Ali Mai works as a print reporter, visual journalist and occasionally an illustrator. Her role for each story can be seen by clicking on a photo.


Coffee and a smile aren't the only things Que's Espresso offers customers

Que’s Espresso has served barista beverages and local grab-and-go food in Longmont for nearly 13 years. For owner Rob Quesenberry, the local coffee shop’s community feel is the key to its longevity. “Hey Dave,” Quesenberry said as a regular, Longmont resident Dave Crotser, walked through the door for his go-to two shot americano. With Que’s established at 600 S Airport Rd for more than a decade, Quesenberry has gotten to know customers by name. He’s known longtime regulars go through different

Longmont music school addresses mental health

Along with teaching students how to play an instrument, Mountain Time Music School in Longmont promotes mental wellness through music. Co-founders and instructors Benjamin Sevy, director of education, and Matheus Pagliacci, director of marketing, opened the all-ages school at 1427 Coffman St. last August. Their offerings focus on the duo’s own musical expertise — Sevy plays saxophone and Pagliacci plays piano — but they offer lessons on multiple instruments including drums, clarinet and flute.

The Chasen Group straightens out poor ergonomics in Longmont

Since the pandemic pushed desk workers out of the office and into their homes, ergonomic consultant Craig Chasen has seen clients work in uncomfortable stations from hunching over an ironing board to spending long days sitting on hard dining chairs. He hopes he can prevent pain and discomfort for Longmont workers. Chasen’s company The Chasen Group has consulted companies including Medtronic plc and Oracle Corp. for 20 years, mostly in the Boulder and Denver area. Since Chasen moved to Longmont

As Jester's Theatre closes, community refuses to give up easily

The family-owned Jesters Dinner Theatre building will soon be on the market after more than 20 years operating on Longmont’s Main Street. Though the deadline is approaching and the price tag is high, Jesters performers are leading a grass root campaign to keep the legacy alive. After Jesters' long run at 224 Main St., the owners are ready to close the curtains on this era of their lives, according to co-owner Scott Moore who opened the theater with his wife Mary Lou Moore in 1999. The building

Longmont Local: Happy days ahead for new Longmont plant store

Happy Day Plants, a new indoor plant shop on Main Street, grows community through employment opportunities for individuals with special needs and ongoing plant education. The new store, selling home greenery and gifts at 501 Main Street, opened Nov. 6. The 2,000 square foot interior is filled with various potted plants, a work station with two large tables and a “Potting Bar '' where customers can re-pot their purchases. Happy Day Plants owner Jessica Birmingham, a long time carer and collecto

Yoga Pod to open new studio in Longmont early 2022

Nicole and Gerry Wienholt, founders of Yoga Pod Inc. and owners of the first studio in Boulder, relocated their home to Longmont a year ago and are bringing the yoga experience with them. The couple opened the Boulder studio in 2010 eventually growing to a multi-state franchise company six years later. The Wienholts decided they didn’t want to scale the company through franchising anymore, and only open Yoga Pod studios that they owned. While still operating the Boulder Yoga Pod, The Wienholts

The small farm in Downtown Longmont hopes to inspire more urban farming

In the window of the Main Street gift shop, The Cactus Coven is a 50 square foot farm with four chickens in a coop next to a garden. For the owner Morgan Alynn, the project proves her firm belief that anyone can farm, even if they don’t own land. “I think when people think ‘farm’ they think you need like several acres and I wanted to kind of show a living display that you can have a working farm in,” Alynn said. The mini-farm was added to the storefront at 439 Main St in March. Eventually, Aly

Pet care franchise expands into Longmont area

Fetch! Pet Care Loveland to Boulder, a franchise of a Michigan-based pet service firm, launched last week under Longmont-resident Patrick Kuhnell’s ownership. His life-long love for animals and community involvement led him to his new venture. Prior to officially opening the pet care service on Sept. 22, Kuhnell worked as a global strategist and market researcher. He was attracted to the Michigan-based franchise company Fetch! Pet Care because he could work with pet owners locally while being t

