RIDGWAY – Have you ever sipped tea beneath a parachute? Ridgway’s Cups, a tea, coffee and wine salon that doubles as a body care and gift boutique, offers an ambiance unlike anywhere you’ve been.
“It definitely has its own feel – there’s absolutely nothing like this in the region,” said Cups owner Jeanne Robertson, speaking of the heated backyard patio room – a tent that is trimmed with the bright silk swathes of a real, recycled parachute.
“Parachute patio,” the name locals have assigned Cups’ one-of-a-kind “outdoor” seating area, has emerged as the region’s most distinctive place to settle in with a mug of joe or cup of tea. Owner Robertson has also begun serving wine.
Robertson purchased the business, previously Garden Goddess Creations, from Ridgway residents Jen and Alan Riley. The space, located on Ridgway’s Lena Street between Unicas and the True Grit, is cozy – in fact, its super-snug character is what compelled Robertson to expand the seating area into the backyard this winter.
When cold weather settled over Ridgway this fall, Cups’ romantic backyard tea garden took a seasonal hiatus. Yet as Robertson explained, she couldn’t give up the seating the patio provided. The outdoor seating area started as simply a white, heated tent, but soon transformed into the colorful and creative space it is now.
“I imagined decorating it with bolts of silk,” she said, but a search on Ebay led her to the authentic white, orange, forest green, and tan military parachute. The parachute is now ornamented with 500 sparkling Christmas lights, creating a magical atmosphere, and expanding Cups’ seating are more than twofold, from five seats in the shop to 13 outside.
Besides boasting the most distinctive location for enjoying a hot beverage or glass of wine (Cups has over 100 different kinds of teas, a full coffee menu with coffee from Ouray’s Exotic Earth Coffee, smoothies, as well as a just-added selection of wine and beer), the shop also fills a niche as a gift boutique. Cups’ body products, which are never tested on animals and contain no lauryl sulfates, can be customized with essential oils. The shop also offers candles, tableware, jewelry, clothing from local company July 5, and even potpourris made-to-order. Bulk herbs and spices are also available by the ounce, as are herbs from local company Shining Mountain Herbs.
Cups also shows local art; currently on display at the shop is artwork from local artists Diane Rickey, Susan Baker, Eileen George, and Cristin Johnson.
“Everything I try to offer is made here at home, or at least in Colorado,” Robertson said. “If there’s something in the store that’s from outside Colorado, it’s because I haven’t found it to exist here.”
Cups’ winter hours are Tuesday and Wednesday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., and Thursday-Saturday from 8 a.m.- 8 p.m. The wine bar is open Thursday-Saturday starting at noon.