Aspen Client Spotlight: Jennifer LaBerge and Tall Tales Ranch

This is the first in a series of articles spotlighting the good that clients of Aspen Insurance Agency are doing in our beloved community.  Regular people making extraordinary change for the common good.

Happily retired from a career in the biotech pharmaceutical industry, Jennifer LaBerge today devotes her time and energy to an emerging non-profit named Tall Tales Ranch. A long-time Denver resident who loves the weather and outdoors, Jennifer (like many of us) finds traffic to be one of the things she’d like to change.  Even more important is her passion to change the lack of housing, work, and support for disabled adults.

 

To parents of children with intellectual disabilities, the big question is what happens when they die and are no longer there to care for their adult child.

 

Schweiger Ranch Jumpstarts Tall Tales with a Gift of Land

It’s no secret the vast lands of Colorado consistently provide miles of outdoor entertainment for the state’s adventurous residents. However, there stands one particular patch of land planning to start something magnificent.

Jennifer is one of the many people bursting with excitement at the start of this community, Tall Tales Ranch. Located in Lone Tree CO, on the historic 38-acre Schweiger Ranch, Tall Tales aims to create a place where adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities can live and work together in a positive and stable environment.

The land graciously gifted by the Schweiger Ranch will allow Tall Tales to:

  • Build residences and community buildings
  • Have access to the rest of the ranch for growing vegetables
  • Provide therapeutic horseback riding
  • Participate in farmer’s markets

Neurotypical adults, such as community and staff members, will also be invited to live and volunteer at Tall Tales Ranch.

As for the masterminds credited with bringing Tall Tales to life, Pat and Susan Mooney are parents to a 23-year-old son, Ross, who began living with an acquired brain injury at age 14. Ross then quickly became the inspiration for what now has become Tall Tales Ranch.

Living Happily Ever After – Tall Tales Ranch from Brad Conner on Vimeo.

A 15 Year Wait for Colorado Housing of Adult Children
with Disabilities

When the Mooney’s began to investigate the options for Ross, they were shocked to discover the few resources and waiting lists of 15 years or more. They learned that Colorado is in the bottom five of state funding and provisions for this special population of people.

Growing up in a family that has children with developmental or intellectual disabilities is something Jennifer can relate to, thus her passion to volunteer. She grew up with a brother that suffered from brain damage caused by birth trauma.

 

Jennifer recalls watching her parents struggle with the challenges of finding safe housing and steady jobs for their disabled, adult son. The obstacles Jennifer’s parents, and many others, faced in caring for their son are precisely why Tall Tales Ranch was created.

 

Help Tall Tales Ranch Create a Community of Open Doors for Adults Living with Special Needs

Tall Tales is mostly funded thru donations and is the grassroots stage of developing this inclusive and special community. An annual “Hoedown” is the primary Tall Tales fundraiser event. The first year 150 people attended and in 2017 – year number three – more than 450 people attended.  This year the Hoedown will be held on Saturday, September 29, 2018.
As the community of Tall Tales begins its journey of establishment in Lone Tree, Jennifer points out the positive impact on the surrounding community.

 

“It provides evidence that [Lone Tree] is reaching out to all different types of people, beyond the traditional bedroom community.  Tall Tales will add character to Lone Tree with amenities like coffee shops, a unique venue for events or weddings, and weave diversity into the fabric of the Lone Tree community.  ”

 

A timeline of three phases Tall Tales plans to initiate can be found on their website, starting from 2017 with building relationships to 2022, when they expect to establish the ranch and all of its business operations. To learn more, donate, or volunteer please visit the Tall Tales Ranch website.  And if you need help with your homeowners, auto, life, or commercial insurance please call Aspen at 303-777-2991 or send an e-mail.

Meet Aspen Client: Peaceful Touch Pet Salon

Located in the Denver CO neighborhood of Capitol Hill, Peaceful Touch Pet Salon and Massage, greets you with happy Woofs and Meows. Founded by lifelong groomer Tamra Fischer, Denver pet owners bring their beloved cats and dogs to Tamra’s shop because they feel confident about the personal attention their pet receives.

Tamra and her team take special pride in working with each animal to ensure they have a positive grooming experience.  An important part is the handling of each pet.

For example, if a dog has an arthritic knee, the groomer can hold the dog in a particular way to minimize pain. Tamra has developed a unique process to handle each pet in a manner that is sensitive to their physical or emotional needs.  All of Tamra’s staff has been trained on this process.

Because Groomers see pets more often than Veterinarians, they often find issues that need the attention of a Vet. Tamra and her team alert the pet owner to the situation and then share educational information to help the owner understand why this might be a problem.

