The Best Of 2018

By: Staff


Here they are, some of your favorites from NOCO Style’s best-ever Best Of survey.

This year’s section features the winners in 25 categories. We asked them to share some stories and insights that you might not know about them.

Enjoy reading!


Affordable Roofing & Restoration 6530 S. College Ave., Fort Collins 970.207.0000

Years in business: 10
Number of 
employees: 25

Product that exceeded expectations: When impact-resistant shingles were first introduced, we immediately recognized the importance of replacing our customers’ roof material with an impact-resistant shingle. We began offering that upgrade at no additional charge. It helps customers reduce their insurance costs.

Most difficult project: The Glick Brothers Business Park on Harmony was one of our more challenging projects. Several of the tenant units were leaking due to a prior hailstorm. We had to install the new roof in winter due to the leaking, which was tough. There was also the challenge of coordinating the schedule to accommodate the unique needs of each tenant and not disrupt their businesses.

Point of pride: Our owners have over 30 years of combined insurance-adjusting experience, so we can communicate a process that can be, at times, quite challenging to people who do not work in the industry.

Answers by Gretchen Simpson, Program Manager


Allen Service Plumbing Heating & Air 101 S. Link Ln., Fort Collins 970.484.4841

Years in business: 56
Number of employees: 60

Story behind our logo: Our original logo was created in the 1960s by a specialty advertising salesperson who made a sample and put Allen Plumbing on a pen. Our founder, M.T. Allen, liked it, and that was the beginning of the Allen logo. Through the years it has been tweaked. It certainly was the inspiration for our current logo.

Story behind our name: Our company was founded in 1962 by Marion and June Allen. They were proud to put their name on quality home service back then, and we’ve continued the family tradition to proudly put our name on everything we’ve done for the last 56 years. During that time, we have seen and been a part of phenomenal growth.

Point of pride: We are extremely proud to be a recipient of the BBB Torch Award for trust, performance and integrity. We’ve also maintained an A+ rating by the BBB for many years and appreciate that long-time designation.

Answers by Jeff and Mike Allen, Co-owners


Allura Skin, Laser & Wellness Clinic 2032 Lowe St., Ste. 103, Fort Collins 1615 Foxtrail Dr., Ste. 190, Loveland 970.223.0193

Years in business: 10
Number of 
employees: 25

Most difficult project: When we first started 10 years ago, we moved out of another clinic and had two weeks to find a location, a business name, logo, brand, phone service, and signage—plus move all our equipment and furniture, hire new staff and so on. We did it all with four employees. That was tough.

Special services: We offer the full spectrum of facial lasers. You won’t find that anywhere else in Northern Colorado.

Claims to fame: Allura is listed among the top 15 fastest-growing companies in Northern Colorado year after year. We’re one of the top 75 clinics nationwide—out of approximately 30,000 clinics—for sales of Botox, Juvederm, Coolsculpting and Skin Medica products. That puts us in the top .25 percent in the nation. We’re in the top 1 to 3 percent nationwide for virtually every service we offer, including injectables, lasers, hormones and spa services.  

Product that exceeded expectations: When we first started using pellets for bioidentical hormone therapy, we never thought it would take fire like it did. At first we were just about the only clinic that did it anywhere in Colorado, let alone Northern Colorado. We had clients coming to us from all over, including Nebraska and Wyoming.

Causes we support: We work with a lot of great causes, such as Hope Lives!, Respite Care, Pathways, Museum of Art and NOCO Unify. We love giving back to the community. We believe: “To whom much is given, much is expected.”

Little-known fact: We have extensive health care expertise on our staff, including three medical doctors, two physician assistants, four nurses and five estheticians. The founding owner, Dr. Rebecca de la Torre, was a family practice physician before she started Allura, and co-owner Yvonne Hampson was a registered nurse working in labor and delivery. Nearly all of our other employees have a hospital or health care background. We’re very medically oriented in our services.

 If we weren’t doing this, we’d be…: We’d all most likely be working in health care in some form.

