For Alice Nichol, the Boyer’s Coffee cafe and roasting plant goes far beyond a hot cup of joe.
Nichol, 81, has lived down the street from the Denver staple her entire life. She spent much of her childhood in that building when it was home to the Washington Grade School, a mix of farm kids from around the neighborhood.
Boyer’s quickly became her favorite coffee shop in the 1970s. And when Nichol became an Adams County commissioner what did she server her fellow elected officials? That’s right — Boyer’s coffee.
“It isn’t just Boyer’s Coffee,” Nichol said. “It’s coffee with a past.”
The coffee shop and roasting plant erupted Tuesday in flames, and firefighters from around the region were unable to save it. No one was hurt. Fire officials say it’s too early to determine the cause.
The company had in recent years become a giant in the Colorado coffee scene, supplying retailers from mom-and-pop shops in metro Denver to megastores such as Walmart. They roasted beans for the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field, and its beverages could be found while flying Frontier Airlines.
Owners Douglass and Jason Barrow, who bought Boyer’s in 2015, said in a statement Wednesday that despite the setback, they won’t be going anywhere.
“We’re grateful to all our customers and the community as a whole for its outpouring of support over the past 24 hours, and even more grateful that no one was injured in the fire,” the brothers said in the statement. “While our building burned yesterday, our company did not. Although this was a setback, we’ll continue to provide socially responsible, ethically sourced, Rocky Mountain roasted coffee, and more importantly, community, for years to come.”
The owners said they are assessing the damage and have not calculated their total loss.
When John Cumalat heard about the fire on Wednesday morning, he thought it was a bad April Fools’ joke.
The owner of Cannon Mine Coffee in Lafayette is one of dozens of local coffee shops who rely on Boyer’s to supply their businesses. Wednesday is the day fresh beans normally show up on Cannon Mine’s doorstep. Not this time.
“It kinda stinks,” Cumalat said. “We had everything custom roasted for us. We have to find someone new, switch what the flavor profile of our coffee will look like.”
His shop, he stressed, will be fine.
“It’s just horrible for them,” Cumalat said.
Nichol is simply hoping this isn’t the final chapter for Boyer’s.
She remembers the former owner, Bill Boyer, carrying the coffee out for her, a gesture indicative of the community-centered approach the coffee company takes.
Her husband, Ron Nichol, even helped Boyer obtain the permits to work on the old schoolhouse.
“If they don’t rebuild, not only is a historical memory for many of us gone, but also a generation of people using their gathering place and communicating over a cup of coffee is gone as well,” Nichol said.
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