Satisfy your sweet tooth

New Mugshot owner spends most of her time perfecting baked goods

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The smell of baking still filled The Mugshot by mid-morning on Wednesday.

There, Jane Sindell, her long blonde hair braided, stood behind the counter in the coffee shop's kitchen. Sindell rolled out dough, covered it with melted butter, cinnamon and sugar, and formed it into cinnamon rolls for the next day.

Sindell, who originally is from England, is a baker. She also is a painter, photographer, outdoor enthusiast and the new owner of The Mugshot.

"I've always enjoyed it," Sindell said about baking. "My mom encouraged me when I was younger. She taught me how to make scones, and I would love to bake when I was a kid."

Sindell bought the coffee shop business in mid-March and plans to offer everything that Tina Bird, who started and ran the business for the past few years, offered.

Sindell considered going into business with Bird from the beginning, but the timing wasn't right.

Sindell helped develop recipes for the scones, muffins, cinnamon rolls and other baked goods that Bird offered and will continue to use those recipes. Sindell also offers quiches, ham and cheese croissants, and may offer breakfast burritos to provide options for people who don't want something sweet for breakfast.

"Not everybody wants to eat a big, fat cinnamon roll every morning for breakfast, although I have no idea why," she said, smiling.

She makes her own granola, which is simple but hearty, and she uses it to make chewy granola bars.

Sindell has ideas for how to expand the business, such as providing wholesale baked goods to other restaurants in the area.

"There's a lot of potential here, and I just felt like I could do a lot with it," she said.

For instance, Sindell will continue to make wedding cakes to order. She has a binder full of examples of her cakes that people can look through at the coffee shop and bakery.

Customers also can order bread during the week, which Sindell bakes on Thursdays for people to pick up fresh. She's even started a small delivery service.

Making her oatmeal molasses, whole wheat and honey cornmeal bread is something she enjoys.

"It's just a feel-good thing, it's a homey kind of feeling in making something kind of basic but really good," she said. "And, it's fresh."

Sindell discovered Routt County when she came to the United States from England in 1989. She was 28 years old and had plans of traveling the world. In England, she studied painting then worked as a game developer for a company that developed games such as Monopoly. But her passion was to travel.

She came to America, but didn't get past Steamboat.

"I fell in love with the mountains," Sindell said. "When the summer came, that just did it for me. I love this place. It's absolutely gorgeous. It's just stunning to me -- I couldn't leave."

She worked for four years at the Steamboat Bed and Breakfast, as a manager who did a variety of tasks including laundry, cleaning, taking reservations and baking.

Then she took a job at Winona's, where she stayed for eight years and focused on baking. She learned to make cakes there and has continued to make wedding cakes on her own.

She moved to Oak Creek a few years ago to buy a home and now knows the community -- and all of her customers -- well.

Besides being a baker, Sindell is an artist. The walls of The Mugshot are covered with her art. There are paintings and photographs, many featuring Western scenes or the outdoors.

She also enjoys night photography, especially in the winter when a light inside a house or the moon can make the snow glow.

She said much of her art is inspired by what's around her.

In her spare time, which Sindell admits is limited with her new business, she is an outdoors enthusiast. She recently competed in a team adventure race in Moab, Utah, which covered 275 miles in three or four days and involved biking, hiking, running, canoeing and rappelling.

But she doesn't mind putting most of her time into The Mugshot and her baking.

"I think the best part of it is just how much people love baked goods, and the feedback I get from that really is a feel-good thing," she said. "When someone comes up to you and says, 'That was the best scone I've ever had,' that's a great feeling."

The Mugshot is open from 6 a.m. to noon every day except Sunday. For information, call 736-8491.

The Mugshot will have an opening along with several other shops from 5 to 8 p.m. June 4. Everyone is invited to the celebration.

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