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Movers, shakers, and bakers

 

LA VETA Creating is nothing new for Kristina and Matthew Heim, owners of the newly formed Bakery and Café at 129 Ryus Avenue in La Veta, Colorado. Their previous successful endeavors have been establishing Wahatoya Community Initiatives (WCI), a non-profit organization which is a Farm to Table Educational program for student interns dedicated to growing and creating a lifestyle of local organic foods and decentralized businesses. This endeavor included building the annual seasonal local Farmer’s Market here in La Veta, which is linking farmers and growers to community members who enjoy the quality and freshness of local foods. These successes have led three out of four of last year’s community gardening project members as well as other new farmers to create their own Grower’s Association, in order to continue building a sustainable system of locally produced foods through quality organic gardening and ranching. The Heim’s recent adventure, The Ryus Avenue Bakery (Farm, Café and Market), will be a welcome re-establishment after a long winter during which the bakery was closed. Matthew stated, “We hope to return the bakery to the once thriving gathering place for locals by now

offering foods on a farm-to-table based theme, in a friendly and comfortable environment.” I noticed how the fresh new open look and feel of the bakery seems to reflect this welcomed change. Matthew has taken on the challenge of becoming the head baker under the fine tutelage of the bakery’s previous owner, Mary Bakiel. He said he has been inspired to learn the art form of creating artisan breads as a way of being an integral part of the bakery and café and is excited to be learning something new. He also said he would be keeping his day job just in case! This season’s eight new farm interns recently arrived to contribute their skills and interests in the farm-to-table movement, which is blossoming here and across our nation. They will be living at the newly purchased farm here in town and will play an integral part in establishing the link between the farm and café. Some of the interns have come with already established cooking and baking skills and will be contributing and leaning more, while others will be acquiring new skills. The official Grand Opening of the bakery will be on Friday May 8, and presently the hours of operation will be at 7am to 2 pm Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, with possible expansions as the season grows. The menu will include their many artisan breads and pastries, as well as coffees and full breakfasts made from local organic eggs and seasonal foods. Lunches will offer fabulous salads made from locally grown organic produce, BBQ dishes from local ranch meats, and much more. They will have a deli case highlighting great “to go” products, along with tantalizing gourmet foods produced right there. Limited catering for special events will be provided with new services being formed along the way. The bakery and café will also offer WIFI and the opportunity for local artists to display their artwork on the walls on a rotational basis. The opening artist is talented photographer Heather Curtis who shares the theme of local landscapes and interests. So yes, excitement is in the air over this newly developed establishment which is based on the idea of integrating our worlds and establishing a fuller circle lifestyle in a sustainable, nurturing, thriving community. We look forward to much more fun from this growing group and a big bravo to the Heims and all the participants! Personally, I can’t wait to sink my teeth into some more of the fabulous cooking done by Kristina and the interns! The bakery can be reached at 719-742-3830 and the farm “La Veta Farm to Table” at 719-890-4047. As Kristina’s new website (www.LaVetaFarmToTable.com) title states “Wahatoya is home to vibrant life, generous spirit and an inspired future by growing food, growing awareness, and growing community.”