Once an active ski gondola at Winter Park Ski Resort from 1982 to 1984, Fitzroy Coffee Roasters now operates out of the retired ski lift serving up pour-over style coffee, espresso drinks and nitro cold brew. This inventive coffee vehicle is available for catering events all across Colorado serving retro mountain vibes and handcrafted cups of coffee. Similar to the movie, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist — this coffee gondola has the same mystique as the fictitious band “Where’s Fluffy?” Rather than being parked in a permanent location, the renovated ski gondola is only found at various festivals, corporate events and weddings all around Colorado.
Owner Chad Person has been a coffee enthusiast for years while dabbling in barista arts and the science of roasting coffee. Though Person is a full-time web developer, nothing would get in the way of his desire to brew high-quality coffee in a sustainable vehicle.
As an avid snowboarder and skier, Person strove to make a name for his coffee company in Colorado’s mountain exploration niche. The service of warm coffee out of a ski gondola native to Colorado, offers the perfect aesthetic that Fitzroy Coffee Roasters was going for.
The maiden voyage of this coffee gondola was September 2019 at Denver Startup Week earning partnerships with Downtown Denver Partnership, LaComeinc Events, Colorado Technology Association, Chase Bank and 1% For The Planet.
While the gondola is only available for special catering events, Fitzroy Coffee Roasters is working on branding a small batch subscription service selling the same coffee beans used to make coffee beverages in the gondola. This has been a passion project for Person for a while as he plans on making the subscriptions available in the first quarter of 2020.
Counter to the vintage appearance, this coffee gondola is quite modern inside. It has a self-sustainable system with its own water source and heater — similar to a food truck on a smaller scale. It was completely gutted and specially outfitted by both Person and a fabricator to include the coffee brewing skills needed to cater events. Most recently, the mobile coffee roaster catered the APEX Awards hosted by the Colorado Technology Association in Denver as well as the Launch of Winter Icelantic Ski Event.
With the large coffee community growing in Colorado, Fitzroy wants to remain a small batch company. The focus is solely to create quality coffee and provide a special experience that comes with it. Instead of mass-producing coffee, it’s guaranteed that you may be one of the few hundred to ever try each batch.
Since Fitzroy Coffee Roasters and the rare gondola are seen sporadically, check out the website for appearances at various events around Denver.
All Photography Courtesy Of Fitzroy Coffee Company