like to be in Colorado with such a healthy focused athletic focus. I mean some accounting here I think is rated as one of the wealthiest counties in the country. And I it’s like how do you guys not have a good vegan restaurant or more healthy options out there.

You know I mean I’m sure I can find a great burger in about 25 different restaurants over here but we’re really the only ones that are purely drive purely for this type of food right now appear so. Right.

And you’ve hit it with like again like with an accessible kind of comfort as opposed to like you know some fancier plates or other stuff like that. It really breaks down a barrier.

Yeah well that’s the other thing that like you know just the plant based food. You know moving forward now in this country is just been exploding so the options now. I mean even in the last year I just found out that there’s like vegan cool whip too. I mean you know it’s like it’s not even hard anymore. Like where like in the past it was like you know people came into a vegan vegetarian restaurant and they were just expecting bland food that you know not really a lot of personality and you know I mean that’s what it was.

It was part of because the ingredients just weren’t there and they thought the recipes and you know what people are doing now like with cauliflower like you know I mean it’s just you know I don’t feel like I missed really anything nowadays being vegan right now where you know maybe five years ago it was much more challenging where you know you have these ingredients like tofu and temping or like I don’t even know what do I do with this.

You know but you know it’s evolving and it seems like it’s really moved because it’s good for us it’s good for the planet and it’s good for the animals. You know right. Mean

that’s you know those are all messages that resonate especially in our environment. Like you said we’re in an active healthy place. So. Well you know it’s man. Thanks for taking the time to sit down. I really wish you all the best with your new place. It seems like it’s headed in the right direction. But man the ski season is going to be it’s going to be wild is when night the crowds really start showing up around here because you’ve had a chance just to kind of you know figure figure things out.

Hopefully we’ll see what happens. Right. It’s only nine nine tables right now so that they are to make some more carve out some more space for and make a reservation. Hey good luck to you with the podcast man that’s really awesome that you’re doing this. I know the stories are fun and you know it’s really fun to connect with people so I think Colorado is a great it’s a really great you have a lot of great stories here. Man there’s a lot of interesting stuff going on in this state for sure. That’s what I’m finding is that it’s limitless.

Awesome. Well thanks again. Best of luck and we’ll have you again soon man. Good. Great. Come on a pizza bye.

Everyone here thanks for listening and I hope you enjoyed this conversation with Jason. As always you can find any links to related content in the show notes to this podcast episode. If you enjoyed this episode please subscribe to this podcast on Colorado Podcast on Apple Podcasts and leave review if you have a few moments. It really helps out if you prefer to get our advice via email or use a podcast service. Other than Apple podcasts such as stitchery Android you can learn more at Colorado.FM/subscribe.

Thanks again. Hope you enjoyed this episode and we will talk to you soon.

 

 


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#001 Jessica Beacom of Real Food Dietitians

Jessica Beacom (@therealfoodrds) is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in Boulder, CO and half of the duo behind The Real Food Dietitians.

Jessica has been practicing nutrition for more than 14 years helping folks find freedom from diets and calorie counting to find true health and wellness through a real food diet.

Through their website (therealfoodrds.com) Jessica and her partner Stacie have created an amazing resource for recipes and menu planning guides that will suit any busy lifestyle.

My favorite quote from the conversation:

That floppy head of broccoli you’re wasting could have been a new pair of skis.

If you are like me and feel constantly under the gun to create good, healthy meals that the family will enjoy, but want some new ideas, this episode is absolutely for you!

 


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Selected Links from the Episode

The Weston A. Price Foundation

It Starts With Food

The Loving Diet

The Alley Loop Race Series – CBNordic.org

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

 

Show Notes

[2:45] Path to Colorado and the Dietitian world

[7:00] The Accidental Mompreneur

[15:00] Whole 30 Diet and Motivation

[18:30] Meal Planning – Secret cooking weapon!

[25:00] Favorite ski spots, activities with the kids, local outdoor activities that win

[31:00] Who would you love to hear on this podcast?  (spoiler alert: It’s Fanny Toorenburg of Hill Road Merino)

 


 

Transcript:

Colorado Podcast Episode with Real Food Dietitians

Doug Stetzer:

Hey, everyone. Doug Stetzer here, and thanks for tuning into this episode of Colorado.FM – The Colorado Podcast. Today, we’re going to be speaking with Jessica Beacom, a registered dietitian and nutritionist based here in Colorado right in Boulder. She is half of the duo behind The Real Food Dietitians, a food and lifestyle website that encourages you to eat clean, live well, and be awesome.

