(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Driving into Old Colorado City, the smell of freshly baked loaves of bread fills the autumn air bringing multiple customers inside.
“We’re here on West Colorado Avenue and this has been the location for the bakery since I bought the business,” said CEO of Outside the Breadbox, Erik Van Horn. “I got involved in 2017 and bought from the founders. We’re getting ready to kind of grow out of this space, though.”
This bakery is different than most, as the products inside are gluten-free and nut-free.
“Were 100% gluten-free, nut-free bakery,” Van Horn said. “So those products that we have that we make here, they’re just really good for people that have allergies or sensitivities, especially to gluten, but also to some of those other allergens.”
It’s a supermarket dream come true for gluten-free customers, as products range from loaves of bread to cookies, croutons and more. During the COVID-19 lockdown, the bakery launched an online store and saw business boom.
“We were also doing expansion into other regions and through a distributor we’re selling in the Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana area and then also in the Pacific Northwest,” said Van Horn.
The niche baked goods bring in gluten-free lovers from all over Southern Colorado, with some becoming regulars.
“It’s really good getting our products and sharing them with new customers,” said Van Horn. “People that really count on our products count on gluten-free, nut-free products that they know they can count on the quality. I know it’s consistent.”
Ibonna Huckels is a frequent shopper who stopped in on Thursday to pick up some favorite products.
“I’m from Europe, so it doesn’t quite taste like exactly like European bread,” Huckels said. “It can get close and I know I mean it tastes good.”
The true stars can be found inside of the Breadbox, preparing and baking thousands of these specialty products.
“Our typical production might be up to 2,000 loaves of bread, and then we may be making over 1,000 bagels a day,” Van Horn said. “Then, we have some of the other products like crackers, pizza crusts, and cookies that we make. We make smaller amounts of those, but all totaled, there’s a in the range of 3,000 to 4,000 products, individual packages that we make every day.”
The business is getting ready to move locations to accommodate the large number of products made each day.
“We’re just crowded in the space, and we just needed to have more space to maintain compliance, introduce new products,” Van Horn said. “As we start expanding into new regions, we just overall need a lot more space to work.”
Their loaves of bread and bagels can be found in stores throughout Colorado for all to enjoy.
“We sell in Colorado, we’re in Natural Grocers and Whole Foods,” Van Horn said. “We’re also in some independent markets around Colorado Springs, Woodland Park, Pueblo. So, you can find our products in quite a few places in the area.”