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Side dish: Big happenings at Gotta Love It!


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Whole lotta lovin'

We called Gotta Love It! Market (2521 W. Colorado Ave., a prolific business incubator in February, and further proof of that is our devoting the entirety of this column to new activity there.

• Most notable is the overhaul of the communal kitchen, in the form of Chick's Espresso & Boba Tea Cafe (, a full-service café-front facilitating the sale of products from all 15 house businesses.

Owner Susan Van Dam operated Chick's for the past six years in Security before selling the space (now called Valley Espresso) and moving into Gotta Love It!. For her part, she dishes Cascade Estate Coffee drinks (out of Eugene, Ore.), smoothies, teas and 15 Boba flavors. But while you're in for caffeine, you can dine on just about anything else made in-house, from a wide variety of baked goods to breakfast and lunch "grab-n-go stuffed pocket sandwiches" created by store owners Jerry and Debbie Downing.

Which brings us to a few of the new businesses to join the market family recently.

Lavender Mountain Bakery ( cooks an array of standard sweets, but also a handful of items made with lavender, like scones and a lavender-raspberry muffin. Owner Laura Kindseth will also sell at Colorado Farm and Art Market locations this summer.

Tabor Mountain Bakehouse ( caters to those with food allergies, making everything from dairy-, grain- and gluten-free goods to vegan cookies, cakes, granola and pizza crusts. Owner and former nurse Kristi Hayes uses high-quality, healthy ingredients like almond and coconut flour.

Peruse her website to read about how her family's food sensitivities led Hayes to research holistic nutrition and recipes for alternative products. She's focused on gut health and jokes that guests in her classes will learn just as much about the health of their bowels as how to bake a stevia- or coconut-sugar-sweetened treat. She'll also be at CFAM locations this summer.

• Lastly, Angela's Cupcakes and Pupcakes (, operated by Angela Buchanan, sells cupcakes at Chick's and at various events for both you and your dog — no joke. Along with people-flavors like a custom-order, hickory-smoked root beer cupcake (again, no joke), you'll find brown rice flour-based doggie-treat pupcakes with ingredients like sweet potato and carob. Dog owners may eat these, too, if looking for more of a mildly sweet muffin experience.

Oddly enough for someone with "cup cake" tattooed on her knuckles, Buchanan says she's not actually much of a sweet tooth. She's just a mom who came up with a business idea when her kids innocently asked why the family dogs didn't get cakes and birthday parties like we do.

"I'm not one to dress up my animals," she assures. "That's just kinda weird ... is that funny coming from me?"


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