November 2014 Customer Newsletter
The New Header
"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them... I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life..." - Henry David Thoreau

Now in store... 
Savory meat pies from our friends at Mountain Pie Company, Matt and Tara!

Golden flaky gourmet hand pies in a variety of flavors including Classic Beef & Aged Cheddar, Steak & Ale, Chicken Mushroom Gouda and Mac & Bacon...

All made with Ranch Foods Direct-sourced ingredients!

And just in time for the holidays... 

Ranch Foods Direct meats smoked, roasted and cured in house by Chef Mark Henry. Check out the smoked hams and convenient sliced ham steaks... available now. Plus... plan now to pick up charcuterie trays for the holidays!

Artisan baker explains why 'slow' sourdough is healthier bread


Shawn Saunders (above) is making special breads for the holidays, including dinner roll clusters, pumpkin brioche and pumpkin sourdough made from Ranch Foods Direct pie pumpkins he roasts himself. (Special orders can be placed at the store.)



THE SCOOP: Shawn Saunders, owner of the Sourdough Boulangerie, is now sourcing organic stoneground whole wheat flour from Mountain Mama Milling in Monte Vista, which uses old-fashioned small batch grinding methods. The wheat is grown at Gosar Ranch and neighboring family farms in the San Luis Valley. 


WHY IT'S BETTER: As awareness has grown surrounding the potentially adverse health impacts of gluten specifically and carbs in general, the issue has also become more nuanced and complex. An article in the New York Times (When Gluten Sensitivity Isn't Celiac Disease) summarized recent studies showing that a host of carbs found in modern foods - including fructose, lactose and polyols - potentially contribute to the constellation of symptoms commonly thought to be gluten sensitivity.


Gluten is the protein in wheat that gives bread elasticity and chewiness. And it's not necessarily the primary factor causing modern bread's poor digestibility. Shawn, an avid artisan baker, traces the rise of gluten-related problems to the invention of commercial yeast and to widespread distribution of mass produced breads "never touched by human hands." In today's hurry-up world, virtually all of the bread sold by chain groceries and restaurants is factory made and par-baked later. "As a country we've gotten away from doing things right," Shawn says. "My sourdough base breaks down the wheat so your body can process it. I don't even need yeast at all; half of my breads are yeast-free. And it definitely has health benefits. But it takes time, so bakeries don't want to do it."


Shawn uses real sourdough starter, though many of today's commercial sourdoughs are made with chemical powders. His starter breaks down the sugars in the bread, making it safe even for diabetics to consume.

Magical life-imparting sourdough "mothers" can be long-lived; though Shawn's is only four years ago, some San Francisco versions have been around for well over a century. "They are like Galapagos turtles," he jokes.


UP NEXT: Shawn dreams of eventually milling his own flour. He'd also like to have a wood-fired oven. "The bread is 100 times different. It's made on a hearth so the hole structures are even more irregular. It's primal, like a good T-bone or bone-in ribeye."


Choosy chefs choose Ranch Foods Direct


Accolade: Best Local Chef, Colorado Springs Independent

On the Menu: Callicrate Beef flat iron steak with "house fries tossed in duck fat, guajillo ketchup and balsamic syrup"; several burgers including the "bacon jam"; fried pigs ears as taco shells on Taco Tuesdays; pork belly Benedict for breakfast; and much more! 


What's Unique: Since Brother Luck's Street Eats moved to West Colorado Avenue this summer, this creative local eatery has been thriving, offering patio dining, delicious craft cocktails and a changing seasonal menu of small plates and beautifully presented entrees. It's also a great place to hang out and eat something as simple and satisfying as a great burger. "I sell way more burgers than I ever dreamed I would," Chef Brother Luck says (shown above with wife Tina.) Now he's expanded to offer catering along with special themed dinners for a totally "wow" experience. And he recently introduced an all-day Sunday brunch that runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.



 Seeds Community Cafe


Best Place to Eat Local/Sustainable, Colorado Springs Independent


On the Menu: The famous ABC burger features avocado, bacon and Callicrate beef (shown above); Chef Lyn Harwell sources frequently from Ranch Foods Direct and other local suppliers for a creative and constantly changing menu


What's Unique: This groundbreaking mix of great food and social mission marked its one-year-in-operation milestone in October and is still picking up steam. The cafe operates on a "pay what you can" model; instead of set prices, diners make a donation or have the option to work (and gain employment skills) in exchange for food. Roughly 35 percent of the cafe's current customers are those in need, founder and chef Lyn Harwell says. But he wants to do more, way more. He'd like to expand the educational and work training opportunities and reach even more people. He details his plans in an online IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign that's set on raising $50,000. Hurry and make your donation now: the campaign is scheduled to close Nov. 8.


Support great chefs who support local food!

Customer Snapshot 
 "What brings you to Ranch Foods Direct today?"


Carolyn Eckert, Colorado Springs 


Number of years as a Ranch Foods Direct customer: 



Shopping for:

Soup bones, specifically knuckle bones, which are bigger and contain lots of marrow. You can't get those at the grocery stores any more, because everything's brought in pre-cut now and they don't have them... That's what gives my soups their great taste. Occasionally, I'll pick up a steak, too, or some other item.


Cooking now:

Everyone in my family has the recipe for a really thick beef and vegetable stew. It makes 20 quarts, so we can make a bunch at one time and freeze it. I have a vacuum-sealer, and I put mine in those square tupperware containers so I can grab one whenever I want throughout the fall and winter.


In-store special request:

I have the store cut the soup bones in half so all of the marrow is exposed. That's what makes the soup so good.


Interesting tip:

I'm helping to organize the annual Christmas sale at the First United Methodist Church downtown (420 North Nevada Avenue) December 6, 7 and 8th. This year we're donating all of the proceeds to Seeds Community Cafe. Next time I'm in the store I'll drop off a flyer.

"I find out about a lot of new businesses through the Ranch Foods Direct market because they sell so many cottage-type products. It's also the first place where I heard about how to buy meat in bulk."


- Bonnie Simon, urban homesteader and local business booster; Read her blog at


Stock your freezer for winter by visiting


As the year winds down and the holidays approach... 
thanks for supporting our store, making it a great place to work and shop!

And let Ranch Foods Direct help you prepare for all those wonderful holiday celebrations to come!