Historic Main Street may be the heart of Park City, but in a small resort town where property prices and rents are sky-high, life can be tough for the little guy on this throughfare. While visitors and residents prefer to see independent/mom-and-pop shops on Main, those best equipped to cope with higher rents are the Patagonias and Lululemons of the world. So how do local businesses go about solving this dilemma? Despite the uphill battle, entrepreneurs are determined to call Main Street home. Nowhere is this more true than at 509 Main Street where four completely different business--Prospect, Billy's Barbershop, Pink Elephant Coffee Roasters, and Land Juicery--have teamed up to form a unique business collective.
In 2009 Utah native and 20-year Park City resident Casey Crawford opened Prospect, a clothing store specializing in select footwear, clothing, and accessories. "It began with my love of retail and the market crash," Crawford says. "With vacancies on Main Street, it seemed like a perfect time to start a business." Prospect, was received well, but Crawford had bigger ideas than just making it on her own. "I had a vision of a mixed use retail space and it all started coming together when our friend Billy was thinking of his future in barbering."
Looking for a lifestyle change, Billy Cregger moved to Park City from Orange County, California just over eight years ago. Cregger knew Crawford's husband, Corey, from California and began working at Prospect soon after he moved to town. It wasn't long before Crawford began encouraging Cregger to follow his own passion: filing a 50-year vacancy Park City had for a men's barber shop."Casey has always been supportive and wants the best for everyone, says Cregger. "She pushed me to make sure I did what makes me happy--that ended up being cutting hair." And so, after completing barber school, Crawford and Cregger came up with the idea of blowing out a former closet at the back of Prospect for what is now Billy's Barbershop, the only traditional barbershop in Park City, and a catalyst for another a couple of other Utah transplants, Mitch and Kelley Baker.
The Bakers struck out west from their home in Ohio in search of a mountain lifestyle full of hiking, biking, camping, and skiing. They stumbled on Park City and it was love at first sight. Although they both had other jobs, the Bakers both shared a love of roasting coffee. "In 2014 we decided to try turn our hobby into a business, buying a bigger roaster and doing the farmer's market circuit around Park City and Heber, " Kelley says. "We knew to grow our business, we needed a coffee shop as a place to showcase our roasts and demonstrate the care with which we make a cup of coffee." One day while getting his hair cut, Mitch began chatting with his barber--Cregger--about the couple's coffee shop schemes, which was overhead by Crawford. She asked if he was interested in partnering up to transform the upstairs of the building into a coffee shop and juice bar. Needless to say, the Bakers loved the idea and opened Pink Elephant Coffee Roasters alongside another Crawford find, Jenifer Southerland.
A Utah native like Crawford, Southerland has spent all seventeen years of her retail life on Main Street. With a true affinity for all things health, she had her own passion project to bring to the collective: Land Juicery. Together, she and the Bakers moved into 509's upper level and remade the roughly 200-square-feet former storage space into a combined coffee shop/juice bar Crawford envisioned. The limited space was a fun challenge for the newcomers, but it's been a success. The occupants attest to their business philosophies being the true reason they get along so well. "We all really care about the quality of our ingredients and careful sourcing," says Kelley Baker. "We’re proud to be part of a building of like-minded, locally owned businesses." While the Bakers roast everything themselves and sell items from other local businesses like Sweets & Cheese, Suss Cookie Co., and Mamachari Kombuchas, Southerland takes care to only use organic fruits and vegetables, pressing juices in small batches, so her customers only receive the very best.
Sharing the space has, of course, been beneficial in terms of the cost savings, but it's clear the occupants of 509 Main don't see their business collective as simply a way to save money. "It truly started out as a thought to create a unique space and give others an opportunity to own a business not only in Park City but on Main Street that could never exist otherwise with the limited space and high costs," insists Crawford. "It was never about the subsidized rent when we started, it was about creating something cool and giving the right entrepreneurs in this town a chance."