The first time I ever walked into Briccy’s was maybe three years ago. I was intrigued by the paintings on the wall, the hand written menus, the modest décor, and the circular skylight with string-lights glowing dimly, yet with a peaceful radiance. Customers were enjoying conversation, reading, working on their laptops; some were coming and going. I never frequented much until the past three or four months when my life took a different course in our community of Castle Rock. Being a social person as I am, I began to have simple conversations with the owner, Ray Guth. I was overwhelmed with the caring nature of this kind and gentlemanly person.
What a colorful character! Ray Guth loves to visit and talk with his customers. “This is why I do this, I love the people I get to meet and visit with”, he describes as I paraphrase. A father of three grown children, eight grandchildren, and a dog named “Rocky”, with Ray what you see is what you get. Ray has lived in Colorado since 1973. Briccy’s, AKA “Briccy’s Coffee”, is Ray’s creation. So how did Ray derive of the name for his coffee shop, Briccy’s? “Breakfast, Bagels, Beverages, Burritos, Rolls, Refreshments, Ice Cream, Ice Tea, Iced Coffee, Coffee Cake, Candy, Cookies, Yogurt, Sandwiches, Smoothies, Shakes, Smiles and a Bit of Sarcasm”; all in the acronym of the name, Briccy’s!
Ray grew up on a farm in Iowa. Isn’t that where John Wayne grew up? After working his way through college applying his talents in boot and shoe repair, his working life found him retiring from the Internet Technology field a few years back. This was when Ray decided to do something he had dreamed of. This is when he opened the doors of Briccy’s, November 2015. His first customer was long-time resident and daughter of one of the Town Charter founders, Barb Larson who is still a regular in his establishment. Ray is a Veteran of the Navy, having served from 1969 – 1973. Ray supports many local non-profits, schools being his favorite.
Like many locally owned businesses in Castle Rock, Briccy’s was standing on its own. Enter Covid. Like many locally owned businesses in Castle Rock, Briccy’s has fallen in capacity of customers, not due to quality or service, but due to the fear of social gatherings of many, along with the restrictions many local businesses have had to deal with. Like many others, the challenge is to be creative, do what you know how, and hope for the best. If you have catered to Briccy’s over the past few years then you know how familiar the décor is whenever you visit. Ray has plans to rearrange, expand, and create better ways to serve his beloved customers. This was an emotionally, honest moment when Ray shared these current events while I listened intently.
This story is not about a café, coffee shop, or restaurant. This story is about a character who has discovered true value in people and in everything he does. How can a person such as Ray not find success in all he does? But then again, Ray does not find success in the material, but in the many who have enjoyed what he has brought to Castle Rock via his establishment. When it comes to supporting local, we can all learn from people like Ray Guth.
Article Written By: Gary Godfrey