Colorado Cherry Organization has been baking pies for extra than 50 years

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For a long time, each time I drove by the Colorado Cherry Company’s Lyons location on the way to or from Rocky Mountain Countrywide Park, a voice in my head would whisper, “I will need to halt there someday.” The signals out entrance promised “Famous Pies,” Black Bing Cherry Cider, jams and jellies.

But I was usually in a hurry to get to the park, or to get household immediately after a working day of experience there, so I drove by Colorado Cherry many instances with the nagging experience that I was lacking out on some thing particular. When I ultimately stopped and checked it out, I identified just how sweet it is.

That day I came residence with a cherry streusel pie that may well have been the most tasty bakery product I’ve at any time tasted. And as soon as I found what I’d been lacking, I created a vow to quit there every opportunity I get.

Even ahead of that initial exquisite chunk of cherry streusel, I had a hunch Colorado Cherry’s confections had been remarkable because there always seemed to be lots of vehicles parked out entrance as I sped by.

The business has a extensive historical past relationship again to 1929, according to proprietor Kristi Lehnert. That was when her husband’s Hungarian grandmother started making pies in southern Wisconsin that were being so delicious, persons would travel up from Illinois for them. They also produced ciders.

Grandma Lehnert ‘s son, Monrico, and his spouse moved to Colorado in 1960 and opened the to start with Colorado Cherry place in Huge Thompson Canyon, west of Loveland on U.S. 34. Found on one of the primary routes to Rocky Mountain Countrywide Park, the shop had no potable h2o since of its locale in the canyon (it even now does not) and was only open up for the duration of vacationer period from Could to September.

Andy Cross, The Denver Publish

The Lyons place of the Colorado Cherry Enterprise is located about a 3rd of the way from Lyons to Rocky Mountain National Park on U.S. 36.  (John Meyer, The Denver Write-up)

Kristi and her partner, Anthony Lehnert, acquired the enterprise 14 yrs ago and soon extra a second site on U.S. 36, about a 3rd of the way from Lyons to Rocky Mountain National Park. Now they also operate a cafe at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park and a modest bakery in Windsor. And this year, their son, Elias, opened a Denver site on historic Tennyson Avenue.

The Lehnerts sold additional than 28,000 pies in 2019 and are previously at 25,000 so much this 12 months, even now making use of do-it-yourself recipes primarily based on Grandma Lehnert’s. She died with out creating them down, but the family figured out how to re-produce them by way of demo-and-error flavor-tests. Almost everything is created from scratch.

“Our crust is all butter,” Kristi Lehnert said, indicating they use no lard, “and it is genuinely substantial-excellent butter. We contract with a farm in Michigan to get all of our cherries. We use significant-high quality merchandise, and I imagine when you put it all jointly, you come out with a truly magnificent easy, clear product.”

They also sell other fruit pies (the combined berry is sublime) 5 “creamy” pies (such as essential lime and cherry cheesecake) meat pies preserves and juices and ciders. You can obtain their cherry pie filling for your own selfmade baking. And, yes, you can purchase pie by the slice.

Every cherry pie has seven small hearts on the crust, a bow to the company’s roots in Loveland. It is a labor-intensive depth: Nearly 97,000 hearts have been pressed so considerably this 12 months for far more than 13,800 cherry pies. Lehnert states it is worthy of it.

“We make the dough, we roll it out, we push all the hearts,” Lehnert reported. “We commenced in Loveland, and men and women loved the heart and its signature. We’re not having rid of it.”

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