We had the good fortune of connecting with Mariah Rupp and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mariah, what role has risk played in your life or career?
To me, risks are part of the fun in life; to my husband, he would tell you they make up his nightmares. When I was 18 I graduated from high school in Washington State and moved to Arizona for college. Ten years later, in 2011, my husband and I gave up our jobs teaching and moved to Colorado with only the money in our pockets because it was time for a landscape change. Just this week, I met with our financial planner to talk about resigning from my job in education at the end of this school year to focus on growing Palo Coffee and Bar on a larger scale. During that conversation, as I was expressing all of my worries, my money guy stopped me and said, “I bet on you- I always would.” I was struck silent and it has stuck with me all week.
I have decided that risk taking is not about how much you have to lose or what could potentially go wrong; risk taking is all about how hard you are willing to work and what you can gain: financial freedom, flexibility, or a new-found passion for what you are doing.
Perspective matters. Hard work matters. Bet on yourself, always.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Palo farms was established in 1944 in Ellensburg, Washington by my grandpa Fred and grandma Joy. I spent many summers on the farm trying to avoid riding horses (big and scary!), making mud pies, and driving tractor.
In March of 2021, my husband and I decided to embark on an adventure, and the 3rd generation of Palo! After 15 years in education, we were ready to take on a new challenge and decided to invest in an old horse trailer to pay homage to my grandparent’s farm.
Over four months, the trailer was stripped down, cleaned and then cleaned again- horses are filthy! After finally getting the last pieces of hay out we started to rebuild and Palo Coffee and Bar was created.
Palo now serves as a mobile bar and entertainment option for both private and public events. We want you to have more fun at your own party! We are available to serve coffee, snow cones, and alcoholic beverages for your events in a unique way: a horse trailer bar. As the host, the customer purchases the alcohol and we serve at your location. Any alcohol left over is yours to take home with you and continue to enjoy.
Through the process of creating Palo Coffee and Bar, I have met so many amazing people with interesting stories. There are very few things that are easy when starting a new business, but creating coffee and cocktails to share with people has brought back a sense of energy I have been missing. It is my pleasure to serve and to contribute to the community that has given us so much.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There are about a million traditional Coloradan things to do: biking, hiking, skiing… but if you really want to check out my cool town of Longmont, we would hit up my favorites:
We would start by hitting Main Street. I love walking Main Street in Longmont because of the variety of local boutiques (check out Ivy Rose), flower shops (Happy Day Plants), book stores (Barbed Wire Books), distilleries (Dry Land) and food (try The Roost and sit on the roof). We would spend the day shopping, spending money and drinking our way through town.
We could hit up Ya Ya Farms to pick some apples and purchase some of the most amazing Apple BBQ sauce you will ever have. For sure we would go bowling at Centennial Lanes and grab some fried mushrooms- I have a vintage bowling ball, bag and shoes for my bowling league on Sundays! On the weekend, one of the days would be spent at Sunflower Farm to pet the animals, walk around, and enjoy the fire pit.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
A huge shout out to my husband and two girls who helped me rip out and restore our now-converted horse trailer into a bar. When the hammer didn’t get it done and I needed more muscle, I called on my husband. When I was bored and needed extra helpers, my girls always volunteered.
My other huge shout out is to my co-workers at school. My school of teachers is a close-knit community and the more I talked about my dream for Palo the more offers I got to help get the trailer ready. I have never been more humbled than I was this past year as my co-workers stepped up to help grind metal, paint, install hardware and electric and even stop the trailer when it went rolling down a small hill ( I forgot the stoppers behind the wheel)!
Palo Coffee & Bar has been quite the journey, and without the support of “my people” I would still be staring at a beat-up horse trailer in my driveway.
Cheers to you, my friends.
B Nicole Photography