Business Monday: Sweet Coloradough to fill hole left by Popcorn Wagon |

Business Monday: Sweet Coloradough to fill hole left by Popcorn Wagon

Ray K. Erku
Rifle Citizen-Telegram
Sweet Coloradough downtown Rifle location on Railroad Avenue.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Homer Simpson would be proud.

Sweet Coloradough, a Garfield County pastry staple among sweet tooths and doughnut lovers, has three major announcements.

One: Just three short weeks from now, owner Aaron Badolato told the Glenwood Springs Post Independent on Wednesday that he’ll be opening up a storefront in Aspen. It’s set to replace the old Popcorn Wagon on South Mill Street.

And, based on the former success of their Snowmass Village storefront (now closed), Badolato has a good feeling about this planned location, which will first start off with a coffee and doughnuts-style atmosphere.

“I think Aspen will be twice as busy (than Snowmass Village),” Badolato said.

Two: In the last week of November, the Glenwood Springs location will undergo a revamp. Badolato said the kitchen will be remodeled while — and here’s the kicker — a new grocery store will take shape in the basement.

“We’ll have kind of a liquor store meets ice-cream shop meets merchandise mart,” he said, chuckling.

Three: The Sweet Coloradough location in downtown Rifle also will undergo a series of exciting new developments. With the upstairs apartments ready for guests, Badolato said his western Garfield County shop will soon provide a bed-and-breakfast option. And with a liquor license recently approved by Rifle City Council, each room will come fully equipped with a bar.

“It’d be like when you go to Mexico and like everything’s fully stocked,” Badolato said. The bed-and-breakfast is scheduled to be open by Christmas. “That all-inclusive vibe is kind of what I’m going for.”

Also, based on the success and ease in which the Aspen shop opens, Badolato can get to making the Rifle location resemble the current experience people can find in Glenwood Springs. In other words, between February and March, a full bar will line the interior of the Rifle doughnut shop.

With a full bar currently in place at the Glenwood Springs location, on any given morning a person can stroll in, order a scrumptious doughnut and accent it with a tall glass of Colorado-brewed beer.

Spirits lovers, meanwhile, might have a nip while they munch on a cinnamon doughnut. For the wine connoisseur, they might fancy a lovely cabernet with their apple fritter.

It’s all there for the picking.

This will eventually be the reality in Rifle. And like its sister store in Glenwood, the spirits, beers and wines will come straight from the Centennial State.

“We’re trying to keep that Colorado vibe as much as we can,” Badolato said. “And, most likely, free mimosas for moms on Friday.”

Beyond that, Badolato said the Rifle location will eventually include a full kitchen with a deli, which will include lunch and dinner options. Additionally, Badolato said the kitchen will likely be ready sometime in January.

And, if everything goes accordingly, Badolato said he intends to have every Garfield County Sweet Coloradough include drink and additional meal options.

“That would be the ultimate goal,” he said, “to set up that same vibe in all locations.”


There’s little doubt Sweet Coloradough provides quite a unique experience for its patrons. Maybe that’s the reason why, according to Badolato’s estimation, the bakery provides about 25,000 doughnuts on a weekly basis between its existing locations.

And, perhaps it’s the reason why Badolato and his wife and co-owner Anne have found so much success over the years. He maintains that nabbing repeat customers is “a testament to doing things right.”

“(It’s) hoping to see someone again,” Badolato said of good service. “It’s the desire to have them come back as opposed to just that transactional situation. I think we take the transaction out of it in a lot of ways and focus more on the overall experience for hopefully the rest of somebody’s life.”

Sweet Coloradough opened its first shop in 2014 in Glenwood Springs. By late 2019, its delectable doughnuts and flavorful experience became so popular, the Badolatos held a grand opening of its Rifle location, which currently serves breakfast burritos, coffee and, of course, its fluffy slices of pastry heaven.

Now, with the upcoming opening in Aspen, Badolato said he looks to add 15 to 20 new employees to the area.

With that, Badolato was asked if Homer Simpson would agree with all the sweet things taking place in Garfield County.

“I think it would fit right in line with just enjoying his life to its fullest,” be said. “That’s how he strikes me — keep it on what I like, ya know?”