More than maté
Closure signs are posted and the shelves are nearly cleared at Manitou Springs' Community Foods market (56 Park Ave.), but that's not a sign of trouble for the Twelve Tribes religious community that owns it. Rather, it's a sign of transition. Community member Peter Wolfe says to expect a Yellow Deli location to open in the spot, likely sometime in 2014, maybe later.
When pressed for a more precise time frame, he says, "It took Noah 100 years to build the ark ... This is a colossal project — there's work to be done that you can't pay people to do."
Wolfe says he just procured reclaimed barn wood from upstate New York that'll be used at the site. And a look at other Yellow Deli locations around the country, on yellowdeli.com, reveals elaborate woodwork similar to that on display at the Tribes' Maté Factor (685-3235).
But Wolfe says the Maté Factor "is nothing compared to what the deli will be — it'll be a sight to behold," with a rooftop patio addition among highlights.
The first Yellow Deli opened in Chattanooga, Tenn., in 1973, and though the Tribes have started other concepts since then, Wolfe believes members have "lost the simplicity of what we had in the beginning that we loved — just the best sandwiches on the best bread."
Breads are baked on-site ("That's part of who we are"), stuffed with "high-quality meats and cheeses," and served steamed rather than toasted. With a larger menu and much more seating than the Maté Factor, the Yellow Deli also offers full service versus counter service.
"We can serve people at a high level of hospitality," says Wolfe. "The Maté Factor is packed all the time and there's never a place to sit. This allows us to extend our hospitality to more people. Money isn't the basis — caring for people is."
The community has plans to eventually set up a retooled market that's "not so much natural junk food, but more healthy bulk food at an affordable price."
A matter of taste
Coaltrain Wine and Spirits will host its Infamous Christmas Tasting at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 5, at Springs Orleans (123 E. Pikes Peak Ave., coaltrainwine.com). The idea is that for $45 ($40 in advance), one can sample widely from select wines, beers and spirits (next to some appetizers to soak it all up, and music for ambiance) and plan for more informed holiday purchasing around special meals and gifting.
See "Coaltrain holiday tasting in good taste" here for a broad view of last year's event.