Answers by Jackson Self, Business Manager


Chimney Park Restaurant & Bar 406 Main St., Windsor 970.686.1477

Years in business: 11
Number of employees: 22

Story behind our name: The public recreation area, Chimney Park, is in central Windsor. It got its name from the smokestack on the adjacent sugar beet factory. We adopted that name because of the connotations with our historic building, built in 1895 in downtown Windsor.

Claims to fame: We made OpenTable’s list of the 100 Best Restaurants in America twice, in 2011 and 2015. In 2016 we received a Distinguished Restaurant of North America (DiRoNA) Award. In 2018 we won our fifth consecutive Wine Spectator Award of Excellence.

Little-known fact: We’ve done nearly 23,000 Chef’s Tasting Menus since 2007, which translates into 115,000 courses of food. That does not include our à la carte dining.

Causes we support: Any charities that support children, especially those that support at-risk youth, because all kids deserve an equal start in life.

Answers by Jason Shaeffer, Owner/chef


Cozy Cottage 2721 Council Tree Ave. #125, Fort Collins 970.226.2699

Years in business: 10
Number of employees: 15 to 40 (seasonal)

Product that exceeded expectations: When impact-resistant shingles were first introduced, we immediately recognized the importance of replacing our customers’ Story behind Cozy Cottage: Cozy Cottage is owned and operated by a mother-daughter duo, Tammy and Taryn Ahlquist. The passion for this business began 30 years ago, when Tammy discovered her love for home decor and her talent with displays. That passion stuck with her. Throughout the years, she would fill their family home with tons of seasonal decor. In fact, they had 11 different themed Christmas Trees around the house during the holidays.

Point of pride: We offer our customers many decor styles ranging from shabby chic to industrial farmhouse—all hand-picked by the store owners. We watch for the latest trends in home decor so that we can offer our customers a wide variety of the latest and best products.

Little-known fact: Tammy and Taryn do all the buying and merchandising together, they work together almost every day, and they still want to hang out after their work is complete.

Answers by Taryn Ahlquist, Co-owner


Crane & Seager Orthodontics 4144 Timberline Rd., Fort Collins 970.226.6443

Years in business: 17
Number of employees: 40+

Claim to fame: Crane & Seager is the only Diamond Invisalign provider for Northern Colorado. Only the top 1 percent of orthodontists nationwide earn the Diamond designation. To achieve it, a practice must see hundreds of Invisalign patients each year and develop extensive expertise. Made with 3D computer imaging technology, Invisalign clear aligners are invisible, removable alternatives to metal braces.

Causes we support: We provide free mouthguards to young athletes throughout the community. Middle school and high school athletes come in to be fitted for custom-made mouthguards to help protect them from oral and head injury.

Little-known fact: Dr. Crane and Dr. Seager lead continual education courses to many of the dental specialists in Northern Colorado. They also are cleft palate specialists and serve on different panels that are devoted to helping correct cleft palates in young patients.

Answers by Sarah Biery


The Dog Pawlour 2005 S. College Ave., Fort Collins 3616 W. 10th St., Greeley 970.484.3622 / 970.353.3736

Years in business: 5
Number of employees: 23

Claim to fame: Our Fort Collins grooming facility is the only one in the area that has two Certified Master Groomers on staff. While gaining this certification [from the National Dog Groomers Association of America] isn’t necessary as a groomer, we go that extra mile to constantly learn new things and hone our skills.

Service that exceeded expectations: Our Doggie Daycare hosts regular Theme Days. They were intended to be special occasions to keep the dogs stimulated. They quickly bloomed into a fan favorite, with everyone making sure their pups would have the chance to hang out with us on special days like Ball Pit Day and Pawprint Parties.

Little-known fact: Along with owning The Dog Pawlour, we own a pet treat manufacturing company called PetDine. Most of the treats you see at The Dog Pawlour are produced at PetDine.