The catastrophic barriers to treatment for endometriosis

Before Denver resident Jason Wood was diagnosed with an eating disorder at age 34, he had a specific image in his mind when he pictured who could develop one. As a cisgender man, he didn’t fit the criteria. “I didn’t even think I was battling an eating disorder because the stereotypes say that it doesn’t happen to me, that it doesn’t happen to adult men,” Wood said. “I think we also assume that eating disorders usually happen to just young, skinny, affluent females, and we disregard the fact th

Marsha's Closet offers accessible gender-affirming items for trans and nonbinary folks

At the grand opening of Transgender Center of the Rockies’ Marsha’s Closet, a one-stop shop for gender-affirming clothes and products, shoppers left with more than garments. They gained community support and a safe space to express their gender. Marsha’s Closet launched June 11 at the Mile High Behavioral Healthcare in Sheridan. Clothing, wigs, makeup and gender-affirming products, including binders and packers, are offered for free. One of the program organizers, Ari Rosenblum, saw the need for accessible gender-affirming items as they started working as the Team Lead for NXT Queer Youth Program—a collaboration between MHBH’s Denver ELEMENT and Transgender Center of the Rockies. The pop-up shop is scheduled to run quarterly, and events will be posted on collaborating organizations’ social media.

BrewHop Trolley celebrates half a decade in Longmont

BrewHop Trolley celebrated five years giving a lift to beer-lovers over Memorial Day Weekend. The trolley service has expanded its services over the years while staying true to its mission: highlighting the breweries and distilleries of Longmont. BrewHop owner David Lewis, a second-generation Longmont resident, is as big a fan of his hometown as he is of a good beer. He wanted to create a unique experience in Longmont while providing safe transportation for locals and visitors sampling from one

Living between worlds: Asian adoptees with white families experience racism in isolation

For Asian intercountry adoptees in white families, subjugation to racism that their parents have never experienced is isolating. With a rise in attacks and harassment against people of Asian descent, culminating in the March Atlanta spa shootings, many adoptees are dealing with their fears and trauma alone. Discrimination toward Asians in the U.S has risen exponentially since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Stop AAPI Hate, a program started last year to record hate incidents. In a national report released in February, Stop AAPI Hate received 503 responses detailing physical attacks, verbal harassment, shunning, spitting and other incidents in the first two months of 2021 alone. Last year 3,292 incidents were recorded.

AAPI grief delivers strongest threat to white supremacy: Unity

Grief and anger delivered a unified message at a candlelight vigil for the victims of last week’s Atlanta massage parlor shooting. The vigil, which doubled as a protest against anti-Asian hate, brought together AAPI and allies last night in Denver. The message was clear—marginalized groups must come together to dismantle white supremacy. When Cody Chang organized the vigil for the murdered victims at the three Asian-owned establishments, six of the eight being Asian women, he didn’t expect to s

Longmont Local: Fit Chick Express takes women's health beyond fitness

Fit Chick Express in Longmont pushes the boundaries of what a fitness center can be. Under one roof, women work out, go to the hair salon or spa, train their brain and build a network of friends. Angie Marone, owner of Fit Chick Express, refers to the company as an experience or a community rather than a gym. Though Fit Chick offers classes found in traditional fitness studio settings including kickboxing, power core classes and private training, Marone’s mission goes beyond physical health to

Longmont Local: Getting a good read on business — Used Book Emporium has been city staple for 25 years

Family owned Used Book Emporium has found new homes for books for a quarter of a century. Over the years, the longtime downtown Longmont store has seen many chapters but has held onto its mission to provide affordable literature and sell pre-loved books. Carol Grossman started the Used Book Emporium’s story in 1996 on Ninth Avenue after working at other used bookstores around Boulder County. After less than two years, the business relocated to 346 Main St., the oldest building in downtown Longm

Digital divide: Pandemic exacerbates Internet gaps in Boulder County

An already-existing digital divide in Boulder County has widened during the COVID-19 pandemic, as jobs became remote and students moved online for the first time last year. But the pandemic also has pushed Internet and device accessibility to the forefront and accelerated a response. Peri Shaplow, chief marketing officer for Boulder-based MandaraRx Inc., a CBD product brand that does business as Mandara CBD, has worked from home since March. Most of the time, her internet connection works fine,
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