You can find them at therealfoodrds, that’s therealfoodrds.com, and also on Instagram @therealfoodrds. I really encourage you to check into their Instagram. It’s one of my favorite feeds to follow. The recipes and the food is amazing and, as she will get into in the interview, it’s really kept simple, something that’s really accessible, and I think that’s a challenge for most of us out there that are trying to eat well but can’t really be consumed with the cooking.

A little more about Jessica, she’s been practicing nutrition for more than 14 years, helping those she works with find freedom from diets and calorie counting and helping them find true health and wellness through a real food diet. It’s really amazing how she ended up in Colorado … her route took her from Minnesota, to Montana, to Alaska, to Boulder … and how their business has really thrived in this environment. Here she is, my interview with Jessica Beacom of The Real Food Dietitians.

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Jessica, thanks for coming into the studio. How are you today?

Jessica Beacom:

Hey, Doug. I’m good. Thanks for having me.

Doug Stetzer:

Excellent. Today we wanted to talk about The Real Food Dietitians and the people behind it. Real Food Dietitians is … From their website I’m reading, “Dedicated to sharing healthy recipes and nutrition tips that can be easily applied in everyday life.” Tell us a little bit about where you come from, how you ended up in Colorado, and were you always in food? How long have you been doing this food thing? What brought you into the dietitian world?

Jessica Beacom:

Okay. This is a long story. No, I’m kidding. I’m originally from Minnesota. When I graduated from college, or from high school actually, I moved to Montana to be a ski bum. As I was ski bumming, there was a university, and I thought, “Well, you know, maybe I should get a degree,” so I got a degree in nutrition. Then I went to the University of Alaska to do my internship. Then, from there, I got a job in public heath and stayed there for a few years. It was a crazy job. It was like 70 hours a week. Then I moved back to Montana and I worked in a hospital. It sucked my soul from me, and so in 2011, after my second child was born, we moved to Colorado because that’s where my husband’s from. We got here and I was a stay-at-home mom and got really into the whole Weston A. Price movement, cooking everything from scratch, soaking, sprouting, souring, fermenting, everything, just like my whole life was food. Then a huge garden, my own chickens.

Then a couple years into that, I was totally stir-crazy. I needed to go back to being a professional and having a brain again, and so I decided to go back to private practice. I worked in private practice and I specialized in digestive disorders and autoimmune diseases, and it started to suck my soul again because it was so much work and everybody was so sick. Then, everybody would always say, “You should have a website,” like, “Can I get that recipe?” Then it was like, “Oh, yeah. I should have a website where I can put the recipe.”

I met my business partner, Stacie, right about this time at a conference in New York City, one that I almost didn’t go to and she almost didn’t go to, and we just happened to sit next to each other that day. Long story short, we decided to write a book. It was going to be an ebook. It was going to be a small ebook. We’re going to give it to our clients like, “Hey, here’s our recipes you’re always asking for.” The book turned into a 96-page monster, and then two more followed it. Then we finally decided, “Yeah, we should start a business,” and so we started an online meal plan membership where you could go in and every month we would send you a menu, and all of the recipes, and the shopping list. We were pretty sure it was going to be the greatest thing on the planet, and it was total bomb. Our moms signed up and their friends. We ended up, after three months, pulling the plug on it. We refunded everybody their money and were like, “God, we’re so sorry.”

Doug Stetzer:

It’s like, “That was an experiment.”

Jessica Beacom:

Yeah, it was a soul sucker. Yeah, it sucked the life out of us. Then we decided one day … I remember it was October of 2015, we were like, “Hey, let’s just blog.” Neither one of us really knew what went into a blog, and I didn’t really know how to build a website. I had somebody build my private practice website. I flew to Minnesota where Stacie lives, and in three days we built a website and we started this blog. The photos were awful, and we were like, “Yeah, we’re gonna do this.” It was October of 2015. Fast forward 18 months now, and we have this really big blog, and I have learned to build websites and … so yeah, that’s kind of where we are, so how I got here physically and then how I got to the blog.

