Hey everyone, thanks for tuning in to Colorado.FM – The Colorado Podcast for this episode with Karina Luscher from Salto Coffee Works in Nederland.
Salto, as I mention, is one of the places that a previous guest told me about and has become one of my favorite places. So if that’s not reason enough to do the podcast, I don’t know what is!
I hope you enjoy this episode, and if you’re up in Nederland be sure to stop by.
If you can leave a review on iTunes, that really helps get the word out about the show and be sure to subscribe on iTunes, apple podcast, Stitcher, or however you like to listen to podcasts and signup for our email list as well.
Thanks a lot.
[06:20] Martinis and inspiration at Jax in Boulder
[08:15] The story behind the name Salto
[12:00] The dedication to specialty, fresh roasted coffee
[17:30] Local knowledge – spending a day in Nederland
[20:30] The connection to Crosscut Pizzeria
Doug here and you’re listening to Colorado.FM – the Colorado podcast.
So it’s a new year. And that always comes along with some introspection, a little re-evaluation of where we’re spending our time and our energy. And despite neglect this project always kind of creeps back into my mind because it’s something that really connects me with my community. It’s just something I really enjoy doing.
So I was going through some recordings and I have a few interviews that I did that I never put out and I really feel badly about that, but I was listening to them. And this one in particular where I had the opportunity to get to know someone who contributes so much to my life, not Karina herself necessarily, but this thing in this place that she created, and I’m talking about Salto coffee works up in Nederland. I just love this place, uh, through the entire Christmas break I was making runs up to Eldora with my kids.
And every time it was just part of the routine, we stop at Salto on the way back, I get a beer and the girls get some hot chocolates, maybe some food. We stayed later for live music a couple of times. You know, obviously they have great coffee as well if you’re doing that. It’s just, it’s really one of my favorite places in the area. I just love hanging out there and it’s a real part of kind of our favorite routines, which just makes a great day for us.
And through the podcast I got to meet Karina and I got to know her. And so now we always chat whenever I see her up there and you know, so it just going up there all through the holidays just reminded me of what this project it brings me, um, what value it adds.
So here we are once again, I’m looking to show it some love the podcast and you know, the people who, um, have taken their time to meet with me. And like I’ve mentioned, I have a few interviews that, uh, are already done that all be putting out. Um, now since this was done last fall, some things may have changed. I’m up there so I can tell you that, you know, it seems to be pretty much the same.
Maybe the roasts she discussed and some availability of product, you know, has changed somewhat. I can tell you, we discussed there’s a cool building next door and whether something good will happen there and absolutely nothing seems to be happening with that building next door.
So anyway, I think the conversation is still very relevant and I actually really enjoyed listening to it. Again, hearing the story behind Salto and a bit about Tin Shed. And just relearning, you know, some of the, you know, the parts of the story behind this place that, uh, you know, I really enjoy. So it’s an amazing place. Uh, we talk about how it came to be and really what it means to be part of the community up there and Netherland.
So here we go.
I hope you enjoy it. It is my conversation with Karina, the founder of Salto coffee works up in Nederland.Read More
So Karina, thank you so much for making some time. I’m super excited to be here and um, Salto is one of the places I have on a little sidebar on the website of things I’ve learned from guests that literally have like changed my life. It makes like my life here in Colorado better knowing that this place is here. It’s just awesome to meet you.
Thank you so much. It’s really fun to be here. Yeah. And um, while we’re at it, we definitely have to, the reason I know about it is because of my interview earlier with Fannie Torrenberg who works here, I believe. Yes. And um, but also has a cool little merino brand Hill Road Merino and we spoke to her like early on, so yeah, definitely have to give her a little shout out.
Yeah, we love her. Yeah, well that’s it.
So you know, when you think about a coffee shop and not only a coffee shop in this case, but like a bike parking lot that’s right over here next to us, sit out on the patio. Um, you know, community is a huge part of what you’re building here, right? I mean, people come here, they eat, they hang out. Um, it’s a big part of, uh, the coffee kind of cultures.
So let’s start with that. Like, you know, what’s the community that you’ve tried to build? Like how was it such a good fit from Netherland? Like what was going on in Nederland before you were here that inspired this kind of idea? Yeah. So what inspired the idea was, um, the fact that, you know, both my husband Marcus and I, um, felt like, and we’ve, we’ve raised our kids here, we’ve, we’ve lived here for a really long time and we felt some things were lacking that, that place where it, you go and it’s that community hub.
