One of the things Larry Conlon likes best about Fort Collins is the biking culture. Not only that, but people, here, love more than just craft beer—they love their coffee, too. An idea sparked, and Larry came up with a business plan that included biking and cold brew nitro coffee. He uses a front cargo bike to peddle his wares downtown, and sells wholesale to businesses in the area.
Larry has made many connections throughout the region by using local roasters to source the beans. He will roast his own beans for competitions, but likes the variety available through local businesses. Larry has taught himself everything he knows about the process and experiments with different beans to create a blend based on what will accompany the coffee.
Cold brew coffee has some interesting abilities that regular, hot brewed coffee doesn’t offer. For one thing, it can be dispensed using a tap.
That means you can belly up to the bar at Tap and Handle and have cold, smooth coffee; or a beer/coffee blend. Larry’s Cranked Up Coffee can also be found at these locations.
Larry has added a few employees as his business has grown, but there are still aspects that remain a one-person job. Batch blending is all him. “I only take sips now, as I develop the blends. The first day I thought I was having a heart attack.” Larry remembers the early days, as he drank half glasses to taste; the caffeine creeping up on him. “I have a high tolerance now.” He says.
Creating cold brew coffee using a nitro process produces smooth, rich flavor and a creamy texture and bloom without the dairy. This process has been around for a while, but Larry’s particular style is a closely guarded secret. This unique taste and singular delivery system makes the business stand out. Larry created a niche in Fort Collins and has been growing his business ever since.
These aspects made Cranked Up Coffee a great candidate to become a Bike Friendly Business. Larry remembers being approached by Kurt Freiburg, who helps Fort Collins businesses apply for the designation, while he sold coffee downtown. Notably, Larry has managed to keep the business at about ninety nine percent motor vehicle free. He only uses a car for out of town events.
Even though the business is small, Cranked Up Coffee was awarded silver status with the first application. Larry has also added to his support of biking events which will allow him to level up when he applies for a BFB renewal.
Cranked Up Coffee is a unique business and it seems to be a perfect fit in Fort Collins. Every year Larry adds more variety and is always looking for ways to collaborate with other local businesses. He has embraced the Northern Colorado culture and has added to it with this business. His contributions add to our Platinum Bike Friendly City status and he wants to make sure, as the town grows, we stay focused on local flavor: including bikes.
If you’re interested in meeting Larry and finding out what makes his coffee so great, head over to the southwest corner of Mountain Ave and College, near Rare Italian; he can usually be located there (if not, you can watch for updates on Facebook). Check out the bike too, and find out if you can get free delivery to your place!