Kelly's Kitchen Launches as Pop-Up in Dolores Brewery

3/17/2021
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Kelly Gregory waited more than 20 years to realize her dream of owning a food-service business or a restaurant. The pandemic gave her the opportunity to just that when she began operating out of the Dolores River Brewery kitchen two nights a week. By LNN News Director Deborah Uroda; Editor Zach Marqua

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Dolores resident Kelly Gregory had dreamed

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about opening her own

restaurant for nearly 28 years,

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but the timing never seemed right

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until the pandemic finally

gave her the chance

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to make her dream come true.

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You're watching the local

news network brought

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to you by Keesee Motors in

Cortez and FastSigns of Durango.

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I'm Wendy Graham Settle.

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As a teenager, Kelly Gregory

became a regular reader

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of Bon Appetit Magazine

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and tried as many recipes as she could.

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The obsession followed her

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through college where she landed one

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of her first food service jobs

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in the residence hall kitchens

at Colorado State University.

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She worked as a wedding

and catering manager

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for a Swanky Hotel in

Denver, found herself

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in various food service positions

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in restaurants and still dreamed

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of owning her own catering

business or restaurant.

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Her obsession with preparing

good food followed her

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when she became a nutritionist

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in a cardiac rehabilitation center

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and as a middle school

science teacher in Cortez.

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Then last summer, after the

pandemic hit she decided

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to try her hand at selling

some of her favorite condiments

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at the Dolores Farmer's Market

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including salsa's homemade hummus,

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and kimchi under the

Kelly's Kitchen label.

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But her carrot cupcakes were

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to become the hands down, local favorite.

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I've read Bon Appetit Magazine for

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I think 30 years now.

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And so, I made this carrot

cake that was just incredible

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for several different weddings.

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And, so during the pandemic,

I hadn't seen my parents

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for quite a while and it

was my dad's birthday.

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Sorry, I'm going to get choked up.

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And so I made carrot cake, which he loved

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and I had some leftover

carrot cake cupcakes

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and they were building the playground

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over here in town. And I was like,

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what am I going to do

with these extra cupcakes?

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And I was like, Oh I'll take them

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to the volunteers at the playground.

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And you know, people had them

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and they were like, these are amazing!

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And so I said, well,

maybe I can sell those

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at the Farmer's Market.

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And then my niece started

working with me and she was like,

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I think we need something

more than carrot.

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You know, I like the carrot

cake, but you know what

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about like lemon or lime

or, you know, red velvet.

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And so then we started making a variety.

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Her first opportunity

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to open her own restaurant

came last summer

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when she started selling her wares

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at the Dolores River Breweries

Beer Garden that expanded

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to making tacos one night a week.

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And before she knew it, she

was opening a pop-up restaurant

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in the Breweries Kitchen two nights a week

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An opportunity presented itself

to kind of shift the model

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of our business a little bit,

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and open up our kitchen

to people like Kelly.

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And we go way back, to

explore the opportunities

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and the you know, the idea or the passion

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of perhaps, you know,

getting into a food truck

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or opening their own restaurant

or something like that.

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It's like almost like a

starter, you know, like

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a test kitchen, if you will,

in pop-ups where all the rage

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and we've done this before

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in the past with a ramen kind of concept.

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And it was just a lot of fun.

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It also offered our clientele

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and our community kind

of a varied experience.

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We cook pizzas for six

days a week for 19 years.

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And although everybody loves pizza,

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it was nice to offer some options to that.

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Gregory serves up a menu of Thai food

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and sandwiches on what she

calls World Tour Wednesdays

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and a variety of tacos on Taco Thursdays.

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World Tour Wednesdays

also will feature cuisines

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of other countries as summer progresses.

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Gregory plans to expand

to three nights a week

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when the Breweries Beer

Garden opens in April.

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In the meantime, working as

an independent pop-up kitchen

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at the Brewery is just the

start of her dreams come true.

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Oh, it helped me actually

achieve this dream that I've had

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for a long time to have my

own food service business

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which a long time I thought

it would be a coffee shop,

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and then it was like, oh,

it'll be a food truck.

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and what I needed was just

like that extra little, push

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or opportunity that kind of

put me over the edge to say,

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now I think I can do this

and I can make a go of it.

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You know, that can be my new career.

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If you'd like to see what's on the menu

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at Kelly's World Kitchen in

the Dolores River Brewery,

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visit kellyskitchendolores.com.

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Thanks for watching this edition

of the Local News Network.

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If you'd like to stay up on

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I'm Wendy Graham Settle.

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