Foss Building offers a little of something for all

Three new businesses celebrate a grand opening in downtown Golden

Posted 11/28/18

The late Frederick A. “Heinie” Foss — known for establishing the Golden Civic Foundation — passed on a piece of advice to his family: “always work with people of good character.” And when …

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Foss Building offers a little of something for all

Three new businesses celebrate a grand opening in downtown Golden

Posted

The late Frederick A. “Heinie” Foss — known for establishing the Golden Civic Foundation — passed on a piece of advice to his family: “always work with people of good character.”

And when selecting the business-owners who would move into the Foss Building, his family members heeded that advice.

“Golden is a special place because the people care about the community,” said Sara Labosky, vice president of the Mesa Meadows Land Company and one of Heinie Foss’ grandchildren. “It’s fun to partner with so many dynamic people in the community.”

On Nov. 10, a grand opening celebration helped to welcome the Foss Building’s newest three tenants — Foss Company Wine|Spirits|Beer, owned by Pat Foss who is also the president of the Mesa Meadows Land Company; Old Barrel Tea Company, owned by Heather Maccalous; and Southern Charm Home Décor, owned by Angela Purcell.

“Golden has a good tourist draw, and the locals like to support local businesses,” said Maccalous, who has an owner-partnership with a family friend who started Old Barrel Tea Company in New Mexico about five years ago. “This is a perfect fit for our concept.”

The Foss Building, 1224 Washington Ave., has been in the Foss Family since 1913, making Oct. 15 the 105th anniversary of the building’s construction.

It got its start by Henry and Dorothy Foss as The Foss General Store, and it eventually became Foss Drug Store.

Because Foss Drug Store operated as a pharmacy, liquor was legally able to be sold there for medicinal purposes during prohibition. Being one of the oldest liquor licenses issued in the state, Pat Foss — Heinie Foss’ son — bought the liquor license “to keep it in the hands of the Foss family,” he said, and opened Foss Company Wine|Spirits|Beer.

Henry and Dorothy Foss’ son, Heinie Foss, started working at the store prior to his graduation from Golden High School in 1935. He took over its management after he graduated from pharmacy college, which was after he returned to Golden after serving as a pilot in World War II.

The Foss Building was eventually expanded and divided into individual rental units. By 2003, the building was expanded to more than 50,000 square feet.

Foss Drug Store closed in 2007, but Goldenite Brittany DeCarlo opened it as Foss Building Wine & Spirits in November that year. It closed on New Year’s Eve last year upon expiration of DeCarlo’s lease.

“In 2008, just as the economy collapsed, my family was left with Foss Drug Store closed, the Foss Building largely vacant and with a lot of debt,” Pat Foss said.

He and his niece, Sarah Labosky, operated the Mesa Meadows Land Company — a residential and commercial property rental company that specializes in downtown Golden — and were tasked with finding the right fit for the Foss Building.

“We turned down many lucrative offers to sell or rent the building because the ideas didn’t seem to fit right for Golden,” Pat Foss said. “We held out, and found businesses and tenants that we thought would make Golden stronger, and we helped them. Gradually, we filled the Foss Building with businesses that we thought would serve the community of Golden and replace what had been lost.”

But the Foss’ didn’t do it alone. Pat Foss pointed to Bob Lowry, Jack Horton and Amy Krieder — all who had some sort of a tie to Foss Drug Store or the Foss family — as a few who helped.

About 45,000 square feet of the Foss Building was remodeled. Pat Foss, who led the project because of his background in building, joked that the remodel took a lot of work, as those who were in charge of the expansions in the past were pharmacists, not builders.

Today, the Foss Building is home to 13 tenants, including the three new businesses mentioned above. From bikes to yoga and tea to liquor, the intent of the Foss Building is to be a place where Golden residents and visitors can find a little of everything, Laboski said.

“More than anything, it’s about doing something that’s good for Golden,” she said. “And giving Golden strength by providing a spectrum of services and products for locals and tourists.”

Work by a local artist and a popup museum consisting of old photos that tell the history of the Foss Building now greets the building’s visitors. The addition of other departments may come in the future, Pat Foss said, but for now, the family is working on filling the community’s requests. Some people have mentioned they want a soda fountain, like Foss Drug Store used to have, Pat Foss said, and another nostalgic item that may adorn the building again is the “Meet your friends at Foss” sign.

Heinie Foss “used to say, `if you do the right thing, success will follow,’” Pat Foss said. “He loved Golden so much. A little bit of this is for him. We wanted to do something that he would be proud of.”

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