Answers by Chloe Chabot, Business Development Manager


Front Range Dental Center 2720 Council Tree Ave., Ste. 260, Fort Collins 970.673.7321

Years in business: 8
Number of employees: 18

Product that exceeded expectations: We purchased a CEREC (3D Dental Milling) machine that lets us do same-day crown and bridge appointments. We no longer use conventional impression material. We use digital impressions and an in-office porcelain milling machine to fabricate dental crowns and bridges. Patients love the convenience and ease—they can leave the same day with their permanent porcelain crowns and bridges, instead of getting the impressions made one day and returning another day to have the porcelain fitted into their mouths. The technology is truly amazing.

Claims to fame: Comfortable dental chairs, ceiling mounted TVs, and a friendly demeanor. Our dentists have gone to multiple continuing education courses to advance the technology in our office.

Most difficult project: We opened our doors eight years ago in the Front Range Village shopping center. It was scary to open a large dental practice in a town that was already saturated with dental offices. We started off with only two staff members. Today, we have 18.

Point of pride: We’re proud to have earned the trust of our patients and to be a part of this vibrant community.

Little-known facts: Our dentists have many talents and interests outside of dental health. Dr. Sandra Hunter has a background in fine art. A few years ago she wrote and illustrated a children’s book titled Beatrice Goes to the Dentist. Dr. Lesley Lambert ran track and cross country in college. She is originally from Louisiana. Dr. Kathryn Radtke and Dr. Brad Eckhardt met while working at a public health clinic right here in Fort Collins.

Note of caution: Only 12 percent of Americans floss regularly. Make an appointment today and have our wonderful team evaluate your dental health.


Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning 208 Commerce Dr., Fort Collins 1700 S. College Ave., Fort Collins 970.484.4552

Years in business: 84
Number of employees: 72

Story behind our logo: Our trucks used to be black with silver lettering, but it became difficult to find black vehicles and expensive to repaint them. Vinyl wraps were coming into play, and we could get color printed into them. My brother-in-law redrew our logo to incorporate the diamond plate. I thought of putting the flames on the trucks.

Story behind our name: Originally, we were Fort Collins Sheet Metal Co. We did gutters, ductwork, architectural sheet metal, even automobile/racecar panels. When I bought the dormant company from my grandfather in 1996, I changed the name to Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning to better fit our business.

Claim to fame: We’ve made Inc. magazine’s “Inc. 5000” list of the fastest-growing U.S. companies for two years in a row.

Point of pride: It’s neat to go into a house that’s 50 or 100 years old and see a sticker on a piece of equipment that we installed and have serviced for decades.

Answers by Glenn Frank, President / CEO


Jim’s Wings 1205 W. Elizabeth St., Fort Collins 970.493.1103

Years in business: 27
Number of employees: 20

Story behind our logo: The Jim’s Wings chicken was drawn for me back when I opened in 1991. I had a customer who was working at a magazine in town, and I asked him if he would draw a logo for me. I’m pretty sure it was done for his beer money for the weekend. I recently saw him, and we laughed about how much he would charge me to design it today.

Story behind our name: I’d like say the name was conceived through diligent research and development. Clearly it was not. I had to come up with something quick, and Jim’s Wings seemed to work.

Celebrity customer I’d like to have: Jimmy Buffett. I have been a huge fan for as long as I can remember. I’ve attended 21 concerts, have all of his music and have read his books. I’m a Parrothead who hopes to one day be living in “One Particular Harbor.”


Loveland Design Carpet One 360 S. Lincoln Ave., Loveland 970.667.3590

Years in business: 51
Number of employees: 15

Story behind our name: When we were founded in 1967 (in the same spot we are today), we were a general store called Loveland Discount Center. You could find just about anything, including tires and barn equipment, and we began stocking some rugs in the corner. By the year 2000, home flooring dominated our business. We changed our name to Loveland Design Center. In 2006 we joined the Carpet One Co-Op network and became Loveland Design Carpet One.

