The first thing someone might see driving past the intersection of Ponderosa Drive and Parker Road is the word “PRAY” in all capital letters, on the side of a repurposed shipping container. The …
This item is available in full to subscribers.
If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.
Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.
If you made a voluntary contribution of $25 or more in Nov. 2018-2019, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one at no additional charge. VIP Digital Access Includes access to all websites
The first thing someone might see driving past the intersection of Ponderosa Drive and Parker Road is the word “PRAY” in all capital letters, on the side of a repurposed shipping container. The next might be a man's head poking out of a window from it with a smile and a laugh and a Brooklyn accent detectable by keen ears all the way from nearby Parker Road.
Wes Crespi is no stranger in the community. Living in Castle Rock, the owner of the Coffee Cabin in Parker refers to himself as a living and breathing Angie's List.
A well-connected barista with a knack for remembering names and faces, Crespi, on the gray morning of April 30, walked around his homemade coffee shop with a medical boot on his left foot. Three weeks earlier, he had surgery for plantar fasciitis. This was his second day back, yet he bounced around the cabin the way he has for years, often starting his next customer's regular order before he or she even pulled up to the window.
“He's got people skills. He's always interested in what you have to say and what's going on,” said Janelda Morgenstern, a regular of Crespi's. ”Maybe if something's not going well that day, he's very supportive.”
Crespi knows most of his customers personally. With each cup of coffee he serves comes a conversation. He greets each of his regulars as his “favorite customer,” and to him, it's not an exaggeration just to make them feel good.
People come from all over the area, from Aurora and Highlands Ranch and Castle Rock, to this converted shipping container for coffee because of this one-man show. And it's difficult to tell one new customer from an old friend. Judging from the other side of the Coffee Cabin drive-through window, it seemed all of his customers were like family — behind the microwave is a graduation invitation from a family he met serving coffee.
The one-liners, the warm greetings and the coffee — Crespi offered each of his customers a sample of bourbon-flavored coffee he invented — are what keep cars lining up around the gravel lot the Coffee Cabin sits on.
Crespi has been lauded for his community service, fundraising and support of first responders and veterans. With a “Keep America Great” hat hanging from an American flag and an Israeli flag hanging from that, his cabin is full of symbols of his beliefs. He added the "PRAY" sign shortly after the Aurora theater shooting in 2012. Inspired by John Lenon's song “Imagine,” he thought the sign would resonate with people passing through on Parker Road.
“When I pray to myself, when I talk to God, it calms me down," Crespi said. "So many people come out here every single day. Some don't even want coffee, they just want to talk or they want to pray or they're open to what it's about.”
Crespi says he doesn't need much. He dreams of owning a tiny house on a piece of land in the mountains. He lives by the philosophy to give what you can. To kids, he tosses fruit snack packs into the back seat of a minivan. To dogs, if there aren't any treats available, he'll give some whipped cream in a cup. To each of his customers, he gives a fist bump as they drive away.
“The most important thing," Crespi said, "is they know somebody cares."
Other items that may interest you
We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.
The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.