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 has been a dream of his since we have 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 has talked off and on for all those years, and probably before that. To actually see his dream come to life has been wonderful 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 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27.
“We will have a bunch of samples out and a bunch of drinks,” Sascha said. “Our registers will be open for the first day that day.”
The following week on Aug. 31, the store will host its grand opening and remain open through Monday, which is Labor Day.
After the holiday weekend comes to a close, Sascha said the store will shift to its normal hours — open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.
While the store is Sascha’s dream, the couple maintains other jobs on the side to pay the bills. Brooke works at the 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 seasonings, blends and rubs that are available across Colorado and now at his Oak Creek store.
The couple said they were looking for a place when they learned the space connected to Space Station was available. They signed a lease, cleaned it up, renovated it and more recently stocked the store with food items for purchase.
“The way the food works is it’s made somewhere else — usually over in Europe. Then a guy like me will go to a food show and find that food, then bring it back to the distributor house before we take it back out to the chefs,” Sascha said. “We tend to get the food first, so a lot of things I have here haven’t been seen in the area. There are items I like or items that I feel are going to do well.”
Sascha said he discovered many of the food items while traveling to places like Italy, Spain and Portugal as part of his job.
“What we do is we import foods from around the world,” Sascha explained. “We hand-select the foods and we work with small producers. It’s a lot of artisan 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 has come to love over the years. He also plans to have tastings and demonstrations so people can experience the food they will find in his store.
Among the hundreds of unique items, customers will find baguettes from France, as well as tomatoes, lady fingers, artichokes and pasta from Italy and olives and olive oil from Portugal. There is vinegar, cookies, chocolates, chocolate-covered fruits and nuts, and even a few CBD products.
Sascha said his customers will also find many homegrown items from Colorado.
Many of the food items are displayed on antique furniture that was owned by Brooke’s mother.
The Stangers moved to Oak Creek from Longmont in spring 2021 after her mother passed away. Brooke said none of this would be possible without her mom 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 mom, about a year ago, and we inherited a lot of her cool things,” Sascha said. “She loved these antiques, and we had a bunch of them stored for the last year and in our own house.”
Not only does the furniture fit perfectly into the old-world setting, it reminds the couple of the love and support Brooke’s mother, Joyce Fullerton, shared with them over the years.
Now, as the couple moves into the next chapter of their lives, Brooke and Sascha are ready to share their own passion for food.
“Not only do we want to serve Routt County, we want to service the summer visitor, the person who’s coming into Colorado and reading about Stagecoach and wanting 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 reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.