Biz Buzz, Jan. 23, 2011

Chris Turpin said he owned a little coffee shop in Jefferson County 15 years ago, but the venture lasted a mere nine months. Marriage and raising a family called for a better-compensating career choice.

But the Fruita resident who works full-time as a salesman at Grand Junction Chrysler Jeep Dodge, 2578 U.S. Highway 6&50, dreamed of owning a coffee shop again one day, and on Jan. 15, he took ownership of Coffee Muggers, 644 Main St.

Jen and Alex Ruppe opened Coffee Muggers in 2005 in downtown Grand Junction and built a core of regular customers whom Jen prized while trying to sell the business. Some potential buyers spoke of changing the place into a bar or restaurant. She held out for someone who wanted a coffee shop.

“It was just important to me that my customers were taken care of,” she said. “It’s like family.”

Turpin said he sees first-hand what Jen meant, and any changes he makes will be additions. The coffee will remain the same, and the menu will be retained. The additions include items such as breakfast burritos and cakes and pies that will be made in Coffee Muggers’ kitchen.

“I’m keeping the integrity of everything I inherited,” Turpin said. “People walk in here and say they can feel the independence, the freedom, the vibe. I want to keep that.”

He’s keeping the shop’s name despite many friends asking, “Why didn’t you change the name?” His answer: “I wanted to keep the tradition.”

He’s also keeping his job at Grand Junction Chrysler Jeep Dodge, which means he will rely heavily on the Coffee Muggers help he inherited.

“The only way it’s possible is by having great employees,” he said, adding all of Coffee Muggers’ employees were retained, and, “They have been amazing.” Plus, he will hire two more.

Jen Ruppe said she will help Turpin with his ownership transition for as long as it takes. When that’s complete, she said her plans are to “just take a break. I’ve had one vacation in five-and-a-half years.”

Jan. 1 brought name changes for the following three Grand Junction businesses:

Masonry and landscape supplier Robinson Brick, 711 S. 15th St., became General Shale Brick, carrying the name of the international company that claims to be the largest brick manufacturer in North America.

General Shale bought Robinson four-and-a-half years ago and kept the Robinson name, but identified it as a division of General Shale Brick, according to General Shale Western Region Vice President of Sales Mark Stutz.

The name is all that’s changing. Products and services at the Grand Junction store will remain the same, Stutz said.

An advantage of the General Shale name is its “very strong brand recognition in North America,” Stutz said.

Grand Junction Diagnostics & Mammography, a division of Primary Care Partners, 3150 N. 12th St., in Fairmount Health Park, added mammography to its name.

It had been providing mammography screenings for at least the past half-dozen years, according to Primary Care Partners Marketing Director Paula Anderson. But the name Grand Junction Diagnostics “doesn’t really let people know that,” she said. “There are so many people who get mammography screenings and don’t know that we do it.”

The name change leaves no doubt. Anderson added patients have to have physician referrals. For more information, call 241-6014 or go online to

Ryan, Sawyer & Whitney, 652 White Ave., became RSW Partners and updated its logo and website,

“RSW Partners shortens the syllables and sounds less like a law firm, but more importantly, we truly partner with our clients to provide more comprehensive advertising, marketing, public relations and business-development solutions,” company President Tom Y. Sawyer said in a news release.

Sawyer, Dan Ryan and Lee Whitney are the partners in RSW Partners, which evolved from two mergers. Ryan & Associates Advertising and marketing firm L.A. Whitney & Associates became Ryan, Whitney & Company in 1998. In 2009, business-consulting company Tom Y. Sawyer & Associates joined the group to form Ryan, Sawyer & Whitney.


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