High-profile project: We were the lead design firm for the Budweiser Event Center. We had never taken on a project of this scale. Decisions involved several approval layers, and we were under intense time pressure. Our team was up to the challenge, and we finished on time and on budget.

Product that exceeded expectations: The popularity of bamboo flooring skyrocketed suddenly, and we were taken off guard. We are now seeing the trend shift toward materials like hand-scraped wood planks and tile, but the eco-friendly aspect of bamboo is still alive and strong.

Answers by David Giacomini


The Mayor of Old Town 602 S. Mason St., Fort Collins 970.682.2410

Years in business: 8
Number of employees: 30 to 40

Story behind our name: Before I opened the bar, I sold real estate in and around Old Town. Some friends nicknamed me “Mayor of Old Town,” and it stuck.

Most difficult project: My pole dancing class. You can’t have that much flesh rubbing on brass without some serious blistering.

Claims to fame: We made Playboy’s list of the nation’s top five beer bars, Draft Magazine’s list of the nation’s top 100 beer bars (multiple times), and Thrillist’s list of Colorado’s top 12 bars.

Little-known fact: We won’t keep a beer on tap longer than 30 days. We clean our lines between every keg, and we have them professionally cleaned once a week and acid-cleaned once a quarter.

Celebrity customer we’d like to have: Nicolas Cage. 100 percent.

If I weren’t doing this, I’d be…: Working as an exotic dancer.

We can finally laugh about…: That time I tried out as an exotic dancer.

Answers by Kevin Bolin, Owner


Vixen Lashes & Nail Bar 421 S. Mason St., Fort Collins 970.682.2939

Years in business: 5
Number of employees: 20

Story behind our name: Vixen means “female fox.” It’s got an edginess that breaks away from some of the common trends in the beauty industry. We wanted to create a feeling of foxiness, or beauty and strength, for women of all demographics. And so began Vixen.

Most difficult project: Educating the community about eyelash extensions has been our biggest challenge by far. Getting people to understand the appeal of something new and obscure isn’t easy.

Claim to fame: We were the first eyelash extension salon in Fort Collins to actually have a storefront. We’re currently the only company to offer brow staining.

Little-known fact: One of our owners, Charlene, had an underprivileged childhood. She’s done everything possible to treat people like family and empower them in ways she never experienced growing up. That’s evident in the fact that many of our employees have been with us for years, some since the very beginning.

Causes we support: We choose a different local nonprofit or charity each month to which we donate all of our late cancel/no show fees.

Answers by Bailey McLennan, Business Manager


Organic Alternatives 346 E. Mountain Ave. Fort Collins 970.482.7100
Claims to fame: We were the first recreational dispensary to open in the city limits of Fort Collins, and the first to have a marijunana-infused products license. We have been featured in USA Today and Rolling Stone Japan, as well as several other publications.

Point of pride: We helped establish the Cannabis Chapter of the Responsible Association of Retailers (RAR). RAR partners with police departments, school districts and other community organizations to prevent underage access to alcohol, tobacco and marijuana. RAR also supports programs that deter risky behaviors related to substance abuse.

Point of pride II: We use exclusively organic nutrition for our plants.

Causes we support: We are proud to sponsor local nonprofits like ChildSafe and Team Wellness & Prevention (the parent organization of RAR).

Celebrity customers we’d like to have: We’ve had several celebrities and famous musicians as customers, but to respect their privacy (as we do with all of our customers) we prefer not to share their names.

Answers by Maka Kala’i, Director of Sales and Marketing


Sather’s Leading Jewelers The Diamond Tower 300 E. Foothills Pkwy., Fort Collins 970.223.0256

Years in business: 109
Number of employees: 19

Story behind our name: Our family business was founded in 1910 by two Norwegian immigrant brothers, Arthur and Sigurd Saeter. The last name was changed to Sather during the family’s immigration process in 1882.

