It’s no news that Castle Rock has a sweet spot for small business. Chamber member and Vice President of the Downtown Merchants Association, John Manka, knows first hand about the development of downtown Castle Rock and its fight to keep the climate friendly to those who want to set up shop. “The business community (of Castle Rock) is very welcoming and not very ‘clickish,’ says Manka.
Having started his own business, 1 Stop Tire & Auto, in 2007, he notes that unlike some neighboring cities, the DMA of Castle Rock has been able to help the town ‘maintain its charm’ by ‘having an actual downtown’ that has kept chains from staking claim on the valuable real estate.
And part of the welcoming factor of Castle Rock is the focus on developing an inviting atmosphere. The lights that overhang Wilcox Street, the patios of restaurants like the B&B and the red brick crosswalks have helped to create and presence that gives Castle Rock that ‘small town feel,’ notes Manka.
Unfortunately, some business owners of neighboring towns are not met with such open arms. Wes Crespi and his wife have operated the ‘Coffee Cabin’ at Stroh and Parker Road for the past 8 and a half years. Recently notified that they lost their lease because the land that their ‘cabin’ occupies is about to be redeveloped. The news was ‘kinda shocking and through me for a loop,’ states Crespi. ‘You never expect that, so you get comfortable.’
‘It’s all politics.’ Crespi says of the treatment his business has endured. ‘It’s ironic. Parker is trying to be like a New York.’ But this isn’t the first time his cabin has faced opposition. A few years ago the Town Council was trying to shut him down. Fortunately, 350 of his loyal supporters showed up to make sure this wasn’t accomplished. ‘It was standing room only!’
And like Castle Rock, they are all about supporting the local community. The ‘Coffee Cabin’ uses only Colorado vendors and along with support from their customers, they donate thousands of dollars annually to local charities. They host charity events like the ‘Coffee Cabin Run’ that raises money for the local Children’s Hospital and during the holidays, help to give diapers. toys and other aid to local shelters and those in need.
In the meantime, Wes and his wife will be praying that an opportunity presents itself before their lease ends in eight months.