2018 Navigator Awards: Freshies hits the spot as Business of the Year
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — It would be hard to find someone who loves the Steamboat Springs community as much as Kristy and Scott Fox.
Since 2003, the 2018 Navigator Award recipients of Business of the Year have been inviting both locals and visitors to their home away from home at their restaurant, Freshies, at the corner of Trafalgar Drive and U.S. Highway 40.
“They are a true Steamboat Springs family,” said Glen Traylor, owner of Ski Butlers Steamboat Springs. “They have created that community space where we all get together. We have meals together as family, friends.”
The Foxes met while working at a Chart House restaurant in San Francisco, and they became close after discovering they had similar tastes in music. The restaurant chain brought them to Steamboat in 1988 for the opening of a new location.
The Foxes ran Winona’s Restaurant and Bakery before spotting the Freshies restaurant space between downtown and the Steamboat Ski Area.
“We took a risk,” Scott said. “It was the best move we ever made.”
In July, Freshies served 19,000 people.
“It’s grown a lot,” Scott said. “We’re really lucky. We’ve worked hard for sure. We’ve had a consistent staff to help us grow the business.”
Those employees have consisted of the Foxes’ children as well as many other Steamboat youth taking on their first job.
“The best work we do here is working with these kids and giving them guidance,” Kristy said. “It’s been super rewarding.”
The young restaurant workers grow with the business and become apart of the Freshies family.
“When kids go to school, we’re going to send them a cinnamon roll in the mail,” Kristy said.
While Freshies experimented with offering dinner for awhile, the niche has always been breakfast and lunch.
“It’s kind of a brilliant way to be in this business — the breakfast lunch thing,” Kristy said. “Don’t tell anybody.”
Robin Craigen, owner of Moving Mountains Luxury Chalets, nominated Freshies for the award.
“It’s a great restaurant, but I also think the restaurant owners are great examples to the community of what business owners should do,” Craigen said. “I don’t know that I’ve ever had a bad meal there. I know as a business owner that’s no easy thing to pull off.”
Kristy and Scott are very hands-on at the restaurant, which allows them to catch up with old friends and create new ones.
The employees also develop those relationships with customers.
Kristy recalled how recently a group of seniors were having rough day and crying at their table. Their server stepped in and brightened their days.
“She made the difference,” Kristy said. “They were coming up to me telling me how much they love her. It’s like that every day.”
Giving back to the community has been an important part of the Freshies business, whether it be through food donations or opening their space up to nonprofits.
The Foxes are most passionate about anything related to the schools and youth organizations.
“Not only does it make you feel really good, it helps with everything,” Scott said. “The more you give, the more you get.”
The future looks bright for the Foxes and the staff at Freshies, who are honored to receive the Business of the Year recognition. The Navigator Awards, which are presented by the Steamboat Pilot & Today and the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association, are celebrating their 20th year this fall.
“If you find a restaurant where you go back and back again that really speaks volume,” Craigen said.
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