By Liesl Greathouse

MONTROSE-For those who love hot tea, coffee and delicious gluten-free food, they will find all that and more at All Infused.

Owners Deanne and Nathan Compton opened All Infused as a Tea Shop/Gluten Free Cafe in December of 2014.  “We are a Tea Shop that serves coffee,” Deanne explained to me.  “We don’t do espresso drinks, though we can get pretty creative with teas and coffee.  As far as I know, we are the only exclusively gluten-free establishment on the Western Slope.  If there is another one, we haven’t been able to find it.”

When I went there for a visit, I enjoyed quick service at the front counter.  I do not normally order tea when I go out, but Deanne was helpful and directed me on which tea I would enjoy on a sunny Winter day.  I ended up ordering a Moroccan Mint Tea and a Chicken Salad Sandwich, making a decent lunch for a fair price.

The menu for tea and coffee covers a wide range of flavors, and their food menu is short but sweet, with soups, sandwiches, quiches and more available.

“Most of the food ingredients are local, but the teas come from different suppliers,” Deanne said.  “Our main tea supplier is Maya Tea in Arizona, and our coffee is from Raven’s Brew, out of Alaska.  All food we serve is prepared in our small kitchen, with our own recipes.”

My drink and food came quickly and the owners were friendly and served everything with a smile.  Their demeanor made me feel instantly welcomed, a plus in this world where sometimes customer service is at a premium.

The couple have a love for teas and herbs and decided to take those interests and do something with them.  So far they are enjoying their new adventure as a family.  “We have no employees, we are just a husband and wife, with occasional help from our kids and a parent,” Deanne said.  “We love talking with the customers.  It’s always interesting to get other folks’ ideas and thoughts.”

The shop has a homey atmosphere, with a variety of furniture and accessories.  The upbeat background music is at just the right volume to enjoy it, yet still be able to carry on a conversation comfortably.  The furniture varies in style and size, so you can gather with a group of friends over a cup or settle in a corner to work on your laptop.

They also have a small room in the back that people can use for a small meeting or just to have some privacy while they get work done.

The atmosphere does not feel rushed like some coffee/drink shops.  You come in casually and enjoy your stay.  That is definitely a plus for anyone looking for a place to work, write, or just think and ponder life.

The hours of operation are easy to remember and run early enough to pick up a drink on your way to work and go long enough to get a snack when you pick up your kids from school.

I love it when local shops offer coupons or frequent buyer cards, and All Infused will definitely be on my list when they get theirs up and going soon.

The Moroccan Mint Tea had a wonderful flavor and the mint helped give me a boost as I worked.

The Chicken Salad Sandwich was good, with a variety of flavors, including celery and onion.  The bread was delicious, and while many gluten free breads are thin and flaky, this was thick and hearty.  A rare treat when eating out gluten free.

I actually saw a friend of mine at the shop, who is a fellow gluten-free eater.  The gluten-free community is small, but close knit, so I am sure that this shop will start to get busier as the community gets word of their gluten free delicacies.

The importance of having a gluten-free facility is a big reason for why the couple started up their business.  “Over the past year or so we have heard a lot about the gluten-free movement,” Deanne explained.  “Neither of us has ever been diagnosed as Celiac or even Gluten Intolerant, but we have experimented with a gluten-free diet, and lo and behold, we felt better.  We tried the Gluten-Free offerings at some restaurants, and while some were great, others left something to be desired.  The main concern, though, was cross contamination.  Nathan has worked in many restaurants over the years, and saw a big issue for the customers who truly needed to eat gluten-free: cross contamination. It’s great to offer the items on the menu, but if they are prepared in the same area, with the same equipment and utensils as food containing gluten, the chance of getting gluten in your food is pretty high.  So here we are; no gluten in the kitchen, period. No chance of cross contamination.”

If you do not eat gluten free, you will still enjoy their warm baked goods and filling food items.

As word gets out about this new little shop, the owners look forward to whatever may come next in their adventure.  Deanne said, “We are just excited about All Infused, and hope to be able to serve the community good quality teas and gluten-free food for many years to come.”

Overall, good food, good tea, plus a relaxing atmosphere to enjoy.  But don’t take my word for it!  Check them out for yourself at 760 Spring Creek in Montrose.  They are open Tuesday-Saturday, 6 a.m.-5p.m.  For more information, call 970-417-4388.