Why We Strive to be the Ritz Carlton of Soup, Sandwiches, and Salads

Every week our owner Tom Stoner and Chef Dave can be found at local farmers markets bagging seasonal local produce to incorporate into their menu items at the 5 Spoons locations in Fort Collins.

Tom Stoner has always wanted Spoons to be the “Ritz Carlton” of soups, sandwiches, and salads. And that journey begins in the kitchen. Spoons is unique in that everything served is grown and prepared locally. All of the salad dressings, soups, and sandwich meat is seasoned, sliced, and cooked in our own Kitchen.

Understanding our standard of serving fresh ingredients, local farmers often come to Spoons before they take their products to the market, knowing our value of local food on our menu. Chef Dave recently bought 200 lbs. of local butternut squash that will be incorporated into different soups over the next few months– such as Pumpkin Green Chilli, Cajun Pumpkin, and Roasted Garlic Pumpkin Soup.

At Spoons, our focus is on the process to serve you our best. From finding the best ingredients, to creating the best food, and serving it to you at our best price, we have you in mind through the whole process.

Our journey always starts with you, our family, and leads us to finding high-quality ingredients. Short cutting the process of finding wholesome ingredients and creating our own recipes would be easy, but that wouldn’t be best for you. The passion we hold at Spoons is to deliver an incredible variety of soup, sandwiches, and salads in a way that our customers know they can count on every single menu item being sourced responsibly and made carefully.

Each morning Chef Dave enters the kitchen hours before dawn, he works with an empty pot as an artist works with an empty canvas. Adding ingredients, tasting the soup, looking for the jewel hidden in every pot. The goal? To create a jewel and take it from our Chef’s pot to your family’s bowl.

Spoons exists because Fort Collins deserves great food. The community of Fort Collins has given back to us in so many ways and supported our dream of opening a soup restaurant that serves quality, local, and wholesome food. We owe it to you to give you our best, because you haven given your best to us.

Big Idea: Meet the Man Behind the Soup.

Every morning, Chef Dave arrives at Spoons’ kitchen hours before dawn to begin his daily soup creation starting with just an empty metal pot. Dave loves soup, in fact, some might say he is crazy about soup, including himself. “I have a thing for I make soup all week. I’ll make 250 gallons of soup every day, and come Saturday, I am shopping at Whole Foods and the farmers market buying ingredients to make soup at home.”

Chef Dave is the man behind the soup you enjoy at Spoons, and to him, soup is an opportunity to create something that matters for the people of Fort Collins. Creativity fuels Dave’s passion for soup and is what gets him out of bed each morning. “Starting with an empty pot, turning it on, starting with some sautéed vegetables, building it up, adding ingredients. The colors, tasting it, smelling it, that is where it’s at.”

In 1980, Dave was 20 years old and had just moved to Durango, Colorado from his home state of Michigan to work in a kitchen resort. After working there for about two months, the resort hired a new chef– a 30-year old with a passion for making high-quality Americana food. That chef was Tom Stoner, who would later move to Fort Collins to establish Spoons in 2002.

Tom took Dave under his wing, teaching him his best culinary tricks and creative touch to delicious menu items. One day, while Tom and Dave were making a tomato soup, Dave watched as Tom cut fresh basil and poured the herbs into the soup. The taste of the soup before and after the herbs were added amazed Dave. He never knew how much of a difference fresh herbs made to the overall flavor of soup.

Even today, Chef Dave’s cooking reflects his early experiences from his partnership with Tom in 1980. Today, Chef Dave can be found in Spoons’ kitchen carefully chopping fresh parsley and adding it to his famous Mom’s Chicken Vegetable Soup. “I want to dig a spoonful and see that chopped parsley in there because that means somebody took the time and the effort to chop up a fresh herb and get it into the soup. It’s not dried, it’s not flakes, it’s the real, fresh stuff.”

Over the last 30 years, Tom and Dave have worked both together and apart, and today, they consider themselves not as owner and employee, but more like “two people who really dig food and just want the best.” Spoons’ culture centers on care– from the preparation and production to the final product you enjoy, every spoonful reflects the care for each consumer and the menu items you love most.

