We had the good fortune of connecting with Olivia Youngs and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Olivia, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I’m somewhat of a “serial entrepreneur” and have been starting mini-businesses since I was a child. However, none of them stuck until I began freelance writing for myself and, eventually, pursued my dream of opening a coffee shop. Less of a thought-process and more of a pushing gently on opening doors until they opened fully, I’d say.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Simple Coffee is a specialty coffee shop with a focus on sustainability and small spaces. The two things I’m most proud of currently are that we’ve been plastic/paper cup-free since our onset. We use reusable glass jars for all of our to-go orders (which are over 99% of what we serve) and allow customers to reuse/return those jars for a discount. This creates a mini circular economy and proves that sustainability can be approachable. Secondly, I’m extremely proud of the fact that we were able to open a second location, even in the face of a pandemic. This tells me that people believe in our mission to pair eco-friendliness with really, really good coffee.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We aren’t in Denver, but I love taking people on little tours of our mountain oasis about an hour and a half from the city. We’d start with coffee from Simple Coffee, of course, being sure to return our jars later for that discount ;). From there, tubing or cross country skiing in the morning while the sun shines (or sun bathing in Grand Lake if it’s summertime). We’ll grab lunch at Fraser Valley Distillery – a family owned distillery and restaurant, catch a movie at the foundry, and finish the day in the hot tub with a bottle of wine to-go from Adventures Decanted. Yes, I plan most of my days around beverages.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
SO many people. Businesses are never started by just one person….”it takes a village”, as they say. My husband and family have been the most tangible support for getting Simple Coffee off the ground and also my community here in Grand County for being as excited about our zero waste jars and our Glass Reuse Program as I am. I also have to give credit to all the shops who have gone plastic free before me! We certainly aren’t the first, nor will we be the last.