Will and Coral Frischkorn, of Cured, Boulder’s seven-year-old European-style cheese, charcuterie, sandwich, and wine shop, have a fairytale story. They met in Boulder 10 years ago through Will’s best friend and training partner, Walker Ferguson. Coral is Walker’s sister and she also likes to cycle—a must for Will, who at the time was racing bikes for UCI ProTour team Garmin–Slipstream and living much of the year in Spain. After six months of dating, Coral picked up to join Will in Gerona, Spain. “No better way to find out if something is going to work than head to a foreign country together,” laughs Will.
Not only did the relationship take, Gerona was where Will and Coral fell in love with the European approach to shopping—you go to the bakery for bread, the butcher for meat, and the cheese shop for cheese. This experience made such an impression that when Will retired from cycling and the two were looking for the next thing, they decided to return to Boulder and open a shop. “We had no business, no retail, no restaurant experience,” Coral says. “But we had the ability to eat and taste.” This also was a time when Boulder, which has more grocery stores per capita than anywhere in the country, had no specialty food market.
Two days after returning to the States and armed with a car, two mountain bikes, and camping gear, the couple took off on a four-month road trip where they crisscrossed the country looking for cheesemongers, farmers, honey makers, as well as shops similar to what they envisioned for Cured. “We wanted to champion American products. We’re inspired by what is happening elsewhere, but doing it close to home,” Will says. “We still have these relationships.”
Case in point, the first stop on the duo’s road trip was La Quercia, a renowned cured meat company, in Norwalk, Iowa. Fast forward seven years: Cured recently stopped importing the famed Jamón Ibérico de Bellota from Spain in favor of La Quercia’s superb version from Iowa. “This is the summation of what we want Cured to be,” Coral says.
The Frischkorns (Will and Coral married in 2012) would disagree that shop life is fairytale-ish; it’s a lot of hard work, especially with two young boys (Holden, four, and Huxley, two) at home. But Cured will always be their first baby and they’ve brought it up together. “It’s hard not to grow apart from a spouse when you’re starting a business. But we got the opportunity to do this together,” Coral says. “For the first three years we worked the floor together six days a week. And when we were closed we were still in there together.” Another secret to the Frischkorns’ spouse-business-partner success is their complementary skill sets: Coral, whose background is in graphic design, oversees the marketing, design, and vision side while Will focuses on operations. “We’re each able to do our own thing so we’re not micromanaging each other,” Coral says.
If Cured has a mantra, it’s teamwork—a trait that’s deeply engrained in Will. “Cycling is a team sport, and you form a close bond when you’re racing,” he says. “It’s very selfless, especially when you’re a worker on a team. It’s very similar in the hospitality industry where you’re working as a team to take care of others.”
Read on for three more things you likely didn’t know about Will and Coral:
- On helping launch someone else’s career… “We were planning on baking our own bread but, thank goodness, Steve Scott [of what is now Babette’s Artisan Bread] came in and dropped off some loaves. They were amazing and we said, ‘Yes, you’re going to do this.’ We sat on steps behind the Med Bakery [where Scott was working at the time] pulling apart six loaves of bread and just devouring them,” says Coral.
- On sandwich love… In the last seven years, it’s estimated that Will has eaten 2,100 Cured sandwiches. (For the record, that’s more than 350 pounds of prosciutto, capocollo, and mortadella.) “I’m at the shop six days a week and I grab a sandwich most of those days,” says Will. “I consider it quality control.”
- On most embarrassing moments… “We opened on a Saturday, but that Friday night we were still putting in the point of sale [system]. I thought, Oh, I’ll swing by the bank for the cash drawer, not thinking that the bank will be closed on Saturday,” says Will. “We had a couple hundred bucks…I told Coral to go buy small stuff [from other shops] and ask for change back in coin and ones. Somehow we made it through the first day.”
Cured, 1825 Pearl St., Suite B, Boulder, 720-389-8096