A new bakery using local ingredients has opened on Main Avenue, in a space shared with four other businesses to help
Bill Manning of Dolores opened High Desert Foods last week at 1021 Main Ave., the former home of A Health Forest.
The business is a spin-off of his longtime table at the Durango Farmers Market.
Weve had a good following at the Farmers Market, Manning said. We really wanted to take advantage of the end of
the market season and see about moving inside. High Desert Foods shares the storefront with jeweler Karl Jacobson, Purselley & Sons Wovens, Hayes Ranch Beef and Turtle Lake Refuge. The arrangement allows all the businesses to
pay relatively low rents for downtown Main Avenue.
Before moving in with High Desert, Jacobson was making jewelry out of his home and selling it at regional craft
shows. I just decided this was a good place to have a little work space, he said.
The building is owned by James Hoffman and Phil Bryson, the developers of Crossroads.
We certainly support homegrown foods and local produce, and thats one of the reasons we wanted to work with them,
Hoffman said. We want to see more of that downtown. High Deserts menu offers what Manning called gourmet comfort
foods. A display case includes muffins, brownies, cakes, turnovers, brioches and burritos.
Many of the items use local ingredients such as wheat grown in Dove Creek, flour milled in Cortez, beef from
Sunnyside Meats, lamb from Foxfire Farms and locally grown fruits used in pastries.
Manning said High Desert will stay open through December to test the market. If successful, the business will push
High Desert had a steady stream of customers during a reporters visit Tuesday morning.
Some kinks remain to be worked out: A couple left in frustration after a tamal took too long to heat up. Manning gave
them their money back.
Sometimes people want instant gratification, and instant takes a little bit of time, he said.
Manning bakes the goods in Dolores at an industrial building last used by Mountain Sun, the organic juice company.
To use the excess space, Manning also packages foods for other ventures. He brings the goods into Durango every
Manning purchased Tortillas Mas Finas from Mitch and Sarah Schneider, and last week began delivering the tortillas to
local grocery stores.
With High Desert Foods, Manning hopes to find a market for local foods.
Theyre not your average baked goods, he said.
High Desert Foods typically is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.