Humble Coffee, Italian meatballs and 50 flavors of fries 

Side Dish

Humble chai

The coffee kiosk at 2103 Templeton Gap Road has taken many identities over the years, including the Daily Grind and Xpresso Yourself Coffee Shop. Recently, it's become Humble Coffee (humblecoffee.net) under new owner Zach Hoerth.

After extensive taste-testing, Hoerth and Co. chose as its roaster Denver-based Coda Coffee, Roast magazine's 2014 Macro Roaster of the Year. Humble uses local Royal Crest Dairy (with almond, coconut, soy and hemp milk subs available) to churn out drinks like the Wildflower, a honey-vanilla chai latte with hemp milk; the baristas use a Laranzato espresso machine (with a classic Cimbali also on the way).

"Any drive-thru can fill the role of convenience," says Hoerth. "But they may not hit the mark on providing a high-end cup of coffee. We're not trying to be arrogant or pretentious, but to have a commitment to quality and customer service."

Meatballs and muffins

In the fickle 3 E. Bijou St. storefront, most recently Orchard Ovens, Bella's Bakery & Bistro (bellasbakeryandbistro.com) opened three weeks ago. It's also participating in the Acacia Park Sunday farmers market.

By way of introduction, owner Katherine Schmidt — who tithes 10 percent of profits to Church for All Nations' Open Arms Food Bank — says, "I'm all Italian." She grew up in her family's New York pizzeria and deli, and at age 10, wrote the menu for her dream eatery (essentially what Bella's has become).

Fulfilling the bistro side of the biz, Schmidt's beef meatballs highlight, either in a marinara or cranberry-citrus-chipotle format. They're served solo, in trios or in sandwiches, joining a small menu that includes a salad, soup of the day, and cold-cut sandwiches. For sweets, Schmidt bakes a wide array, including cupcakes, muffins, cannoli and breads, plus specials like cherry turnovers or gluten-free goodies like Snickerdoodles.

Franchise fries

French Fry Heaven (frenchfryheaven.com) launched in 2011 in Florida, but has already grown to around 60 locations nationwide, including one at 107 N. Tejon St., as of Aug. 1. It will dish more than 50 flavor combinations of fries (there be no burgers here — just spuds), sporting condiments like (corporate-kitchen-made) ketchup and barbecue sauce plus truffle salt and more unusual toppings like those seen on the ChaCha: cinnamon, sugar and hot chili sauce.

Local GM Sarah Sasamoto says FFH "has a proven track record of giving back to the communities," with a charitable contribution actually forced by the franchisee contract. Here, owners George and Victoria Stone, who're also opening a Breckenridge location, plan to support Children's Hospital Colorado, and will require employees to put in at least five hours of community service monthly.


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