The Trailblazers- Humor in small town business
It is in hindsight that I now understand how a bunch of Dreamers kept a town from dying.
At the time, I was trying to keep my little café afloat.
You see, we had bought our café, 130 mile E of Denver, sight unseen on a handshake at a football game. Of course, we didn’t actually Know we had Bought it when we shook Carl’s hand. Where we were raised, a handshake and a “see ya Thursday” meant that we would be there Thursday to LOOK. If we were interested, we would let him know and our ‘guy’ would call his ‘guy’ and it would all be done without us probably ever seeing each other again.
When we appeared on Thursday to look…. there were already men milling around. Peeking in the windows like kids. Literally. One old boy strutted right in and demanded to know when we were serving lunch and where the heck-o was the coffee? We tried to explain that we were there to LOOK…and that it by no means meant it was done deal…. The men left.
They reappeared. One with bread and lunch meat. One with a new can of coffee from the grocery. One with mayo and mustard. The ringleader put it all on the counter and said “we’ll be back at noon.” and they left.
Us? Speechless. Carl? Nonplussed.
So there we had it. A café in a town of 97 people. No stock. No where to live.
What we had was youth. And nerve. And no idea of what the heck to do next.
Not long after we ‘outsiders’ moved in, another family moved to town. (Cope is actually listed as a village) They had been transferred out there because the husband worked at the gas company 45 miles away. Brenda decided she wanted Pizza. And video rental. That was fabulous. Right up until she wanted a liquor license in our itty bitty Dry town. People were threatening to boycott anyone who supported her in it. (Despite the fact that dang near all of them were know to imbibe)
Against the hub’s wishes, I signed her petition to get a license. In the end, everyone but the ‘leading families’ signed and it became a reality.
Now, our little town had more traffic from outlying areas. People would come in from the country to rent videos, get beer and on the way home they would grab gas up the street, probably have dinner with us and maybe get a little bit of groceries to boot.
Soon Mrs. Fadenreckht and her dad shored up a falling down building on Main Street. They made it super cute using reclaimed barn wood and other cool scavenged items. Cory F brought in some greeting cards and balloons and then consigned handcrafted items from the locals.
Cope now had the ONLY gift shop in the area. Literally. A hundred mile round trip to the nearest gift shop. The hidden local talent was amazing. There were truly some very gifted artisans out there.
Soon- Cory’s little store became THE go-to place for fabulous gifts. People came from all over the county and beyond.
WE MADE A DIFFERECE!!!! If only for a little bit.