PIZZERIA LOCALE, TOPO DESIGNS AND RATIO BEERWORKS TALK SHOP AT DENVER STARTUP WEEK
By Brian Dension on Oct 01, 2018
This past Monday, September 24, three of Colorado’s most beloved brands got together for our Denver Startup Week Speaker Series: Hometown Branding Heroes Done Good. In a laid back, open-format session moderated by Jason Belaire, Executive Director of Denver Design Week, we heard the stories behind the success from Chris Donato, Lead Brand Manager of Pizzeria Locale, Jedd Rose, Founder of Topo Designs, and Tristan Chan, Marketing Manager of Ratio Beerworks.
One recurring theme from their stories was the importance of staying authentic and true to what their brands stand for. Jedd Rose, Founder of Topo Designs, said “In the Outdoor Industry, fashion has always been a four letter word.” But he didn’t let that stop him. “Whether people want to admit it, we all want to look good hiking, mountain biking, and skiing. Tech isn’t the only thing to talk about.” By staying true to his brand’s beliefs, they have been able to help build up this rapidly growing side of the outdoor industry. But staying true isn’t always easy. The speakers were also clear to state that it takes conscious decisions, and even the occasional course correction, to keep their brands on track.
For example, Chris Donato mentioned “We had some restaurants in Kansas City and Cincinnati, and we’ve since closed those up… which has allowed us to focus on what we want to be, which is a Colorado Pizzeria.” Another huge piece of these brands’ success has been staying active and involved in the Colorado community. In addition to all three brands giving a percentage of profits back to the community, Tristan Chan talked about how all of the design elements of Ratio, from the tables and bar to the walls covered with murals, were all commissioned from local artists and tradespeople. “Ratio is very much a homegrown, Colorado brand,” Tristan says. “We really want to support the groups that inspire us.”
A big thank you to Pizzeria Locale, Topo Designs and Ratio Beerworks for all their time and support of the local Rocky Mountain Creative Community. You can find a full video of the live stream at goo.gl/QKB6XB, or broken out by brand at Pizzeria Locale, Topo Designs, and Ratio Beerworks.
Check out #DENStartupWeek for tons of other content from the event. Thanks again, and we can’t wait to chat again next year.