Happy May! We wanted to take some time to highlight, Ricky, our big hearted and Denver Sports loving employee. He has been with Purple Door Coffee for 10 months. Ricky took some time to sit down with us and open up about what he experienced growing up here in Five Points. He adds joy and laughter to our shop and we are so thankful for him. Read more about his story below.
So, Ricky how old are you and how did you become interested in working at Purple Door Coffee?
28! I went on a camping trip with Kevin for a week. Kevin kind of persuaded me to work here.
Where did you guys go camping?
Gunnison, Colorado in Black Canyon.
Just the two of you?
No, a bunch of us like eight or nine people.
Do you like camping?
Oh, it was alright. Different.
What did Kevin say that convinced you to apply for Purple Door?
That I would be good in a coffee shop. He kept saying it. He was in the tent with me for a week.
What sort of things might people not initially realize about you?
I don’t know. Uhm, that I got a big heart.
What are you most passionate about?
People wanting to change.
Is that because you have been there?
What made you want to change?
I was tired of doing the same thing everyday. Everyday. I just needed something different.
Ricky, you are originally from Denver, right? Can you tell me what that was like?
Yeah, I grew up right up the street. It was different. Definitely different. Yeah.
Well can you tell me a favorite memory from growing up here in Five Points?
Uhm, there wasn’t really anything. I mean this was a rough part of town back in the day. My mom just lived here because of the housing program. We lived here for like five years. We moved out because it was just so dangerous at times. Like by the time I was five I think I had seen already three murders. It was on the block that we lived on.
Wow. Is that when you and your mom moved out?
Yeah, we moved to Aurora and then we stayed there pretty much the rest of my childhood.
Earlier you said that you played basketball here, right?
Yeah, I played at Glenarm for their Recreation team and when we moved I played for the Boys and Girls Club of Aurora. I played there for 6 or 7 years until I was about 14.
Why did you stop when you were 14?
I went to jail.
Could you play basketball while you were in Juvie?
Yeah, I just wasn’t motivated. I was in jail so I wasn’t motivated to play.
Is basketball your favorite sport?
Yeah! Basketball is my favorite sport!
What about it do you love?
You never know what is going to happen. Your team could lose. You just never know.
Yeah, and it could be a close score too! What is your favorite memory or task from your time here at Purple Door so far?
Making drinks. I like making drinks for people.
What is your favorite drink to make?
Probably Hot Chocolate. I just like the smell of it.
Do you drink Hot Chocolate normally when you are here?
Sometimes, I really just drink coffee from my Mason Jar.
Who is someone you look up to and why?
I don’t know. It has changed over the years. I don’t think I look up to anybody. I think I just look at my own life. I mean when I was a kid my heroine was my Mom. Growing up, she caught HIV when I was eight, you know? I just watched her slowly die over the years. But she just kept going. That is probably the reason why I looked up to her.
That must’ve been really hard for you. The last question I have for you, Ricky, is about your top four favorites. Where are your top four places in Denver and why?
- Lookout Mountain’s viewpoint (I like to go watch the sun come up)
- Platte River where the Cherry creek meets the platte (I have a lot of memories both good and bad from there)
- Mile High Stadium (When the Broncos are playing! But yeah, I walk by it everyday)
- My foster parent’s house (It is really secluded, when you are there you won’t even notice that because there is so much to do. Yeah, it is like my little home away from home. When I want to get away from everyone that is where I go.)
For the remaining Saturdays in May, Ricky will be taking over Purple Door Coffee Instagram account to share pictures and a few thoughts on his favorite places in the city. Be sure to follow us at @purpledoorcoffee and look for the #purpledoorstories hashtag!