WildEdge Brewing

Tucker Robinson once worked as an archaeologist who brewed his own beer at home in his spare time. His affinity for making quality microbrews eventually led Tucker to pursue craft brewing as a profession. In 2013, he wrote an initial business plan with the goal of opening his own microbrewery in Cortez, CO.

Several years later as his business plan seemed close to completion, Tucker interned at his friend’s brew pub in Rochester, NY. He worked fourteen hour days, six days a week, for one month. He learned about the intricacies of running a beer establishment and using large scale brewing equipment. Tucker’s greatest take away was to provide quality in every aspect of business. “From the customer’s experience, to how employees are treated and throughout the brewing process. If you focus on quality, there is a better chance of business succeeding.”

When Tucker returned to Colorado, he attended a ‘Start Your Business Workshop,’ hosted by the Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The workshop introduced entrepreneurs to professionals who discussed topics regarding business planning, finance, legal structure and business registration. Tucker was impressed with the workshop’s content. He learned SBDC offered additional services to start ups. He called the SBDC office and asked to meet with someone to review his business plan. Joe Keck and Michael Rich were two advisors recommended to Tucker. Joe and Mike were impressed with the business plan, and the beer. Tucker said he met with them three times over the course of six months.

Both advisors assisted to streamline Tucker’s financial system with spreadsheet software. The program allows an entrepreneur to project costs over a long-term period, and offers structure through entering, accessing and reading financial data effectively. When Tucker input his financial data, for him, the hard numbers translated into a narrative and business plan dialogue. “How much business do I really want to do?” “What kind of growth can I predict?” “What does the tasting room look like?” These were clarifying questions for Tucker to specify what he wanted his business to look like.

Tucker did not have a location selected when he first contacted SBDC. He was advised to over budget for everything. Tucker later found and leased a post war era warehouse in August of 2016. The building needed a significant renovation. Tucker made an estimate to over budget by twenty percent. Plumbing and electrical utilities were brought in, property was rezoned and permits were eventually obtained. Seven months of renovation came to a completion in early 2017.

WildEdge Brewing Collective brewed its’ first batch of beer in February. The grand opening was April 12th, and WildEdge has warmly received locals and tourists ever since. Tucker presently has one full time employee. “I have been humbled by how excited people have been to my creation. I try to work with community groups, non-profits, and the Montezuma land conservancy. I made a special beer for them in which profits from that beer go to the conservancy. Great beer builds great community!”

Tucker recommends entrepreneurs use SBDC. “The insights I was given, and from someone who knows what they are doing, for free, one needs to be on point with direction. I was also impressed with how much time Mike and Joe spent with me. They offered great advice and their level of attention was exceptional. I know people with their own businesses who could benefit just by calling SBDC. Setting up my meetings took days, not weeks. In hindsight, I should have taken advantage of more of what SBDC offers.”

Buck’s Parlor – A Place for Y’all

After years of living in Nashville, Lauryn Williams was ready for a slower pace. Her friend and fellow hair designer, Chasity Martinez, had recently moved to Durango, so she decided to come visit. It wasn’t long before the two started talking about launching a barbershop of their own. But, they knew that it had to reflect their unique style and personalities. And that’s where Buck’s Parlor was born. Buck’s Parlor is a unisex barbershop with

Read More »
Coffee Bear Silverton

Who doesn’t love a nice cup o’ joe in the morning, afternoon, or evening? Since 2016, Coffee Bear has provided countless cups of coffee and memorable experiences for locals, tourists, and everyone in between. Holly and Sophie were working as baristas at the coffee shop when it went up for sale. After serious consideration, they decided that it “just felt right to buy it together.” Despite the craziness of 2020, Holly and Sophie persisted in

Read More »
Rock Lounge

Marcus Garcia has been the owner of the Rock Lounge (RL), an indoor climbing gym in Durango, since 2014. Marcus had transitioned from being a RL employee, a rock climbing guide, and owner of a small construction company before then. The RL was profitable in his first year, yet he thought there was more potential to be realized. Marcus had sent his business manager to a locally sponsored event which introduced them to the Small

Read More »
Handcrafted House

Since opening its doors in mid December of 2010, Handcrafted House has seen a great response from the community thus far, says owner Sheryl Lock. Located at 1323 East 2nd Ave., the store offers sustainable finishes and interiors. “We carry all non-toxic finishes and will be expanding into interiors: natural latex beds, rugs, shower curtains, organic bedding,” describes Lock. “We’ll also have more wall stencils and fun things like that; we’ve been adding about a

Read More »
Ignited Imagery

In 2006, La Plata County Sheriff’s Deputy Andy Wingerd received a simple gift. It was a six megapixel camera from his mother. Little did he know that it would change his life. He started taking photographs, and several of them sold in a gallery in Bisbee, Arizona. He became obsessed. For the next ten years, he continued taking photos and videos and practiced editing them. In 2014, Ignited Imagery was born. He worked at the

Read More »
Mountain View TLC

By Malia Durbano Family Physician, Kirsten “Kicki” Searfus originally approached the SBDC to learn how to structure the partnership she was entering with Megan Lewis Grotefund. Instead, Megan moved away and on June 1, 2013, Kicki officially was in private practice. Having always been an employee at clinics or hospitals, she was wondering where to start in figuring out how to be an entrepreneur. Advisor Joe Bishop “was super helpful” in assisting her regarding the

Read More »