Leaving a Legacy

A Snapshot of How Local Multi-Generational Businesses Leave a Legacy

Article by Bethany Wiley, MPH, RYT

Photography by Shel Francis Creative

Originally published in Greeley Lifestyle

Greeley is home to many family-run businesses that have stood the test of time and remind us that how we serve our community and what we leave behind matters. Be inspired by these businesses that call Greeley home and are leaving a legacy in the process.

Weiss Jewelers

Weiss Jewelers is a 109-year-old jewelry store, currently owned by Scott and Alex Rettmer, father and son. Founded by Fred Weiss, Weiss Jewelers opened in 1915 in downtown Greeley where it remained for 90 years before moving to its current location at 955 52nd Ave Ct.

Weiss Jewelers is a staple in the Greeley community, being a support for local charities and organizations, as well as helping generations of families find a special gift or engagement ring. Scott joined Weiss Jewelers 47 years ago, while he was attending the University of Northern Colorado (UNC), and is a gemologist from the Gemological Institute of America and a registered jeweler with the American Gem Society. Alex joined his father 15 years ago, while he was still in high school. He has since earned an accounting degree from UNC and is now working toward a degree in gemology.

Alex acknowledges that working with family can get intense and challenging at times, but he says it also allows for trust and brutal honesty. “It is much easier to work through challenges with someone that you know everything about and have shared so many experiences with,” Alex says. “For us, it’s like getting to work with your best friend every day.”

Owning a business in Greeley has given Weiss Jewelers opportunities to connect with the community and leaders in Northern Colorado. “Greeley has provided an opportunity for us to be in a now large, growing city where we still feel like we are connected to everyone here in some way,” Alex says. “We have watched Greeley grow and change over the last century and plan to do so over the next.”

Butters Restaurant

Owned by Kiko and Jeanette Haro, and well known for its mimosa towers and French Toast, Butters is a local breakfast and brunch restaurant with two locations, in Greeley and Fort Collins.

Kiko and Jeanette have worked together for 10 years. Jeanette’s role is behind the scenes running the administrative part of the business, while Kiko is the go-to person to fix any mechanical issues. They also work with their daughter Nadia, who started 10 years ago as a host/busser and is now the general manager of both locations.

Although it can be challenging to avoid discussing work during family time, Jeanette says that working with family brings a sense of peace, knowing they are loyal and trust each other. They also have the freedom to make mistakes without fear of judgment, which provides a platform to take risks and have confidence in one another that the job will get done.

The Haros are grateful to be business owners in Greeley. “Our business and the Greeley community has provided us the opportunity to branch out into other businesses and has provided us the freedom to live the American dream of being our own boss,” Jeannette says. “We are thankful to all our loyal customers and friends in the community who have supported us.” 

Not only do Kiko and Jeanette own Butters, but they also own KH Roofing, as well as two laundromats in Greeley, and a small car wash in Garden City. They find joy in seeing that Butters and their other businesses are helping shape their children into confident adults and future entrepreneurs.

“We all came into our roles based on our strengths and where we perform best,” Jeanette says. “We are equally invested in making the business successful as we all have a clear understanding that the business is carrying on family traditions and legacies.”

Dance Factory

Dance Factory began in 1973 when Lynn Bassett taught lessons to the neighborhood kids in her parent's basement. Fast forward to 2000, Lynn purchased the current Dance Factory building, located at 2956 W. 29th St. in Greeley, which includes five dance rooms.

Over the past 50 years, Lynn has taught over 250 students a year, many of which bring their children and grandchildren back to Dance Factory. Many of Lynn’s dancers have landed careers in the professional dance industry, including completing college degrees in dance, performing as a Bronco Cheerleader, joining Eagles Chicks (Eagles Hockey Dance Team) and Chicago Tap Theater Company, working on cruise ships and at Disney.

After pursuing degrees in dance theater and dance, Lynn’s daughters, Gina Shepard and Nicole Haug, are now directors at Dance Factory. Lynn always supported her daughters and their goals in life, never wanting them to feel like they had to become a part of her business.

“After graduating high school, both Gina and Nicole went out of state to pursue their own dance careers; Gina to the American Music and Dramatic Academy in Los Angeles and Nicole to Oklahoma City University, where they each began their own journeys in the dance industry,” Lynn says. “Each on their own time, they found themselves wanting to be a part of their mom's business, ready to bring their experience to the table.”

The mother-daughter trio shares a special bond and understanding of the challenges and joys of running a business. “Working as a family of course comes with difficulties, it is hard to turn our ‘work brain’ off when spending time with other members of our family,” Lynn says. “We are often accused of talking about work too much at a family dinner.”

Finding a balance between work and home life is essential. Lynn is grateful for both of her daughters' dedication to continuing their business. She says that even with family, it’s important to recognize each other’s boundaries and respect that everyone has different priorities and work ethics. “Learning how to communicate effectively with each other is the best way to create a positive, healthy, and fun workspace,” Lynn says.

Weigle & Weigle Accounting

What began as a small income tax business in 1980, has now grown into Weigle & Weigle Accounting. Owned by father and son Art and Bret Weigle, Weigle & Weigle Accounting provides personal and business income tax service, as well as bookkeeping and payroll services.