Doug Stetzer:

Yeah, that’s really interesting. You have this clinical background, and that environment just wasn’t really working for you personally.

Jessica Beacom:

No.

Doug Stetzer:

Although it was working for your clients, because they were like, “Hey, we want more of this. We want more of your good food.”

Jessica Beacom:

Yeah.

Doug Stetzer:

I happen to know for a fact when you’re bringing in your dill pickle carrots from the garden and things like that, that people want them. They’re like, “I want a jar of that. Stop giving me one. I want a whole thing.” I can imagine what your clients were thinking at that time. Then, it’s really serendipitous, I guess, this meeting up with your partner and then going through this really probably common and painful entrepreneurial journey of missteps and just-

Jessica Beacom:

Spending.

Doug Stetzer:                       .

.. craziness, “If you build it, they will come,” nonsense that a lot of us, I think, have been through in the web world. “I’m gonna put up a website,” and that’s it. “Stand back everyone, the money’s about to come rolling in.”

Jessica Beacom:

We were going to kill it. We were going to break PayPal.

Doug Stetzer:

Yeah, exactly. “I hope Chase can handle the money coming in,” right?

Jessica Beacom:

Exactly.

Doug Stetzer:

That’s really interesting. I think one of the things that I was hoping to identify when I start talking to people is some of these common threads that we go through when we decide we want to live somewhere. We want to live in Colorado, and so you come here, and maybe you have a regular job or maybe you’re an entrepreneur. I think there’s such a great amount of entrepreneurial spirit around here, and that’s what’s really interesting. There’s these common threads that people go through regardless of the industry, and it’s just always funny to hear what steps in the journey actually got people here.

Jessica Beacom:

Yeah. I mean, I would say I’m an accidental entrepreneur. I never planned to be an entrepreneur. When I got here and I wanted to go back to work, I applied at a local hospital. They told me I was way too overqualified, which I kind of knew based on what I’d been doing in Montana and Alaska, that I would be overqualified for a very simple clinical position, but I didn’t want the managerial stuff that came with what I had been doing. I finally, after eight months, begged this hospital just to give me a job. They kept saying, “You’re too overqualified. We can get a new grad for like 20K less a year.” That’s the thing with Colorado is everybody wants to live here. They want to be here.

 


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In my field, there’s so many dietitians and there are so few jobs available, so for me, I was an accidental entrepreneur. I was like, “Well, screw that. Now I have to figure out something for myself,” so that’s when I went to private practice, but that wasn’t a good fit, either. For me, I felt like there were so many people who could do the clinical stuff, but there weren’t a lot of people who could do … I guess I felt like my genius was food, and that coming up with stuff that’s easy, that’s super-doable for everybody every day … because that’s what people were asking for, so yeah, I accidentally became an entrepreneur.

Doug Stetzer:

Right. That kind of brings us, I think … It dovetails well into The Real Food Dietitians, your business. It’s the website realfoodrds and your Instagram realfoodrds, @realfoodrds, right?

Jessica Beacom:

Yeah. We’re just @therealfoodrds, R-D-S. Yep.

Doug Stetzer:

Okay. You mentioned that this journey is really only 18 months in the making, and here you have 25,000 followers. I love your Instagram. It’s really amazing. That’s how I, I think, interact with you most as far as professionally. Just following that and seeing your recipes and … Again, getting back to that quote that I read at the beginning, that it can be easy, and a lot of your recipes try to keep the ingredient list kind of down.

Jessica Beacom:

Yeah.

Doug Stetzer:

Tell us, I guess, first what is real food to you, and why we should all be eating a real food diet.

Jessica Beacom:

Real food, okay. To me, real food is food that, ideally, doesn’t come from a package. Being a realist, being a mom, and being, I guess, a mompreneur, I get that sometimes you have to use packages. When my real food journey started, it started because of a major health crisis I was having in 2012 that landed me in the hospital with a scary anaphylactic issue. I came home and I picked up a book called It Starts With Food written by Melissa Hartwig and Dallas Hartwig, and it talked about real food. To them, it was getting rid of grain, and soy, and alcohol, and sugar, and dairy, and just peeling back everything that could possibly be allergenic or you could be sensitive to. That was my first foray into “real food” other than Weston A. Price, which, to them, real food is sprouted greens and whole milk dairy, which we’d been doing, but obviously it wasn’t enough.