Um, you know, it felt kind of like a little bit of a not, you know, there was some disjointedness and when the opportunity came to us to be able to do this, we, um, we were like, well, we want to bring that community here with our passion for, for bikes, the outdoors skiing, um, and coffee, specialty coffee.
So, um, that’s kind of, that was at the core of why we, we built this building and what we had envisioned, um, to create was a hub, a community hub.
It’s amazing. And so did you, what was here before? Did you literally build this place?
Yeah. So there, yeah, there were two lots that were empty and uh, we, we bought the lots and sat on them for a little and then started drawing out our vision with crayons and a paper, a tablecloth down at Jax’s fish house in Boulder. Thank you, Jackson, for being our inspiration. Um, and yeah, martinis, I think there were some martinis. Um, and we just, that’s kind of where it all started coming together and we just started drawing it out and talking about it. And, you know, it really was a visualization process for sure.
Nice. Well, speaking of, uh, inspirations, I mean, I’ve been to Jax’s, but maybe I need to spend a little more time there on that, that program, get the creative juices flow. It works in, uh, you know, speaking of building places, you know, as we sit here, there’s that huge barn right next door. Do you have any insight into what’s going on over there at all?
We know that it was purchased, and I, other than that, you know, it’s Snyder’s garage. It’s, it’s held a lot of our, uh, people here who live here, a lot of our hearts. Um, and I think a lot of people love that building, so I think we’re excited to see what, what’s going to happen with it. Yeah.
If it’s, you know, I can’t imagine it not just, hopefully it’ll be a good fit.
Oh yeah. For sure. I mean, I think that, yeah, it’s going to be, it’ll be a great anchor for this side of town, which tends to get a little bit for forgotten. Um, but you know, it’s filling in and just like Nederland is filling in.
No, I think that’s why it took me a little while to find this place is that it is just enough off the beaten path. I mean, I was already coming up here to go to Eldora and I was even stopping in town, but just wasn’t walking down far enough. I guess. I couldn’t believe in this pretty small town that I was missing, you know, such a key part of it.
Yeah. We, I, there is something in my life that I, I’ve always enjoyed, um, going off the beaten path. So this location, while it, it’s, it, it had been a struggle, um, especially when we first opened. Um, it fits us because we like kind of be in on the, the fray a little bit. And I think that are the people that come and visit us really appreciate it, cause they know they have to seek us out and you’re not just gonna fall upon us.
Right. And it’s, you know, but when you do, trust me, you’re going to be happy that you’re exactly. Um, well, that’s amazing.
So what about, you know, the name Salto I mean, as somebody who, you know, does their snowboarding and Eldora, I know where like, you know, it comes from but better, you know, just for other interests, you know, his, he kind of a unique name.
Yes. Okay. So it’s kind of, it’s a great story for us. It personally, so we were batting around all these ideas. We, we, we knew we came up with tin shed, um, sports pretty quickly. And with the coffee bar, it was a struggle. It was like, what, what, what’s going to resonate? And we really did bat around a bunch of different ideas and at one point Marcus kind of said, well, what about, what about Salto?
And it does happen to be one of our favorite runs up at Eldora. Right? We love that run along with a lot of other runs. We love Eldora. Um, but I was like, okay, well yeah, I don’t really know about naming this place after a run at Eldora.
So what does it mean? And, um, when I looked it up, it was the root word, the Latin root word for to leap or jump. And that was it. It was like, cause this is exactly what this was and has been and continues to be. It’s a huge leap. It’s a gigantic jump into the unknown, into to whatever we’re doing. And it just resonated. And I was like, yeah, that’s it. So that’s where it came from.
That’s amazing. Yeah. I love that. Cause it’s like you said, I mean I’ve, I love that run as well, but I had not thought to look up the meaning of it. So that’s like really awesome. And uh, yeah, I guess kudos to whoever thought of that name for that run. Right. It’s like somebody knew what it means. That’s awesome. And so speaking of, you know, tin sheds, so this place, um, you know, I was curious if it was, you know, a separate business and somebody else like, you know, it was, I’m sure you’re looking for a good fit of a partner maybe in this space, but really you had the vision of the bike shop, the cafe, everything, you know, that’s part of the community appearance.
Yup. We were, you know, my Marcus really wanted to see a legitimate um, bike shop and place where you can bring your, bring your bikes, get it serviced, you know, really the garage. Like you bring your buddy’s bike, you bring your bike to your buddies place. It’s their garage, they’re fixing it, whatever that was the idea behind this. And so yeah, no Tin Shed and Salto are one big happy family under the clock tower.
