True Blue Coffee & Gelato opens in Dillon
The company was launched by the same family that operates Everything Colorado, Frisco Trading Post and Copper Mountain Mercantile
The people behind the Frisco Trading Post, Copper Mountain Mercantile and Everything Colorado are now venturing into the food business with True Blue Coffee & Gelato, a small shop in the Dillon Ridge Shopping Center near Jimmy John’s.
True Blue, along with the three retail stores, is co-owned by Graeme Johnston and his two daughters, Ariel and Alison. All four businesses were started with the help of Graeme’s entrepreneurship expertise: Before launching these shops, Graeme started a wholesale company called Snow Business USA, which sells items like souvenirs and apparel.
Now, the three put their heads together to dip into a new market. When Starbucks closed up shop in the Dillon shopping center, the co-owners decided to continue expanding their reach in Summit County.
“Starbucks left unexpectedly, and that was sort of an anchor to the area,” Graeme said. “Part of it (was that) my daughter Ariel always said she wanted to own a coffee shop. … And we want to set our own path for the shopping center.”
Ariel agreed the space and timing seemed right to open the family’s fifth business, mostly because it’s only a few doors down from Everything Colorado and allows them more flexibility with their spaces. For example, Everything Colorado previously sold gelato, which is now only going to be sold through True Blue. The switch allows the family more retail space within the Everything Colorado store combined with the ability to grow their team with True Blue.
True Blue Coffee & Gelato held its soft opening Nov. 12, but it has been open off and on since then. The shop officially opened Wednesday, Nov. 24.
Though the name of the shop gives a peek into what it will offer, there’s more to it than meets the eye. The shop will offer 16 flavors of gelato, including lemon pie, Belgian dark chocolate, sea salt caramel with chocolate truffles, birthday cake, espresso, cookies and cream, and chocolate as well as a couple of sorbets that are vegan. They plan to offer plant-based gelatos, too.
The coffee side of the business is more traditional and offers menu items like espresso, Americanos, cappuccinos, lattes, cortados and matcha, and soon the shop will offer cold brew and drip coffee. The shop is working with Breckenridge Coffee Roasters to source its inventory and train its staff on how to use the roasting machinery. The shop sells Rishi Tea, too, for those who prefer something other than coffee. The price for a cup ranges from $2.50 to $6.50 depending on the item.
In addition to coffee and gelato, the shop sells a few warm goodies. Soups such as New England clam chowder, chicken tortilla, tomato bisque, loaded potato with bacon, broccoli and cheddar and ground beef chili are all available for purchase as well as baked goods, such as butter and chocolate croissants, muffins and cinnamon rolls.
Although the shop already has a robust menu, Ariel and Graeme said it’s only a snippet of what’s to come. The owners said they’d like to create a space that’s enjoyable for employees and patrons and that they’ll continue evolving to make that happen.
“Our vision for the business, for all of our businesses, is to create teams where, first off, our employees are happy and happy with the work and where they work,” Ariel said. “That should transfer into a good-quality experience and product for the customer. From there, we just really want to add something nice to the county where people enjoy coming.”
This is evident not just in the products the Johnstons serve but also the environment they’ve created. Some of the materials they used to renovate the interior of the shop were sourced from Crosscut Reclaimed in Kremmling.
“Most of the wood is taken from an old barn that’s 115 years old,” Ariel said. “Our benches in there we used from the beams in the barn, and along the counter are pieces from the barn, and we kept one of the barn doors in the back. We have a back entrance/exit where the door actually slides.”
True Blue Coffee & Gelato is located at 324 Dillon Ridge Way in Unit G. The shop’s hours are still in flux, so Ariel recommends patrons look to Google for the most updated information. Customers can get more information about the business by visiting TrueBlueCoffeeCo.com, visiting its Instagram page via @truebluecoffeeco or calling 970-455-8704.
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