Extra pastries, hold the bear claws | AspenTimes.com

Extra pastries, hold the bear claws

A bear lies on a rescue litter after it was tranquilized and captured last July in Aspen. (Paul Conrad/Aspen Times file)

BASALT ” A Basalt bear awoke from its winter slumber with a sweet tooth.

A bruin apparently mowed down the majority of pastries that were delivered to the Can­teen Coffeehouse in downtown Basalt on Tuesday morning.

Louis Swiss Pastry delivered fresh baked goodies between 4 and 5 a. m. When Canteen owner Darcy Shimer and a worker arrived a short time later, the scene at their doorstep looked like a tea party gone wrong. The mangled delivery box was tossed aside and crumbs were strewn about.

“Everything was pretty much eaten,” Shimer said. “He didn’t eat the meat pies, which was surprising.”

Shimer and her helper weren’t sure what happened at first. They ruled out a dog because of the way the double box of thick cardboard ” that Louis Swiss uses for deliveries ” was ripped open. They con­sidered that the culprit might be a raccoon, but the size of a claw print remaining in a pastry sug­gested otherwise. Besides, Shimer knew bears were roam­ing the area because they’ve been rummaging around her Holland Hills neighborhood. Basalt police Sgt. Joe Chavira said the officers on night patrol report that bears are regularly roaming during the early morn­ing hours, when most of the town is asleep.

The bear at the Canteen went for “everything sweet,” Shimer reported. The sticky buns were a hit, as were the muffins and cinnamon twists. Shimer swears that a bear claw was tossed aside and hardly touched. She and her helper laughed at that discovery.

For some reason, the bruin wasn’t crazy for the quiches or the meat pies. All told, Shimer estimated 30 of 40 items were consumed and most of the rest were sampled.

Fortunately, a separate bagel delivery hadn’t arrived yet from Bagel Bites. And Louis Swiss reinforced the pastries later that morning, so patrons didn’t go hungry.

Shimer said she has taken precautions to avoid the problem popping up again. The Louis Swiss delivery guy now has a key to place the items inside.

“Gregor,” who answered the phone at Louis Swiss, said nearly all businesses provide a key to their door or lock boxes outside ” to the delivery guys, not the bears. Bears can’t manipulate their paws to turn a key, but “they can work the combo locks,” Gregor said.

When asked if Louis Swiss has encountered this type of problem before, he said only with visiting bears. Local bruins are, apparently, better behaved.

Scott Condon’s e-mail address is scondon@aspentimes.com.

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