January Business Matters

Posted

Business Matters is a monthly column featuring business news in the Life on Capitol Hill and Washington Park Profile coverage areas, which is roughly central and central-south Denver.

If you are a local business that would like to announce any updates to your operations, email Christy Steadman at csteadman@coloradocommunitymedia.com.

New openings

Au Feu

Jared Leonard, the restaurateur behind the Overland neighborhood’s AJ’s Pit Bar-B-Q, has relaunched his Au Feu concept at 81 S. Pennsylvania St. in the Speer neighborhood, replacing Budlong Hot Chicken.

Au Feu specializes in a dinner menu that includes Montreal smoked meats, poutine and charcuterie. It got its start in 2018 in the Zeppelin Station food hall on Wazee Street downtown. However, it closed in 2019.

Leonard opened Budlong Hot Chicken at Zeppelin Station in 2019, relocating to the Speer neighborhood in 2020. It closed in early December to make way for Au Feu.

Westword originally reported this story.

To learn more about Au Feu, visit its Facebook page: @aufeudenver.

Fritay Haitian Cuisine

The Fritay Haitian Cuisine food truck officially launched in Denver in early December.

Haitian food is unique to the Denver area, said Chef Farah-Jane Jean Pierre, who owns and operates the Fritay food truck. Pierre moved to Denver about three years ago, and she found, at the time, that there was only one restaurant in Denver that specialized in Haitian food — and it has since closed.

So for Pierre — who was born and raised in Haiti and spent about a decade in New York where Haitian food was easily accessible — Fritay is like providing a piece of home to her customers.

Pierre has always loved to cook and has a background in culinary arts and hotel management. With Fritay, Pierre said she loves seeing people enjoy the food, and is happy to provide an opportunity for people to learn more about Haiti through its food.

Fritay offers Haitian street food — described as having bold and exciting flavors — including dishes made with epis, which is a special blend of herbs and spices found in Haitian food. Another popular Haitian dish that people can try is griot, a fried pork dish marinated in sour orange and herbs. Pierre also plans to offer specials so people can try a variety of different Haitian dishes.

The Fritay Haitian Cuisine food truck has a semipermanent location at 8615 E. Colfax Ave. in Denver’s East Colfax neighborhood. Pierre also offers catering, and people can book the food truck for an event.

To learn more, visit fritayfood.com or follow the food truck on Instagram and Facebook: @fritayhaitianfood.

Saltbox

Saltbox, which is described on its website as a “modern warehouse for digital commerce companies,” is expanding to Denver with a location in the Northeast Park Hill neighborhood.

Saltbox offers local entrepreneurs an opportunity “to grow their businesses with scalable warehouse and office suites, flexible storage and on-demand support staff, expertly trained in shipping and fulfillment operations,” states a news release.

According to the news release, the space is 102,000 square feet and includes more than 125 flexible warehouse and office suites, in addition to conference rooms, loading docks and top-of-the-line photo studios.

Denver is the fifth location for Saltbox, which opened its first facility in Atlanta in November 2019. The company plans to expand to other U.S. cities in 2022. Co-founders of the company are Tyler Scriven, Maxwell Bonnie and Paul D’Arrigo, states a news release.

Saltbox has about 150 members, with about 70% being e-commerce companies in a variety of industries “including fashion and apparel, health and beauty, home goods, resale and tech in the hardware and services sectors.” About half of Saltbox member businesses are led by women or people of color, states a news release.

Denver is “a city that has become a hotbed for tech innovation and entrepreneurship for creative startups and direct-to-consumer companies,” said Scriven, who serves as Saltbox’s CEO, in a news release. “As the e-commerce and tech economy proliferates across the city, Saltbox looks forward to providing Denver entrepreneurs and business owners access to our logistic, fulfillment and flexible work solutions to fuel business growth and creativity.”

To learn more about Saltbox, visit saltbox.com.

Closings

Piatti

An Italian restaurant that had a 25-year history in Cherry Creek North closed in late December.

Piatti, 190 St. Paul St., announced the closure on its Facebook page on Nov. 28.

“We have cherished celebrating your first dates, your birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, wedding receptions, holiday parties and your neighborly love. It has been our joy to serve you, host you and watch your families grow throughout the years. For that, we thank you,” the post reads.

Piatti in Cherry Creek North was one of the restaurant’s nine U.S. locations. The brand got its start in 1987, according to its website, and specialized in signature housemade pasta.

