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Pueblo Seed and Food Company to open for 2024

The store is owned and operated by husband and wife team Dan Hobbs, the farmer, and Nanna Meyer, the baker. (Courtesy of Pueblo Seed and Food Company)
The Cortez company, which will open on Jan. 19, sells products made from whole grains, along with a long list of seeds and other produce

Pueblo Seed and Food Company will soon open its doors for 2024.

The business, which sells products made from whole grains, will start up on Jan. 19.

Dan Hobbs and Nanna Meyer opened Pueblo Seed and Food Company, which is located at 25 N. Beech St. in Cortez, on Sept. 2, 2023. The business closed for the holidays to train new staff entering the new year.

Dan Hobbs is a farmer, and Nanna Meyer is a baker. They’re also a married couple.

According to Hobbs, the company is a vertically integrated agriculture business, taking produce grown on their 30-acre farm in McElmo Canyon to the store in Cortez and across the country.

Owners Nanna Meyer and Dan Hobbs. (Courtesy of Pueblo Seed and Food Company)

Hobbs and Meyer moved to their farm in McElmo Canyon in 2021 after Hobbs spent over 25 years farming in Pueblo County.

Meyer, a dietitian and professor at University of Colorado Colorado Springs, met Hobbs while helping start a grain school at UCCS. The two connected over their shared interest in ancient and heritage grains and seeds.

They soon began taking a deeper dive into ancient and heritage wheat, dry barley and other culinary grains.

“For three years we have been screening seeds for their abilities to thrive,” Hobbs said. “Specifically in semi-high elevation and arid climates.”

Their niche is drought tolerant seeds sourced from all over the world, including Africa, Asia and South America, along with their Pueblo chili and organic garlic.

Soon, it became clear they would have to find another place to farm after facing difficulties keeping their corn and wheat pure and isolated from other farms’ seeds in Pueblo.

They moved to Montezuma County in 2021, which Hobbs described as the perfect place to grow their heritage grains and seeds due to the slightly higher elevation and ability to keep the produce isolated in McElmo.

Though the elevation is higher in Montezuma County, the climate is still warm enough to grow their other produce.

Now, their company is a way to get their produce out to the community, providing a variety of products for people to enjoy.

According to Hobbs, two-thirds of the store is dedicated to seeds. In this section of the store, their 90-100 seed products, including vegetables, grains, flowers, herbs and more, are sorted and sold. They also mill their own flour in-house, which Meyers said is 100% whole grain. This part of the operation runs Monday through Thursday each week.

“The mill is actually quite a good size and is kind of a centerpiece of the bake house,” Meyer said.

Friday through Saturday, community members are invited to come eat, as they have created a space where people can enjoy lunch on Fridays from noon to 6 p.m. and breakfast, brunch and lunch on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“People can sit and eat and have coffee. They can come and enjoy lunch and breakfast and brunch on Saturday,” Meyer said.

Menu items include baked goods, soups, open-face sandwiches, in-house milled cereals, cookies, breads, gems and more. Meyer said gems are sourdough pizzas topped with Pueblo chili and cheese.

Nearly everything in the store, other than organic butter used in the baked goods, is grown or made by Hobbs and Meyer.

Items like packaged cereals, sourdough starter, breads, cookies, grits, chili powder and garlic powder are also packaged and available for purchase.

Meyer, who grew up in Switzerland, also brings a European twist to the southwestern style of food at the company. She bakes and sells breads with rye and recipes from Scandinavian countries, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany and Austria.

“I think it's working in this bread space with these European style traditional breads, and it’s in my lineage. I grew up this way,” Meyer said.

They also make bread with the Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project juice, using a traditional recipe from Normandy, France.

“They are breads that are satisfying, that are very nutritious and unique in flavor,” Meyer said.

People are able to sample various kinds of breads offered in the store before purchasing, allowing them to try the different breads and learn more about their origins and ingredients.

Meyer said people not only familiarize themselves with those breads, but learn how their own health can improve.

“It's very interesting for me to hear some of the stories that people come back with. They may have some issues with health, and they seem to be able to manage these health issues better with whole grain products, which we know from a research perspective that whole grain is key in maintaining health and particularly blood glucose regulation,” Meyer said.

Hobbs and Meyer also expressed their appreciation being able to farm and grow produce in Southwest Colorado.

“There's a conservation and stewardship piece to our work also with some of these varieties, but we’re just honored to be farming in the footsteps of the ancients, and also all these great horticulturalists of the 20th century, the orchardists, the seed growers, the bean grower,” Hobbs said. “We just view ourselves as part of this agricultural tradition that's been going on in this region now for thousands of years.”

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