By, Brikelle Corcoran, SVN|Velocity Commercial Real Estate
Cafecito is a new local coffee shop in Yuma, AZ that was started by Ashley Simms and her fiancé Travis Krizay. Ashley’s story is the definition of determination and persistence when it comes to chasing dreams. Her story dates back to her youth- she claims she has always worked in customer service and has had an interest in it. She helped open businesses like Olive Garden, Buffalo Wild Wings, and has worked at Holiday Inn as well as bartended at Redd’s Bird Cage.
Ashley has always been passionate about coffee and loves the process of how it’s made. She saved up her money from bartending to buy a trailer, renovated it and began selling cold brew at the local Farmer’s Market. Eventually, she wanted to buy a stand alone building to sell her coffee, so she began the process of searching for the perfect building in Downtown Yuma. Ashley claimed she almost bought the Wedding Chapel building, but then found out it was sold before she had a chance to make an offer. This devastated her, but she went back to work at Redd’s and continued working until she was greeted by Dave Pauletto, who asked if she was interested in renting a building for her coffee shop downtown.
“He trained me on everything in construction and even taught me how to drive the big rigs. It was a 3 year process from start to finish and I just kept selling cold brew out of my house in the meantime,” Ashley stated. Their cold brew is their top seller, and her fiancé, Travis, gets their coffee beans from 2 local roasters in Yuma. “We sell out of our coffee every day and can only stay open until 3pm because of it,” she claimed.
When asked why Ashley is passionate about coffee, she stated that she loves the culture that comes along with it. “I just love seeing people put their phones down to sit down and have a conversation over coffee. I wanted to create a space where people can sit at a long table, family style, and just enjoy each other’s company.”
Ashley’s advice to future entrepreneurs is to figure out their brand, stay true to it and to teach people with respect. “I even thought about just opening a business to teach others how to treat people because human interaction is so important. When people come in my shop, I talk to them, make eye contact with them and make them feel respected,” said Ashley.
Cafecito is at 118 S. Madison Ave. in downtown Yuma and their hours are 6am-3pm Monday-Friday.