Partners Susan Dalke (left) and Evan Rau.
When Evan Rau opened Cranknstein in 2011 with his partner, Susan Dalke, he combined three passions: bicycles, espresso and beer. The result is a community hub that caters to locals on North College Avenue in Old Town Fort Collins. Before graduating from CSU (with a master’s in English), his short stint in student teaching allowed Rau to realize teaching wasn’t for him and he needed to figure out where he was going next. He and Susan took the leap of faith, borrowed $60,000 from friends and family, and opened Cranknstein after nearly two years of planning. They spent more than six months renovating a vacant auto repair shop into what Cranknstein is today.
Q: What was the catalyst that sparked Cranknstein?
A: An eye-opening student teaching experience during which when I realized the structure of teaching wasn’t going to fit the way I work.
Q: Tell me about your partner/girlfriend.
A: I met Susan through her coffee-roasting business, which was previously located in Loveland. She helped me understand the intricacies of specialty coffee, and she’s been a 50/50 partner since the beginning. She brought a coffee roaster from her Loveland business into