Part bakery, part general store, part gathering place, The Mountain Fountain has found a way to harken back to a simpler time while still being a destination for modern shoppers.
Built in 1945, the building was formerly the original Clark Food Store. But in 2017, it was purchased by Carrie Olson who has since molded the store into a popular spot for cyclists, tourists, families and locals who can’t get enough of the wide range of locally made and sourced goods.
“I was looking for a business where community was at its heart,” Olson said via email. “The Mountain Fountain was formerly an old family country market, The Clark Store. … It was bought and transformed into Mary’s market about eight years ago.
“Mary put in a completely gluten-free bakery and brought in some local meats to sell. It is a big cyclist shop, but it is also a place where farmers, kids, teachers, tourists, and other locals stop for a bite to eat.”
The business, in addition to its customer base, was exactly what Olson needed. It is “an amazing intersection of people from all walks of life,” she said. “That is what I was looking for, so when the market came up for sale, I was excited to be able to buy it back in 2017.”
With the help of her team, Olson has made The Mountain Fountain a destination for Colorado-made products. “I try to source locally as much as possible,” Olson said.
“We are proud to partner with the Buckner Family Farm, right down the road. They raise the best lamb and pork I’ve ever tasted. Our beef is a special Wagyu breed that grazes only on local and regional grasses and still produces amazing flavor and texture,” said Olson.
Located at 11809 N. 75thth St. in Hygiene, The Mountain Fountain is perhaps best-known for its flakey gluten-free pies and quiche. When asked what products sell fastest, Olson said the pies are the store’s hottest commodities“Of course, what I love most is the pie! My family and I have a variety of food allergies and the Mountain Fountain has been a great place to shop as they offer gluten free and dairy free items,” said long-time customer Andria Henry.
Henry raved in an email, “I have been a customer of the Mountain Fountain even before it was the Mountain Fountain! It has evolved and changed with owners over the years,” she said.
The Mountain Fountain’s mission runs deeper than its food, though. It also is a place where community is valued and celebrated, Olson said. “We support the Hygiene Elementary School across the street as much as we can.”
“In the past, they have also catered events at my children's school, Hygiene Elementary. Carrie, Mellanie and the staff work hard to put a very personal touch on everything they make and do. Oh, and they do cookie decorating parties around Christmas every year! So fun,” Henry said.
“This was all part of the dream really, so I’m very excited to see it come to fruition,” Olson said.
As with every business, the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the operations of The Mountain Fountain. “We have closed the eating area inside the store and on the patio, but there are still picnic tables out on the shaded little park next to the store,” Olson said. “We are, of course, following all state and county health and safety protocols to keep our employees and customers safe.
“Unfortunately,” she continued, “cyclists cannot fill their water bottles at the soda fountain anymore. I closed it to make sure we were following guidelines. But, we have plenty of bottled water for sale for all our cyclist friends.” The business also now offers curbside pickup, as well as deliveries to Longmont and Lyons.
“I am so grateful to this community for its unwavering support during this pandemic,” Olson said. “It has really renewed my faith in humanity. We have so many people who go out of their way to shop and/or eat with us and I can’t even begin to express my gratitude for such support during such a trying time.”