Should you find yourself north of Denver this weekend—which happens to include Pi Day on March 14—consider comforting yourself with the holiday’s namesake treat at a fourth-generation, family-owned dessert shop: the Colorado Cherry Company.
Colorado Cherry Company’s almost hundred-year-old story began when founder Katherine Lehnert opened the first pie shop in Wisconsin in 1929. Her son Monrico and his wife Sunny moved to Colorado in 1960 and opened a store in Big Thompson Canyon, using cherries grown in the orchards outside of Loveland to make cider, jam, and pies. Anthony Lehnert and his wife Kristi took over the business in 2007, launching an outpost west of Lyons soon after and temping motorists headed to Estes Park from Boulder or Denver with whole pies, slices, and take-and-bakes (perfect souvenirs for those not gifted with the baker’s touch).
For $4, a classic slice of cherry, apple, or blueberry is always available, while seasonal flavors like pumpkin, peach, and strawberry rhubarb come and go. For those craving savory sustenance, Colorado Cherry Company’s Lyons location also offers hearty, non-dessert items like breakfast hand pies (think: portable huevos rancheros), bison chile, and rosemary-dusted chicken pot pies.
Though thriving, the family-run business has experienced its share of hardship. The historic floods in 2013 damaged highways 36 and 34—the only routes to accessing the Loveland and Lyons locations—but the shop’s buildings were left unscathed. While the roads were being repaired, Anthony and his son pedaled their mountain bikes to retrieve homemade jams, jellies, and ciders from the family’s stores, which they sold out of a truck at Loveland’s Centerra Mall. Since, two new Colorado Cherry Company locations have opened: a coffee shop inside the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park in 2017, and a full-service restaurant in Windsor’s Raindance community in 2019—both serve the brand’s beloved pies.
In recent years, a bear broke into the Lyons shop, eating 24 cherry and apple pies (though he didn’t have a taste for strawberry rhubarb). Luckily, you don’t have to climb through a window like Yogi Bear did to taste these baked treats. Instead, consider celebrating Pi Day there on March 14, when Colorado Cherry Company is offering slices of pie for just $3.14 each at all of its locations.
12311, N. St. Vrain Rd., Lyons; 1023 U.S.-24, Loveland; 2191 Covered Bridge Pkwy., Windsor; 333 Wonderview Ave., Estes Park (The Stanley Hotel)