Hey, Spike! delves into multi-tasking family | SummitDaily.com

Hey, Spike! delves into multi-tasking family

Ruth and Alex Bremer with Sandee Smith.
Miles F. Porter IV / Special to the Daily |

There’s busy — and then there’s really busy.

Ruth Bremer is a wife, mother of three youngsters, freelance writer, website editor and blogger, Summit County newcomer and new retail shop owner.

Whew! Ruth’s very busy, and she likes it.

“We’ve had a ton of changes all at once, so it’s been a pretty crazy few months. Like most people I guess, we’re always seeking that difficult balance of work, family, friends and health. It definitely helps to live in a beautiful place where you have a million recreational choices right in your backyard,” Ruth notes.

She and husband Alex recently bought Frisco Fun and Formal (FF&F), that eclectic retail gift shop at the corner of Main and Third, from Sandee Smith, who owned it for 12 years after purchasing it from Deb Motika in 2002. The business got its start with au plein air painter/Larkspur Renaissance Fair flowergirl Marianna Manning Duford.

“Sandee provided training and helped us learn how it all works. She is just a super nice, great person and she has been an incredible resource,” says Ruth. “She did an amazing job running and expanding Frisco Fun and Formal, and we can only hope to continue that legacy.”

“I feel very confident that FF&F is in good hands with Ruth and Alex and they will take the store into a good direction for many years,” Sandee says.

Initially, Ruth and Alex had planned on the store being a mom-and-pop operation, but Alex, the “pop,” recently got an unexpected opportunity to go back into sales, so that’s his focus for now, but he’ll still be in the shop sometimes.

FF&F offers a wide-ranging lineup of merchandise, while the “formal” part comes in tuxedo and suit rentals.

“We have all kinds of gifts, souvenirs, jewelry, glassware, candles, home decor, greeting cards, post cards, T-shirts and other clothing.

“All of our food items are made in Colorado, and we carry a number of other Colorado-made and Colorado-themed items. And we have funny signs around the store that often make people literally laugh out loud, which kind of makes my day,” says Ruth.

“We also rent tuxedos, formal wear accessories and suits. That part of the business gets very busy during prom season and then during the summer for weddings,” Ruth adds. “But we also have guys come in to rent a suit because they have a job interview or a wedding to attend, and, frankly, when you live in Summit County you don’t necessarily need to own dress clothes.”

Now living here, where jeans, turtleneck, down sweater vest and boots constitute “Summit County formal,” the Bremers find it quite welcoming.

“We both grew up in the Kansas City, Missouri, area, but we met in college in Springfield,” Ruth explains. They’ve been married for 17 years. “We moved here in November 2012 and we live in Dillon.”

Ruth and Alex have three children: Nathan, 12, Seth, 10, and Sofia, 8.

They all caught the Rocky Mountain bug and it wouldn’t let go.


Here’s their story of finally “giving in” to living up here:

“We originally moved to Colorado from Missouri in 2002, first Fort Collins, then Denver. We used to come up to Summit County as often as we could. We’d be walking around the lake, pushing the kids in the stroller and saying, ‘Wouldn’t it be awesome to live here?’ But it was always just this impossible dream. We left Colorado when Alex’s sales jobs took us to Iowa, then California, but we always came back for vacations and to visit friends.”

The story continues:

“As our kids got older we decided we really wanted to quit moving around and put down some roots, so in the fall 2012 we got rid of most of our belongings, loaded up a U-Haul and moved to Denver. We had only been there a few weeks when I met up with a friend in Frisco, and we were walking down Main Street, and it was the most beautiful crisp, fall day. I sent Alex a text: ‘Are we sure we don’t want to live in the mountains?’ We decided maybe it wasn’t an impossible dream after all, and shortly afterward, we rented another U-Haul and moved to Dillon.”

Ruth and her family are now living where she admits she had not planned to live as a youngster.

“I grew up in Platte City, Missouri, a small town north of Kansas City, where my parents, Paul and Rebecca Campbell, owned and managed the local newspaper — the Platte County Citizen. As a result, I always said I didn’t want to live in a small town ever again, and I would absolutely never own a brick-and-mortar business,” says Ruth.

“Now here I am doing both — and loving it. It’s really fun to be a part of the community and get to know the other business owners on Main Street,” she says of her world today.

“The town of Frisco is so supportive of the businesses here. There are so many events to bring people out, and a nice variety of unique shops and restaurants. It’s just a great place to be, and we’re really looking forward to summertime and having the door open all day long.”

With their educational backgrounds — Alex has a political science degree and a master’s in education and Ruth earned a bachelor’s in communications — they also own Ten Mile View, which offers writing, blogging and editing services for businesses.

When not tending to their business pursuits and busy kids, the Bremer family loves being outside — walking, biking, hiking, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, paddleboarding and fishing.

“When we get the chance, we’re also big fans of sitting and relaxing,” they say. “On summer evenings you can often find us at the Tiki Bar in Dillon, enjoying margaritas and fish tacos.”

Miles F. Porter IV, nicknamed “Spike,” a Coloradan since 1949, is an Army veteran, former Climax miner, graduate of Adams State College, and a local since 1982. An award-winning investigative reporter, he and wife Mary E. Staby owned newspapers here for 20 years. Email your social info to milesfporteriv@aol.com.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.

Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User