So you can come up here and get the bikes wrenched on in the skis tuned and yeah, absolutely. We fired up our ski tuning equipment last week and you can still get your bikes right, wrenched on. And you know, we do the demo program, which is awesome. The demo to buy a program, which is fun cause you know, you can just hop out and try three bikes in a day cause we’ve got trail out our backyard. Yeah.
Most definitely. Yeah, exactly. Let’s do it..
So getting back to the coffee, I mean, so the coffee here obviously is, is the glue that, you know, it’s, that holds it all together. And I’ve known just from reading on your website that that’s really one of your like lifelong passions it sounds like, and something that you’re, you know, really want to do, come back to. And uh, and so now you’re doing it and not only are you, you know, producing it and having people sit around drinking it, but you’re literally roasting it in house.
In fact, last week when I ran into you, you’re like, I got it.
Roasting coffee today. So, exactly. I need a tee shirt, coffee roasting days, leave me alone.
Right. Um, so tell us about that. And uh, it sounds like getting that roaster in there was, you know, kind of a process and part of the growth of this.
Yeah, it was. So when we opened the doors of, so when this all started to formulate this idea, um, roasting coffee was at the, at the foundation of why, why coffee?
We had purchased the roaster, um, but I didn’t fire it up for two and a half years because we really wanted to get everything else dialed and so it sat in a corner and I would dust it every day and look at it and, you know, send her lots of love.
Her name happens to be, uh, the Foxy bear Nass. So, um, so I would, you know, dust Foxy off and, and think of the day when I would fire her up. So, um, you know, it took a while, but it was a good, I think it was a great way to move into the roasting and production side of the business because I was able to really hone in, um, and dial in what we do behind the bar with coffee.
Right. Um, so, uh, yeah. Then we, we did a Kickstarter campaign to vent her and we found a spot to do it in tin shed. So I’ve been roasting for four years now, for almost five years now. Actually February will be five years. Um, and I, yeah, I, I just, it’s, I love it. I grew up with, um, a passion for coffee, kind of instilled in me by my grandma, my grandmother and my mom and you know, just, and so that’s it. And so all the beans here, everything you’re drinking is everything you’re drinking.
It’s Salto I roast, um, we source, we source organic, we source fair trade, we sweat, we, we source a lot from women producers. Um, and we source from all over, all over the place. Yeah.
And you don’t have to come here to get it right. You’ve got the, uh, delivery.
Yes. So you can order ’em our coffee online and we do the membership program, so it’s membership slash subscription. Um, so you can sign up either for a one month, a three month, or a six month membership, and we’ll send you a fresh coffee every two weeks to your mailbox, which is kind of cool.
And it’s, you know, I th it’s tends to be roaster’s choice. So I tend to go, okay, what am I, what do I want to send out and what do I want to highlight? Um, but I’m also open, like I’ve had, I had this gentleman who emailed me, said, I want a membership but I only want you to send me gypsy blends.
All right, so how many like different blends do you kind of have going at any time?
Right now I have, um, we have Salto blend, which is what we use to pull shots. I have gypsy blend, which is what we primarily use for our French press, which is how we serve our coffee here. We don’t use a drip machine. And then I have a blend called darker than your soul, which is, uh, a really robust, like big dark roast and people love it. And then I have, um, two more that are sort of special release blends.
One is Ellie’s blend, um, which is named after my mom. And the other one is a red Aspen blend. So, all right. So there’s some, then we also do a lot of single origins. I mean, I have, you know, the standard single origins that, that we offer throughout the w based on seasonality, based on availability. Right, right man.
So, and there’s not only that, I mean is if that’s not enough, you know, so it’s funny, you know, we’re sitting at, like I said, we’re sitting out here on the patio and it’s amazing and there’s kids running around. It’s awesome. And there’s like a great smoky smell in the air, but today it happens to not be the coffee roaster. It’s actually the grill that’s going on and someone’s going to start roasted some carnitas.
Yeah. They’re going to start. They’re going to start cooking off the meat for our menu on our wood-fired grill.
And, and so, you know, one of the things that I’ve learned by coming here is that, you know, not only is the coffee really, really amazing, um, but the food is crazy. And so I came up here this morning and I had a muffin that I guess was probably just made or just some of the pastries from spruce convection. Oh, nice. Yeah.
