On Saturday, May 7, 2022, the patio outside Salto and Tin Shed was bustling with people celebrating the company’s 10th anniversary. Patrons young and old enjoyed raffles, games and great food and drink as live bluegrass music filled the air. Children and adults pedaled furiously in Big Wheel races, then sat back and cheered as Tin Shed staff, all dressed in their blue mechanic jumpsuits, handed out prizes to the crowd.
Located at 112 East 2nd Street, Salto and Tin Shed not only coexist within the imposing clock tower, but were envisioned as part of a single entity. Owner Karina Luscher spoke with The ear of the mountain on how she and her husband Marcus were inspired to combine the atmosphere of a coffee bar with the vibe of a bike repair shop; a perfect marriage of interests and hobbies for a mountain town like Nederland.
“My husband and I have seen this empty lot and we’ve walked it so many times, and I really wanted to do roast coffee and he really wanted a bike shop in town,” Luscher said. “He came from a place where I just wanted to create a community center where people who love the outdoors could come.”
Tin Shed operates as a bicycle repair shop as well as a gear and equipment retail space, which also offers snow sports equipment. You can rent or buy gear, get repairs or advice, buy gear, or get valuable information about local trails. The knowledgeable staff are not only trained to offer their expertise, but they are also passionate amateurs who actively travel the regional trails.
“We’re very much a service-oriented store, but you can hop on a bike and be on the trail right out the store door,” Luscher said.
Tin Shed can accommodate avid riders as well as the curious or those just starting to learn, as the shop also aims to facilitate interest in outdoor sports by offering several educational services.
“We did bike skills clinics with Alison Powers and we do group rides, just teaching how to balance on a bike and have fun and get outside,” Luscher explained.
“Children of ski racers SMBA (Singletrack Mountain Biking Adventures) and EMSC (Eldora Mountain Ski & Snowboard Club), they grew up on this deck. All road cyclists, all mountain bikers, all hikers and snowshoers…it really became what we imagined it would become.
Salto was born out of Luscher’s appreciation for the ritual, art and science of the entire process of making quality coffee and lattes.
“I’ve always had this love of coffee. My grandmother is probably the one who instilled it in me,” Luscher said. “I grew up going to Switzerland in the summers to visit him, and that’s where we had a ritual with coffee. When I was a kid, it was so special, like ‘oh my God, I can have an espresso’. It’s the coolest thing ever!”
Although Salto started conceptually as a coffee bar, it quickly evolved to serving pastries, beer and a menu masterfully executed by Chef Sean Boutot, cementing it as a community hub.
“Of course it’s great coffee, but it’s also the service, the environment, the vibe,” Luscher said.
Those who come to Tin Shed to pick up essential gear or inquire about trail conditions can head to Salto for some much-needed caffeine or a breakfast burrito to fuel their day’s outing. Or, those returning from a long day of biking could stop at Salto for a beer and a sandwich, then stroll through Tin Shed to ask about a strange noise their bike was making.
Over the past 10 years, Luscher and her husband have created an environment that is integral to the interests of the community by fostering education and growth. With the Nederland Area Trail Organization (NATO), Luscher and her husband, along with Josh Harrod, expanded their passion for cycling beyond retail space and into a volunteer-run program. NATO supports, supports and improves the trail network of the Netherlands by creating meaningful projects for the creation and preservation of trails, and to develop recreational activities throughout the region.
“The Forest Service, NATO, and PROSAB (Parks, Recreation, and Open Spaces Advisory Board) worked together on a trail master plan,” Luscher said. “People want connectivity on these trails and finding a way to get that where it makes sense for everyone would be great.”
Along with community outreach, Salto and Tin Shed’s welcoming atmosphere also encourages a healthy work environment for their staff, building knowledge and creativity.
“I love seeing my staff get involved in it and take an interest in what we’re doing in roasting and then follow it through and make sure we’re brewing to the standards that we need to brew to,” Luscher said. “I can’t say enough about my staff. I’m really, really lucky to have the people I work with here. I couldn’t have done all of this without the crew who helped me along the way.
Luscher ensures Salto and Tin Shed reps know the product and process, while having a voice to try new things and develop ideas.
“He has to be collaborative and he has to support others, that’s at the very heart of what we do,” Luscher added. “And every single person who passed through this building contributed in some way to what we do.”
This dedication to an open and conscious workplace has helped create many successful events, such as First Fridays (June to September this year), as well as the launch of the incredibly popular Crosscut Pizzeria and Taphouse.
“It’s great to have an idea, have a mission and execute it, but it will only go as far as you can. You need to make sure everyone feels empowered to come to the table with ideas and execute, and also shine.
Salto and Tin Shed are located at 112 East 2nd Street. Tin Shed is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Salto is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about Salto, call 303-258-3537, or go to: www.saltocoffee.comor for: m.facebook.com/ saltocoffeenederland/.
For more information on the Nederland Area Trails Organization (NATO), go to: https:// nederlandareatrails.org.
Sponsored by the City of Nederland, with funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.