You Will Always have Gluten-Free Options at Spoons

Over the last 5 years, there have been increased diagnoses of celiac disease; the number of you, our customers, who are looking for quality gluten-free dining options has increased as a result. We get it. Finding gluten-free items at restaurants is tricky. Many restaurants compromise quality or price when adding gluten-free items to their menu.

At Spoons, we will always be happy to cater to dietary needs and provide gluten-free options for our customers. And not only that, but we ensure our classic and homestyle recipes will create a satisfying menu, even for the gluten-free eater. This month is Gluten-Free Awareness Month and we want to give you a glimpse into what we do at Spoons to make sure the gluten-free food you order is truly gluten-free.

Our founding chef, Tom Stoner, is a former Five-Star Chef who works hard to provide you with many delicious options from our menu. From our Apple Poppyseed Salad, to our Chicken Sweet Potato Stew, you are guaranteed to find gluten-free soups, salads, and the option to make any of our sandwiches on gluten-free bread.

Our team is committed to provide natural and fresh ingredients and to remain transparent with customers about the ingredients included in each menu item. We pride ourselves in being transparent with nutritional information and ingredients because frankly, we have nothing to hide. All of our menu items are made with the freshest seasonal ingredients from local growers, ensuring you the best quality from preparation to presentation.

Our owners have always cared about putting in the extra work to serve the best menu to our customers. Several years ago, our team at Spoons worked with one of the leading soup production companies in the country to create a soup base that was gluten-free. In a way, Spoons was the guinea pig for some of the gluten-free soup base products and over a few years the gluten-free bases were reviewed and revised until perfected for customers.

Over the last 13 years, Spoons has grown from the strength and support of our community and it is with great gratitude that we serve you through knowing you and accommodating for various dietary needs.

When new team members are hired we train them how to carefully handle gluten-free requests. We ensure they know the safety protocol to wear new gloves and use separate utensils to ensure what you order remains truly gluten-free. It is also important for our team members to understand that a gluten-free sandwich cannot be cooked in the oven with a regular sandwich. This means the sandwiches have to be cooked separately, which may add a couple minutes to production, but fully ensures you get the food you ordered.

You deserve to know both where your food comes from and how it was made. We want you to know that you’re not an inconvenience, you are our family. We have worked hard for the last several years to bring you more options of quality food so you can enjoy our classic and homestyle recipes with full satisfaction.

You Should be Proud of Spoons Chicken…Here’s Why

The best food is simple food: Simple ingredients from a simple and natural source. The best food doesn’t need to be justified or explained because it is simply ethical and high quality. So much of food today is injected with additives and preservatives to make it look and taste better, but our team at Spoons knows you desire and deserve something more.

Chicken is one of the most popular foods in the country. Most chicken served in restaurants has been processed and infused with water, salt, and other ingredients in order to appear bigger and tastier. We want you to have completely natural chicken with quality you can count on. The chicken we serve is Colorado-raised and prepared, seasoned, and cooked in our own kitchen. This is the only way we can guarantee the highest quality you deserve.

You may be wondering why this matters? We believe it makes a world of difference because the food you eat and the way that food was made matters for your health and enjoyment. We want you to know that everything on our menu was made in our kitchen. The food you eat when you come to Spoons is food you can count on.

Next time you come into Spoons to enjoy a Chicken Caesar Salad, Chicken Tortilla Soup, or the famous Chipotle Chicken Sandwich you can rest assured that the chicken you are eating was grown ethically, here in Colorado, and that it was not infused with any additives. Our chicken is simple and tasty and that is the way it should be.

Spoons is now 13 years old and we just opened our 5th store in Fort Collins. You are the community that has enjoyed our food and spread the word and we have an undying commitment to bring you the very best food.

Explaining how our food is made and where it comes from should not be complicated, it should be simple like our chicken. We don’t think it is too much to expect that food is sourced locally, raised ethically, and processed responsibly. You can rest assured that what we place on our menu meets that standard and it is because of you…our customers and our family.

Come in today to try some of our soups, salads, and sandwiches made with locally sourced and prepared chicken.