Hoping his business scores
Coronado hockey coach opens It’s a Grind coffee house franchise

       Hockey and coffee may not seem like an obvious connection, but they are turning out flavorfully for Coronado High School hockey coach Steve Fillo. A friendship with Air Force Academy hockey coach Frank Serratore led the twosome to partner in the region's first It's a Grind Coffee House franchise.
       The business, which seeks a niche among local specialty-coffee drinkers, opened last week. Scarcely a stone's throw from Coronado, the address is 3236 Centennial Blvd., in one of the outer row storefronts at Grand View Marketplace shopping center, anchored by the new King Soopers at Centennial and Fillmore Street.
       Fillo plans to run the business like a mom-and-pop, managing operations with the help of his wife and two children. He said the It's a Grind idea arose when he was considering a career move. While hockey is something he enjoys, coaching is just part-time work. He has also been in telecommunications, but in recent years “that's been rough,” Fillo said. “It was time to do something different, to become my own boss, and coffee is an explosive business.”
       It's a Grind has 100 chain stores nationwide. Most of these are in southern California, with one in Denver. Each store offers 27 different types of coffee, with the 6 available each day representing dark and light roasted coffee variations. There are also different types of sweetened coffees and fresh pastries. The staff is trained to answer coffee-related questions, Fillo said.
       He thinks the public will enjoy the store décor, which has furniture ranging from traditional chairs and tables to comfy armchairs. Other amenities include a fireplace and slate on the walls.
       Fillo and Serratore plan to offer another It's a Grind store in Monument and Briargate in the near future, with six in all planned in the area within three years.
       The demographics behind each store is to serve those living within a two-mile radius, Fillo explained.
       A longtime youth hockey coach in the Springs, Fillo is in his first year as Coronado's coach. Asked if his hockey team would also be involved in running the business, he laughed and said, “No.”

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