SNOWMASS VILLAGE - When one has a palate for wine, odds are one also has a palate for sweets. With the Snowmass Wine Festival kicking off this weekend, hundreds of wines from across the globe will be strewn out on clothed tabletops, commanding everyone who passes by to drink up. But what good is all that wine upon a dry tongue? Thanks to a handful of local restaurants - which will be serving up some tasty treats to pair with the endless supply of reds and whites - no mouth will be left unsatisfied.
And just to make sure everyone is filled to the brim with the lushness that comes from the pairing of a good wine with a tasty delight, Rob Carney of the Snowmass Espresso Cafe will set up camp with a 500-plus supply of sweet bites baked special for this year's festival.
To get the word on the sweets, I stopped by Carney's bakery to talk shop, goods, the festival and future plans.
Snowmass Sun: You have recently moved your location from the mall to the Snowmass Center, how is your new spot treating you?
Rob Carney: I have to say it is definitely different. We don't get as many tourists down here as we did up there, but it has been fun getting to know the locals and letting everyone know we are still here.
SS: What time in the morning does the baking begin, and what's your inventory like during the season?
RC: Thankfully I have two employees who have taken over on the baking side, and their day usually starts around 5 a.m. In season we will bake 400-500 items each day, and our busiest days have us prepping for the next continually, especially cookies - we tend to go through them fast.
SS: What are your most popular sellers, and what's your personal favorite breakfast and lunch item?
RC: We sell a lot of breakfast burritos, cinnamon rolls and tuna and chicken salad sandwiches. Those who are going out to ski love the burritos in the morning, and those who work nearby like the sandwiches for lunch. We probably have the best lunch special around - $5.95 sandwiches, wraps and salads with chips, a cookie or a fountain drink - so anybody who's down here knows they can get a good deal. My personal favorites are cinnamon rolls and tuna salad.
SS: What are you bringing to the Wine Festival, and what are you looking forward to most for the weekend?
RC: I will be bringing small bites of just about everything, including cookies, muffins, croissants, sandwiches and salads. I'm looking forward to not just being a part of the grand wine tasting, but also the Balloon Festival, where I will be serving coffee and breakfast items for purchase as the balloons take off. Interacting with all the locals and catching up before the winter season will also be a fun part of the weekend.
SS: Do you have any plans to close shop for the offseason? Do you have any big plans or changes to the bakery for the upcoming winter season?
RC: We will be open throughout the entire offseason to support all the locals who will still be in town. For the future we are looking to expand our space and hopefully take on the old Sweet Life spot down at Base Village. This spot will give us the opportunity to serve breakfast and coffee on the first floor, and lunch in the dining room on the second floor. The expansion of the cafe will also come with the potential to expand our menu and increase clientele, something I have been looking forward to for a while now.