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Laramie’s Coal Creek Coffee and TAP turns to community for help as financial pressures mount

Coal Creek Coffee and TAP (Coal Creek via Facebook)

CASPER, Wyo. — A Laramie institution with a statewide footprint took to social media this month with some concerning news for their fanbase.

“Urgent Request: Support Needed,” began the post issued on Jan. 15 on Coal Creek Coffee and TAP’s Facebook page and email newsletter. The reason is likely familiar to many small community businesses who are struggling to recover from the lingering economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The pandemic hit us hard, causing shutdowns, slow days, staffing changes, and supply chain disruptions,” they said. “While we received some government aid, the ripple effects persist, with increased costs in utilities, wages, and goods.”

Coal Creek went on to say it had “exhausted personal resources,” and started a GoFundMe account to help sustain and preserve the business.

“We’re working on long-term solutions but need your help now,” they said, adding that business often slows during the winter before kicking up in the summer.

The post generated an immediate response from community members. “Some of my warmest Laramie memories are of Coal Creek,” said one post. “Happy to chip in and hopeful that you’ll weather this.”

“I wish we could all get this kind of support from our community because winter is hard on all small businesses in town,” said another.

As of Jan. 24, the GoFundMe account has picked up just shy of $20,000 in donations on an initial goal of $15,000.

“The amount of the goal is not precise and the need is actually greater than the goal, but this helps lessen the initial worry,” they said in an update several days later.

According to its website, Coal Creek Coffee and Tap, located in Laramie’s historic downtown, was established in 1993 as a small coffee shop. It was purchased by current owners Jodi and John Guerin in 1995, who added food options and a coffee roasting operation. The craft brewery Coal Creek TAP was later established next door to the coffee store. Some of their wide varieties of beer are available in cans and “bomber” bottles around the state, including Casper and Cheyenne. They also operate a location in Laramie near the University of Wyoming.

“We are overwhelmed by your support and we are feeling your love,” they said online.

Coal Creek Coffee and TAP’s GoFundMe account can be found here.