10/01/2012 - By Gayle Irwin
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Imagine a hot Philly Cheese Steak sandwich, seasoned meat piled high and oozing with melted cheese, green peppers and onions. Now, consider those mouth-watering ingredients not in a hoagie roll but instead as delicious ingredients within a large, hot baked potato. Philly Steak'n Cheese is just one of the numerous delectable offerings at Casper's Stuft Gourmet Baked Potatoes, located in the Triangle Plaza on Second Street, across from Home Depot.
This unique business features a scrumptious variety of hardy potatoes, including Taco Tater, with seasoned ground beef, nacho cheese, and homemade salsa; Chicken, Broccoli and Cheese, a lightly seasoned chicken breast, fresh broccoli, and customer's choice of cheese; and Buffalo Chicken, which includes red hot sauce, chicken breast and cheese. More basic potatoes are also available, including a Veggie and Cheese, Mushroom and Cheese, and Broccoli and Cheese.
"We stuff the potato and you leave stuffed," co-owner Dave Combs stated.
Dave and his wife Theresa opened Stuft Gourmet Baked Potatoes one year ago next month. She once managed the One Potato Two in the Eastridge Mall and decided that type of restaurant was unique enough and offered a different type of meal for the community.
"So, I opened my own," she said. "We serve the very best baked potatoes!"
The Combs' receive their potatoes from many places, including Idaho, Colorado, California and Arizona.
"It depends on the season," Dave said.
Although not exactly a fast-food restaurant, customers can expect quick service.
"We have good food prepared fast. It's fresh and it's healthy," Theresa explained. "Potatoes are a nutritionally-dense food, and offers a good hard, carbohydrate."
Potatoes are naturally gluten-free, she added.
The potatoes are baked at 350 degrees for one hour then kept warm. They are fresh every 30 minutes, Theresa explained. About 100 pounds of potatoes a day are used during the winter months and half of that during the summer.
"People want hot food in the winter," Dave said.
Stuft Gourmet Baked Potatoes also offers sweet potatoes, garden salads, a variety of soups, and chili.
Seven employees work at the business; many are family members, including Dave and the Combs' children. Their niece is the fulltime manager. Some of the family's friends also help out.
"We're all like family," Theresa said.
The family atmosphere extends to their customer base.
"Our customers are just awesome!" Theresa added. "They're loyal and they tell their friends about us. Casper is unique for that."
Stuft Gourmet Baked Potatoes is open seven days a week, 11 am to 9 pm Monday through Saturday and 11 am to 7 pm on Sunday.
The Combs' also cater events, such as employee parties, by offering a potato bar.
"It's easy and can be healthy," Theresa said.
They provide real silverware, becoming more eco-friendly by cutting back on plastic and other garbage waste. They were also one of the first businesses in Casper to use the Square system for accepting debit and credit cards.
"It's great!" Theresa said.
As they approach their first anniversary with Stuft Gourmet Baked Potatoes, Theresa said they are considering adding a second location, possibly downtown.
For now, as you're cruising about the eastside of Casper and your stomach hankers for a tasty, hot potato, stop in enjoy from the delicious variety at Stuft Gourmet Baked Potatoes. "Just remember," Dave says, "you go out stuffed!