When I read It Starts With Food, I did a Whole30 and I improved a little bit, but then I went on to something called The Autoimmune Paleo Protocol. I did that for nine months and improved markedly, and so I stayed on a Paleo diet. I mean, I primarily eat Paleo now, and it’s been almost four years, but in that real food realm. When I say real food, I mean it’s not dyed. It’s not artificially flavored. It’s as minimally processed as possible. It’s wholesome, close to the earth, probably something you’re going to … like your grandma, your great-grandma would recognize. My great-grandma, if she walked into a supermarket, she’d flip out. She wouldn’t recognize half of it.

Doug Stetzer:

Like, “What is all of this?”

Jessica Beacom:

Even my great-great-grandma, like, “What is this shit?” To me, that’s real food. Yeah.

Doug Stetzer:

Okay. I want to get back to it because I definitely identify with this constant tweaking your diet because of certain health issues. My personal thing is not life-threatening. I don’t land up in the hospital, but I have skin issues. When I was in New York City and was out entertaining clients every single night and just had this insane, fast-paced lifestyle, I mean, I wore it on the outside. I have psoriasis, and you can see it. Things start to change. Your family situation changes. You’re slowing down and they’re deciding to live in a place like this instead of a place like New York City. Again, this kind of gets back to the growth in this area, and so I think it’s a common thing that is going on with a lot of people. They’re choosing lifestyles over just a constant work environment or things like that. When I get off having vodka as my primary source of-

Jessica Beacom:

Hydration?

Doug Stetzer:

.. dietary nutrition, then all of a sudden, my skin is great and I look better and feel better. It’s super weird. I don’t know. It may be magic. I’m always constantly do that. Since then, I’ve stripped out a lot of the dairy, and the sugars, and caffeine, and things like that, but because I have this real physical manifestation of when I’m unhealthy. That was just interesting. I haven’t really gone super far down the road, but I do constantly tweak my diet, and I think about what’s going in, because I feel it as soon as I veer too far off the course, which kind of leads me now … I wanted to ask you a little more about this Whole30, because I didn’t really know what it was until you were telling me that you and your husband were doing the Whole30 Diet. I researched it a little bit, but … I’ve kind of integrated elements of that diet into my life, but I’ve never done the full cleanse, the full effect.

Jessica Beacom:

The full Monty?

Doug Stetzer:

Right. Having the beer on Thursday night or Friday night is … that’s a tough one. Tell us a little bit about Whole30 and what that is.

Jessica Beacom:

Okay. The Whole30, it goes back to that book I mentioned, It Starts With Food, written by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig. The Whole30 is a program that they had designed that takes grain, dairy, soy, legumes, sugar, alcohol, and most processed foods out of your diet for 30 days. The idea is that, by taking them out, you’re able to kind of reset. Then when you re-add them back, you do so in a slow re-introductory way so you can see, “Does gluten bother me? Does dairy bother me? Does alcohol bother me? And how do they manifest when I eat them?” The other good thing is that it allows you to look at your food habits or your behaviors around food like are you addicted to sugar, or do you think you need something, or do you eat mindlessly, do you eat for stress reasons? It can be hard. It’s 30 days. You just have to commit to like, “Okay, for the next 30 days … ”

Really, honestly, I think if you have a health condition like you’re saying, and it’s that important to you to feel better, 30 days is really a drop in the bucket. I think about the 12-and-a-half years I was on chronic daily steroids because of my autoimmune disease. That 30 days was nothing to me. Then even to go another 90 days, taking out even more than what the Whole30 takes out, was nothing compared to the previous 12-and-a-half years of hell. It really depends on your motivation. If you’re doing it for weight loss, it’s probably not going to be motivating enough, but if you’re doing it because you just feel like crap, you probably can get through it. I don’t know.

It gets a lot of crap. People are like, “Oh, it’s so strict,” and, “Oh, it takes out this.” Especially in my field being a dietitian, people are like, “You cannot live without grain.” Well, you can. “You cannot live without dairy.” Well, you can. You can actually thrive without these things. People like you and I who have things going on who wear our diet basically on the outside or the way we look … I mean, I walk through public spaces and I can look at people and be like, “Ooh, they really gotta get off the dairy,” or, “Oh, you know, I think gluten’s probably their issue.” Yeah, so for people like you and I, it’s a lot more compelling to take that journey. Then your 30 days is over and you go back to doing whatever you want minus whatever you didn’t like about your previous diet.

