Fox Den: No Waste Cafe & Roastery opens in Fort Collins

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A new life is being prepared on avenue Laporte.

The Fox Den: No Waste Cafe & Roastery opened earlier this month at 1680 Laporte Avenue, bringing a growing movement and jars — lots and lots of jars — with it.

Committed to reducing waste as much as possible, the cafe serves its coffee, tea, beer, wine and other beverages exclusively in reusable glass jars or cups, Fox Den founder Patricia Acheson explained Tuesday.

Customers who come for a drink at the cafe can choose from a wall of mugs. Those who want to take away a tea, coffee or latte can either bring their own pot or travel mug, or pay a deposit for one of the store’s takeout pots – deposits are $1 for pots of cold drinks and $1.50 for pots of hot drinks that are equipped with a fabric sleeve.

All pots are disinfected before being used. Coffee takeout deposits are also refundable when customers return them, Acheson said.

A coffee bean refill station at the back of the cafe is stocked with freshly roasted beans and stacks of jars for those who didn’t bring their own.

Acheson provides its food and tea vendors with reusable glass jars and containers for their deliveries to The Fox Den. The shop’s take-out pastries and panini-pressed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are served in paper sleeves instead of plastic, and all of the shop’s furniture and decor are salvaged — “nothing was purchased new,” Acheson said.

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The store also plans to open a mini refill bar operated by Fort Collins’ hygge HABIT refill bar, which allows people to fill reusable containers with things like soap, shampoo, lotion, and washing powder — an object that 1680, avenue Laporte is no stranger to.

For years, the squat brick building housed the Micromat laundromat, which permanently closed and vacated its space about four months before Acheson spotted the empty storefront and its ‘for rent’ sign during a bike ride Last year.

Looking through her front windows, Acheson said the interior of the building was in bad shape, but she saw its potential. The Indianapolis native, who moved from California to Fort Collins with her fiancé last summer, had wanted to open a cafe like The Fox Den for years.

She previously opened a coffee roasting and wholesale business in San Francisco and later a take-out cafe in San Pedro, California.

“But I always wanted to have a store where people could come and sit and work, hang out,” she said.

After initially looking for space in Old Town, Acheson began to turn his attention to other pockets of Fort Collins. She was looking for a space that would be more like a neighborhood café when she came across 1680 Laporte Avenue.

“I wanted people to feel like they were walking into my own living room,” Acheson said of her dream cafe, adding that she eventually rented the old Micromat and got to work for the transform in December.

In recent years, a nearby parcel of Laporte Avenue that once housed the Friendly Fire fireplace business has been transformed into the popular west Fort Collins brewery, Stodgy Brewing. Last fall, Brothers BBQ opened its first location in Fort Collins in a former gas station at the intersection of Taft Hill Road and Mulberry Street.

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The Fox Den soft-opened on March 18, offering zero-waste coffee, tea, beer and wine in a cozy white-walled space dotted with colorful rugs, furniture and wood accents.

So far, Acheson said the response to his coffee has been “incredible”.

“I have to give this neighborhood a lot of credit,” she said. “It feels like a Hallmark movie. Everyone is so kind and supportive here.”

Acheson said she hopes The Fox Den not only continues to carve out a space for itself in the neighborhood, but also in the anti-waste movement.

“The main goal is … to show (to other businesses) that you can be successful by reducing your waste,” she said. “I’m not trying to be the only place doing this. It would be great to start a trend.”

The Fox Den: No Waste Cafe & Roastery is open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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Erin Udell reports on current affairs, culture, history and more for the Coloradoan. Contact her at ErinUdell@coloradoan.com. The only way she can keep doing what she does is with your support. If you subscribe, thank you. Otherwise, sign up for a digital subscription to the Coloradoan today.


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