We had the good fortune of connecting with Tiffany Helton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tiffany, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Work life balance is coveted by the entrepreneur. When I was first starting out in my career, work life balance did not exist. Nor did I need it to. I didn’t have a family and truth of the matter is, I enjoy working. As soon as I had a family everything changed. Children don’t care about restaurant emergencies. They need their parents to be home. Thankfully my husband’s schedule is flexible and we have an army of people helping us including my wonderful staff. I will tell you though, after 11 years of owning restaurants work life balance is still a struggle.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I am the Co-Founder of Stuft a burger bar, Lonesome Buck Brewing CO and Online Restaurant Academy.
Stuft a burger bar is located in the heart of Old Town Fort Collins. We specialize in over the top burgers, incredible milkshakes and crispy fries. We have been in business for 11 years. It’s been an incredible ride!
I am also the Co-Founder of Lonesome Buck Smokehouse + Taproom which has two locations. One in Windsor and one in Greeley. We specialize in “slow smoked over oak” bbq, poutine, and house made pretzels. We have 10 incredible beers on tap that we brew at our Greeley brewery.
During the pandemic “downtime” I also co-founded Online Restaurant Academy. ORA was designed to help restaurants realize their full potential through proven systems. We specialize in not only start ups but in business restaurants. We take our students through 8 weeks of curriculum and coaching and have achieved much success for them. I am a consultant at our local SBDC and helping people is very important to me.
I got to where I am today by taking risks, being bold and putting in the hard work. I have wonderful business partners who have helped me along my entrepreneurial journey. There is no way I could have done all of this without them.
The restaurant industry is FULL of challenges on a daily basis. Overcoming any challenge in life and business takes strength. My piece of advice is this: Whatever life throws at you, STOP and be patient. Take emotion out of any decision you make and make calm rational business minded decisions NOT based on emotion. It’s also important to NEVER waver on your values and morals and always do what it right. It will get you so far in life.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Fort Collins is absolutely beautiful! Here is my itinerary for a great Fort Collins weekend. First I would start with a stroll in Old Town. Disneyland was modeled after our beautiful city and the architecture alone is incredible. Next I would stop in for lunch at Union. It’s a beautiful restaurant with a killer patio. Their fried chicken is to die for! Next up would be a drive up Horsetooth Reservoir. Horsetooth has some amazing views and is home to some beautiful hiking trails. For dinner I would take you to the best burger joint in town: Stuft Burger Bar. I recommend ordering the Texas Two Step, Parmesan and Garlic Fries and the Salted Caramel Brownie Milkshake.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to give a shoutout to my husband. He has learned over the years to be flexible with my crazy restaurant life. This last year was particularly difficult for restaurants and for my family. He was really positive and supportive about it all.
Marianne Pellin Photography Tori Aiker