Rolling with the flow

Rolling with the flow

Times have changed but Ute Coffee Shop remains popular hangout

Rolling with the flow

The slice of life

Pie! Who doesn't love a delicious, warm homemade pie?

Apple, cherry, rhubarb, chocolate cream, coconut cream - there is nothing like a slice of pie.

There are so many things that could be said about pie.

The regular crowd that camp out at the Ute Coffee Shop love pie. Especially if it's made by Donna Bowling. aka the pie maker.

She's proud of her pies.

'I think I make some of the best pies around,' Bowling says. 'They are all made from scratch. The only thing I do is doctor up the fillings. Everything else is homemade.'

As the proprietor of the coffee shop on Broadway, Bowling makes it a personal priority to bring the freshest, most mouth-watering pies to her patrons. When it comes to pies, Bowling puts in the extra time.

Oftentimes, Bowling will come into the coffee shop, hide out in the kitchen and spend three to four hours making pies. Longer if she's feeling extra chatty with her customers that day. She can crank out five pies in four hours. Blueberry, strawberry rhubarb, banana cream and mincemeat are all in her arsenal of pie-making skills. Apple and coconut cream are usually the first to go. Bowling sells by the slice or whole pies.

'I don't like pies that are a couple days old,' she says. 'Especially cream pies. There need to be fresh pies every other day.'

Her pies make appearances all over the county in silent auctions for charity events. In particular the Lewis-Arriola Fire Department's annual charity event. But it's not just pies that Bowling donates. The annual Cattleman's awards luncheon gets a donation of rolls, potatoes and salad. Anytime Bowling feels a cause is worthy, she will make something. Most often it's pie.

Her cinnamon rolls are also popular at the Ute Coffee Shop. She can make around 72 homemade cinnamon rolls in one day. Whenever she makes those cinnamon rolls, they don't last long.

But it's her pies that leave the biggest impression.

'Some customers come in just for the pie,' she says. 'And the coffee. We serve some of the best coffee.'

Even with all the work, Bowling says pie making is relaxing.

The cracking of the eggs, sifting of flour, beating the batter, it's all routine after so many years. She's a master pie maker. She's made so many pies that her motions are automatic, going from one task to the next. She no longer needs notes, books or recipes. Her hands know what to do.

She is indeed proud of her pie-making skills.

'I put my best effort into my pies to please my customers,' Bowling says. 'I enjoy making pies and I enjoy making people happy.'

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Ute Coffee Shop

The Ute Coffee Shop is located at 17 S. Broadway. They are open Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. during winter. They close at 2 p.m. on Sundays.