Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jen Rodehaver
Editorial@lhvc.com 

Old Oak Coffeehouse open in Niwot

 

Courtesy Photo Patty Machen and Michael Tomich, owners of Old Oak Coffeehouse, are among the newest business owners in Niwot.

For Niwot locals, it seems the Old Oak Coffeehouse appeared overnight in the long vacant Emporium storefront on 2nd Avenue. Brightly colored umbrellas shade outdoor tables surrounded by flowers in full bloom.

Inside the well-furnished room, the coffee bar is fully stocked with drinks and tasty bites and a steady stream of customers wander in and out. The walls display fine art and every decoration is deliberately placed.

Patty Machen and Michael Tomich, owners of the eatery, have a different experience of the process of small business ownership. This venture was a long time coming for the former schoolteachers and clearly did not happen quickly. Tomich recalls having a vague idea about running a small coffee shop at some point, but was on a back burner while he worked, played music, courted and eventually married his colleague Machen. Once the decision was made to formally announce their retirement plans and commit to the location, it was six months of constant activity and sleep deprivation to realize this is exactly where they both want to be.

The chain of events that lead to the shop was serendipitous. Machen stumbled onto the available site online and was thrilled to discover not only could they stay in Boulder County, but their shop would be in Old Town Niwot.

Tomich utilized his bookkeeping skills to sort out the finances. They already knew a graphic designer, and all the pieces seemed to fall into place. They credit the Niwot business community for the warm welcome they continue to receive as well as offers of support, advice, and encouragement.

“It doesn’t feel competitive in Niwot,” explains Tomich. Machen agrees, saying, “Healthy businesses are good for everyone.”

Cotton Burden, managing the property, said the couple has put their “heart, soul, and pocketbook” into the business. Although other attempts have been made there, Burden has little doubt about their ability to make it a success.

Longtime fans of Silver Canyon coffee located in north Boulder, the owners chose to feature a custom blend and prepare it on a spectacular device recommended by the roaster, who also trained them on the machine.

The lunch offerings consist of homemade soups, paninis, and authentic New Zealand savory pies. On special occasions, Tomich recreates his Italian nonna’s spaghetti and meatballs.

A liquor license is expected, which paves the way for special events and evening activities. At the moment, Machen and Tomich are plenty busy hiring staff, choosing local artists to feature, expanding their menu, while pausing often to greet former students, friends and neighbors who stop by to visit, drink coffee and wish them well.

 

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