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Sweet & Savory

Trailside Provisions Touts Tasty Treats in Downtown Loveland

Article by Elizabeth A. Lowry

Photography by Elizabeth A. Lowry

Originally published in Loveland Lifestyle

The second half of the moniker “Trailside Provisions” was already deeply rooted in owner Vickie Larcomb’s mind long before the Loveland location came to fruition.  

Prior to opening their current shop, the Larcomb family (Vickie, Ron and their sons, Alex and Matt) owned and operated Main Street Sweets and Popcorn, a gourmet popcorn shop and candy store in Mason. At one point during a family vacation, they dined at a restaurant with the name “provisions” in it—Vickie says the word just stuck with her ever since. 

Fast-forward to last fall, when, after a couple of years of searching for a new, high-traffic location, the Larcombs stumbled upon the 1,800-square-foot space formerly occupied by Plaid Room Records. They opened just in time for the holidays, aptly naming their new bike trail location with the two most perfectly descriptive words Vickie could think of: Trailside Provisions. 

“When you’re on the trail, ‘provisions’ is what you need … ‘provisions’ is a staple,” Vickie explains. 

A Little Something for Everyone

Trailside Provisions isn’t just a perfect name, its location is also the perfect spot for trail walkers, runners and bikers—everyone and anyone—to replenish. Take one step inside the shop, and you’ll be mesmerized by the sheer amount of deliciousness packed into the space. 

Of course, there’s the Larcombs’ staple of popular popcorn varieties (caramel, cheese, butter, or mixed; pop-n-pretzel, cinnamon toast caramel with a kick, or almond butter crunch; caramel with milk or dark chocolate … the list goes on), but the shop goes far beyond popcorn.

For starters, Trailside carries variety of artisanal, local products like Cooke Tavern soups, East Shore pretzels, All Byrd cookies and biscuits, Bert’s snack mixes, Adams Apple Butter, plus other rotating goodies from nearby makers that include jams, syrups, pancake and bread mixes, local honey and honey sticks.

If it’s sweets you’re after, the shop’s display of chocolate-dipped treats is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth. Choose from pretzels, Oreos, graham crackers, Twinkies, Rice Krispie Treats, marshmallows, peanuts, raisins or malt balls—all dipped in chocolate and adorned with even more chocolate. 

Trailside even offers adult treats, like their selection of CAMP Craft Cocktails. No, the Larcombs don’t sell alcohol, but they do offer a variety of glass jar infusion kits. With mix flavors ranging from Bloody Mary to Hibiscus Ginger Lemon, all you need for these cocktail starters is to add your own 12 ounces of alcohol, then simply refrigerate for a few days. Or, for more immediate enjoyment, drop a Woodford Reserve bourbon-soaked cherry into your favorite happy hour libation. 

Coffee lovers will find gourmet varieties from La Crema Coffee Company, as well as witty coffee mugs, coffee-scented candles and edible (vegan) heart-shaped sugars to sweeten up any cup o’ joe. 

The shop is set up for gift giving, too. Customers can choose items to add to a basket or give Vickie a budget to work with—she’ll fill up a basket for you. 

Inspiration and Innovation 

To fill the store with such delectable treats, Vickie draws inspiration from both near and far. 

For a lot of the healthier provisions, Vickie took into account the needs of the exercise enthusiasts coming in off the trail. “Bikers were stopping and filling me in on the stuff they wanted,” Vickie says. “They like jerky, energy mixes, honey sticks and drinks, but they were also saying they liked protein balls and muffins, too. We are hitting multiple levels here, making sure we get everyone covered.”  

In addition to listening to customer input, she also finds inspiration in other less-obvious places. “Sometimes it can be the strangest thing, like watching a TV show or things I did as a kid. My grandma used to bake a lot, which gives me inspiration, too,” Vickie explains. 

“I also spend a lot of time online looking for new suppliers and vendors … once a year we go to a food show to see what the trends are. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. The CAMP cocktail mixes, I loved the way they looked … and we’re going through them like crazy!” 

And yet one thing no passerby can resist is the smell of fresh-popped popcorn. To lure in even more customers, the Larcombs are planning on installing a large, five-foot window right at the front of the store. While the Larcombs won’t be able to sell out of the window, you will be able to smell out of it—and that’s the whole point. 

“People can smell the cooking and want to come in and see what’s going on back here,” Vickie explains. “The window will never be a service window … it will be a strictly view-and-smell window.”

Although Vickie admits they landed in Loveland somewhat on accident, the more they visited their future location and its surroundings, the more they fell in love with it. “We loved the vibe and the traffic, and the people were friendly,” Vickie says. “I love the idea that when you park here, you’re going to walk, and you’re not walking past an empty building. Loveland is a place to go and have fun.”

Throughout the mandatory stay-at-home order, Vickie and her family worked hard to stay open and accessible via phone-in orders and curbside service—offering Facebook menus (and tantalizing teasers) for snacks, treats and even Easter baskets.

Facebook.com/Trailside-Provisions-104109044308914/

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