Does Pet Massage Work

Several years ago, Tamra had a special needs dog.  Her Vet advised that pet massage would help. So Tamra went to school and became certified as a Pet Massage Therapist.  Applying what she learned to her pet, she saw firsthand the power of massage to improve her pet’s mobility and happiness.

Today Pet Massage is a standard service offering.  Some clients bring their pets in every other week for a massage. Just like humans, a pet massage makes the dog or cat say ahh ahh and feel so good.  In addition to arthritis, pet massage helps to improve mobility from an injury, reduce aggression and ease depression.

National Certified Master Groomer

Tamra also studied for and received the National Certified Master Groomer certification.  This certification is strenuous, requiring both a written master exam and then multiple practical exams of each of the four breed groups. It is recognized by the National Dog Groomers Association as the highest level of skills certification.

Tamra’s entire team benefits from this ongoing education because of the collaborative pride shared by the other three groomers and assistant. Tamra’s team is always on the look-out to learn current techniques that make the pet look and feel great because of their grooming experience.

Peaceful Touch Pet Salon and Aspen Insurance Agency

Cindy Chase, the owner of Aspen Insurance Agency, is a lifelong animal lover.  Claude and Mimi, Cindy’s beloved Standard Poodles have been clients of Peaceful Touch Pet Salon and Massage for years.

When Tamra was looking for alternatives to her insurance policies, she turned to Cindy.  Until that point, Tamra had used a State Farm agent, but she needed more options.  She quickly became a fan of working with a broker and with Cindy.

 “Cindy did a great job of listening to what I needed, what my budget was and then went to work to find several options for me.  She helped me to understand what each of the options meant to my business regarding risk versus cost.  When I still wasn’t sure what to do, she offered her expert advice that helped me make a good decision for my business.

Insurance is one of those things that you must have to do business and protect your assets, but it’s not necessary something that you look forward to sorting out.  But Cindy and her team at Aspen Insurance Agency made this a great experience.”

If your dog or cat needs to be groomed, de-shed, or have a massage call 720-280-2005 for an appointment. Peaceful Touch Pet Salon and Massage is located at 1201 E Colfax Ave (Marion & Colfax), Denver, CO 80218.  You can also learn more at their website PeacefulTouchPetSalon.com.

Meet Aspen Insurance Client Wild Women Wine

Chief Wild Woman Charlene Meriwether insists that wine is about the experience and “if you aren’t having fun…we’ll ask you to leave!”  Never the conformist, Charlene and Wild Women Wine are the antithesis of wine snobbery.

 

Wild Women Wine is a Colorado boutique winery and tasting room.  Peek in the windows and it won’t look like a traditional winery or tasting room.  And that’s on purpose.

You Will Have Fun at Wild Women Wine

Located in the heart of downtown Denver, the historic building Charlene and her husband, vintner Ross Meriwether, chose for their wine business, is filled with original character. It immediately signals to visitors that wine doesn’t have to be something that is serious. It can be fun.  And they make a point to offer a fun experience.

Starting with the names of Wild Women Wine; Naked Chardonnay, Skinny Bitch Sauvignon Blanc, Big Girl Barbara, and Hot in Heels Zinfandel, fun is infused into the Wild Women Wine experience. The labels turn up the volume with engaging and provocative artwork, which clearly distinguish the Wild Women Wine experience from other brands.

Handcrafted Wines Bottled With Your Custom Label

Customers can also create labels to be applied to Wild Women Wines of their choosing.  Everything from hand drawn artwork to pictures from a cell phone has been used to create labels that express unique messages for customers.

And if that’s not enough fun, customers can also design a handcrafted wine blend, perfected for their palate.  Working with the Wild Women Wine expert vintner, customers are guided through a tasting process that includes many flavor options.  A great example is a couple who owned a Kona coffee farm in Hawaii. They loved the Wild Women Chocolate Port but wanted it to have a coffee taste.  So they sent some of their own Kona Coffee beans to Wild Women Wine.  The beans were used to create their handcrafted Coffee Chocolate Port which was then bottled with custom designed labels.

Because Wild Women Wine is non-traditional, they can add all kinds of flavors to give customers a taste they want that does not exist in other wines.  Which brings us back to the beginning.  The goal of Wild Women Wine is to have a fun experience and embrace your wild side!

The Right Business Insurance to Protect Our Assets

Charlene says of Aspen Insurance Agency  “Cindy Chase has done a terrific job.  Hurricane Ike severely impacted my husband and me in 2008.  We learned a lot about the value and importance of having the right insurance in place to protect our business and assets.  So we ask lots of questions to understand the details of our coverage.  Cindy is always patient and goes above and beyond.  She looks after our interests and advocates for us. I count on her because of her service and expertise, and I feel she cares about my business and me.”

