COLORADO SPRINGS — The owners of two local restaurants say---despite what the pandemic has done to their industry--the community behind them gives them all the confidence they need to not only keep serving, but to keep growing.
“With any business, pandemic or not, there’s always a risk,” lifelong Colorado Springs resident Craig Carle said.
Despite all the headlines this time one year ago, Carle went for it.
“I think if that’s always been your dream, don’t let a short-term pandemic deter you from that,” Carle said,
And now, a year later his dream has come true.
Last week, he opened the first of three Ziggi’s Coffee franchises he’s bringing to Colorado Springs at Briargate Pkwy and Chapel Hills Dr.
“This is the first business I’ve ever owned,’ he said.
Despite the economy, he saw his hometown as an underserved market.
“We saw massive amounts of houses, just because of how big Colorado Springs is getting,” Carle said. “And we thought, let’s throw a coffee shop in the middle there.”
So did Martin Arceo.
“We got a good opportunity in this neighborhood,” Arceo said.
He leased the former C.B & Potts restaurant off Northgate and I-25, where he’s opening a second location of his Vaquero’s Mexican Restaurant.
“I took it over over a month ago,” he said.
He got right to work.
“I started remodeling and… trying to make it nice for the neighborhood,” Arceo said.
This time one year ago, he was uncertain.
“That was scary times,” he said.
But one thing made him confident enough to keep growing.
“Our regulars are always there for us,” he said.
The community showed out.
“Our business just keeps going up and up,” Arceo said.
And for Carle, that same community is what gave him the confidence to go for it.
“The community of Colorado Springs is the best community out there,” Carle said. “They’re going to support you, they’re going to be excited for your business.”
And it’s what also gives him the confidence to tell others thinking of doing the same.
“Do it. Absolutely.:”
Carle says his other two Ziggi’s locations--one at Dublin and Marksheffel, and one on Rockrimmon--should be open by next month and this summer respectively.
As for Arceo, he’s hoping to have his second Vaquero's location open by summer as well. His existing Vaquero’s location at Powers and Briargate celebrated three years in business on Saturday.