Like so many who’ve ended up in Telluride, Abby Herman arrived here with a couple of friends after graduating from Colorado College in 1990 and never left. She first caught the baking bug while working at Baked in Telluride. Then-owner Jerry Greene was supportive of her mountain bike racing career, enabling her to bake and bike for several years.
Herman originally opened The Golden Crumb in 2004 as a small artisan home baking business, making desserts for local restaurants like the Sheridan Chop House, which served her coconut cream pie and flourless chocolate cake, and The Cosmopolitan where she worked as a pastry chef.
“That’s really where I refined my skills and learned a lot,” said Herman. “Chad Scothorn was really supportive, sending me to baking classes in San Francisco and Minneapolis.”
As her own family grew, Herman wanted to work from home so her builder-husband, Todd, added a commercial kitchen to their new digs in Ophir in 2007.
“I love the routine [of baking], the early morning quiet, the aroma, the meditative aspect, and science behind baking,” said Herman. “I love that it brings people pleasure.”
Herman began selling bakery products at the Telluride Farmer’s Market (TFM) in 2009, adding a variety of products to her bakery line and getting her company name out to the public.
“My kids were able to come with me, and as they got older, they loaded and unloaded the car and helped with selling,” she said.
Herman serves on the TFM board, and from that vantage point, understands that the market serves as a livelihood for many of its farmers. While Herman finds vending at the TFM to be a lot of work, she enjoys the social aspect.
“I get to see people I don’t usually get to see,” she said. “The advantage to selling at the market is that there are tourists … it’s so busy in the summer and I don’t otherwise get that kind of clientele.”
Because she broke her ankle at the end of April, Herman was unable to “do all the lugging” required to vend at this summer’s TFM.
“So, everything aligned for me to try something new,” she said.
Her central focus now is selling bakery goods online via The Golden Crumb website which was designed by local Cormac Bourke with logo and e-commerce support provided by local Gabby Anstey McDonald of Chair 8 Design.
Via her website, Herman offers weekly bakery boxes ranging from $30 -$75, loaded with bagels, rolls, loaves of bread, scones, cookies, banana bread, carrot cake and pizza dough.
“People just kind of get a surprise,” she said. “I have a client who gets vegan boxes and I offer gluten-free products as well. I can really bake whatever people want.”
Clients order online by Monday and Herman delivers to Ophir, Mountain Village and Telluride on Tuesdays and is flexible about delivery to other locations. Currently, she has about a dozen regular weekly online customers.
Clients can place custom orders as well. Among her best-selling items are bagels and her big cookies. As core ingredients she uses organic flours, cage-free eggs, European butter, Colorado honey, grade B pure maple syrup, dark brown sugar, French dark chocolates, fresh fruit purees — organic when available — Madagascar and Tahitian vanilla and kosher salt.
“I also bake custom wedding and birthday cakes, cupcakes and dessert platters,” she added. “I’ll even do some mail orders. My granola, granola cookies and biscotti ship well.”
Another fun feature of her bakery’s website is twice-a-month Pizza Night in Ophir. Depending on her parenting schedule, Herman informs her Ophir clientele via email which night pizza is offered. Clients then choose from a menu of eight varieties of New York-style, 18-inch pizzas. They order online by 4 p.m. that day and pizzas are delivered hot to their front doors by her son, Nathan, that evening. Herman currently averages 20 pizza orders each pizza night. Pizzas are also available for parties with a minimum of four pizzas and 72 hours notice.
“There are no restaurants in Ophir,” she said. “So it’s fun and people don’t have to cook. I offer gluten-free doughs as well.”
The Golden Crumb website operates year-round and Herman intends to make it easier for clients to order and pay online and hopes to increase shipping sales.
For more information and to order online go to thegoldencrumb.com.