If you’re ready to have some fun and get in touch with your “wild side,” visit Wild Women Wines.  You’ll find them at 1660 Champa Street Denver, CO 80202.  Please visit their website to learn more about their wines and special events.  And when you see the Chief Wild Woman Charlene, make sure to mention that you read her story on the Aspen Insurance blog.

Meet Aspen Insurance Client Denver CO Hair Salon Chad & Co.

Chad & Co. business owners

Exclusive, high-end, customized haircuts and hair styles, coupled with chemical-free hair products is what customers consistently find at Denver CO Hair Salon Chad & Co. Owners of this elite hair salon, Chad and Marietta Cantu, will celebrate their first year in business together January 1, 2014.

But these two are not newcomers to working with hair and make-up. They’ve actually been in the beauty industry their entire careers. In fact, Marietta is a third-generation hair designer.

Chad & Co. is a spin-off from the Rita B Salon which was founded 25 years ago in Denver by Marietta’s mother, Rita Bellino. Both Chad and Marietta worked at Rita B and were instrumental in growing and expanding the business.

A desire to create their own salon experience and build a unique brand led to the establishment of Chad & Co.

Beautiful Haircuts and Color Create Your Custom Look at Chad & Co.

Chad & Co. is passionate about creating beautiful haircuts, extensions, color, and make-up that bring out the individual beauty and transform the look of each client. They’re equally adamant about products that are free from harmful chemicals. So they formulated the Chad & Co. product line to their exact specifications. Clients love how the products make their hair look and feel.

When customers visit Chad & Co., they can expect an experience, unlike any other hair salon. Chad, Marietta, and the five other stylists focus first on developing a custom look that takes into account the client’s lifestyle, career, and personality. According to Marietta, getting to know their clients is key to creating a cut, color, and style that is uniquely suited to each individual. The team at Chad & Co. then go to work and use their skills and expertise to create custom trend-setting hair styles that reflect the beauty of each client.

Having the Right Commercial Insurance Provides Peace of Mind

Since opening the doors for business Chad & Co. has attracted many new and previous customers. An important key to success is working with Aspen Insurance Agency. Having been in the business for many years, Marietta knows firsthand the risks involved in operating a hair salon.

We love working with Cindy Chase at Aspen Insurance. She’s on top of things, honest and isn’t just interested in selling insurance. She’s focused on helping us grow our business by providing the right coverage at the best price. As small-business owners, we have peace of mind that Aspen Insurance will take care of us, our employees and our clients if something were to happen. This is a big deal for us because Chad & Co. is our livelihood!

Chad & Co. is conveniently located in the Denver Tech Center at 8727 E. Dry Creek Rd. Unit E, Centennial, CO. You can call to book your appointment at 303-773-2100 and visit their website. Hours are Monday: 10 am to 6 pm and Tuesdays – Saturdays: 8:30 am to 6 pm.

When you see Chad and Marietta, make sure to mention that you read their story on the Aspen Insurance Blog!

Meet Aspen Insurance Client Breakfast on Broadway

Fine dining meets farm fresh at Aspen Insurance client  Breakfast on Broadway .   Val Erpelding, Certified Executive Chef realized his lifelong dream, when he and wife Carolyn opened the doors to their Denver, CO restaurant Breakfast on Broadway (BOB). After a 20-year career of working at exclusive private clubs, Val was inspired to open a Diner similar to Kay’s Kitchen (located in Minnesota) where he held his first job.

BOB has a friendly and comfortable environment reminiscent of the down-home comfort that Val enjoyed about Kay’s and wanted to offer to the Denver community.  Val infused the traditional Diner menu with his 20 years of fine dining expertise to create food that your taste buds will thank you for!

Patrons stand in line to enjoy everything from epicurean delights to traditional dishes like:

  • French Toast stuffed with Cointreau cream cheese served with syrup and whipped butter
  • 7 mouthwatering variations of Eggs Benedict
  • Eggs, bacon and toast with a BOB twist of freshness

The combination of friendly service and a menu prepared with fresh ingredients cooked with attention to quality and presentation has made BOB a favorite for the local Denver crowd.

Service is Key for Restaurants and…
Insurance Brokers Too!

The sense of friendly service and attention to detail in providing the right insurance protection for Breakfast on Broadway is what Val appreciates the most about Aspen Insurance.

Running a restaurant is challenging and it’s great to feel confident that we have the right coverage to manage our risk and protect our most important asset… our business.

Breakfast on Broadway is open daily from 6 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.  There is plenty of parking and patio dining is available.  Check their website for the latest update on their weekend special menu items and entertainment on Sunday. And when you stop in, be sure and tell them you heard about them from Aspen Insurance!