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  Volume No. 16 Issue No. 10 October 2019  

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Bill Radford

  Sweet on community
  By Bill Radford

   Maria Hoffman Goeller and her family have lived in Peyton for only two years, but it didn’t take her long to fall in love with the area.
   Now she is working to give back to the community through The Sweet Spot, which she opened in March. It offers baked goods created by Goeller, along with tea, coffee and items by local artisans.
   More importantly, it offers a spot to gather, Goeller said.
   “The Sweet Spot is not here to make money,” she said. “If I can pay my bills every month, I'm a happy camper. The Sweet Spot is here to minister to the community, to love on them, to give them a place to gather, to give them a place to connect.”
   The area is changing, she said. “We have Black Forest, we have Falcon, we have Calhan. Everything’s growing and kind of melding into one. … We don’t want to get swallowed up.”
   The Sweet Spot got started last summer in the next-door Peyton Junction Mercantile, which is home to a variety of mini-businesses. Owner Shirley Archuletta had lost her baker and was looking for a replacement; she asked Goeller, who had set up a tent selling bread at the Peyton farmers market, if she was interested.
   “I said why not, that sounds like a lot of fun,” Goeller said. As a mother of eight, she has spent plenty of time in the kitchen. (Three of the kids are adopted; her husband, Mark, is a colonel in the Army Reserves and works for FEMA in Denver.)
   Though she is now running her own business, Goeller still bakes goodies for Peyton Junction Mercantile. Is she in competition with Archuletta –- or with herself?
   “It’s not a competition,” she said. “Shirley is bringing something to the community that is very special, very unique. The Sweet Spot was intended to touch another aspect of our community –- our younger moms, our women who just want to come and sit and have a cup of tea and talk with a friend.”
   As part of that mission, The Sweet Spot includes a children’s area with books and LEGOs. Goeller swaps new books with old every month.
   “The children know they're loved and welcome here,” she said. … “I have moms who will bring their little ones and just sit and enjoy. I purposely created this space with no electronics. I want kids to use their imaginations.”
   A LEGO Club meets on the first Saturday of the month. On Fridays, there is Tea Time and Tales, with Goeller reading stories to the kids. The Sweet Spot is also home to a crafting club and regular classes on essential oils. Goeller has plans for a regular family game day and is working with others toward movie nights outdoors in the summer.
   Goeller does all her baking at home. With all those kids and a business to run, she sacrifices sleep for time in the kitchen. “At night is when all the magic takes place,” she said, with a laugh. Her lineup varies: On one day in May, her offerings included peanut butter and chocolate biscotti, blueberry scones, maple coffee cake, butterscotch spice cookies and more.
   While there are some slow days, business is good, she said. People have come from across the area, even as far as Colorado Springs.
   “I even had people who were visiting from out of town and a family member said they had to come and visit,” Goeller said. “There's not something like this even in Falcon, I hear, a place just to sit and be and visit with a friend.”
   For many motorists, Peyton may be just a blip on the way to the Springs. There are plans for a windmill along U.S. Highway 24, with signage pointing to the growing number of businesses hidden in the area behind the Peyton Post Office.
   “When people come back here, they’re amazed,” Goeller said. “People really enjoy it when they find us.”
   (The Sweet Spot is at 13596 Front St. in Peyton. For hours and other information, go to
Maria Hoffman Goeller is owner and manager of The Sweet Spot in Peyton. Her mission is to make the Spot a gathering place for the community.
Moms and their children are more than welcome at The Sweet Spot, where the owner has set aside an area just for the kids.
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