By Lisa Crockett; photos courtesy of Cookies & Crèma
Cookies & Crèma, a locally-owned coffee stop, is a great place to grab your morning Joe. Owner April Arellano, a self-proclaimed coffee lover, is proud of the freshness and quality of every steaming (or iced) cup they serve.
“All our coffees are fair-trade and locally roasted by a family-owned roaster in Denver,” she said. “Coffee is at its peak flavor 24 hours to seven days after it’s roasted, and we bring it in twice a week, so your coffee is never more than four days old.”
Local dairy Royal Crest is the supplier for milk used in coffee and tea drinks, but customers can also choose from almond, coconut, and soy milk at no extra charge. Familiar favorites like caramel macchiato and café au lait sit on the menu alongside house specialties like snickerdoodle latte and Mayan mocha. On a warm day, patrons may opt for something cold and refreshing like a frozen hot chocolate or a frappuccino. Smoothies are made from fruit and a bit of fruit juice with no added sugar. For a creamier treat, milk or coconut milk can be added to a smoothie.
But drinks at Cookies & Crèma are just the beginning of the story. Cookies, as the name suggests, are an important part of the menu and are made in-house every day, as are the scones. Muffins, bread, pastries, and pecan pie are sourced from a Denver baker. If you’re looking for heartier fare, the breakfast burritos – which are generous in their portion size to say the least – might be just the thing.
“The burritos use two farm-fresh eggs, bacon or sausage, natural cheddar, fire-roasted tomatoes, and jalapeños or made-from-scratch green chile,” said Arellano. “The green chile has gotten so popular that we are looking into selling it by the jar.”
“Full plates” consisting of eggs, bacon or sausage, potatoes, and toast are also popular, as are pancakes, biscuits and gravy, and breakfast sandwiches. “Nothing is frozen,” said Arellano. “If you come in during the morning, you’ll find us peeling potatoes.”
Lunchtime means sandwiches, like the “Cowboy” sandwich I enjoyed on a recent visit. A tender chicken breast nestled between slices of bacon and a chipotle aioli gave it a richness and pleasant spiciness. The “Tuscan” features freshly-roasted (not processed or pressed) turkey breast with basil pesto and Swiss cheese.
Arellano, who comes from a long line of restaurateurs in her native Arkansas, knows that food and community go together. Especially in a coffee place, people come in looking for somewhere they can sit a spell and enjoy themselves. To that end, comfortable seating and Wi-Fi are abundantly available. A few times a month, story time for young children is held, allowing moms and dads to catch a moment to connect with friends.
“We have had retired preschool teachers and local authors come do story time,” said Arellano. “We’ve also partnered with the Family Enrichment Center.”
Since the restaurant is closed at 6:00 p.m. during the week and 2:30 p.m. on weekends, it is available after-hours for private events, like meetings and parties, and can accommodate up to 45 people.
“We love to have events here and we have the ability to cater them, which makes it convenient,” said Arellano. “We hope you come for the atmosphere and that when you’re here you feel like family.”
Cookies & Crèma is located at 4284 Trail Boss Drive in Castle Rock, adjacent to the Kaiser Permanente clinic. Hours on weekdays are: 6:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., weekends 7:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. On weekends, breakfast is served all day. For more info about Cookies & Crèma, visit www.cookiesandcrema.com; for information about storytime dates and times, visit Cookies & Crèma on Facebook.
4284 Trail Boss Dr #100
Castle Rock, Colorado 80104