For more than three decades, Sascha Stanger traveled the world in search of good food. Now, the longtime food importer is ready to share his experience with Oak Creek, Routt County and all of Colorado with Sascha’s Gourmet Goods.
“It’s been a dream of his since we’ve been together, which is over 19 years,” said Brooke Stanger, Sascha’s wife. “He’s been talking about doing something like this since we’ve been together, and he’s been talking constantly for all those years, and maybe even before that. Seeing his dream come to life has been great for me because it’s his passion.”
Sascha’s Gourmet Goods is inviting the community to the store at 312 Myers Street, in the back of the Space Station in Oak Creek, for its open house from noon to 8pm on Saturday, August 27th.
“We’ll have a bunch of samples and a bunch of drinks,” Sascha said. “Our registers will be open for the first day that day.”
The following week, on August 31st, the store will host its grand opening and stay open until Monday, which is Labor Day.
Once the holiday weekend is over, Sascha said the store will switch to its normal hours – open 10am to 6pm Wednesday to Saturday.
While the store is Sascha’s dream, the couple hold other jobs on the side to pay the bills. Brooke works at Super Select Market in Oak Creek and Sascha continues to work as vice president of sales and marketing for Cheese Importers Gourmet Warehouse. He also has Sascha’s Seasoning, a line of spices, mixes and rubs that are available throughout Colorado and now at his Oak Creek store.
The couple said they were looking for a place when they learned the space attached to the Space Station was available. They signed a lease, cleaned it, renovated it and finally stocked the store with grocery items for purchase.
“The way the food works is it’s made somewhere else — usually in Europe. Then a guy like me will go to a food show and find that food, then bring it back to the distributor’s house before we take it back to the chefs,” said Sascha. “We tend to get the food first, so a lot of what I have here has not been seen in the area. There are items that I like or think would do well.”
Sascha said he discovered many of the food items while traveling to countries such as Italy, Spain and Portugal as part of his work.
“What we do is we import food from all over the world,” explained Sascha. “We hand-pick foods and work with small producers. They are very artisanal and authentic products.”
He said he hasn’t traveled as much in recent years, but still has an appetite for great flavors from around the world – and right here at home.
His company sells to hotels, restaurants and retailers. He said his company also works locally with Steamboat Meat & Seafood Co., Rex’s Family of Restaurants, Mambo Italiano, Bésame Steamboat and even the Select Super Market just down the street from Sascha’s Home Goods.
Sascha said his goal now is to help educate consumers and introduce them to many of the flavors he’s come to love over the years. He also plans to have tastings and demonstrations so people can taste the food they’ll find in his store.
Among the hundreds of unique items, customers will find baguettes from France, as well as tomatoes, ladyfingers, artichokes and pasta from Italy, and olives and olive oil from Portugal. There are vinegars, cookies, chocolates, chocolate-covered fruits and nuts, and even some CBD products.
Sascha said his customers will also find a lot of homewares from Colorado.
Many of the food items are displayed on antique furniture that was owned by Brooke’s mother.
Stangers moved to Oak Creek from Longmont in the spring of 2021 after her mother died. Brooke said none of this would be possible without her mother and believes she would be happy that Brooke has come to this mountain community with Sascha and they are opening the store.
“We lost my mother-in-law, Brooke’s mother, about a year ago, and we inherited a lot of her beautiful things,” Sascha said. “She loved these antiques and we had a stack of them stored for the last year and in our house.”
Not only does the furniture fit perfectly with the old-world setting, but it reminds the couple of the love and support Brooke’s mother, Joyce Fullerton, shared with them over the years.
Now, as the couple move into the next chapter of their lives, Brooke and Sascha are ready to share their passion for food.
“Not only do we want to serve Routt County, we want to serve the summer visitor, the person who comes to Colorado and reads about Stagecoach and wants to learn about our area,” Sascha said. “We want to be that company that draws people to Oak Creek. We want to be a destination.”
To contact John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.