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About Telluride Truffle

Telluride Truffle chocolates TrayLife is sweet for Telluride Truffle
by Erin Spillane
The Daily Planet, March, 2002

You could say that Patty Denny, owner of Telluride Truffle®, was destined to whip up sweet confections for a living.

As a child near St. Louis, Mo., Denny used to make mud pies. Not just any mud pies mind you, Denny created layer "cakes" using different kinds of dirt, sprinkled with sand and decorated with leaves and twigs.

"I would do that for hours," Denny remembered laughing.

Years later, Denny a working actress in New York City, decided that acting wasn't for her after she "started to see through the business in a bad kind of way." As Denny looked for a new profession, a friend asked: When you were a kid, what did you want to be as a grown-up? The mud pies came to mind and soon Denny was enrolled in a baking course in New York.

"I took courses … I made wedding cakes," said Denny, "After a while I said, 'I love this but I don't want to do this here.'"

Denny left the Big Apple behind and moved to Telluride in 1993. A stint as a pastry chef at The Peaks introduced her to truffles and even after leaving that job for the Telluride Ski and Snowboard School, Denny continued making truffles in her free time.

"I used to bring them to potlucks," she said. "Everyone would tell me how good they were, but they were all my friends so I didn't believe them.

When people other than good friends raved about her truffles, Denny decided it was time to turn her hobby into a business and Telluride Truffle was born.

Now, with Telluride Truffle® in its fifth year, Denny has left the ski school to make truffles full time - a dream come true.

"The truffles are my babies," said Denny. "I really do think of them as my babies."

Denny's "babies" come in a variety of flavors, each with a locally inspired name.

The Valley Cow is made of Jack Daniel's and white and dark chocolate. Next up is Spiral made from Grand Marnier and dark chocolate.

"It gets its name from the 'spiral of life' because I think Telluride is all about quality of life," said Denny.

The shale at the top of Ajax inspired Rocky Top, which is made with milk chocolate and Kahlua. Ski Trail is milk chocolate that has "a little trail running through it" of Chambord. Myers Rum and white chocolate combine for Snowcapped. The alcohol-free truffle in the bunch is Bunny Hill, which is banana and milk chocolate.

Denny sells her truffles around town at Pacific Street Liquors, Clark's Market, Zia Sun, At Home in Telluride, the Artisan's Gallery at the Potter's Wheel, the Franz Klammer Lodge's wine and gourmet store, Telluride Sports at the Franz Klammer and Femme Fatale.

By summer, you will be able to purchase truffles on Telluride Truffle's soon-to-be-unveiled Web site, And is about to begin featuring Denny's truffles on its Web site.

It's a brave new world for Denny, who was recently advised by a sales rep to distribute her truffles with the name Mountain Truffles.

"She said I could do an extra $100,000 in business," said Denny. "It means I could sell them in places like Aspen. I'm considering it but there is a tremendous amount of market untapped for Telluride Truffle. You just have to get people to know Telluride Truffle ® for its quality and then the name doesn't matter."

Looks like Denny is well on her way to accomplishing that.

For more information on Telluride Truffle®, call Denny at 728-9565.

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