Miscellaneous

Alibaba.com/Copper Door Coffee Roasters

Hannah Ulbrich of Denver’s own Copper Door Coffee Roasters is one of 50 entrepreneurs nationwide to receive a $10,000 cash grant as part of the first-ever Alibaba.com Grants Program.

Alibaba.com is a B2B e-commerce marketplace and a business unit of Alibaba Group.

The grants program was created in partnership with Hello Alice, a free platform that helps businesses launch and grow.

All 50 Alibaba.com Grants Program recipients are “entrepreneurs with business plans to help create a more healthy, sustainable, beautiful, knowledgeable or equitable world,” states a news release.

Copper Door Coffee Roasters is “a woman owned company committed to diversity, inclusion and community,” states its website. Its coffee can be found at cafes and vendors throughout the state — including many in the metro area — with Copper Door Coffee-specific locations at the Denver Botanic Gardens, 1085 York St.; Lowry, 7581 E. Academy Blvd.; and The Yard, 900 W. 1st Ave. #180 in Denver’s Baker neighborhood, where Copper Door Coffee Roasters also offers coffee classes.

According to its website, Copper Door Coffee Roasters got its start by Sinjin Eberle as a wholesale business in 2006. In 2014, Ulbrich “took over the business, fostering a vision of expansion and community mindedness,” states its website.

“With this grant, we will be able to invest in streamlining our production and working closer with our female farm partners,” Ulbrich said in a news release.

Matt Addison of Commerce City-based Rugged Black Athleisure Activewear — a menswear company that aims to support and give back 10% of its profits to encourage entrepreneurship for underrepresented minorities and groups — is the only other Colorado recipient of the Alibaba.com Grants Program.

To learn more about Copper Door Coffee, visit copperdoorcoffee.com. To learn more about Rugged Black Athleisure Activewear, visit ruggedblack.com. To learn more about the Alibaba.com Grants Program or Hello Alice, visit alibaba.helloalice.com.

Bank of America Neighborhood Builders/SAME Café and Prodigy Ventures

Two Denver-based nonprofits, SAME Café and Prodigy Ventures, have been named a 2021 Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builder.

Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders program got its start in 2004, and since has invested more than $260 million in U.S. communities, partnering with more than 1,300 nonprofits.

SAME — So Everybody May Eat — Café is a nonprofit, “donation-based, fair exchange restaurant that serves healthy food to everyone, regardless of ability to pay,” states its website. It is located at 2023 E. Colfax Ave., which borders the City Park West and Cheesman Park neighborhoods.

Prodigy Coffeehouse is a local craft coffeehouse where “young adults disconnected from school and/or work are invited into a year-long apprenticeship as humble learners of life, self and craft, within a high-standards enterprise,” states its website. It is located at 3801 E. 40th Ave., in the three-corner area of Denver’s Elyria Swansea, Clayton and Northeast Park Hill neighborhoods.

Both SAME Café and Prodigy Coffeehouse will “receive a $200,000 grant, a year of leadership training for the executive director and an emerging leader, a network of peer organizations across the U.S., and the opportunity to access capital to expand their impact,” states a news release.

To learn more about SAME Café, visit soallmayeat.org and to learn more about Prodigy Coffeehouse, visit prodigyventures.org. To learn more about the Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders program, visit tinyurl.com/DenverNeighborhoodBuilders.

Larry H. Miller Dealerships

Ten Colorado nonprofits benefited from Larry H. Miller Dealerships’ annual 5 Days of Giving campaign in December.

In its sixth year, the dealerships’ holiday campaign “aims to spread goodwill and joy by giving back to deserving charities that support local individuals and families” — primarily focusing on nonprofits that serve women and children, with an emphasis on health and education, states a news release.

This year, more than $95,000 was given to the 10 Front Range nonprofits. The nonprofits are:

• Boulder Voices for Children: bouldervfc.org

• Denver Dumb Friends League: ddfl.org

• Food Bank of the Rockies: foodbankrockies.org

• Food For Hope: foodforhope.net

• Hope House: hopehousecolorado.org

• Listen Foundation: listenfoundation.org

• TGTHR (formerly Attention Homes): tgthr.org

• The Joshua School: joshuaschool.org

• Treeline Pass: treelinepass.org

• YWCA Boulder County: ywcaboulder.org

According to a news release, Larry H. Miller Dealerships operates more than 60 locations under 17 different automotive brands in seven Western states, with dealerships in Colorado. Learn more at lhmauto.com.

Local business, Denver

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