Emerging Concepts | October 2015 | By Daniel P. Smith

Standout Store: Cured

A former professional cyclist and his wife open a fast-casual wine-and-cheese shop in Boulder, Colorado.
Colorado fast casual brand serves wine and cheese in QSR environment.
Cured in Boulder, Colorado. Cured

After a globe-trotting career as a professional cyclist, Will Frischkorn retired in late 2009, soon after tackling another endurance and will-testing adventure.

In August 2011, Frischkorn and his wife, Coral, launched Cured, a Boulder, Colorado–based specialty market peddling cheese, wine, and charcuterie alongside a rotating menu of lunch sandwiches and an ambitious, revolving menu of carryout dinners ranging from hand-rolled pastas and fresh-caught fish to roasted chicken.

In addition to those one-off to-go offerings, Cured has also built a swelling catering business. That includes a corporate happy-hour program in which the shop delivers cheese and charcuterie boards to local offices, as well as a robust collection of themed picnics, such as a “Backcountry Picnic” that allows mountain adventurers to forgo an oat bar in favor of a proper feast.

Frischkorn discusses his post-athletic expedition with Cured.

How does a former professional cyclist get into the cheese-and-wine game?

After retiring, Coral and I were living in Spain, and I was working for Garmin on the marketing side. More and more, we both wanted to do something with food and wine, so we began plotting the idea for what would become Cured. This was and remains a real passion project for us.

How has the business, specifically the takeout piece, grown since your 2011 opening?

Takeout now represents about 40 percent of our business, and that number has skyrocketed. As a store, we’ve seen 30 percent growth year over year, but takeout is almost doubling on an annual basis.

You share your Pearl Street space with Boxcar Coffee Roasters. How did that relationship come to be?

We initially looked at much larger spaces for Cured, but with Boulder real estate being so tough, we decided instead to look for great partners to collaborate with. Boxcar shares expenses with us and pays us rent, but, most importantly, they have a reputation for quality that matches ours.

What’s been your favorite part of creating and growing Cured thus far?

It’s really been the constant education. Coral and I came in as two reasonably smart people, and we had the benefit of my father, who is a business consultant, as well. Still, neither of us had ever operated anything in our lives. It’s been a nonstop but rewarding process of grinding it out and learning the business each day. Beyond that, it’s been fun to become a part of the community in a stable way. As a cyclist training [in Boulder], I was in and out of town. With Cured, we now have roots here, and that’s allowed us to build stronger connections with people.

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