IMAGINE THIS: A remote canyon, elevation 8,000 feet. A thick forest of pine, spruce, and fir trees, flowing around rocky slopes. A long, narrow driveway, all uphill -- strictly four-wheel drive. A small log cabin, with an even smaller workshop next door.

A great place for a retreat, yes. But a great place to start a business?

Yet, for nine years, Silver Canyon Coffee operated daily in this beautiful place. Every bag of green coffee, many weighing more than 150 pounds, had to be carried uphill from the delivery truck, often through snow and ice. The roastmaster himself drove the roasted coffee into town. It is here that we set up our first roaster, powered by a 15KW, three-phase generator, and it was here that we learned the attention to detail so critical for success in the coffee business. After all, when a dead battery can shut down your entire operation, you pay attention to the small things.

In 1994, Silver Canyon moved to another unique location, just north of Boulder. High atop a mesa, surrounded by open space, rabbits, foxes, and coyotes run wild, and eagles glide overhead. The company, starting from that workshop in the mountains, has grown into the most experienced and knowledgeable group of coffee professionals in the state. After so many years of experience providing coffee services for hotels, restaurants, coffee houses, carts, kiosks, espresso bars, bagel shops, delis, B&B's, offices, conference centers, banquet facilities, gourmet kitchen stores, specialty retailers, and grocery chains, both large and small, we have just about seen it all.