We’re bringing some words, starting to do some more stuff in house with our pastry. So you’ll start to see some stuff on the counter that comes from us. But as someone like, I mean, I grew up in Houston, I consider myself something of a Mexican food aficionados. Your burritos are crazy. That is great. I mean, they’re just really awesome. And on top of that, for my kids, I mean it’s like a such a solid, the kids burrito is clearly built around the idea that these kids had been riding bikes in the mountains or something because it’s like, here you go kid, and then you get down.
Yeah, exactly. They tend to kind of put it down to, because it’s, they’re ready after a day of hiking around out here. So I mean, you know, in case, uh, you know, if you’re coming up to the mountains and you’re coming up to hike around, I mean, this place is, it’s solid. Yeah.
Good food. Absolutely. Um, yeah. And so, um, you know, really like, uh, one of the things that’s fun about doing this podcast and having a chance to sit down with people is picking their brains for the local knowledge. So, um, you know, for you, aside from hanging out with Foxy, when you’re, when you’re not here, you know, what’s, uh, what’s a perfect day in Nederland for you?
Like, what’s like, you know, like any kind of like favorite hikes or bikes or, you know, if somebody came up from even whether it was just Denver or Boulder, like what would you, how would you spend that day?
So, um, you know, obviously we’re at the, we’re at the gateway to Indian peaks wilderness, which is amazing, and you know, you can go for, for these great hikes, um, literally right out our door. Um, so, uh, a perfect day for me is, you know, probably you’re gonna laugh, but I mean, you know, getting up, taking, taking the dogs out, you know, maybe going over, um, to the trails over by mud Lake. Um, and then, you know, coming back, hopping on my bike, going for a ride at West mag. Um, I ride horses as well.
So, um, I’ll ride out on the trails out in East mag. Um, you know, mud Lake is just one of the nice places for families to go to. I think with their kids it’s a great spot to go and see my leg and the views and it’s just really mellow.
Yeah. I was just gonna mention that like, you know, a lot of times it’s just good to mention that that’s, they’re not all hikes the side of the mountain. Like the thing that like, it’s not the, you’re not going for the Epic tour. That’s the something you can bring all the age groups, you know, kids, grandparents, whomever likes the good one.
That’s what’s so nice about it is that you get to experience, you know, the mountains, but you don’t have to haul in and, and make it an extreme, an extreme day. And then in the winter, you know, my ideal day really is getting up, going up to Eldora skinning up cause they let you do that now. So I skin up and um, and then do some, some Alpine runs, get, get my ski on and then come back to work and, and be here by by 10 30 and roasting away.
Yeah. I just ordered up my uh, my splitboard for the season. So adding the skinning. Ah, nice. Yeah. I spoke with the guys at venture snowboards out in the Silverton early on. And have you got one of their boards coming? I’m super excited. I was fortunate enough to do a run with the owner founder at Silverton last year.
Okay. This is really fun. Yeah, I definitely look forward to getting out there. I mean I visited but it was in the, it was like in the fall sometime. Um, and what about, uh, Oh, what was I just going to ask you is so funny. Um, all right. So we’ve got the favorite trails, we’ve got the favorite hikes, we got any favorite bites to eat. Where do you, where do you go?
Oh boy. I mean I love cross-cut. That’s been a nice addition. It has.
yeah, probably three years old or something. So yeah.
You know, they got their start on our patio. Yes. A lot of people may not know that cause it’s been awhile. But yeah, they got, they got our, their start on our patio. We would do, um, Tuesday night pizza nights and Tom and Dawn would come and fire up their wood fired oven and right over there, um, where that car is and we would have live music.
Usually the no-go Gil Billy’s would play and we would do pizza. Um, and then, you know, they realized how great it was and that, you know, people in town wanted something like that. And so they went to brick and mortar and created that amazing little spot over there. And we do their coffee. Symbiotic. Yeah. We do their coffee and, but I love that place. And you know, there’s cool stories. Yeah. To be a part of that. Yeah, I’m sure it’s been fun to watch that grow. It’s been, I just, I feel like, you know, those are the things that, you know, we wanted those when we went in mind, when I was talking about the vision and the community and what we could do with this space, that, that to me, yes, that’s a great example. It’s a perfect example of it manifested perfectly. Right? Yeah.
And you mentioned having music out here when they were doing pizza nights. You still do that? I mean, that’s a part of what kind of goes on, right? Like first Fridays or something.
