Change is key to survival |

Change is key to survival

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Jason Higens stood outside of his downtown Glenwood Springs restaurant, The 8th Street Deli, Tuesday enjoying the spring weather.

He watched as the old awning over the deli’s front door was removed. But it wasn’t removed because the deli is leaving or going out of business, but rather, Higens is putting up a new awning with a new name ” Haute Plate Bistro.

“It’s time for a change,” Higens said.

And he’s not the only one thinking about change.

Just around the corner on Grand Avenue, The Daily Bread’s owners Mark and Joanna Bartnik are preparing for some changes as well.

They are all hoping to grow business through the recession, rather than just surviving it.

“It’s a changing of the times,” Mark said. “The recession is what it is, everyone is hurting.”

But there attitude is that now is the time to move forward with business and change with the times.

“Of course everyone wants to save money. So, for us it’s what can we do. What can we offer them,” Joanna said.

Everyone knows that the recession has hit Glenwood Springs businesses hard, but for the ones that have been coping, like these two downtown establishments, it’s time to offer some changes.

Higens said that he’s not felt much of a downturn through the winter.

“As far as the recession goes, as far as I know, it hasn’t affected us,” he said.

He believes that it’s the company’s reputation for quality food and affordable prices along with a loyal local customer base that has helped.

“We’ve always had our market cornered,” he said. “With the love of the downtown people, we are here to stay.”

Luckily for Higens, he began remodeling the deli over a year ago which, he said, was a good idea since it happened prior to the economic downturn. They’ve added more seating and removed the old deli cases in the front room. He added a bar and also changed the menu, while still offering the sandwiches that remain a solid foundation for the business.

And now that the remodel is nearly complete, he can implement several other changes that will help his business make it through the rest of the hard times, no matter how long it may be.

Currently, the deli is no longer a deli, Higens said. They no longer offer deli meats and cheeses as the deli did, but the eatery now offers pizzas, cannolies, and pasta dishes. They’ve extended their business hours to include breakfast and dinner and also offer a full bar, complete with a wine list.

Higens said that he believes as long as he does business as he always has providing quality, affordable food, along with these changes, that business will pick up rather than slowdown.

“I know whoever can weather the storm will come out on top,” he said. “Because we’re going to rebuild our reputation every day.”

Mark over at the Daily Bread has also applied for a liquor license and plans to extend business hours this summer to include dinner as well. The restaurant has only offered breakfast and lunch for years.

Mark said he has been contemplating these types of changes for a while, he said the recession was the trigger point to implement them.

“The recession acts as the catalyst,” he said. “A good business owner is always thinking about growing.”

Even in tough times.

His wife and business partner agreed, saying that they were also considering getting into the catering business.

Higens said that, while his bistro has not felt the economic pinch as much, the 8th Street Catering business has a little

“It may be a little off because people are looking at different avenues of how to do their events, but when it comes down to it you just have to offer smoking deals on catering,” he said.

Just another example supporting the fact that if businesses want to survive, they have to change.

“You are not going to get anywhere just trying to survive,” Joanna said.

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