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Cups Community Coffee

We are a local, family-owned coffee shop in west Fort Collins. Our cafe has been serving the community for over twenty years, and our family took over ownership in 2019, just 8 months before COVID. As all businesses can attest, it was a trying time! Fortunately, we were able to make the most of it by fundraising and then serving coffee and baked goods to essential workers throughout the town. We served over 1,100 in our community during the COVID shut down months. From this outreach, we established strong relationships within the community, especially, the Poudre School District(PSD) and nearby schools. And since our own children benefited tremendously from working here at an early age, we enrolled in PSD’s Workbased Learning Program to provide internships and work pathways at Cups. We host first time worker student interns, as well as open our cafe up for work tours, student shadowing and mentorship programs. We also partner with Project Search and ACE internships to provide exploration and experience to special needs students. We have received small business and work-based learning grants from the efforts we made and continue to make to utilize our cafe to serve others.

We have always done catering outside the shop for schools, business meetings, graduation parties, weddings, and such. We are looking forward to further growing this aspect of our business as we’ve added an in-house baker to our staff. We are excited to promote our offerings as a great option for small groups or businesses who want to support other local businesses and have fresh food and amazing coffee for their meetings or events. We look forward to rolling out our options and marketing our ease of ordering in the coming weeks!

As all of us in the small business service industry can attest, the last few years have been extremely challenging to navigate financially. Wages, cost of goods, and all other expenses have risen. Even with a steady business growth and rise of prices, it has been difficult to yield a profitable business. I was ready for more support and to personally make more of a concerted effort to steady and rethink my business. In January of 2024, I signed up for the eight week Leading Edge Strategic Planning Series. It was just what I needed to inspire and get myself focused on redefining and re-imagining what the next five years will look like for Cups Community Coffee! I especially liked the requirement of at least three additional 1 on 1 meetings with SDBC consultants. In all of my prior business endeavors, I have always had a board or investor group, or colleagues. While my family has been a great support, they are also focused on their own student and business lives! I found the reconnection with SBDC to be just what I needed to feel the support, have accountability, and get advice and resources to propel me forward. I say reconnection, because I did connect with SBDC when I first took over the shop, but between the learning curve of a 7 day a week business, and then COVID, I just did what I could to keep it all going. We had fortunately enrolled our son, who was just 18 at the time, in one of the Quickbook Certification Courses that was offered. He went on to major in accounting at CSU and has been a huge help as a bookkeeper and accounting guide for the family business!

I can’t say enough how much the SBDC is helping me continue to push to grow and build our business. I have worked with and been exposed to several great consultants throughout the course including: Franklin Taggart, Amy Hamrick, Mike Gugliotto, Amanda Simental, Mike Bennett, and Bill Welter. One of note is Sean Orner, a QuickBooks(QB) bookkeeping consultant. Sean has been invaluable as a resource to me and our son in getting our QB files cleaned up, understanding the flow of QB online, properly categorizing and numbering our chart of accounts, importing data, as well as linking with our point of sale system and payroll systems. In addition to the personal understanding of my QB platform, we are also looking forward to enrolling in the student internship program with Front Range Community College in which Sean will oversee as part of a program with SBDC and FRCC accounting students. They will work through an actual business gaining insight as well as helping us keep our books updated each month. With all of our work with high school student interns, it is exciting for Cups to be enrolled in a program that will assist college students in gaining real world work experience. We are so glad to have the resource of the SBDC available and I tell everyone I know in small business to take advantage of this wonderful community partner.

Rodeo News

Siri Steven has a passion for life, a desire to educate, and a work ethic and determination that have made Rodeo News the successful, nationally recognized magazine it is today. “This is the culmination of all of the things I have learned in 40 years.” Good friends, life circumstances, and hard work brought Rodeo News into her life, and she has devoted herself to its success completely. After getting her start working on the publication

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Inside and Out Pet Care, LLC

Inside and Out Pet Care, LLC is a locally owned and operated pet services business in Loveland, Colorado. Owner Kim Plache has collected some boasting rights recently.  Her small business was voted 2nd place winner in Reader’s Choice Best of NOCO for Pet Caregiver category in 2022, and in 2023 was voted one of Loveland’s favorite small businesses in the Larimer Small Business Development Center’s Small Business Week Cheers for Peers campaign.  Kim was born

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Wordsmith Wood Shop

Loveland area couple Gib and Lisa Coalwell made a few wooden boxes decorated with sayings but a large order put a toll on their small laser engraver. The owners of Wordsmith Wood Shop needed to hire staff, get three more engravers and quickly learn manufacturing on a large scale. The couple blends handcrafted wood and engraved words to create heirloom boxes, bookmarks, recipe cards, coasters, magnets and cutting boards for their wholesale, retail and individual

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Equine Veterinary Services

Stephanie Brault’s passion is working with horses. Providing them with the highest quality veterinary care has been her profession since 1988. After more than 10 years of working in academic veterinary medicine at the University of California Davis and most recently at Colorado State University, Stephanie purchased a private veterinary business in July of this year. While Stephanie is an expert in the field of veterinary medicine, she had no business experience prior to purchasing

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CF&G Public Market & Coffeehouse

CF&G Public Market & Coffeehouse, located inside the historic Colorado Feed & Grain landmark in the heart of Timnath, is owned and operated by Becca Bay.   The building has a long history that begins with its original construction in 1920. You can read all about it on the café table tops! Becca’s Public Market-style layout includes a café, artisan goods, and a Farmer’s Market that runs May through October as well an event venue.   Becca

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Rocky Mountain Westy

You don’t often see a growing business based on a product that hasn’t been made in almost 20 years, but twin brothers Mike and Greg LaBate built this at Rocky Mountain Westy (RMW). RMW designs, manufacturers, and sells camping and lifestyle parts to Volkswagen Vanagon “Westy” van enthusiasts and service centers worldwide. These products help the van owner upgrade or convert the Westy van, often to performance levels above the original factory model, such as

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