When I was asked to join a Local Table Tours outing at Jessup Farm Artisan Village in Fort Collins, I jumped at the opportunity to explore this unique Northern Colorado destination.
Jessup Farm was a working farm built at the turn of the century. In 2011, the Campana family of Bellisimo Inc. rehabilitated the property and repurposed the buildings to house modern-day businesses scattered around like a village. Today the property is home to multiple small businesses, a flock of chickens and a large garden.
According to Steven Sorensen, a Campana family member and part of Bellisimo Inc., when the family first conceived of the plan for Artisan Village, they didn’t visualize it as a destination for anyone other than those who lived in surrounding neighborhoods.
Today, however, it’s become a destination from people from around the Front Range who want to experience the charm of the place. And, development companies phone Bellisimo Inc. regularly to learn more about Jessup Farm because they’d like to try something similar in their communities.
The Tour at Jessup Farm Artisan Village
I brought along my friend Karen and our small tour group met outside Kennedy’s Lucky 27 Barbershop & Social Club, where we were greeted by our guide, Claire Whitworth of SavoringFortCollins.com. Our first stop was Bindle Coffee, located in what was once the farm’s mechanic garage.
Everything at Bindle is made from scratch, and the coffee was very good (high praise coming from someone who grew up in the Seattle area). The chocolate chip cookies were amazing and I hear their cinnamon rolls are even better.
Our second stop was the Jessup Farm Barrel House, which is located in the farm’s 114-year-old barn. The rustic tasting room is upstairs and has become very popular with twenty-something Fort Collins dwellers.
Our guide in the Barrel House was Cindy and she walked us through tasting Freight Hopper, a dry-hopped India Pale Ale and the Whiskey Freight Hopper, a whiskey barrel aged beer with peach tones. I enjoyed Cindy’s enthusiasm and the delight she takes in introducing people to Barrel House beers.
“Instead of asking people what beer they like,” she said, “I ask them, ‘What’s your range?’”
In this way she’s able to introduce people to beers they may not have otherwise tried based on preconceived notions about various styles.
Our third stop was the 130-year-old farmhouse which is now an incredible restaurant aptly named, The Farmhouse at Jessup Farm. This restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Our tour included several plates of appetizers. Karen, Claire and I were downright ecstatic about the roasted carrots topped with a pesto made from the carrot tops. And, the flash-fried, house-cured pork belly bites were divine, but the my favorite was the goatcheese caprese with Haystack goat cheese, heirloom cherry tomatoes and fresh bread from The Loafing Shed next door (our last stop).
Karen and I paired our appetizers with a California Rosé recommended by our server. Please note that drinks at The Farmhouse are not included in your tour and are an additional charge.
Our last stop was The Loafing Shed, the sister-restaurant of The Farmhouse and located just steps away. This bakery and eatery is in the farm’s original loafing shed, a small barn built inside a pasture or paddock area that enables livestock to get out or the rain or hot sun. Today the long building houses the bakery, a clothing store and photography studio.
The Loafing Shed is a bright and airy shop that serves up fresh bread and pastries along with lunch and dinner items, plus adult beverages. Somehow we found room for scrumptious cookies and a cake-like item that I can’t recall the name of, but tasted like heaven.
Check out Fort Collins’ Local Table Tours here. Local Table Tours offer culinary excursions in Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins. These tours are perfect for a date with your sweetie or a friends’ outing. You can even create your own custom tour. So get out there and start exploring Colorado’s foodie offerings.
Thank you to Local Table Tours for hosting us on this outing.