Doug Stetzer:

Sure, sure. Yeah. Again, that point about not being on a diet, right? Your motivation is feeling good, not losing a few pounds or anything like that. That motivational level is totally different.

Jessica Beacom:

That’s kind of the, I think, the premise behind our entire website and our philosophy is that we don’t talk … Even though we’re dietitians, we don’t talk about food as like, “This is a bad food, and this is good food, and this food will help you lose weight,” because it’s not going to be the same from person to person. Everybody’s essentially an N of one, so they’re a study of themselves. What works for me isn’t going to work for you. What works for you isn’t going to work for the next person. For us, it’s looking at food like, “If this is something that works well for you, then … ” I mean, and it goes beyond food. It goes beyond nutrition, too. It’s like is it fast? Is it easy? Is it nourishing? Is it something you’re not going to get totally stressed out about? Yeah, we’re really big on that whole, “Your food shouldn’t be stressful.”

Doug Stetzer:

Sure, sure. You see that all over your website, and that’s … Like you said, making things accessible. It needs to be part of your lifestyle every day, and so that’s a big part of what’s on your website, meal plans, a lot of recipe ideas that are not complex, and a clear and solid love affair with your slow cooker.

Jessica Beacom:

Yeah, and my Instant Pot.

Doug Stetzer:

Yeah. I do most of the cooking in my house, and I’m horrible at planning. I’m always just pulling stuff out at four o’clock like, “All right. What am I gonna invent, like, out of what is available?” I do not really cook with the slow cooker, but your recipes always inspire me to think about it, and so tell me, the slow cooker, is it just where it’s at?

Jessica Beacom:

It is. I mean, I think the slow cooker’s great for anybody who has the ability to plan ahead. The night before, if you can take 10, 15 minutes and set something up so in the morning you turn it on … You put it in the actual slow cooker and you turn it on and then put the lid on. When you come home … Especially on days when we take the kids to the pool, I won’t go to the pool unless there’s something waiting in the slow cooker for them, because it’s like critical mass. We hit critical mass the minute we hit the front door on so many nights. Yeah, the slow cooker’s kind of like a big saving grace for most people.

I think if you can’t plan far enough ahead … Sometimes I fall in this, too, not because I can’t plan far enough ahead, but if I’m developing recipes for the website, I’m kind of all over the place. I might be developing a dessert, or a cocktail, or an entrée, and then it’s not really anything that’s cohesively going to come together in a meal, you know?

Doug Stetzer:

Right.

Jessica Beacom:

Yeah, we could have pork chops, and pudding, and mojitos, but it’d be-

Doug Stetzer:

It’s like, “Hey, kids. Mojito-flavored … we’ll call it soup, I guess, for tonight.”

Jessica Beacom:

Exactly. For me, then, I’ve kind of switched to the Instant Pot, which is a pressure cooker, and I don’t really have to think ahead. I can convert anything from a slow cooker to an Instant Pot recipe and do it in like 15 minutes, so a 6-hour slow cooker recipe can be done in 15 to 45 minutes.

Doug Stetzer:

Oh, all right.

Jessica Beacom:

Yeah.

Doug Stetzer:

I like the sound of … That’s more my speed, yeah.

Jessica Beacom:

That’s I think what you need, that. That’s what you need. You can do it frozen. You can put your frozen chicken in there.

Doug Stetzer:

No way.

Jessica Beacom:

Oh, yeah. Totally.

Doug Stetzer:

Oh, this is revolutionary, everybody.

Jessica Beacom:

You need one of those.

Doug Stetzer:

Things are about to change around this house.

Jessica Beacom:

I know, right? Instant Pot for the win.

 


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Doug Stetzer:

Instant Pot, yeah. Okay. I’m making the notes, don’t worry. That is a good idea. Again, it has to fit your lifestyle. I am not a good planner, especially around meals or, really, much else. It’s like just throw everything in the turbo charger. That really works for me. Awesome.