Product that exceeded expectations: Our Estate Jewelry Collection. It was an idea to avoid melting previously owned and enjoyed treasures from yesteryear. We have a team of goldsmiths who restore and refurbish each item, bringing each piece back to its previous beauty. No two items are ever alike.

Most difficult project: Thirteen years ago we took a huge leap of faith and created the “Diamond Tower.” We are thankful every day that we have the opportunity to do what we love, in such a beautiful and very “Colorado” location.

Causes we support: The Larimer County Fair and Rodeo Queens, Hope Lives!, and numerous children’s and animal charities. We are proud to serve and support our communities.

Point of pride: We have an amazing team of people who work alongside us. They are the face of our family business and the first thing you see when you walk through our doors. We were also blessed with two amazing parents. Our father gave us a strong work ethic. He taught us to be constantly learning, to care about the customer, to love what you do and to always plan for the future. Our mother is highly creative and talented. She shared her artistic passion and creative flair. It is a wonderful balance and great combination.

Point of pride II: Our company is now in its fourth generation of family ownership. The original Sather’s Jewelers store opened in 1910 in Spooner, Wisconsin. In 1931 the first Sather’s store opened in Colorado, and we have been a Colorado business ever since. Little-known fact: Our company expanded into Northern Colorado after Julie enrolled and graduated from CSU in the 1980s.

Celebrity customer we’d like to have: With all genuine sincerity, our clients are our celebrities. We treat every client the same, whether they’re making a small or large purchase. “It is the Sather’s tradition to mark all of life’s moments with fine jewelry; wrapped in exceptional service and a remarkable experience.”

Answers by Julie Sather-Browne, Certified Gemologist


Silver Grill Cafe
218 Walnut St., Fort Collins

Years in business: 85
Number of employees: 45

Story behind our name: We opened in 1933, serving good food at fair prices. Today’s diners find both, plus a history as rich as a mug of hot coffee and a cinnamon roll. The original owners bought the cafe for $140. Supposedly a local painter conceived the name and painted it on the front window in exchange for a pork chop lunch.

Product that exceeded expectations: Our signature cinnamon rolls are based on a recipe from a 1969 Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. Owner John Arnolfo enlisted the help of a retired German baker to give the cinnamon rolls their famous “wow!” taste. We serve more than 10,000 every month.

Little-known fact: The cafe is made up of five brick buildings that sat side by side for decades. When we removed walls to expand the cafe, we saved elements of the original buildings. In one room guests can see “Land and Livestock” painted on brick that, in 1913, was the side of a building.

Answers by Heather Beckman, Managing Partner and Chef


Savory Spice Fort Collins 123 N. College Ave. #100, Fort Collins 970.682.2971

Years in business: 7.5
Number of employees: 8

Point of pride: I have been involved with the vitality of downtown Fort Collins for more than 25 years, including a stint as mayor in the 1990s. Throughout that era, our downtown business owners have always been terrific at collaborating. Even when our specific businesses have similar products or services, we work together for common objectives.

Causes we support: We support the Kendall Reagan Nutrition Center at Colorado State, The Gardens on Spring Creek, Poudre Valley Hospital and Medical Center of the Rockies Foundation, and Women Give of Larimer County.

Little-known facts: Most “cinnamon” sold in the United States is actually a spice named cassia, which comes from laurel tree bark. Savory Spice carries true cinnamon (which is imported from Sri Lanka) and three types of cassia.

Answers by Susan Kirkpatrick, Owner


The Screamin Peach 638 S. College Ave., Fort Collins 4414 S. College Ave., Unit C, Fort Collins 1230 S. Hover St., Ste A-200, Longmont 970.224.2930 / 970.224.2936 / 720.204.2188

Years in business: 12
Number of employees: 37

Story behind our name: I didn’t originally want to go the peach route. One day I was looking through a tattoo magazine and saw a screaming eagle. That’s when The Screamin Peach came to me. It’s edgy, but we work to make every client feel safe, comfortable and heard.

Point of pride: I opened The Screamin Peach because, as a single mom working for salons, most of my money went to childcare. I now employ other single moms, and we support each other as parents and professionals.

