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5 Hidden Gem Businesses in Berthoud to Check Out in 2021

You have driven down Mountain Avenue and know all of the shops in the Hays Market shopping center. But there’s still a ton about this town you likely don’t know. Even if you’ve lived here your whole life, there are a surprising number of small, at-home, online and off-the-beaten-path local businesses you might not have heard about before.

Here are five of those hidden gem businesses worth getting to know in 2021.

1. Mountain Marsupial
It’s no surprise this invention came from a mother of five (and registered nurse who worked in pediatrics). Mountain Marsupial is a babywearing jacket.

This is a step up from the common babywearing wraps and packs, designed to keep the baby close to your body and warm, while keeping mama’s hands free. This four-in-one jacket is waterproof, windproof and breathable, so you can wear it — and your baby — hiking, walking and on all kinds of adventures. The fabric is lightweight, but it’s also warm enough to wear in snow and chilly or windy conditions.

The Mountain Marsupial is much more versatile than a baby sling and allows mama to be more active. And best of all, after the baby outgrows it, you can still wear it. It looks great with or without a tiny head popping out the back.

2.  Phoenix Weaponry

This small-town company aims to totally disrupt the gun manufacturing industry. Phoenix Weaponry, located off Second Ave., manufactures custom weapons. Its designs and emphasis on precision have earned Phoenix Weaponry a reputation as a high-quality industry leader.

Owner Aaron Cayce founded the business in 2014. Today, more than 20 machinists and gunsmiths work here to craft personalized firearms — “the firearm of your dreams” is the tagline. You pick a weapon platform, choose the accessories and then watch it come to reality from a block of aluminum.

The business also makes weapon parts, and has a retail side that sells various firearms, accessories and more. You can also sign up for firearms training classes here.

Tip: Ask for a tour of the shop, a two-story, 10,000-square-foot brick building. Not sure what you want (or what’s even possible)? Stop by and talk to the staff to get ideas.

3.  Flat 4 Freak

Car lovers and Subaru fans, this shop’s for you. Flat 4 Freak, off Second Street, is more than a mechanic shop that can work on factory cars and perform general maintenance. It also can do all kinds of upgrades on Subarus, making it the area Subaru specialist.

Flat 4 Freak can totally rebuild engines; swap engines; and hook your vehicle up with a powerful performance engine.

Staff here boasts more than 20 years of experience between them.

4.  Columbine Creations and Events

On the surface, Columbine Cakes and Creations is a normal wedding business, offering planning and cakes (that is, normal in services; above normal in execution).  But this is far from any wedding service you’ve seen before.

First, Columbine Creations is headed up by twin sisters, Faith Kelly and Anna Frye, who make wedding cakes, as well as any other kind of cake and cupcake to celebrate a special occasion. They bake from their home kitchen under Colorado’s cottage food laws, and can deliver up and down the Front Range.

But Kelly is also a talented seamstress, and she creates custom wedding gowns. She can custom-fit formal gowns for all occasions, or design a full-service, fully original design. Kelly even specializes in designing elaborate, historically accurate period costumes.

Check out her designs on her Instagram page, @Timetraveling_Pocketwatch.

She also can create menswear and children’s clothing. In fact, she made more than 500 masks for the residents of Berthoud at the beginning of the pandemic.

Kelly has been sewing all her life, but has been a dressmaker for about 15 years. Her skills are largely self-taught, other than things she learned from her mother and techniques she picked up living overseas from the seamstresses in Cambodia.

5.  Simply Baked

After Kristen Scott had her son, Nash, she struggled with producing enough breast milk. In a hunt for a solution, she decided to put to use her background in culinary arts.

Scott, a culinary school graduate, came up with a line of different flavored cookies and baked goods packed with ingredients that help boost a mother’s milk supply while nursing or pumping (such as B vitamins, omega 3s, fiber and healthy fats). That’s how Simply Baked was formed.

On Etsy, Simply Baked sells lactation cookies (and more) for nursing and pumping moms. It also offers dairy-free, soy-free and gluten-free options. Scott recommends nursing moms eat two to four cookies per day for the first two days for a big boost, and then one to two cookies a day to keep the supply going.

Simply Baked offers a wide range of flavors, including pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin chocolate chip, strawberry cheesecake, rocky road, salted caramel, cinnamon, coconut, you name it.

In addition to cookies, Simply Baked offers lactation granola, bars and muesli, as well as animal crackers for kids and “daddy cookies,” which are made without all of the milk-producing ingredients (although Simply Baked says it’s no harm if the rest of the family gets into the lactation snacks).

Scott says the cookies saved her breastfeeding relationship, and her shop has racked up nearly 2,000 sales.