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November 29, 2012
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New Grand Junction coffee shop offers fresh brews & pastries

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - If you're heading to or from Colorado National Monument and crave a cup of coffee, there's the new Laughing Dog Coffee House at 413 Monument Road.Laughing Dog is located just off Broadway Avenue in what used to be the Great Scents gift shop. When the building became available for rent earlier this fall, Kent Diemer thought the location perfect for a coffee house. He and his wife, Suzanne Bjorge, got busy, consulted the Business Incubator Center, and by "Black Friday," they were ready for a soft opening. Laughing Dog's coffee is from Pagosa Mountain Coffee Roasters in Pagosa Springs. Laughing Dog offers brewed coffee, plus specialty coffee drinks such as cappuccino, macchiato, espresso con panna, latte, mocha and Americano. They also sell teas, smoothies and Italian sodas.The owners buy pastries from several local bakers who use the shop's kitchen to create an array of goodies to go with that cup of coffee. A pastry chef from Delta makes "fabulous cheesecakes and cinnamon rolls," Bjorge said. Another woman bakes German kuchen coffeecakes - raspberry, custard or cottage cheese. Some days you'll find chocolate cake or sticky buns. Another day there may be lemon bars or fig tarts.On Wednesday, after an early morning hike, customers found right-sized carrot cake muffins for just $1. To help them learn the coffee trade, Diemer and Bjorge have been working with Alex Ruppe, owner of Little Guys Distributing, a seller and servicer of commercial and residential coffee and espresso machines and former owner of Coffee Muggers in Grand Junction. Ruppe has long loved coffee, and settles only for what he considers the best. He's tried award-winning coffee from roasters across the country, yet none compares with Pagosa Mountain Coffee Roasters, he said.So now, as an aside to selling and servicing coffee equipment, he also promotes coffee from the Pagosa Springs roaster."I was amazed at the quality, how well-roasted it is. You can taste the quality of the bean in this guy's coffee," Ruppe said.Already, the shop has attracted several regular customers, including a man in the neighborhood who came for "taste tests" while they were setting up the business, Bjorge said. "He welcomed us before we even opened," Bjorge said.In addition to the pastries, Bjorge said they intend to add other items to the menu, such as fruit and yogurt, and other healthy snacks. They're already carrying a few organic wraps and side dishes from Wraps on Main, in Grand Junction.And for those hikers on their way to the monument - there are for sale, bags of trail mix with nuts and unsulphured dried fruits - with or without chocolate added."I love this place. It's so convenient for meeting for hiking," Diemer said.

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The Post Independent Updated Nov 29, 2012 04:19PM Published Nov 29, 2012 03:03PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.