Katie Reinisch kept her cool through four years as a communications director at the Colorado Legislature, so it wasn't surprising to learn she was having a blast running the frozen-yogurt spot, Red Mango, that she and her husband opened in the Lowenstein Complex in the summer of 2012. "We'd always wanted to own something instead of just getting a paycheck," she explained at the time. "My husband and I had tried this new tart, healthy frozen yogurt when we were in New York and loved it; it tastes so fresh and so good, and you feel great after eating a big bowl, as opposed to a big bowl of high-fat ice cream."
But great-tasting frozen yogurt wasn't enough to see the spot through the hot-and-cold seasons. "From the get-go we knew it would be a seasonal business, strong in the summer and weak in the winter," Reinisch says. "But after 27 months, including three summers, it was clear that the summers weren't profitable enough and the winters were too weak to sustain it."
And so they closed their place on August 16 -- and the neighborhood lost a local hangout. "It is sad, very sad, as I loved being a part of the Colfax community," she says. "I adored all of our customers, from the older gent with dementia who came in most days but never quite remembered how to serve himself to the East High kids full of laughter and the occasional song to the African-American bodybuilders to the Maaco staff who got custom Mango-Mandarin smoothies several times a week...oh, so many great people. I also loved my staff -- I hired and trained and employed about 35 young people in those two-plus years and with only a few exceptions, they were gems. It was fun to give them their first-job skills and first paycheck, especially at a time when the unemployment rate for youth of color is at an all-time high."
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And now Reinisch herself has a new job: she's the interim executive director of the Colorado Ovarian Cancer Alliance (COCA), a cause close to her heart -- and one that will be hosting a fundraising gala on September 18. Find out more information at colo-ovariancancer.org.