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Gold Star Pies food truck offering blue-ribbon pies 

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Pie runs in the family for Heather Briggs. Her mother, Mary Jo Schaefer, used to bake them for Country Kitchen (the North American restaurant chain). But now it's Briggs' turn to go into the pie business. May 13 marked the grand opening of her new pie truck, Gold Star Pies (goldstarpies.com).

"I love baking and I have a whole library of pie books," she says. She pulls filling recipes from pie bakers in cities big and small. The crust recipe she uses isn't her mother's, but rather one she's tweaked over the years, using a mix of butter and shortening.

"When you use [only] shortening it makes it a little crispier and flakier," she says. "I think the combination ends up with a crust that has good texture and flavor but is also easy to work with." She tries to keep her fillings as fresh as possible, even sourcing rhubarb from her personal garden. Her pies have a certain pedigree already — her strawberry balsamic pie took home a blue ribbon at the Colorado State Fair last year.

Briggs also serves coffee with her by-the-slice pies, roasted by local Taylor Love, who currently roasts from home. She heard about Love's coffee through friends in the local food scene, which she says has been thoroughly supportive and helpful in getting her business going.

"It's a really exciting time to be here," she says. "People are taking risks and doing fun things, and there's a lot of movement in places that have needed movement for a long time."

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