GGs brews strong after 1 year
Hayden coffee shop, run by sisters, attracts locals, passers-by
October 12, 2008
Customers ambled in and out of GGs Coffee Shop on Wednesday morning, providing a steady flow of business to the year-old Hayden bistro.
“Ooh, I want a float,” one girl said to another, peering up at the menu on the wall.
“Vanilla?” the other girl asked.
“You want a vanilla float?” the cashier confirmed.
“No, root beer,” the young customer said decisively, grinning in anticipation.
That was pretty much how it went for the next half-hour, though most of the patrons who moved through were slightly older and slightly less giggly than the girl seeking a sugar fix. More than a year after opening, GGs has become part of the Hayden community, owners said.
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The shop was going to do something special to celebrate its anniversary, but the owners couldn’t fit it into their schedule. Business is just too good, co-owner Bonnie Girton said.
“We’ve started catering, and it’s kept us so busy that we don’t even have time to think about or plan that,” Girton said. “We keep saying, ‘Oh, it’s been a year. We should have a party.’ But we don’t have time.”
That bustle is good news for the shop on U.S. Highway 40 on the eastern side of Hayden. Traffic has been steady, Girton said, and GGs has added features throughout the year. The shop carries gifts, art and jewelry and sells breakfast burritos, lunch paninis, ice cream, milkshakes and items that support a charity in Africa, Girton said.
“It’s going great,” she said. “We are just cranking away.”
The customer base includes locals, as well as folks passing through, Girton said. Hayden schools and banks support the shop. The summer was busy with Triple Crown customers, co-owner Tammi Engle said.
“Our sandwiches started taking off,” Engle said. “I think, one day, we made 80 sandwiches for Triple Crown. That was a huge time.”
GGs’ name came from its owners: the four Girton sisters, or Girton girls, said Engle, a sister. Engle and Bonnie Girton mostly handle the shop, but Beccy Lanier, who lives in Hayden, and Debbie Girton, of Denver, help.
They’re all still close after the year, Engle said.
“Our tastes complement each other, and we laugh a lot,” Engle said. “We pray together. All those things make a difference. : There’ve been stressful times, but we say, ‘It’s just coffee.’ : We keep it in perspective.”
Few kinks have hampered the women during the year, Engle said.
They did learn “how finicky espresso machines are,” she said. “We had a big learning curve there.”
They’ve added food items slowly, aiming to perfect each product before moving forward, Engle said.
“We want to be good and not overwhelmed,” she said. The women plan to add desserts, including banana splits, Engle said.
They also try to keep a comfortable family feel in GGs. Groups meet there, Engle said, and it has become a community hangout. Several customers were reading and chatting Wednesday alongside the fireplace and warm yellow walls.
Pastor Janet Babish, of Hayden Congregational Church, sat at a table, discussing the Bible with a woman. She is a friend of Engle’s and comes in for coffee from time to time.
“It’s very comforting, very warm – a relaxing and peaceful place,” Babish said. “Especially as a pastor, I love that Christians run it. I know they have the community at heart.”
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