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ColoradoBiz CEO of the Year 2015 finalist: Justin Cucci

He's building a foodie empire


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Founder and CEO, Edible Beats

Cucci’s ever-expanding culinary empire will soon encompass six establishments and more than 500 employees in Denver.

He helped put the Lower Highlands on the map with Root Down and Linger. After opening Root Down DIA in 2014, Cucci followed up with Ophelia’s, his new music venue and eatery in the Ballpark neighborhood of Denver, in 2015. By year’s end, his fast-casual joint Vital Root will bring locally sourced vegetarian fare to the Berkeley area, and he’ll open a LoHi tapas restaurant in 2016.

“I never look too far ahead, but I think it could be scalable one day,” he says of Vital Root.  “Anywhere I travel, that’s what I want to see. I don’t want to have to go to a fancy restaurant to have fresh, local foods.”

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Eric Peterson

Denver-based writer Eric Peterson is the author of Frommer's Colorado, Frommer's Montana & Wyoming, Frommer's Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks and the Ramble series of guidebooks, featuring first-person travelogues covering everything from atomic landmarks in New Mexico to celebrity gone wrong in Hollywood. Peterson has also recently written about backpacking in Yosemite, cross-country skiing in Yellowstone and downhill skiing in Colorado for such publications as Denver's Westword and The New York Daily News. He can be reached at Eptcb126@msn.com

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