RIDGWAY – Amy Madaris, her green baker’s apron askew, sat down at a back table amid the warmth and bread smells of her new bakery/café, Flour Power, on Sherman St., in Ridgway. “I don’t think I’ve sat down since 3 a.m.,” she said, smiling between twin black braids.
I sipped coffee and forked another bite of raisin/cinnamon roll, with melted butter. Madaris and her husband, Roger, are up every morning at 3 a.m. these days; it’s what bakers must do to produce that day’s honey wheat bread, hamburger buns, sticky buns and doughnuts.
“I’ve got my whole family here,” she said, cracking a pretend whip and pointing into the kitchen where her stepfather Mike Foulk was helping Roger with lunch preparations. “Dad wasn’t supposed to be my line cook. But the first one lasted all of two days. When the pub opens downstairs, Dad will run that. For now he’s teaching my husband to cook. Dad’s parents ran a restaurant in Las Animas, over on the other side of the slope.” While we were talking, Amy’s mother, Becky Foulk, called to report on something with the ordering. So, Mom’s involved, too.
In fact, it was Becky who found Ridgway first, according to Amy. “She moved here about 20 years ago from Big Bear (Calif.), where I grew up. Then when the house I was living in burned down, I came to Ridgway, too.”
Madaris worked first as a baker for Linda Nadel at Linda’s Bakery (a little ways east on Sherman Street, where 520 Burgers is now), then at its successor, San Juan Mama’s. “I love to bake!” she said, transparent as morning.
“I’m a mountain girl,” she said, referring to her high school years in Big Bear (class of 92), one of southern California’s rustic mountain resort areas. “I could never live in a city.”
Flour Power has bright Impressionistic mountain scenes on the walls by local painter Rob Diaz. A large canvas depicting downtown Ouray from on high hangs next to a bedspread-size tie-dye of a peace sign. Sun poured in the east windows, while traveling ice climbers tucked into a late breakfast.
“We do breakfast sandwiches, burritos, pancakes, biscuits and gravy, eggs, bacon, hash-browns. About the only thing we don’t do is omelets. I hate doing omelets. They take up half the space on your stove; if you’re busy, everything else almost comes to a halt.”
For lunch they serve up cold and grilled sandwiches, burgers, Philly cheesesteaks, French dip, turkey/bacon sandwiches, chicken sandwiches (all on fresh-baked bread or hoagie rolls, of course), pizzas, and fries.
The downstairs Madaris referred to will open when they get final approval on their liquor license. “The town approved it, but the state is still having problems with our lease, the fact that all of us signed it; they want just one signature.” When they get the license, Madaris said, the plan is to open the downstairs as a pub. “There’s a dart board down there, and a pool table. And we’ve got several classic arcade games, including one of those freestanding Ms. Pac-Man games where you sit on either side – very retro. Dad will be running things in the pub once we get it going.”
For now, the bakery is open 6 a.m.-2 p.m. every day except Sunday, in the Silver San Juan Building, at the corner of North Cora. “We decided to start closing on Sundays,” she said, admitting at last to some fatigue. “I need one day off.”
Flour Power, 630 Sherman Street. 970/626-6993.