Gotta Love It!

Gotta Love It Kitchen ad Sugar Rush Bakery

These days I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the good food that I’ve been finding out about in Colorado Springs.  It’s not a “foodie’s” destination… unfortunately.  A lot of restaurants here leave you with questions and no answers, apart from the very few that I enjoy going to.  But on the bright side, I’m happy to say that this year I’ve been meeting some fantastic and talented food people.  I’m also seeking out the spots that are diamonds in this town and so far I haven’t been disappointed.

Debbie and Jerry Downing

Recently I met Debbie and Jerry Downing who own a co-op kitchen called Gotta Love It in Old Colorado City.  This idea was born after they decided that they  needed to have use of a commercial kitchen again.  They started looking for a space in the summer of 2010 and when the current location opened up, they jumped on it quickly.  They already had 4 businesses with them going in, and now there are 15 small, local companies in the co-op kitchen.  One of those businesses is moving out into their own storefront very soon!

The good thing about this co-op kitchen is that Debbie and Jerry are very careful when the choose people to join them.  They will try not to have double of any product, which is great.  For example, since they already have someone making egg rolls then they won’t have anyone else come in doing egg rolls.  This spotlights whatever product is being made even more.

the co-op kitchen and signs for Her Story Cafe and Creative Wedding Cakes of Colorado Springs


Framed list of businesses currently in the Gotta Love It Kitchen

Fresh cinnamon rolls

Mya Bella Cupcakes

Rack of treats

Debbie & Jerry aim to offer Colorado-only manufactured products (that aren't already made in the co-op kitchen) in the near future

Jerry gave me a tour of Gotta Love It and I was really impressed with how clean and organized the space is.  Everyone gets a rack and everyone must provide a 2×3 printed sign, with their logo, that he frames himself.  They try to have a small ceremony for everyone when they are ready to be hung up.  I really like that because it helps promote a wonderful sense of community.

The Mile High Whoopie Pie Company, Not Just Pesto, Every Day Gourmet

Callicrate Beef/Ranch Foods Direct, The Westside Sweets Co

Mama Tia's Cathering, Safari Gourmet Food

There are many more signs to put up and I wasn’t able to capture all of them, but that’s just an idea of how they look.

Items in the freezer and refrigerator sections of the storefront

What I bought when I visited. Debbie & Jerry also generously gave me a bunch of their cookies to try.

Big fresh baked cookies

Debbie is also a baker and wonderful cook and has extensive experience in the food industry.  The giant cookies that she makes are amazing! Jerry helps make a really great garlic butter that was developed years ago called Gotta Love Garlic! The last time I visited, Debbie kindly prepared a shrimp and pasta dish with I had to buy a jar before I went home.

Gotta Love It Garlic Butter

Debbie melting some Gotta Love It Garlic butter. She made a quick and delicious meal of shrimp sauteed in the garlic butter tossed in pasta made in Pueblo.

Almost ready to eat!

Simple and delicious meal

A copy of the 'Optimist Creed' hanging on their wall

If you haven’t gone to the market at Gotta Love It Kitchen, please go as soon as you can! Debbie and Jerry are very welcoming so be sure to say hello.  Support the amazing local small food producers and be sure to say hello to them as well! I plan to spotlight each business at the co-op kitchen individually, so stay tuned!

For more information, please visit their website or just go to their storefront at 2521 West Colorado Avenue Colorado Springs, CO 80905.

If you would like to see more photos, I have more on my photoblog.

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3 Comment(s)

  1. The Gotta’ Love It! kitchen gets better and better! All the food is delicious and the cooks are so fun and talented!

    Chris Cary | Mar 31, 2011 | Reply

  2. Thank you for such a positive spotlight on the Gotta Love It! Kitchen, I love cooking in there and how wonderful all the foodies are too.

    Liz Rosenbaum Her Story Cafe | Apr 1, 2011 | Reply

  3. What a great idea! Such an excellent way to showcase local talent and allow new businesses the opportunity to test the waters before branching out on their own! Great article and pix Kat :)

    Diana | Apr 5, 2011 | Reply

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