COLORADO SPRINGS — For Leah and William Hotop, their journey back to their hometown of Colorado Springs had many stops on the way. Whether it was Alaska, South Korea, or Georgia, they picked up ingredients from each to create their own coffee shop-Dynamo Coffee in northeast Colorado Springs.
“We both grew up a mile from the place and so when we dated in high school and college, there was never a place on this side of town to go,” Leah said. “We were super excited to keep a local coffee shop on this side of town. It was one of our priorities.”
Corporate coffee competitors aren’t far away from their shop, off of Tutt and just north of Carefree, but the Hotops are bringing a hometown brew, if by nothing else, through the atmosphere and name of their business. It incorporates the lesser-known history of Colorado Springs.
“We were talking and thought it would be cool if it was related to [Nikola] Tesla and all the work he did here,” Leah explained. “One of his experiments, he blew up the dynamo here in town and we thought, ‘Hey, that’s kind of cool.'”
The dynamo was part of the electricity infrastructure and Tesla’s 1890’s expirement caused the whole city to lose power, according to Rocky Mountain PBS.
“[Dynamo] is also a converter for energy and we were like, that’s pretty much coffee, right?” Leah said.
There’s been plenty of energy expended by the high school sweethearts to get back home. When they were both enrolled at UCCS, they worked as baristas. William then joined the Army for a few years, bringing them across the country and the globe. In addition to the stint in South Korea, he was deployed in Iraq.
William said short of being used to early hours, Leah’s background lends more knowledge than the industry than his. She worked at a coffee roasting company in Alaska and they plan to start roasting out of their shop, once the permitting process gets ironed out.
With a large number of military families in Colorado Springs, William said they hope to give them a sense of place if they’re just moving in.
“We know what it’s like to move somewhere and not have local places to go, or get tied to the community,” William said.
With just the two of them manning the ship right now, they are hoping to hire some help because they report a steady flow of business so far.