Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Alumni Business Spotlight: Mason Capps opens new Denver restaurant OiNKs!

Tucked away in a quiet mini-mall in the Park Hill neighborhood lies a spiffy, clean and fast casual new restaurant called OiNKs! Started by Metro State Alumnus Mason Capps (English, ’98) and his wife, Bobbi, this BBQ joint boasts fresh ingredients and supplies that are biodegradable, compostable or made from 100% post-consumer materials.

Created with flickr slideshow from softsea.

“We are focus on sustainability in each action we make,” says Capps, from the “to go” menus, which are printed on paper made from 100% post consumer waste, to the recycled and/or repurposed equipment and furniture that they found at a Denver auction house. As well, they buy local, natural and sustainable meats whenever possible and are currently looking into the possibility of composting their food waste on site.

“We know that restaurants have done a lot of damage to our earth in the past, and we feel that going forward we all must find more eco-friendly ways of running our businesses to remain successful,” he explained. Giving back to the community is also a key component of their business plan.

“We want to be a working part of the community we serve,” Capps stated. The couple has already hosted their first benefit night, donating 40 percent of their sales to Feed Denver, a local non-profit urban farm. “Even as we grow as a company, we don't want to lose those community ties and will continue to host these benefit nights for local non-profit organizations we believe in.”

So why a BBQ restaurant? “When I met my wife, I found someone who shared the same dream and has skills and talents that are complementary to mine,” Capps said. “OiNKs! is the result of a lifetime of work and a marriage of talents.”

With decades of experience in the restaurant industry between them, the couple knows what it takes to run a restaurant. “Quite honestly, I have never been more confident about something in my whole life,” Capps stated. “My wife Bobbi is the best partner I could ask for; she is tough, funny, realistic and resourceful. She helps me balance business time with family time. We have a great team in place and several family members that work hard to help us succeed.” Plus, his 9-month old Rylan inspires him. “He’s the real man in charge!”

Still, the new job has proved challenging at times. “Running a restaurant is not for the faint of heart or the easily exhausted,” he said. But, he added, he thrives on the environment. “One thing that enables my success is a feeling of never being satisfied; always looking for ways to do what we do, better. Plus, he loves being busy all the time, meeting new people and making them smile. For Capps, “OiNKs! is a dream come true.”

For more information, visit their Web site.

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