The only grocery store in the town of De Beque has reopened. It has new owners, the store is remodeled, and it features a deli/bakery. The lunch menu includes Doc’s “loaded burgers.”
The De Beque Country Store, at 332 Minter Avenue, adds life to the main street downtown. The store is across the street from the post office and the De Beque Community Center, which includes town hall. De Beque, a town of 500 people, is 25 minutes east of Palisade on I-70.
Doc and Shanelle Hansen are the proprietors. Shanelle said in an e-mail interview they are using their ideas and talents in hopes of making it the “ideal country store.”
Shanelle and Doc Hansen are the proprietors of the De Beque Country Store. In addition to groceries, the store features a Deli-Bakery and breakfast and lunch menus. Photo by Bill Hoffmann.
Buildings along Minter Avenue frame views of the Roan Plateau to the north, and ski slopes on Grand Mesa to the south. The new school building and the Mesa County Library are further north on Minter.
Shanelle said in the interview that the De Beque Country Store is more than a convenience store. It offers groceries, produce, fuel, a small selection of automotive fluids, fishing/tackle supplies, and medicine cabinet essentials.
In addition, “As you walk through the De Beque Country Store, you will see there is a Deli/ Bakery in the back with one lonely table and a pass-through window,” Shanelle said.
The only grocery store in the town of De Beque has reopened. It has new owners, the store is remodeled, and it features a deli/bakery. Photo by Shanelle Hansen.
The Bakery is open in the morning five days a week when Shanelle bakes home-made goods, such as cinnamon rolls, muffins, cookies, “and, best of all, homemade breads.” She is at the store at 4 a.m. Monday through Friday “to try and get the daily goodies out.” The Deli/Bakery is open Monday thru Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Shanelle makes breads for the Deli customers from an old-time family recipe. It is passed from one mother to another, she explained, to benefit another generation of people “who appreciate really great bread.” The biscuits are made from scratch and so is the potato salad, she said with pride.
The menu is varied and offers both breakfast and lunch until 2 p.m. “Doc, the best cook in the west, has created his own ‘Loaded’ burger that will surprise your taste buds,” Shanelle said. Doc also makes green chili and red chili from scratch. Shanelle noted, “This fall I will be adding soups with bread bowls.”
The hours for the store are Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. On Friday the hours are 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. On Saturday, hours are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fuel pumps operate 24/7.
Shanelle said the coolers keep the latest flavors of sodas and water as well as “old time favorites a person cannot find just anywhere.” Home brewed ice tea is served, Black Tea, Sweet Tea and Doc’s Tea (Black with Mint). Tasting cups are provided.
“We both love small communities”
Asked about their backgrounds, Shanelle said they have lived in De Beque for 13 years.
“We chose this town because we both love small communities and it was an affordable housing decision,” she said. “With money to buy a home we could get more for our money in purchasing our first investment property, which was the old De Beque Hotel. We have since remodeled it and now call it the Ramblers Roost,” she said. It provides overnight, weekly and monthly room rentals for individual travelers or workers.
“We both have loved the De Beque valley when driving through it for years prior to buying here, it was a natural fit,” she recalled.
Shanelle said Doc is from Nebraska, but moved to Glenwood Springs in his early teens with his family. He has been in Trucking /Construction for most of his life. He also has experience managing kitchens in the Roaring Fork valley. “He was at one time a certified chef.” Shanelle worked in real estate for 16 years.
Doc was the Mayor of De Beque after serving for several years on the Town Board and the Planning Commission. Shanelle was elected to the town board two years ago.
Shanelle said Doc’s nickname comes from his Grandpa being a veterinarian, who was called ‘Doc’ Hansen. “Well, grandson liked to help his grandfather so people liked calling him Little Doc,” she said.
After graduating from high school, Doc entered the Airforce and became a medic. “So, the name continued to fit as a medic.” Since the military, he served twice as an EMT, once in Denver and for a few years in De Beque, and the nickname stuck. “He actually prefers Doc to his given name, which is actually Troy,” Shanelle said.
In the years she has lived in De Beque, Shanelle has worked as Deputy Town Clerk for the Town of De Beque and, for 11 years, as the Fire District secretary. She also drove the Rural Mail route. Shanelle grew up in the Dove Creek area.
In De Beque, Shanelle was on the Planning Commission for 4 or 5 years. Doc and Shanelle both volunteered in the Fire Department, when it was a volunteer department. Now, “I volunteer time line judging girls volleyball,” she noted.
Shanelle said many upgrades are still needed for the exterior of the store. Future plans of expansion are on the horizon. “Until then, come one, come all to see the De Beque Country Store and discover for yourselves the down-home cooking in De Beque, Colorado!”
Town of De Beque
The town is named after Dr. W.A.E. de Beque who explored the area with several companions in 1884 while looking for a suitable location for a ranch, according to online Wikipedia.
The town is located in a region historically occupied by the Ute people. White settlers arrived in the region in 1880.
The town is also historically a location where wild horses, prevalent in the surrounding lands, were rounded up and sold. The history of the town is commemorated with a mustang statue near the town hall. In August 2001, according to Wikipedia, the Town Board of Trustees designated De Beque as the only Wild Horse Sanctuary City in the West.
The history of the town is commemorated with a mustang statue in Gazebo Park. Historically, the area is where wild horses were rounded up and sold. Photo by Bill Hoffmann.
The De Beque town website, www.debeque.org, offers a newsletter, information about viewing wild horses at the Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Range, as well as other attractions, such as jet boat rides on the Colorado River.
De Beque has been part of the ups and downs of the energy extraction industry. Since 2014, the town has licensed several retail marijuana stores. The town board is now working on beautification projects.
The De Beque Wild Horse Days celebration and parade will be held August 9 through 12th. See the town Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/debequewildhorsedays/. Also, call 970 283-5475 x 105 for event information.