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Old 07-28-2012, 04:27 AM
 
6 posts, read 10,288 times
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I moved Breck from Seattle Washington with no plans.. A year later and realizing how cheap commercial space is in Breckenridge compared to Seattle I figured I would start up a small business in a town that I truly love and enjoy.

Basically have 100,000 at my disposal. My real dream is to open a restaurant but I feel like its just not time yet, plus I don't have the funds necessary. I've been thinking, as healthy and active as this town is, I've always wondered why there wasn't a specialized smoothie bar in town?

I feel like with my initial investment plus with a little help I can probably pull this off...

I'm thinking 900 sf at the max will suffice. Basically we are going to serve smoothies, fresh juices, and sandwiches. Trying to pitch the business as being organic with locally Colorado grown fruits and veggies, and our bread is always home made and fresh. Trying to keep it simple

Funny thing about my idea is I feel like it will work pretty well in the Summers, but what about the Winter? I feel if an ice cream shop can survive, I might have a fighting chance..

Any input would help, thank you
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Old 07-28-2012, 06:33 AM
 
Location: On the sunny side of a mountain
2,971 posts, read 6,616,240 times
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We had a health supplement/smoothie bar open in Avon last year. They do a ton of advertising, not sure how the business is actually doing, it's in an odd location. Might be a good place to take a look at: Dr. Tom's Healthy Habits - Food/Grocery - Avon, CO | Facebook
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Old 07-28-2012, 02:22 PM
 
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I'd visit at least ten such places in Colorado and talk with the owners before moving ahead. Ask them about winter business and ways they make it work.
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Old 07-28-2012, 04:30 PM
 
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Anything "specialized" you are going to have to take under consideration, as you don't have a sizable local population and you can only really count on about 4 months of solid winter business and 2-3 months of slower summer business with it being dead in spring and fall.

I would look at what works and what doesn't work in Breck and similar communities. Who has been successful and who hasn't.

For starters in these places, people expect something above average because these are destination resorts for above average income earners, so if you don't deliver, you are done. Baking bread for instance is great, but you better be an exceptional bread baker.

One tip I can tell you after 8 years of talking first hand with many ski tourists is a common complaint that there are not enough quick and easy breakfast places that serve decent quick food and hot drinks at a good price without veering into cheap fast food territory or big sit down type places where eating takes an hour.

One successful business over near Vail is the Avon Bakery and Deli. They offer a variety of drinks, bake their own bread and other baked goods and also have a range of breakfast and lunch sandwiches. They are very successful, but the owners work their butt off and they put out an exceptional top notch product. They also do a solid business of selling bread to local restaurants. I think they do a good job of walking the line between catering to locals and also tourists.

The thing I would look at is 2/3rds of yearly business is in winter. Do people want smoothies in winter? You better find out. In my experience at -20F, most people prefer warm drinks.

I've never seen a smoothie place in Breck, but I think a few tried to get going in the Vail area over the years and none that I know of panned out.

In addition, I can recall many "healthy" oriented places going bust. While people might like organics, when people are on vacation, in general, they are not really looking to eat soylent green or similar foods, but rather something more hearty, especially if they are skiing or exerting themselves with outdoor activity.
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Old 07-28-2012, 05:53 PM
 
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wanneroo made many excellent points; I just felt like commenting on two of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
One tip I can tell you after 8 years of talking first hand with many ski tourists is a common complaint that there are not enough quick and easy breakfast places that serve decent quick food and hot drinks at a good price without veering into cheap fast food territory or big sit down type places where eating takes an hour.
Every Saturday morning during ski season, the Santiago's Restaurant at the intersection of 58 & Washington Avenue here in Golden is booming with the business of ski tourists. In fact, I did research on their customer data for a school project last fall, and they filled 202 customer orders in the hours from 6am-8am!

