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Vern's Toffee House
Vern's Toffee House

Colorado Toffee: What's In The Water?

The History Behind the Water that Goes into Our Toffee

You know that Vern's English Toffee is uniquely wonderful, but did you ever wonder what makes our almond toffee so special? We use the finest ingredients, including water that comes from pristine snowcaps high in the Rocky Mountains. Our water comes from the historic Cache la Poudre River which flows near Fort Collins, Colorado. We'd love to share some of the history behind it.

How the Cache la Poudre River Got its Name

The Cache la Poudre River originates high up in the Continental Divide of the Rocky Mountains. It comes from three separate forks that join together to make this mighty river. It is one of the largest rivers in Colorado. The Cache la Poudre got its name from French trappers who were traveling north and camped overnight on its banks sometime either in the 1820s or 1836 (depends which historians you talk to). That night, a big blizzard hit and the trappers found themselves waiting out the storm for several days. Then, true to Colorado weather, they found themselves digging out of the blizzard. In order to get safely across the river, the trappers decided to stow their gear — and a fair amount of gunpowder — in a cache near the river. Hence, the river became known as Cache la Poudre or "Powder Cache."

Western Water Wars

Water has always been vitally important to the West, given that much of the West is semi-arid. Cache la Poudre River has been the source of a real life water war and the outcome has affected western water laws ever since. You see, a fellow named Benjamin Eaton built a canal in 1873 for the Fort Collins Agricultural Colony. That colony was 30 miles west of the town of Greeley, whose farmers relied on the water. By 1874, the Greeley farmers had no water and the Cache la Poudre became a proverbial powder keg. Colorado law straightened it out in the 1876 Colorado Constitution where it was decided that those who held the senior rights (those who had the water first) were entitled to the water and those who came later couldn't take the water from them.

Lucky for us, Vern's Toffee has all the awesome water from the Cache la Poudre it needs!