Biz Buzz: March 20, 2014

Rib City, in the Eastgate Shopping Center at 2830 North Ave., celebrates 10 years in Grand Junction as the restaurant chain’s first ever franchise, co-owner Mike Spradlin said.

“It’s the first franchise Rib City ever tried,” Spradlin said.

Two years later, Spradlin and his partner, Sara Martz, opened their second restaurant in Fruita at 455 Kokopelli Drive, behind the Fruita Visitor Center. Spradlin and Martz launched their next stores in Glenwood Springs and Rifle and then started consulting with friends and associates to help open one store in Montrose and another in Utah.

“We have a lot of fun doing it,” he said.

The secret to the chain’s success is “high quality food and especially good customer service,” Spradlin said.

The smokers are smoking meat early at Rib City while the handmade pecan and key lime pie are baking in the oven. The pecan variety, a recipe created by Spradlin’s mother, was lauded by the food editor of the Los Angeles Times in October.

“A guy picked up the pie in Rifle and drove it home to California. He liked it so much, he contacted the Los Angeles Times,” Spradlin said. “It’s pretty cool.”

Bubbly adult beverages, including both domestic and microbrewed beers, are sold at ridiculously low prices on Wednesdays as a thank you to customers.

“It’s the same beer you feel like we’re overcharging you for during the week,” Spradlin said.

With four sauces — sweet, tangy, mustard, and hot — all brown sugar-based, there’s a Florida barbecue flavor to satisfy everyone, he said. 

“We want people to know how much we appreciate our regular customers,” Spradlin said. “We understand that every dollar we get, the opportunity to spend comes from them.”

■ Several area businesses were honored by the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce Monday for spending more than $10 million on improvements and adding more than 300 jobs to the Grand Junction economy during the last year:

Matt Collins accepted honors for Lewis Engineering, which was recognized for adding 11 jobs and investing $960,000.

Lisa Boyd accepted for No Coast Sushi, which was recognized for creating 21 jobs and investing $600,000.

Community Hospital added 73 jobs and invested $3.2 million into the local economy as part of the Canyon View Medical Plaza project. Chris Thomas, CEO, accepted honors on behalf of the hospital. 

Marriott/Residence Inn’s Sharah Russell accepted honors on behalf of the hotel, which created eight jobs and invested $1.2 million.

Dr. Monty Langston accepted honors on behalf of Colorado Injury & Pain, which created 23 jobs and invested $4.9 million to purchase land and construct offices at the intersection of First Street and Patterson Road.

Colorado Leadership Network is partnering with Colorado Mesa University’s PBL club to host The West Leadership Conference 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 3 at Colorado Mesa University Ballroom. Several leaders are slated to speak, including:

Rick Taggart, former CEO of Swiss Army, on “Building Strategies.”

Christy Whitney, CEO of HopeWest, on “Compassionate Leadership.”

Dave Beck, general manager at MBC Grand, on “Leading Teams.”

Paul Watson, executive pastor at the Downtown Vineyard Church, on “The Importance of Leadership.”

Nate Ralston, Young Adult Pastor at Kaleo, on “Bridging the Generational Gap.”

Call (970) 201-1236 for more information.

■ The new website for the Downtown Business Improvement District is up and running, district officials announced.

The site lists all businesses operating within the authority, but business owners must sign in at the site to edit and add their own content.

Downtown business owners should visit http://www.downtowngj.org to begin the process by claiming their business and logging in, said Aaron Hoffman, a district spokesman.

If a downtown business is not listed in the directory or is experiencing problems, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Alpine Bank extended the application deadline for the J. Robert Young Scholarships to March 31. Graduating high school seniors meeting the criteria of the scholarships may receive an application online, through their high school counselor or by visiting any Alpine Bank location.

The J. Robert Young scholarships are offered to graduates of public high schools in communities served by Alpine Bank. Two $1,000 renewable scholarships are awarded each year to students with a 2.75 GPA or higher who are seeking a business-related degree. Students must attend a Colorado college. Applications must be postmarked or emailed to the Western Colorado Community Foundation on or before March 31.

Do you know about an area business opening, closing, moving or changing? Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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