The Station, located at 235 Highway 133, Hotchkiss, celebrated its opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday, June 22.
The venture is an extension of Farm Runners, which was established by Emma Stopher-Griffin and Matthew Kottenstette. They moved to Hotchkiss in 2012 to work at Thistle Whistle Farm. After farming for a couple years and developing relationships with many farmers in the North Fork Valley, they started Farm Runners to help farmers market and distribute their products.
The old Go-Fer convenience store was used as a base for wholesale distribution.
"Before moving into the space, we didn't realize what a lasting legacy the Go-Fer Foods had on this community," said store manager Katie Darlington. "Although the Go-Fer's had been shut down for more than eight years when we took over the building, it seemed like people still felt connections to the place. So many people told us that the Go-Fer had the best breakfast sandwiches around, which is what gave us the idea to offer grab-n-go breakfasts. It wasn't just a gas station, it was a community spot where folks could get an affordable lunch or an ice cream with their kid after school. We really want The Station to be a new take on what people were missing -- a convenient and welcoming place to get food you can feel good about.
"It's neat to have a storefront," Darlington added. "It bridges the gap between the agricultural community and those who are less involved in it."
In addition to grab-n-go breakfast and lunch items, The Station features fruit, veggies, meat, eggs, dairy, and pantry goods from your favorite local farmers, plus coffee, cold drinks and cakes, cookies and pastries from Blue Sky Baking.
"We see so many opportunities for our new store," Darlington said. "There is potential to expand our menu and to be able to do more in-house food prep so that we can offer things like take-and-bake dinners, pre-made soups, and house-made tomato sauce. The possibilities are endless. We're really open to what our community wants and needs."
The Station is open Wednesday-Friday 7 to 6, Saturday 8 to 5 and Sunday noon to 5.