A Slice of Real Americana: Mountain Arts Pottery and the Coffee Pot Bakery Café
There was a feeling that I used to get when I was a kid that was as scary as all get out. We would play Cowboys and Indians in the hills above our house in eastern Montana, and when you were running and then headed down hill and the hill was steeper that you remembered, there was this problem of keeping your head even or behind your feet so you wouldn’t fall forward at a dead run and fall flat on your face. That is somewhat of the feeling that we get at our store, Mountain Arts Pottery and The Coffee Pot Bakery Café. We are operating our studio at full production, which is three high firings a week, in order to build inventory for the Christmas sales at the store, finish any last minute wholesale orders for the stores who order from us, and supply the Kiosk at the Gallatin Valley Mall.
This is the eleventh year that we have set up the Kiosk at the mall in Bozeman. After nine years of doing all the managing ourselves, we have hired Nick Ott to manage, train all of the team, set the schedules for the hours we are open and keep the inventory of pottery full up. He has done an excellent job at organizing the booth set up and training and scheduling the team. Our contract with the Mall requires us to be open seven days a week whereas at our store one mile south of Four Corners we are open Monday through Saturday from 5:00am to 6:00pm.
This early winter has been very cold, so the wood burning stove at the store has been a real blessing. The cabin that houses Mountain Arts and the Coffee Pot was built in 1932 when Four Corners was close to the edge of the wilderness, and it still has the same homey atmosphere and “feel” of a cabin in the woods. When you come in, there is a mixture of fragrances that are truly unique; potpourri, wood smoke, pies baking…
Our store not only offers hand thrown pottery that is made right on site, but we also have a team of creative cooks that the Lord has brought our way so we are able to offer a wide variety of delicious, home made things to eat. From the cinnamon rolls and pecan caramel rolls, (known in some places as sticky buns), to a variety of cookies, bars and pies that would tantalize any palate, the Coffee Pot caters to people who love simple home cooking. For breakfast, along with Stephanie’s caramel or cinnamon rolls, there are always at least two different varieties of Quiche or a breakfast wrap and they aren’t just for breakfast, but are served all day long. Then as you spend some more time you realize that there is the comforting aroma of soup simmering on the burner, this will be Marci’s creation. There really is a recipe, but a lot depends about how she is feeling that day, which is the real sign of a great cook. What she learned from her Mother she is passing on to the team of younger cooks under her tutelage. Our Chicken Pot Pie is true comfort food and a sure filler for those of every age. There seems to be no limit to the different creations that happen at the Coffee Pot Café, like the day that someone came in for a special order and wanted an old fashion Southern coconut cream cake. Marci was able to find the beginnings of a recipe and then to create what wasn’t there. That recipe has become a favorite in the café.
Probably the most popular things in the Coffee Pot are the pies and turnovers. Few places still serve homemade pies, but all of our pie dough is hand made and rolled out individually to assure a flaky crust. Our fillings are made from scratch with quality ingredients, and we put them in our turnovers for easy to eat “hand pies.” With over twenty four types of pies, you’re sure to find a favorite, and we are always open to a new recipe that you might have heard of and want us to make. In the early spring when the rhubarb is ready, people come in for rhubarb or strawberry rhubarb pie. Then when the Huckleberries become ripe in the mountains, they come in for Huckleberry pie or the Peach Huckleberry pie.
Mountain Arts Pottery and the Coffee Pot Bakery Café have become more and more a place the locals hang out and they bring their out of town family and friends in for lunch, or just to try a slice of real Americana. Many who have second homes in the area tell us that ours is the first place that they come after getting off of the airplane. It has been amazing how our customers often become our friends and we look forward to seeing them come for the summer or for holidays.
At Mountain Arts Pottery and the Coffee Pot Bakery Café, we strive to make our store a place where the warmth of the wood stove is mirrored in the warmth that our customers feel when they come in, whether it be for a set of dishes, a piece of pie, or just a warm place to have a conversation.
Mountain Arts Pottery and The Coffee Pot Bakery Café are located on Highway 191, 1.1 mile south of Four Corners between milepost 80 and 81. For ordering please call 406 522-7707.