The sign sitting out front in a planter said it all. Simply put, it read the word “coffee.” More than that, however, it was an invitation to come visit. “That little sign in the planter is our …
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The sign sitting out front in a planter said it all. Simply put, it read the word “coffee.” More than that, however, it was an invitation to come visit.
“That little sign in the planter is our greatest advertisement ever,” co-owner Mary-Ruth Tracy said.
Along with her husband, Jeff, the couple owns Tracy’s — formerly known as Tracy’s Place — part art studio that also serves adult beverages and part coffee shop.
The business, located at 8770 Wadsworth Blvd. in Unit F, has been open for four years but moved into its current location — formerly operated by Smart Cow — the past July.
The ambiance that Tracy’s strives to offer is part of the community vibe the company sought to encompass when its doors opened in 2016.
“We work really hard to remember everybody’s name,” Tracy said. “It might take a few times, but once we’ve got your name we know it once you walk in that doorway.”
But it hasn’t been easy to survive, especially in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic limited its indoor offerings of art classes.
“Being a small business owner, we know the struggles of small business ownership, so we want to help other small businesses as well. That’s always been our philosophy,” Tracy said.
A philosophy that in recent years has incorporated coffee into its business model.
Tracy’s started offering coffee sales two years ago. It was a strategic move, given the lack of locally-owned coffee shops in the neighboring area.
“It was very much a marketing idea,” Tracy said. “… It started as a marketing tool. We want customers to see it, experience it and then come back. We want it to feel like home, inviting, like visiting a friend’s place.”
This past Thanksgiving, Tracy’s started offering its latest concoction — Roo’s Brew. Named after Mary-Ruth Tracy, whose nephew, Christofer, who to this day still calls her Aunty Roo, the brew is a Columbian-Brazil blend made of chocolate crumble and graham cracker. The smooth-tasting beverage has become a popular choice in a relatively short period, Tracy said.
“I have to have cream and sugar in my coffee. (With this), I can drink this black,” Tracy said. “It’s so smooth.”
In the short time it’s been on the shelves, store manager Karen Kucera said Roo’s Brew has gained some popularity among customers and food delivery service customers. While she knows that not everybody will jump on board, Tracy’s is reaching a niche customer base with its homegrown coffee.
“We know that there are some hardcore Starbucks fans and that’s fine. We have a lot of people who just want something different. They want to support local businesses,” Kucera said.
One such customer is Maggie Fast.
“She became my favorite coffee shop from day one,” said the Arvada resident and regular customer, who frequents the shop regularly.
She’s such a loyalist that Tracy’s has a drink — an iced chai called “The Maggie”—- named after her. It’s the caffeine fix that Fast seeks almost daily.
As for Roo’s Brew?
“It’s phenomenal,” Fast commented.
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