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Dry Dock Brewing Company

The award-winning Dry Dock Brewing Company is Aurora’s first microbrewery. Established in October 2005, Dry Dock is co-owned and operated by Kevin DeLange and Michelle Reding. The brewery began with just two employees in a 900 square-foot space with less than 20 seats in the back of Kevin and Michelle’s homebrew supply shop, The Brew Hut. They brewed less than 500 barrels of beer in 2006. How-ever, Dry Dock has enjoyed tremendous success and growth in a very short time. In 2015, the brewery was producing almost 20,000 barrels of beer each year and over 30,000 barrels in 2016.  It is the largest brewery in Colorado that is only distributing in-state.  At the “South Dock,” there’s a cozy bar with casual seating, a jovial atmosphere and a staff eager to serve. Patrons flock to the bar to taste new and frequently-changing brews. Behind a glass wall lives the brewery’s small production facility, and also on the premises is The Brew Hut, a supply house for homebrewers and wine makers.

With the assistance of an SBDC consultant, Dry Dock secured a $4.5 million dollar SBA 504 loan in 2012. These funds allowed Dry Dock to produce a larger volume of beer to distribute much more widely.

“Working with any government agency can be daunting, so it has been great to have a partner to help us through regulations and training, or just to point us in the right direction if we have questions,” said Kevin.

Dry Dock Brewery may be “landlocked” at South Chambers Road and East Hampden Avenue, but this small microbrewery has the wind at its back and clear sailing ahead in Aurora. In 2013, Dry Dock opened a 30,000 square-foot production facility, “North Dock,” on I-70 and Tower Road where it began canning its Home Fleet beers. In 2014, Dry Dock opened the Canoe Room tasting room at the facility. With the addition of the production facility, the company grew to 24 full-time and 22 part-time employees.

Dry Dock has partnered with their local community, the City of Aurora, in various activities. This hometown business delights in being a part of many city events. They are quick to lend a hand to local not-for-profit or civic groups in need of support. In 2015, Dry Dock hosted the Colorado Chapter of the American Planning Association to discuss how they worked with the City of Aurora and the Aurora-South Metro SBDC to overcome various obstacles of starting a small brewery.

Since Dry Dock opened in 2005, the brewery has won over 25 Great American Beer Festival and 8 World Beer Cup medals, making it the most medaled Colorado craft brewery in the last decade. Dry Dock has also won at least  40 awards at the Colorado State Fair.

“Dry Dock has grown tremendously, and the Aurora-South Metro SBDC has been with us every step of the way,” commented Kevin.

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GradePower Learning

Robert and Olga Mead, the owners of GradePower Learning, started out with a vision to help build children’s confidence and self-esteem. They found an opportunity to do that not only through tutoring students, but also in teaching them how to learn. The LEADING EDGETM Strategic Planning Series was the perfect tool for Olga to test her business model. She graduated from LEADING EDGETM in 2015 and continued on as a client at the Aurora-South Metro

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Rustic Nomads

Starting a business in 2020—during the COVID-19 pandemic—has been a journey to say the least, but the owner of Rustic Nomads, Nathan Wiersum, will have bragging rights for life.   “The support received from the SBDC is why I continue to move .” With a loan from DreamSpring to purchase a food truck, the rest of the business has been self-funded.  Originally, the plan was to grow into a restaurant as soon as possible.  With the pandemic, goals were reevaluated.  The

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ContractsRx

ContractsRx is on a mission to make legal contracting seamless, accessible and repeatable.  Shannon Leonard and Ramon Rhymes, co-founders, make it their aim to reduce the time, cost and risk associated with business contracting and business outcomes. The abrupt uncertainty that COVID-19 brought to ContractsRx and other small businesses resulted in an overnight shift from the known to the unknown.  While Shannon and Ramon are fortunate to be in a technology industrywith the tools in place to work at home, they

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Havana Street Tattoo and Legacy Tattoo Collective

Havana Street Tattoo opened 15 years ago in Aurora.  The tattooing industry has shown its potential for significant growth in the past 10 years and continues to do so, because the customer base and artists offering the service have evolved past an old stereotype into a market of true professional artistry and serious collectors. In mid-2019, business partners and co-owners, Larry Foussat and Gilbert Ledesma decided to open a new location in Aurora to expand the shop’s client base and

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Petersen Custom Glass

After 15 years in the glass industry, Kris and Valerie Petersen opened Petersen Custom Glass, LLC in 2014. Kris has extensive experience designing and installing custom glass products. His specific areas of expertise include high-end frameless shower enclosures, ADA accessible showers and other custom glass projects. With his leadership skills gained from the military and her executive skills, Petersen Custom Glass has become a successful local business in Parker, CO, serving a 25-mile radius in

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Cranelli’s Italian Restaurant

In the restaurant world a successful business often begins with family. When Cranelli’s Italian Restaurant, a new hotspot in Lone Tree, opened, the whole family pitched in to help owners Jim and Lasinda Crane make their dreams come true. Hours after the ink was dry on the restaurant lease, the couple began updating the décor and kitchen with the help of friends and family. Lasinda’s father David, a retired electrician, helped build a bar and

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