Welcome to Fort Collins Community Connections. This is a recurring blog from Visit Fort Collins where we introduce you to incredible local businesses and their owners and share their connection to Fort Collins. This week we spoke with Jim Hewitt, owner of The Cupboard. The Cupboard is a kitchen specialty store and it has been a constant in Old Town Fort Collins since 1972. Jim's father Carey opened the store that year after deciding his teaching career wasn't the path for him. After opening in 1972, The Cupboard's popularity soared and transformed into the store that it is today. After college and a few business endeavors, Jim Hewett returned to work at The Cupboard in 2007 and eventually transitioned into ownership of The Cupboard. Beyond shopping, The Cupboard offers regular food samplings in store as well as knife sharpening, and you can even sample coffee as you shop.
What makes The Cupboard unique?
We have been in business for 44 years and our average staff member has been with us for 11 years. We are one of the largest independent kitchen stores in the United States. We have been recognized by ClimateWise and the League of American Bicyclists for our efforts concerning the environment. We strive to make visiting our store an enjoyable experience with food tastings, events and demonstrations.
What do you love about Fort Collins?
I love that we are so close to a variety of outdoor activities. It is a great place to raise a family with good schools, parks and plenty of things to do. Fort Collins caters to people of all ages, from university students to those who are retired. I love that Fort Collins has invested in bike paths, and promotes a culture of alternative transportation. People in Fort Collins are down to earth and care about their community
What are some of your favorite things to do in Fort Collins?
I love riding my bike in town, hiking in Lory State Park and camping up the Cache la Poudre River Canyon. I love Downtown Fort Collins, with so many unique shops, restaurants and breweries. I have frequented Bisetti’s, the Rio and Coopersmith’s for years.
What is the story behind how The Cupboard started?
My father, Carey Hewitt, started the business in 1972. He realized that he wasn’t cut out to be a junior high math teacher, so he and a partner decided to start The Cupboard. He started selling pottery, baskets and wooden spoons. Because of customer demand, The Cupboard developed into a kitchen and home specialty store.
Tell us about yourself...
I was born in Fort Collins and graduated from Fort Collins High School in 1995. I was part of the last graduating class from the old Fort Collins High building. I then graduated from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA. I grew up around The Cupboard and worked at the store during high school and in the summers during college. My father always told me that, “business is about common sense and how you treat people.”
What do you want people to think when they visit The Cupboard?
I want The Cupboard to be an experience for visitors. We want people to enjoy themselves, sample coffee, and feel at home in our store. The Cupboard is more than simply about products, it is about community. It is also about education. Our staff is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about cooking, decorating and hosting. We want to impart that passion and knowledge to our customers.
Address: 152 S. College Ave. Fort Collins, CO 80524
Phone: (970) 493-8585
Hours of Operation: M-Sat 9:30-8:00, Sun 11:00-5:00
(Photos courtesy of The Cupboard)