Construction continues at the store. The exterior walls have the sheetrock up, and the interior walls are mostly framed. You can actually see the layout of the store a bit now. Here's a picture of Amber, looking back into the semi-private seating area (with the bathrooms behind). The restaurant going in next to us just finished putting up the plywood exterior of their walls. It looks like most of the seating will be on the side opposite us, which is fine.
My next mountains to conquer are the small supplies purchases, hiring the staff for the store (any takers?), buying and setting up the sound system, and designing our menu displays (any graphic designers interested in giving them a bit of a jazzing up?). I also need to find an artist to paint a small mural on a wall above some cabinets. I've seen some samples from a number of artists locally; if anyone knows any good (not too expensive) artists who would be interested in painting a fun little mural for us (I already have the content and style basically worked out), drop me a line.
I'm going to be spending a lot of time in Boulder this next month, working with the stores up there, making sure everything is ready and we've got all our procedures figured out and making sure employee training goes well. As far as I can tell, everything is on track. I've been reading through all the manuals for the different parts of the business. I'm eager to get all the little prep work out of the way and get out there and start making and selling ice cream. Speaking of which, I have a number of distributors I need to call to set up our accounts.
Before I sign off, I'd like to take a moment to say a few words about our coffee roaster, Colorado Coffee Merchants. Eric, who owns the business, used to be a firefighter, and roasting is basically a hobby that grew and grew and grew until he became one of the premier coffee providers in the region. If you stop by their coffee shop/roasting facility during the week, you can see them roast the beans while you wait for your latte. It's pretty fun. I'm also glad to say we found a local (Colorado) company to provide our teas. Most of them are organic and a good number are fair trade, if you're looking for that kind of product. We'll be making drip coffees, espresso drinks, freshly brewed hot and iced teas, and some unique drink items (chai cider, espresso over gelato; things like that). So feel free to come by, pull up a chair next to the fireplace, pull a book off the bookshelf, and enjoy some cold gelato and hot espresso while you look out at Pulpit Rock.