By Jeffrey V. Smith
Karina Lusher is excited about the recent changes at Salto Coffee Works and Tin Shed Sports. After more than two and half years in their building, the sister businesses, co-owned by Katrina and her husband Marcus, are remodeling to better fit the space, and finally create a permanent home for their coffee roaster.
The two business—which began on the back of a napkin as a way to combine their passions for biking, coffee and food—opened in May 2012 in a new building on the corner of 2nd and Snyder streets designed and built by the long-time local residents. “We, for a long time, felt like Nederland could really use a place like this, and we believed that we were the right people to bring it to fruition,” Karina said.
According to the co-owner, they named their community café Salto because it’s the Latin root word for to leap or jump, “and this was a huge leap of faith for us.” It also happens to be the couple’s favorite run “up on the hill” at Eldora Mountain Resort. Karina looks after the Salto Coffee Works side, serving coffee, food, beer and wine. She roasts her own meats, crafts her own dressings and sources the highest quality ingredients as locally as possible.
Tin Shed Sports, which Marcus runs, was born from an idea of having a place that was “literally like your buddy’s garage,” Karina explained. “We wanted something that felt very grounded and rooted.” Tin Shed Sports is known for selling high quality products and offering outstanding customer service. The couple’s longtime friend Josh Harrod is the store’s general manager and masterminds bike, ski and outdoor gear sales, tunes and repairs.
Ultimately, the couple wanted each business to feel like patrons were walking into someone’s home and set out to create a space that is a “true gathering place” for locals and visitors alike.
With their businesses well established and enough support to feel some growing pains, Karina and Marcus decided to take advantage of their annual five-day deep cleaning closure to do a bit of remodeling. “It’s part of what happens when you’ve been in a space,” Karina said. “You start to feel like ‘oh, this is how it functions better, or this is how doesn’t function so well,’ and you can identify where to make those changes.”
While closed for cleaning in October, a wall was constructed next to the kitchen in Salto for a much needed expansion of their food preparation area. It will allow equipment to be moved to make things more efficient while also being able to add new equipment. The space was previously used to store the unused coffee roaster and Karina attempted to utilize the area for what she called a “quasi-completely-non-functional” office space. “It was horrible. I couldn’t get anything done,” she said.
A new office has now been carved out of space in Tin Shed Sports. The bike shop crew took out their original point-of-sale and service area and built a wall that creates some room for an office as well as a permanent home for the coffee roaster, which can now be properly installed and vented to allow on-site bean roasting.
“It’s really exciting,” Karina said. “We’ve had the roaster since before we opened and it’s just been sitting over there. We knew it would be baby steps to get it going. To finally land it in a place… is very exciting.”
The Lushers plan to launch a Kickstarter campaign, Nov. 5 at 6 p.m., to help ofset the costs of venting the roaster. Karina explained it is a complicated project that must meet numerous codes and is quite expensive. The hope, however, is to have it up and running by the end of the year.
Part of the remodeling in Tin Shed Sports includes a large window in a wall opposite of the entry to Salto. It is designed to allow people to see the coffee roaster and connect the two businesses. “The idea with the hole in the wall is to make it very clear that Tin Shed Sports and Salto are one,” Karina said. “We are a bike shop and coffee bar/café. We were struggling with ways of how to do that so we all put our brains together and this what we came up with.
A new point-of-sale and service area was also created up front in the store, which they have already found to be more functional from a customer service stand point. “I’m so impressed with it,” Karina said. “They have such a great working space now and the roaster has a place.
Other changes at Salto include a possible weekly small plate and ski tuning night during the winter months and Karina is working on creating a supper club that would meet once a month and feature a special, surprise menu served family style for up to 30 people.
Salto will continue to feature First Friday artist nights all year long. The evenings feature cured meats and cheeses, happy-hour drink specials and live music. On Nov. 7, artist Theresa Bagby and music from Nice Work Jazz Combo will be featured.
A free weekly cupping event with Karina and Megan every Friday at 10 a.m. features tastes of that week’s upcoming coffee and learn about the different regions and flavors of coffee.
Tin Shed Sports sponsors a presentation from Joel Gratz, a snow forecaster from the website OpenSnow, Nov. 6. He’ll be speaking about how he goes about his process of forecasting the weather and snow amounts and what to look forward to this winter.
The Lushers hope their customers enjoy the renovations as much as they and their staff do. All the new changes are working toward creating a more functional space for everyone, making for an even more inviting space, according to Karina. “It feels like I just moved into a new house,” she said.
Visit saltocoffeeworks.com or tinshedsports.com for more information.