On the website, lots of recipes, lots of meal prep, so the shopping actually lists that you need to do as well.

Jessica Beacom:

Yeah. We just did a big series. It was 12 weeks of meal prep menus. The idea behind a meal prep is that on the weekend you set aside a couple of hours, you go grocery shopping, you get what’s on the list that we have made for you, and then you go into the kitchen and you prep five recipes. You can do it within two hours from start to finish. Those five recipes won’t get you through the entire week, but they will at least give you a good start. You might have two entrees, a soup or a salad, a dessert or some kind of a snack, and then one other. Yeah, getting into meal prep is huge. It’s kind of the gateway drug to organization. Even for somebody who doesn’t plan or isn’t good at planning day to day, if you can plan for a weekend meal prep and knock out a few recipes, it makes a huge difference.

Doug Stetzer:

Yeah, okay. I need some rehab on that, but I’m going to work on it, because I do get tired of just … When you cook like I do, you tend to have two or three go-to things, and you’re kind of on the treadmill as far as that. If there’s a couple of winners that you know the family will eat and you know you can whip it up, you tend to just keep those things around. Even if I just added two new things to that, I think everybody in the house wold probably appreciate it.

Jessica Beacom:

Totally. You know, too, I think if you’re the kind of person who walks in and you just kind of cook off the hip all the time, you tend to have a lot of extra groceries in your house because when you go shopping, you’re like, “Oh, I should grab this, this, and this, and this just in case,” but you don’t have a plan, so you end up spending a lot more money than what you would normally spend. You also end up wasting a lot because a lot of times the broccoli will go floppy in the crisper. You didn’t get to it. You had a plan to, but you didn’t. Yeah, I think the value of a meal plan is that you can be prepared. You can just get what you need, just use what you need. Yeah, it ends up saving you money too and time.

Doug Stetzer:

Yeah. I think that’s actually a conversation we have a lot around here, which is why our grocery bill’s so huge and why … Yeah. It’s really frustrating when things are just going bad in your fridge. You’re trying to keep fresh foods around. You’re not trying to just open cans all the time, but when something goes bad, it’s just so annoying.

Jessica Beacom:

Oh, yeah, because you’re like, “Oh, my gosh. I could have put that money towards a pair of skis.” You know what I mean? I mean, that’s the Colorado mentality, like, “Oh, man. I could have put that towards skis,” or-

Doug Stetzer:

That one head of floppy broccoli could have been a pair of skis. I like that.

Jessica Beacom:

I mean, it ultimately adds up, or it could have been new mountain bike tires or something else. It’s like, “Shit.” I always see it that it’s a loss of opportunity because I let this food go to waste.

Doug Stetzer:

Totally.

Jessica Beacom:

If I didn’t make a plan and we’re like, “Oh, we have to go out to eat …” You really can’t dine out in Boulder for less than 50 bucks unless you’re going to the Mickey D’s.

Doug Stetzer:

Totally. Right.

Jessica Beacom:

Then I’m always like, “That 50 bucks,” like, “Yeah, I had to cook at home, but it probably would have cost me like 12, 15 bucks, so the other 40-something could have been towards a pair of skis.” You know?

Doug Stetzer:

Right. Exactly.

Jessica Beacom:

Or a lift ticket somewhere.

Doug Stetzer:

Oh, man. Absolutely.

Jessica Beacom:

That’s funny.

Doug Stetzer:

I totally run that equation in my head all the time. Then I’ve got one of my kids who totally prefers the house food. When I’m like, “Okay, let’s go out tonight,” they’re like, “I don’t want to go out. I want home food.”

Jessica Beacom:

Right.

Doug Stetzer:

Once you’ve started cooking-

Jessica Beacom:

Those are Boulder problems.

Doug Stetzer:

Yeah, exactly. Exactly. The home food is just better than the going out food.

Jessica Beacom:


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Yeah.

Doug Stetzer:

There’s a lot of other things that goes into that, but that’s super fun.

Jessica Beacom:

I mean, we do have awesome restaurants here in Boulder, but some days I want a break from cooking, and I’ll be like, “Oh, we should go out.” My husband will say, “No way. Your food’s better.” I’m like, “No. Come on.”

Doug Stetzer:

Yeah. It’s like, “Yeah, but I do that for work.”

