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.”

Sticks and Stones

While Tim and Micki Hassemer waited for the perfect retail location on Main Ave. to become available, they were lucky enough to secure retail space at the entrance to Four Leaves Winery. During the one-and-a-half years they occupied that space, they met with former SBDC Executive Director, Joe Keck numerous times. The couple moved here from Los Angeles and Tim chuckles, “It’s a little different here. We had to learn the rules and requirements for

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There’s nothing better than spending a day water skiing on the lake. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to fasten cylindrical fenders to the side of your boat before arriving back at the dock. As California natives, Brian Slaughter and Courtney Gates love boats. One day in 2017, they had just finished water skiing and were trying to attach their boat fenders when Brian had an epiphany: why hasn’t anyone created an easier system? As

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Nifty Nanny

Vivienne Yeagy always envisions bigger. Vivienne was home schooled by her mother Susan, along with her four sisters. Her childhood dream has been to have her very own school, incorporating year round education and child care. This stemmed from her early education in a one room school house with a red door in the family’s yard. Susan worked hard while she incorporated multifaceted ways for the children to learn. Instead of rote memorization and writing until

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Pagosa Verde

Pagosa Verde is the only Public/Private partnership in the State of Colorado for geothermal development. It involves Pagosa Verde, a privately owned business, the United States Department of Energy, the Colorado Energy Office, the Town of Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County. This unique collaboration also combines technical assistance and funding from the Southwest Colorado Small Business Development Center and Region 9 Economic Development District of SW Colorado coming together to assist in the development of

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