We do live music in the summer, um, every Friday night. And then every first Friday of the month we do, we have new art on the walls in Salto and we have music for that. Uh, and then in the winters on Saturdays, once Eldora opens, I think November 16th is that first Saturday? We do app risky. So we have live music every Saturday in the winter.
So for the season of skiing, right? Yeah. Yeah. All right. So we do lots of other, I mean, we’ve got Joel grots from open snow is coming up to do a presentation. Um, talk about what, what the season looks like ahead and which will be super fun and we get a great showing for that. And then we do a avalanche awareness classes that start up, uh, also next month.
Okay. So we do lots of things like that. Right. And they can all find this on your website about our event calendar. They can also go to tin shed, sports.com they’re there as well.
And we’ll put all the links to all this stuff. Of course. Yeah. This is, that’s such an awesome story. And uh, you know, like you said, you’re working on in the community and it’s clear that it is a big part of the community. It’s really awesome. Um, so there’s just one last question. I like to ask my guests and it’s been a real fun part of how I’ve kind of spider webbed, uh, like who I’ve spoken to and it’s who they would like to hear on this.
Like, who, you know, who’s doing something that’s, and it doesn’t have to be in net or related, but, uh, you know, even anyone just, it is a Colorado based podcast. But, uh, other than that, you know, just somebody you think, uh, people would like to hear the story of you know, um, I’m just thinking of like, you know, business owners, um, um, I don’t know.
I don’t know how, how the format or like if you’re only interviewing business owners or if you’re, you know, doing, Oh, I just talked to Scott at the carousel last week. Yeah. So that one’s coming out. That’s going to be great. It’s amazing.
It’s gonna be so great. Yeah. So I’ve talked to, you know, artists and, you know, ski builders and, you know, everything. Anything’s fair game. Okay. Um, well, so there’s two, I don’t know, are you familiar with two soul sisters? It’s a shoe store in, in Boulder, and I just love Laurel and Lindsay. They’re very, um, cool women and just what they’ve done is pretty inspiring. Um, just being, you know, two women kind of creating this great business.
And the, I just really like them as people, so it might be kind of fun to hear their story.
Um, they’re very, you know, really unique women. Um, so I don’t know, I think that they’d be kind of cool to interview. Awesome. Yeah, no, I appreciate that suggestion.
My wife definitely shops there and uh, you know, I definitely see them. They’re right on Pearl street, so, uh, yeah. Cool women. Yeah. Yeah. They check a lot of boxes. Yeah. Okay. You know who else? Um, so I have a friend, her name is, um, Chrisanne Christianson.
She’s a farmer. She’d be a really cool person to interview. Nice. Yeah, that’s, we’re still lucky here to be able to get, um, you know, it’s like we’ve gone back in time, you know, a century. I mean, I was just talking about this yesterday with, um, the guys from Cured, how, you know, I drive up to a farm and get my milk and I know I stop at another farm and get myself lucky.
And it’s so lucky, so fortunate. And, um, and you realize also the, like the amount of work that goes into making that happen. It’s all passion. Yeah, no, yeah, yeah. No one’s getting rich off of this. Exactly. And like the skill and then the dedication and just what it takes is just, yeah, she’d be a good one. She’s amazing human being. And so does she have a name for her farm or is yeah, she’s wild and wild spring. Wild and animal spring. Wild Wellspring.
Awesome. I can give you, I can email you the link to, that’d be awesome. Yeah. Cool. Well those are great suggestions. And again, that’s like really one of the fun parts. I held this cause I’d never, you know, never would have heard of that. Um, well is there anything else you wanted to mention to anybody who’s coming up to Ned?
You know, and checking things out. Come check us out. Come, come hang out, come talk to me. Come talk to, I mean, we’ve got a killer staff and we just love to have people here and hang out and you know, we’re, we’re a great source for local knowledge. We’re happy to give you any kind of information you want and serve it up with a smile.
And if you don’t know it, right, like you can just stop and tin shed all the info you need for rides and hikes and everything regularly. The boys, we’ve got all the maps, all the clues, all the inside information, and we love to, we love to talk about it. So great. Yeah. Awesome. Well, thank so much. I really appreciate you taking the, and uh,
yeah, was great. I’m telling you this was the best idea of coming to sit outside. Awesome. Alright, well thanks.
All right everyone. Thanks for listening. I’m good to be back. Good to get this thing out here. Uh, thanks to Karina for, uh, you know, taking that time to speak with me and you know, we’ll be sure to put links to anything that we discuss in the show notes to this episode. So thanks for listening and we will see you soon.