Jessica Beacom:

I know. I do this for a living. I always say like, “I cook for a living.”

Doug Stetzer:

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Every once in a while, I just want it to arrive, and then I want the plate to disappear also.

Jessica Beacom:

Exactly. I know.

Doug Stetzer:

Yeah, exactly.

Jessica Beacom:

That’s how we end up at Upslope, but you cannot live on beer.

Doug Stetzer:

Well, that’s debatable, but that kind of brings us right back to where we started about my health issues.

Jessica Beacom:

Mine, too.

Doug Stetzer:

Excellent. Well, speaking of the families, I think … Again, all these recipes, all this stuff, The Real Food Dietitians website, all of this stuff will be in the show notes, these books that you’ve been mentioning.

Jessica Beacom:

The Instant Pot?

Doug Stetzer:

Yeah, the Instant Pot. Oh, my gosh.

Jessica Beacom:

The life changer.

Doug Stetzer:

I cannot wait to order one of these things. All of this will be in the show notes. Since we’ve brought up the skis, I mean, again, this is why people are moving to Colorado.

Jessica Beacom:

Totally.

Doug Stetzer:

This is what’s going on here. I mean, there’s supportive infrastructure for entrepreneurs. People are doing amazing things in a lot of different industries. Boulder, they talk a lot about the tech, but what I’ve come to learn is that there’s this amazing infrastructure for the food industry. There’s just great things going on, but we’re moving here for the lifestyle for a lot of different reasons. Since we brought up the skiing, we might as well talk about it. I would ask you what’s your favorite thing to do, but I think we all know at this point, so skiing where? Favorite spot?

Jessica Beacom:

My most favorite? I’m pretty partial to Crested Butte just because it’s big and wide-open. They just have some sweet snow. We do ski locally at Eldora most of the time.

Doug Stetzer:

Totally.

Jessica Beacom:

Just because I am not a sit-in-I70-with-my-kids kind of person. By the time you get there, all the snacks are gone. They have to pee. They have to poop. Somebody’s got to get out. It sucks, so we usually ski locally, but then if we do, we’ll go out … Yeah, I like Crested Butte. Winter Park is fun. It’s not super far away.

Doug Stetzer:

Yeah, Crested Butte’s amazing.

Jessica Beacom:

It is amazing.

Doug Stetzer:

They had their craziest season. I was just looking at some pictures of the houses buried. I did not make it out there this year, but-

Jessica Beacom:

We went for the Alley Loop, the cross-country ski race, and literally the snow banks were over the houses. It was so amazing. We ended up getting “stuck” I guess. We opted to get stuck there, and it just dumped. It was so amazing.

Doug Stetzer:

Yeah. The getting stuck when you actually … It snowed after you decided to get stuck?

Jessica Beacom:

Right.

Doug Stetzer:

Instead of it snowed before you actually got stuck.

Jessica Beacom:

Well, we knew it was coming.

Doug Stetzer:

You’re like, “Well, it’s gonna snow … ”

Jessica Beacom:

So we might as well stay.

Doug Stetzer:

Yeah, so, “We’re kind of stuck mentally. We just can’t get ourselves to leave.”

Jessica Beacom:

“We just cannot get off the mountain to get over the pass in time.” That’s what it was. The kids were like, “No, just one more, just one more run, one more run.” We’re like, “Well, you know, we’re limiting the time we’re gonna have to get over the pass,” and then there was no more.

Doug Stetzer:

That’s okay.

Jessica Beacom:

It was fine.

Doug Stetzer:

Exactly.

Jessica Beacom:

That’s the hallmark of a good Colorado parent, whether or not you let your kids miss school for skiing.

Doug Stetzer:

Oh, yeah. Yeah, it’s preferable, actually, the weekdays.

Jessica Beacom:

Right.

Doug Stetzer:

The weekdays, everybody knows that. How about here in town? You mentioned Eldora. We do a lot of skiing together at Eldora with the kids. It’s just amazing. To have that a half-hour away from the house instead of when I was driving five or six hours to go up to Vermont every weekend up on the East Coast, so that’s great. What about just on a regular Saturday? You’re getting out of the house with the kids. Favorite hikes, spots, rivers, lakes, anything?

