Paradise is where you make it

Anyone who knows Wendy Kunkle knows she’s anything but a smoke-blower. If it ain’t true, she won’t say it.

Here’s what is true: It’s a total drag that Paradise is being pushed out by their landlords. It’s also true that a business is far more than its location; in fact, the honesty and integrity with which they operate stand to drive them to success more than anything else. Let’s be honest — every corner in Aspen has the potential to be a hot spot and “heart and soul gathering place for locals and tourists alike.” (“Kemo Sabe is no Paradise,” letters, May 8, The Aspen Times)

Because Aspen is amazing and full of people who want to gather and eat delicious ice cream. The “hot spot” factor occurs when the individuals running their businesses do so with passion and authenticity.

Wendy knows that Patterson and Bronstein are capable of crushing it anywhere in town, hence the letter (“Paradise Bakery controls its destiny,” May 6, The Aspen Times) ( She was in their position two years ago, and whether or not you love Kemo Sabe as much as you love to gather over Paradise Chippers, the fear and uncertainty were still the same. It’s no secret that Aspen folk loathe change, but sticking your head in the sand or giving up in trepidation is not nearly as effective a reaction as pulling yourself up by your bootstraps (or your waffle cones). She led us with that philosophy in mind, and it’s why Kemo Sabe has had such great success since our move. Wendy’s letter wasn’t blowing smoke. It was an, “I’ve been there. You’ve got this. Onward and upward.”

Samantha Purcell