Garden of the Gods Gourmet merges with Pinery Enterprises

September 5, 2012

Local catering company Garden of the Gods Gourmet has merged with Pinery Enterprises in a deal expected to help both sides grow.

Pinery Enterprises operates The Pinery at Black Forest, a wedding and events center near Black Forest and Shoup roads north of Colorado Springs; it’s planning a second location, The Pinery at The Hill, at the site of the former Fish Market restaurant at 775 W. Bijou St. on the Springs’ west side.

Garden of the Gods Gourmet began in 2001 as a provider of gourmet seasonings and has grown into a full-scale caterer, gourmet market and dine-in deli; it also manages Café 36 in the Colorado Fine Arts Center.

Lynn Schlemeyer and her husband, Mike Cookson, bought Garden of the Gods Gourmet in early 2011.

“We felt like the two companies would be very complementary together,” Schlemeyer said of the merger with Pinery Enterprises. “If you combined our award-winning gourmet catering with their excellent service, you’d have a company where one plus one actually makes three.”

Under the deal, Garden of the Gods Gourmet, with its roughly 20 full-time employees, is now part of Pinery Enterprises. The acquisition gives The Pinery a culinary “shot in the arm,” said Eric Allen, managing partner and chief operating officer of Pinery Enterprises.

“We’re definitely keeping the name,” Allen said. “It will be in our portfolio: Garden of the Gods Gourmet.”

Pinery Enterprise’s existing catering operation will continue business as usual, as will Garden of the Gods Gourmet’s services, he said.

“We just want to help them perhaps take it to another level,” Allen said.

Schlemeyer will serve as vice president of Garden of the Gods Gourmet Market and retail operations. That new role, she said, will give her time to focus on the market — “not just improving the market we have there on Cucharras (2528 W. Cucharras St.) but also expanding that to other locations around the city.” There’s no time line for that expansion, she said.

“Our chefs are very excited,” Schlemeyer said. “Our team is very excited. It just feels like a new day.”

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