Jessica Beacom:

Yeah, we go to Chautauqua a lot and hike up there. Sometimes we go to NCAR, which is just at the top of the hill there, and then hike from there up the hill and then back down. If we’re taking a longer trip and it’s going to be a couple of hours, we’ll go to Rocky Mountain National Park up in Estes. That’s kind of our go-to. We go there a lot. It’s easy to kind of lose yourself for the entire day, and then you leave, and then, of course, everybody wants ice cream, and just kind of a chill place to be.

Doug Stetzer:

Yeah. If you’re just coming, whether you’re from Denver or coming from anywhere else in the country to visit and you end up in Boulder for the day, so Chautauqua’s just … I mean, it’s amazing. It’s beautiful. It’s right there. There’s like millions of trails.

Jessica Beacom:

Yeah, it’s easy.

Doug Stetzer:

Then to have Rocky Mountain National Park, which I can’t really verify this, but I think it’s probably the second-most visited national park in the country to Yellowstone or something like that.

Jessica Beacom:

Yeah, I have no idea, but it doesn’t feel busy. It’s so big it doesn’t feel busy.

Doug Stetzer:

Yeah. That’s just like an hour-and-a-half, so that’s a day trip. It’s a real special treat for people who live here.

Jessica Beacom:

It’s cheap. It’s like 40 bucks for the whole year.

Doug Stetzer:

Yeah, exactly.

Jessica Beacom:

40 bucks. You pay 40 bucks and you can go whenever you want.

Doug Stetzer:

Yeah, and you’re going to see some elk, and you’re going to see maybe some bears, something like that.

Jessica Beacom:

Yeah. If your kids like buses because they don’t have to be in car seats like mine do, then you park at the park-and-ride and you just take the bus. Then you get to a trail head and then you hike from one trail head to the next place. We usually go to the top at Bear Lake and then we hike down to the falls and down to Bierstadt Lake, and then we can pick up the shuttle whenever we want.

Doug Stetzer:

Oh, that’s great because I usually just drive up there, but if you take the shuttle then you don’t have to make a loop out of it. You can just hike in a straight line and pick it up somewhere else.

Jessica Beacom:

Yeah. You park at the very bottom at the park-and-ride. You can go wherever.

Doug Stetzer:

I’ll love that. Finally, before we wrap up, I want to ask people who come on the show who they would love to hear on this podcast, whether in your industry, not, anyone else. It doesn’t even have to be because they’re an entrepreneur, just people who are doing amazing things, just anyone who comes to mind that you would love people in Colorado … just they need to know about these people.

Jessica Beacom:

Oh, totally. I have to tag my BFF, Fanny. She runs Hill Road Merino, and so she’s making wool clothes for adults and for children so that they can play outside and stay warm. Yeah, you have to have her.

Doug Stetzer:                       Yeah, and she’s got an interesting story.

Jessica Beacom:                Totally.

Doug Stetzer:                       I don’t know her that well, but I do know her through the school. We’re all wearing Smartwool these days, and these merino clothes are super amazing.

Jessica Beacom:                I think she’s amazing in that she is an elite athlete, a skier, a cross-country skier, and then a runner, and so she balances mom life with her athlete life with this business that she started as a hobby. She started making kids’ clothing to keep her kids warm, and then now she’s got this giant business. Yeah, I think she’s a great one to talk to. She’s got it going on. She makes me look like a total hack.

Doug Stetzer:                       I don’t know about that. I will reach out her with your help and try to get her on here because that would be an amazing conversation. She’s got a really cool story.

Jessica Beacom:                She does.

Doug Stetzer:                       Awesome. All right. Well, thank you so much for coming on here.

Jessica Beacom:                You’re welcome.

Doug Stetzer:                       I hope everybody has learned a lot about what you’re all about. I really appreciate it. It was a great story. Thanks a lot.

Jessica Beacom:                Hey, thanks Doug.

Doug Stetzer:                       All right.

All right, everyone. Thanks for listening. I hope you enjoyed that interview with Jessica Beacom. Remember, if you want to check out more of our interviews, head on over to the website at colorado.fm. You can also find this podcast on iTunes.

If you know somebody who you’d love to hear on this podcast and you want to reach out, shoot me a note at doug@colorado.fm. I’d love to hear from you. All right. Thanks a lot.

 

 


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