Did you know:
Joy Vik of Viking Yurt published a photo book called “When Dogs Dine Like Vikings?”
Earl Foote of Nexus ITC plays bass in the alt-rock band 90 Proof?
Whitney White Kozlowski of The Beau Collective used to do public relations at 20th Century Fox in L.A.?
Sara Sargent of Alpine Distilling has an education in gin from Edinburgh, Scotland, and husband Rob is an official Kentucky colonel?
These are just a few of the info nuggets sure to entertain and enlighten you in our weekly “Small Town Stories” that appear in The Park Record, thumbnail profiles of small business owners whose energy, drive and unique life stories help stamp Park City as home to entrepreneurial risk-takers chasing their dreams.
And yes, most Park City businesses are small — 57% of our surveyed members employ fewer than 20 people and 43% fewer than 10. From nonprofit animal rescuers to chocolatiers, our small businesses are a cross-section of our culture and personality — vivid and warm. Almost all enthusiastically support their favorite Park City cause.
Or, in the case of Cole Sport, causes. Like their parents before them, Adam and Jason have supported dozens of local nonprofits for decades. Recently, Adam asked their 16 managers to pick their favorite nonprofits so Cole Sport could support their employee preferences, too.
Cole Sport’s open-hearted attitude is not unusual. The most common answer survey respondents give when we asked why they belong to the Chamber/Bureau is to connect to the community. Today, Stephen Mackay and Jason Morgan of Old Town Cellars raise funds for the Fire District and support animal rights causes. Foote provides free IT services to three or four nonprofits per year. The list goes on.
Our members named climate change and green/recycling initiatives as two of their top three concerns, and many are laser-focused on making a difference. For example, Ben Farquharson of Clockwork Café sources bread from Salt Lake City and recycles plastics, glass and aluminum while switching over to solar energy. For his eco-conscious practices, Joe Saladyga (nickname “Salad”) of Savoury Kitchen earned Recycle Utah’s 2019 Green Business of the Year Award. Ski Butlers’ Bryn Carey, a Park City native who started his business in a Daly Avenue garage, even switched banks to avoid financing fossil fuel companies.
But it’s the human side that I find most captivating, like the fact that photographers Carla and Victor Boecklin of carlaboecklin.com met in a hostel in Medellin, Colombia. Or that Mountain Trails Foundation Executive Director Lora Smith was a hard-working outdoor guide raising four children when former director Charlie Sturgis encouraged her to apply at the foundation 10 years ago.
I love the imagination and compassion, too. For example, Lindsay Ortega of Nuzzles and Co. has a “working cats” program to place active felines needing a home with ranches and farms. “When we give our animals a second chance at life, they give back the love 100 fold,” she says. Doesn’t that make you say, “Awwwwwww?”
So, the next time you see Katy Heddens of Black Diamond Gymnastics, ask about her daughter on Auburn’s track and field team. Or find out how Saladyga discovered Park City because he lost a bet. Or get Jenn Silva at the Egyptian Theatre to tell you how she managed to cast her dog in one of their productions.
Hopefully, you will find the sagas behind our Saturday “Small Town Stories” entertaining — and always inspiring.