Black Forest business woes; Summit turns 10, AVOG CSAs available 

Side Dish

Black forecast

Just after the new year, owner of The Breakfast Club (11425 Black Forest Road), Stacy Troy, posted a notice of closure on her Facebook page, also listing a turnkey sale price of $75,000 OBO. She cited "winter weather, slower business and mound of start-up debt" as reasons she had to shutter her beloved, '80s-themed, nearly 2-year-old eatery.

One community response came from neighboring R&R Coffee Café, who formerly operated at TBC's address before moving across the street: Owner Ryan Wanner posted an acknowledgment and note of thanks to Troy and her staff, who "kept us on our feet here, and made Black Forest that much better off."

Wanner went on to cite difficulties of doing business in the tiny town in that post, and in later correspondence with me, noted the new difficulty of Black Forest Road's closure since late October. Due to a failing culvert that threatened to collapse a segment of road, it has been closed by El Paso County officials and may not reopen until July. A new detour adds around four miles through Swan, Herring and Shoup roads, and "we've seen almost three quarters of a loss [in business] in our 8 to 10 a.m. time frame," he says, noting similar reports from other frustrated business owners.

Book a CSA today

They are faces and names you'll recognize from the Colorado Farm and Art Market: farmers from Venetucci and Hobbs Family Farms, Larga Vista Ranch, and many more southern Colorado agriculture hubs. Pooled together, they are the larger Arkansas Valley Organic Growers (AVOG) cooperative, which grows and raises livestock using organic and sustainable methods.

You can support their work via a summer 2016 Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share, which have already gone on sale. The pay-ahead monies help the respective organizations out before the growing season, also keeping money in the local economy, and you later take home 25 weeks of goodies, June to November. Options include everything from a $712.50 full share to partial shares, plus egg, honey, fruit and cheese upgrades. Eight pickup sites are also available, spanning Pueblo to Manitou Springs, central and north Colorado Springs and Black Forest.

See headwatersgrowers.coop for full details.

Party at the Summit

The Broadmoor's Summit restaurant (19 Lake Circle, broadmoor.com/summit) turned 10 this month, and has opted to celebrate its decennial through January's end with a special tasting menu of popular dishes that span the last decade. Items include beef tenderloin au poivre, port wine and leek swordfish, and Maine lobster mac n cheese. You can catch five courses for $75 per person ($125 with wine pairings, plus tax/tip). Or hit up The Summit Social Hour in the lounge, featuring $7 cocktails, $5 wines and $8 to $15 small plates.

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