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Everyday Estes

Everyday Estes

By Donna R. Carlson
Stories told by the people you pass by every day, on topics that will pique your curiosity and make you want to get to know them – and keep you coming back for more. This podcast series is part of a connecting community initiative of the Estes Valley Resiliency Collaborative (EVRC). Hosted by EVRC volunteer and podcaster Donna Carlson.
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Episode 11: Rob Corey, a Seasoned Chef, growing his business in a pandemic

Everyday Estes

Episode 11: Rob Corey, a Seasoned Chef, growing his business in a pandemic

Everyday Estes

Episode 11: Rob Corey, a Seasoned Chef, growing his business in a pandemic
Rob's story resembles a global trend in the midst of this pandemic. The gift of COVID, if there is one, is that it is providing time, space and capacity for entrepreneurship and innovation. Level Red has put the brakes on the flow of business, for restaurants more than many. In the unfortunate circumstance that his neighbor folded in the early days of the pandemic, Rob jumped on the opportunity to lease the space and start a new venture. Listen to hear more about Rob's vision for Seasoned - An American Bistro - and Stella's Place next door.
January 7, 2021
January 7, 2021
January 7, 2021
Episode 10: Living in Level Red: Melissa standing Strong in COVID
It's not easy to remain flexible as the COVID dial rises and falls, but contingency planning is the new reality of running a business in a pandemic. Melissa Strong shares in this week's episode how she stays flexible in running Bird and Jim during a pandemic. Her staff is fiercely loyal and operates as a team, even when they need to back off the hours and even file unemployment... again. I asked Melissa how she manages the decision process of how to staff, what to order and when to run an ad. "We have to laugh," she says. We're all in the same place, so we hope you will feel right at home and in good company with Melissa in this conversation.
December 22, 2020
Episode 9: Staying on top of the Level Up program with Ingrid Bush at The Barrel
Ingrid runs a German style pub called The Barrel. Always at the forefront of helping to get our business community open, Ingrid was the first to show up on a call to discuss Larimer county‘s Level Up program – a version of the Five Star program Mesa County created. She’s actually on one of the committees to bring the voice of Estes Park to the program review process. Here’s a really good place to get a primer on what this program is up to. If you want to ask more questions, contract Ingrid at You can also get more information on the program and indicate your interest in participating at
December 17, 2020
Episode 8: Courney Caroll on caring for our students this holiday
Courtney is the new Mental Health Coordinator at the Estes Park School District. She comes from Texas, which is a vote of confidence in our book right off the bat. It's a delight to have her expertise and her passion serving our kids and our community. Mental wellness is so important for our students right now, thanks for all you do, Courtney. You can reach her at
December 10, 2020
Episode 7: An interview with Michael Young, the artist behind Catch the Glow.
Michael has been the artistic talent behind Catch the Glow for 11 of the 13 years it’s been running. This year when a pandemic forced us to get creative about how to celebrate Christmas, Michael pulled a rabbit out of a hat and created a beautiful stationary parade of lights at the fairgrounds. He didn’t do it alone. He gives lots of credit to Rob Hinkle for campaigning to make this happen and a crew of supporters who run the details. The invaluable float team workers include Aimee Sawlaw, Rod Williams and Chris Biniek! There’s still one weekend left, December 5th, 6th and 7th. You don’t want to miss it.
December 3, 2020
Episode 6: An evacuation recovery story celebrating books and brews with Anastacia Galloway Reed
Great segue from the fire to getting back to business. Anastacia and Kevin were just cutting the ribbon on Macdonald Book Shop on the day we were evacuated. Reuniting the book shop with the coffee shop has been a dream of theirs. Paula Steige has been running the shop since 1971, so this was a decision long in the making. We conducted this interview in the storytelling room, where the Reed boys sit and play at the same table Paula played at when her mother ran the store. It's a heartwarming holiday story. Help make it a great fire recovery story. Special order a book from Macdonald Book Shop that we don't have in stock & when you come back to pick up your book, you'll get a "delayed gratification" book mark for a free 12 oz beverage of your choice from Inkwell & Brew.
November 20, 2020
Episode 5: What do you wish you knew about wildfires? An interview with Fire Chief David Wolf
There is a lot of knowledge and preparation that goes into battling a wild fire. The most timely interview we could bring you after the evacuation and recovery of the Estes Valley is with Fire Chief David Wolf. Learn how he got into firefighting, where he came from and how the emergency response team makes decisions that impact our residents. Not that we hope to experience this again anytime soon, but there are tremendous resources for families who live in the Wildland Urban Interface to be prepared, always. It's always good to have a plan. Check out these details at
November 5, 2020
Episode 4: I'll bet you didn't know this about Ericka Santana...
If you love authentic Mexican food or hanker for a margarita, you might know Ericka as the owner of Chelitos on Elkhorn Ave., or the Carniceria & Mexican Market on Dunraven St. She's soon to be the owner of a third business on West Elkhorn selling street tacos! You might know that she has three children and that her youngest, a precocious two-year old named America, follows her to work like she owns the place. You might know that she used to work for Crisis Advocates, that she sells real estate and volunteers selflessly, but I'll be you didn't know she used to practice law in Mexico before she came to America.  Join our conversation and get the inside scoop on Ericka Santana.
October 21, 2020
Episode 3: I’ll bet you didn’t know this about Nick Smith
You hear the name Nick Smith and you think of beer. You might imagine sitting on the deck at Lumpy Ridge Brewing Co. You might not think of Estes Arts District and Friends of Folk. Nick shows his true colors when he talks about his inspiration for this festival. We've even included a sample of the latest festival, which was recorded because of COVID -- forever immortalized for you on YouTube.
October 17, 2020
Episode 2: I’ll bet you didn’t know this about Rachel Oppermann...
If you know Rachel, you know she coordinates public relations for our town’s destination marketing organization — Visit Estes Park. She works with magazines to write stories about our town and manages media relationships, providing a valuable resource for our tourism economy. What you may not know about Rachel is that she's a volunteer firefighter! Hear the full story here.
October 8, 2020
Episode 1: I'll bet you didn't know this about Nick Molle...
What you didn't know about Nick Molle .... ... before he was a video producer, Nick was a songwriter.  Listen to his story.
September 24, 2020