Claims to fame: We were the first wax-only studio in Fort Collins, we’ve been voted Best Waxing Studio every year since we opened, and we’ve been recognized in national magazines such as Entrepreneur.

If I weren’t doing this, I’d be…: Working as a paramedic. Causes we support: We support a lot of organizations. We feel especially grateful for Realities for Children and Crossroads Safehouse.

Answers by Jen Eichhorn, Owner


Tribal Rites
628 S. College Ave., Fort Collins

Years in business: 24
Number of employees: 14

Story behind our logo: Two of our artists, Curtis and Ben, created it for our 20th anniversary. We loved it and it seemed to capture our style, so we made it permanent. We call it the Hawkdala for obvious reasons.

Cause we support: We have always felt it’s important to support the community that supports us. When we thought about a cause we could get behind as a business, we kept coming back to the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program. We felt it may be more overlooked than some of the other charities out there.

Little-known facts: We have an amazing and talented crew. Erick is a drummer who has toured with bands all over the world. Curtis is a Rubik’s cube master who would run off with the circus if it wasn’t for us. Kieyla can dead lift over 250 pounds. And Lauren has 25 pets: 12 tarantulas, 11 reptiles, a dog named Demi and a cat named Gary Lasereyes.

Words to live by: “People over profits.”

Answers by Chad Williams, Co-owner


Wilbur’s Total Beverage
2201 S. College Ave., Fort Collins

Years in business: 18
Number of employees: 45

Story behind our name: My father and I were brainstorming names and having a cocktail. By the time we got to the “W” section in the “Name Your Baby” book, we were a couple of cocktails in. When “Wilbur” came up, my father talked about Mr. Ed the Talking Horse, and I brought up Charlotte’s Web. Neither of us knew what the other was talking about due to our age difference. However, a great friend of the family happened to be named Wilbur, although he doesn’t go by that. So it was a great opportunity to give him a hard time.

Most difficult project: We moved from our original location to our current location in 2004. We shut down on a Saturday night and were back open for business in under 72 hours after moving our entire inventory and doubling our square footage and staff.

Claims to fame: We received a “best of” award from Market Watch magazine (an industry journal), and we were named Retailer of the Year for Colorado in 2013. Most recently we were named one of the best retailers in the country by Beverage Dynamics. We also sit on the board of the American Beverage Licensees (ABL), helping to represent 15,000 U.S. beverage retailers in Washington, D.C. on industry-related issues.

Causes we support: We’ve been honored to put on “A Vintage Affair,” our annual beer and wine tasting, for more than 15 years, with all proceeds to benefit Pathways Hospice. We also support McKee Medical Center Foundation, St. Jude’s Hospital, Food Bank for Larimer County, and the Wilbur’s Breast Cancer Fund at U.S. Health.

Product that exceeded expectations: Our delivery app and online orders have been huge successes over the past couple of years.

Point of pride: We have been able to have a family-owned small business for almost 20 years. I started in 2000 with my father, and hopefully we’ll be a third-generation family business in years to come.

Answers by Mat Dinsmore, Co-owner


Fort Collins Country Club
1920 Country Club Rd., Fort Collins

Years in business: 59
Number of employees: 100

Story behind our logo: Our logo is a cottonwood leaf to represent the many cottonwood trees that line our golf course.

Product that exceeded expectations: The addition of our indoor tennis facility in 2015 proved to be very successful in helping us grow our membership. It’s now one of the top indoor facilities in the state. Adding amenities that appealed to a younger demographic helped us grow during a period where the rest of our industry was struggling.

Little-known fact: When our original members were evaluating sites for the country club back in the 1950s, they considered two parcels of land: our current location along Long’s Pond (the farm of then-State Senator Ed Whitaker) and the mid-town location that is now home to Foothills Mall. Our dining room is named Whitaker’s as a nod to the original landowner.

Answers by Heidi Elser, Director of Membership & Sales