Higher Grounds

By Malia Durbano

Nicki Alley, owner of Higher Grounds Coffee in Pagosa Springs was “really excited” when she won First Place for the business plan she wrote after attending the Leading Edge for Entrepreneurs training.

Although her coffee house, bakery and gift shop had been open since 2004, she wanted “a refresher and to update the business plan”. She will be celebrating her 10th anniversary on August 16th & 17th. The eclectic shop features scarves, mugs, cards and other novelty gift items. Fresh, home-made baked goods cooked on -site complement the delicious coffee.

Included in the new business plan were her projections to remodel and expand the seating. She also purchased a catering trailer to sell at festivals. Nicki recently attended cooking school and will soon be offering cooking classes, tapas and beer and wine. Her future plans also include inviting guest chefs to prepare different varieties of food.

Rich Lindblad is the main advisor Alley works with in an ongoing relationship. She meets with him whenever she has questions and he helps with the financials. Recently, she met with Joe Keck “to go over the books.” They did industry comparisons on shops like Higher Grounds and Joe said, “It’s really doing well.”

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