Lori Brazelton is a self-described coffee snob.
She drinks it, loves it and now she serves it.
"It's like being a bartender without having to deal with all the drunks," she said.
Brazelton started her own business, "Cowgirls and Coffee," in a concession booth she operated at the Routt County Fair and Rodeo, Hayden Valley Summerfest and, most recently, on the corner of Walnut Street and Jefferson Avenue. Now, she has moved across the street into a more permanent fixture, operating Hayden's only coffee shop from inside Plants and Things, also a relatively new Hayden business.
"I've always liked the coffee-shop atmosphere, and when I got to Hayden, I thought it lacked that," Brazelton said.
In the Jefferson Avenue store, Brazelton believes she has found the perfect location for Cowgirls and Coffee. Hurried commuters can come in to get a cup of coffee without ever pulling off of U.S. 40, while patrons with more time can sit down and enjoy coffee and breakfast.
Not only does Brazelton serve fresh-brewed coffee, lattes, cappuccinos and mochas, but she also has a full menu of breakfast and snack items, including muffins, cinnamon rolls, breakfast burritos, biscotti, fruit and cookies. She prepares the food each morning at the Full Belly Deli.
Her coffee comes from Storm Mountain Roasters, another new business in Oak Creek. Brazelton said she thinks it is important to use local products. The only non-local items on the Cowgirls and Coffee menu are bottled water and gourmet hot chocolate by Ghirardelli chocolate.
"My goal from the beginning was to be a local shop, to serve local people and local events," Brazelton said. "I'm trying everything possible to be community-oriented."
Brazelton hopes the Yampa Valley Regional Airport Steering Committee will decide to use local businesses when it considers a coffee provider for the airport's expansion. She attended a steering committee meeting two weeks ago and submitted a bid to be the coffee provider. Her proposal included a 15-percent discount for all YVRA employees.
Even if she gets the airport gig, Brazelton said she plans to keep her Jefferson Avenue shop open.
Cowgirls and Coffee is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Brazelton said if she gets enough requests, she will open at an earlier time. Call 276-1248.