In 2015, the business grew to a level that was overwhelming for Art to handle on his own. When Bret was feeling burned out from 16 years in the restaurant industry, he went back to school and landed in an accounting class. “I really enjoyed what I was learning and decided to join the family business,” Bret says. “It has now been eight years working alongside my dad.”

Bret is now the vice president of Weigle & Weigle Accounting, while Art is the president. They love the trust and security that comes with working together. “There is very little pressure between the two of us—when one of us needs help, advice or a vacation it is very easy to ask,” Bret says. “I don't think you would get that at a large firm.” 

Bret is grateful that there have been very few challenges working with family and that he and Art work well together. With Art’s extensive knowledge and time in the field, Bret loves having a strong mentor. “When I first joined and had questions, it made it easier knowing that my dad was the one I was asking,” Bret says. “He has a wealth of tax knowledge and can answer just about any of my questions.”

With many accounting tools moving to digital, Bret brings balance with his new ways of approaching things, and he has a greater understanding of the technological side of the business. 

Bret and Art feel blessed that the Greeley community has supported their business over the decades. The Weigles consider their clients to be family and have relationships outside of the office with many of them.

Can Do Concrete

Can Do Concrete was conceived out of Pedro Gutierrez’s desire to spend more time with his wife, Inez, and two sons, Clem and John.  When Pedro and Inez started Can Do Concrete in 1990, John did everything in his power to avoid being involved. “Growing up we never had a break, we were always in a truck or on a job site,” John says. Later, John started to see the benefits of being involved in the family business.

Considering Pedro’s vast knowledge and experience in the concrete industry, John says his dad is the most brilliant man he’s ever worked with. Together Clem and John joined the family business and were instrumental in ensuring the company’s success and growth.

The Gutierrez family lost Clem six years ago and still find his absence heartbreaking. “My brother was a huge part of my life and the business,” John says. “You never quite get over the loss of a brother.”

Upon Pedro and Inez’s retirement in 2021, John and his wife Nina Duran-Gutierrez purchased Can Do Concrete. Nina serves as the president of the company, while John is the general manager, mixed with moments of wearing hats as an estimator, laborer or filling in wherever necessary.

While the couple admit that, for them, working together means there’s no separation between work and home life, they take it in stride. John says it helps that they have different roles and strengths. “I stay in my lane, she stays in hers and yet, we come together too,” John says. Nina believes she and John are stronger together. “It’s all we’ve ever known,” Nina says. “We work together and can celebrate our successes, and that fortifies us.”

Both John and Nina’s pride for the Greeley community shines through. They were born and raised in Greeley and place importance on giving back, whether it’s through volunteering, participating in golf tournaments and fundraisers, or serving on various boards and foundations.

They both appreciate the opportunity to be together while also having the flexibility to be present for their two young daughters. “It’s so neat to watch John flourish in a leadership role, instill values in our children, give back to our community, all the while leaving a legacy,” Nina says. 

Charley & CO. / The Coffee Bar

“We love the reaction we get when people find out that we’re mother and daughter-in-law,” says Lisa Shelley who co-owns Charley & CO. Market and The Coffee Bar with her mother-in-law, Tammy Kidwell. “It seems to be uncommon for a relationship like ours to flourish in such an incredible way, but it works for us,” Lisa says.

Not only do Lisa and Tammy work together, but they also live together. When spending that much time together, challenges are sure to arise, but Lisa and Tammy love that they are family first and business partners second because they’re able to work through conflict on a different level. “There's nothing too big or challenging that can come between us and it gives us a strong foundation to build our business on,” Lisa says.

Charley & CO. was founded in November 2019 in Lisa’s basement. Tammy previously owned a gift shop in Longmont and always had a yearning to open another store. Between Tammy’s talents of building, creating and designing; and Lisa’s entrepreneurial spirit, Charley & CO. was born.

In January 2023, Lisa and Tammy purchased The Coffee Bar (previously called Your Place Coffee) located at 2308 W. 17th St. and opened a doorway between the two shops. One of Lisa and Tammy’s favorite aspects of owning Charley & CO. and The Coffee Bar is meeting new people and building relationships with the “regulars” who come through.

Steamway Floor to Ceiling

Working with family is all Kim Weber has ever known. Since she was a toddler, Kim grew up spending time at her family’s company, Steamway. Her parents, Dave and Pat Grauberger purchased Steamway in 1974 when it was a one-van cleaning business. In 1984, the Graubergers bought the current downtown Greeley location, located at 602 8th Ave and expanded the business to include interior design and remodeling. Today, Steamway Floor to Ceiling not only offers cleaning services such as carpet, tile, duct and granite cleaning; it also provides interior design services including carpet, tile, granite, cabinets, luxury vinyl plank flooring and complete home remodels.

In 1990, Kim joined Steamway in an official capacity and enjoyed working alongside her parents. “Working with my father and mother has been a blessing and watching all the hard work they have put into the company is inspiring,” Kim says.

Kim’s husband, Troy Weber, joined Streamway in 1992, and their oldest son, Jay Weber, joined in 2005. In 2019, Kim and Troy became partners in the business, allowing Kim’s parents to retire after running the company for 47 years.

One of the reasons Kim loves working with family is because “we fail and succeed together, we know when the other needs support, and I know that one day Steamway will be passed on to the next generation,” she says. “Because we are family, we understand each other and know when to push and when to back off.” Kim watched her parents build Steamway from the ground up and is honored that she can carry the torch with her husband and son.

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