FYI: Santiago's specialty is their $2 breakfast burrito. The meat in the burrito is chef's choice, which means they can make huge batches at once and sometimes even fill orders in the space of a minute.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
In addition, I can recall many "healthy" oriented places going bust. While people might like organics, when people are on vacation, in general, they are not really looking to eat soylent green or similar foods, but rather something more hearty, especially if they are skiing or exerting themselves with outdoor activity.
This is true - you will need to base your business on nationwide trends, because the majority of your customers will hail from all over the U.S, and out of all the people I know who are fanatical about hitting the slopes each week, none of them would qualify as a health enthusiast, not a single one.
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Old 07-29-2012, 05:58 AM
 
Location: Centennial State
399 posts, read 667,541 times
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The Dairy Queen in Lafayette went out of business or moved away a couple of years (5-6 years) ago. I still went to DQ for ice cream when it was snowing as a middle schooler. >.>

I can't remember the name of the other ice cream shop in Louisville (company based; not private) that used to be next to the King Soopers. They moved out too (a bit after DQ left Lafayette). It's unfortunate. I loved their waffle coned sherberts. The only place I can get chili dogs is at home (yeah right) or at Sonic which is in south Louisville/Superior near Flatirons Mall.
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Old 07-31-2012, 01:59 AM
 
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Consider that Smoothies are a warm weather seller. The summer season is from July 4th weekend, till the weekend before Labor Day and Breckenridge is not a big summer tourist area. Then dead till snow and after the snow season in those resort areas. Do you think you can sell enough Smoothies in 2 months to survive. I have sons that managed restaurants from A-Basin to Breckenridge, and have owned tourist oriented businesses in the Colorado Mountains, so am very familiar with the area and it's problems.
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Old 07-31-2012, 08:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtrader View Post
The summer season is from July 4th weekend, till the weekend before Labor Day and Breckenridge is not a big summer tourist area.
Huh? You cannot be serious. Have you been to Breck in the summer? Summer season starts after Memorial Day. We were there in June and again 2 weeks ago -- the town was buzzing with tourists. According to Trip Advisor it's one of the top summer vacation destinations in Colorado.
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Old 07-31-2012, 10:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hipchik View Post
Huh? You cannot be serious. Have you been to Breck in the summer? Summer season starts after Memorial Day. We were there in June and again 2 weeks ago -- the town was buzzing with tourists. According to Trip Advisor it's one of the top summer vacation destinations in Colorado.
Well definitely on weekends it is, but during weekdays it can often be slow, just depends. Same thing with Vail and Aspen in the summer, there are some busy days, but also slow times.

July and August tend to be more solid, but June I always found was sketchy and you didn't have steady business until July.

The resorts are doing a much better job of promoting summer now and also having events that draw people in. The difference is that a lot of it is local traffic which doesn't spend money like destination travelers. The change that needs to happen is getting more destination travelers who come in for a week or two, not local people that pop up for a day or two.

At the end of the day, from my 8 years experience, you have 2 solid months in summer. Once kids go back to school, it dies out fast. I wouldn't count on anything more than that, otherwise you will end up disappointed.
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Old 07-31-2012, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Colorado - Oh, yeah!
833 posts, read 1,383,036 times
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Add in some homemade soups; good, hearty stuff, but not overly rich. Think chili and beef stew; maybe cream of broccoli or French onion. It needs to be something that will not be a big weight in your belly as you drive back to Denver. Add in a homemade bread stick or baguette slice and you have a quick dish you can serve up in 30 seconds.

Sandwiches are good, but in cold weather a panini is better. They take time to make, but pair it with the soup, add in some cold and snow and you have a best-seller. Salads will probably sell OK in the summer (don't forget the home-made croutons with leftover bread).

Expand into half a dozen deserts; brownies, bread pudding (another use of leftover bread) and maybe 2-3 kinds of cookies. Cakes are too tricky, especially at altitude, but seasonal pies could work.

All of this can be done with small ovens, minimal stove space and other than additional food cost there isn't a lot of investment above and beyond what you would need if you made just smoothies, juices and sandwiches. It does assume that you have the recipes and skills to make all of the dishes, but in return you have a variety of dishes that will appeal year round and will bring the locals in during the slow times.

Oh, don't forget the breakfast sandwiches since you will be there in the morning baking anyway, you might as well sell some food as well.
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