Pettyjohn's Liquor - Wine, Beer, and Spirits
Pettyjohn's Liquor and Wine

South Boulder's Spirit Shop

Phone :303-499-2337 (BEER)

Located at Table Mesa Shopping Center 613 S. Broadway, Boulder, CO 80305

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Christmas Letter & History

Ann and Chris Coppinger


Pettyjohn's Liquor and Wine was founded by Jon and Marie Pettyjohn in 1969. After graduating college in 1977, Ann and Chris were hired as clerks. After primarily working nights, they were promoted to co-managers in 1979. Chris was the purchaser for beers and liquors, and Ann purchased all of the wines. After their marriage in 1981, (Jon and Marie stood up for them at the elopement), Ann left the buisness to sell wines with a large wholesale house in Denver. She remained there until she became pregnant with their first child. During the pregnancy, Ann worked at a local wine importing buisness, and became knowledgeable in importing wines from all over the world. After the birth of their first child, Ann went back to work with Chris. Chris continued to manage the entire store, and Ann waas the bookkeeper. Slowly, Jon and Marie retired, and Ann and Chris bought the buisness they operated. In 1997, Ann began purchasing the wines again.

Today, there is a web site, monthly newsletter, monthly tastings, and Ann teaches wine classes in the spring. Pettyjohn's Liquor and Wine is a proud sponsor of the Boulder Valley Humane Society, creating the label, and selling Humane Society wine with proceeds going to our local animals. Having two children in Boulder Valley Public Schools , Pettyjohn's also donates to all local school fundraisers.

Starting January 2005, Ann will start studying to rreceive a Master of Wine degree. This will take several years and is difficult to obtain. There are presently only 19 Masters of Wine in the United States. Ann and Chris Coppinger work in their store daily, and work at personally helping their clientele. Please stop in, or call to setup a consultation on your event needs.

Charles William Pettyjohn
January 24, 1916 - May 16, 2002

Pettyjohn's Liquor & Wine is something of a Boulder institution.

The store has occupied the same site in the Table Mesa Shopping Center for 30 years and in all that time has had only two owners.

In fact, if you listen to present owner Ann Coppinger, it's been virtually the same family running the business since it opened just before Christmas 1969.

Jon and Marie Pettyjohn started the liquor store, but Ann and her husband, Chris, began working there in 1978 and have been the closest of friends __ almost like one big family __ ever since.

"Our children refer to Jon and Marie as grandpa and grandma, and as far as we're concerned this is still the same family-run business it was when it opened in 1969," Ann says.

The feeling is obviously mutual. Jon Pettyjohn lightheartedly recalls the Coppingers were only about 22 years old when they first came to work for him. "We raised 'em," he says jokingly.

A true indication of friendship came in 1981 when the Coppingers decided to marry and asked Jon and Marie to be their witnesses. Today, the Pettyjohns are both 84 years old and have been married themselves a little more than 64 years.

Before 1968, Boulder was still a dry town, and anyone wanting to buy liquor had to drive outside the city limits to get their supplies.

Jon Pettyjohn was in the automobile business then, but with the changing of the liquor laws he saw an opportunity and took out what he believes was the first license in 1968.

Pettyjohn admits he had a lot to learn about the liquor business back then and was fortunate to have the part-time help of Jean La Croux, a French student at CU-Boulder, who knew about wine.

In those early days beer and liquor were the major sellers, but over the years Pettyjohn saw wine becoming more and more popular.

By 1978, he was able to take over space next door, doubling the area of his store and expanding the wine section.

"I took a hammer and saw and cut a hole in the wall even before the contract was signed," he says with a laugh.

Pettyjohn remembers that Chris Coppinger, who was then working nearby at King Soopers, kept coming in asking for a job and was eventually hired. "He was a good worker, too. He had a watch but never looked at it."

That work ethic appealed to Pettyjohn, who had lived through the Depression and was not afraid of hard work himself. He spent many days at the store from 8 a.m. until midnight, and Marie also put in long hours as they built up the business.

When the Pettyjohns retired in 1986, the Coppingers continued to manage the store until Ann bought it in July 1997. Today, she runs things with the help of managers Michael Angelo and Ali Oldfield, office manager Roger Clark and a team of more than a dozen part-time staff.

Chris Coppinger, after more than 20 years in the business, remains the financial officer, though his focus has switched to selling real estate around Broomfield.

Pettyjohn's Liquor & Wine has continued to grow and now covers more than 5,000 square feet of floor space, much of that filled with wines from all over the world and a wide selection of locally brewed beers.

Ann Coppinger loves wine and is always ready to pass on her knowledge and enthusiasm to others. She conducts regular wine tastings, runs a wine-of-the-month club, provides a tip sheet for customers about wine and food combinations and sends out about 550 monthly newsletters.

Another of her passions is dogs, and this has led her to become an avid supporter of the Boulder Valley Humane Society, which has always been the source of her own pets.

She teaches wine classes once a year to benefit the society and donated about 45 cases of wine to "Puttin' on the Leash," the society's major annual fund-raiser, which raised $117,000 last month.

"I believe community involvement is very important," says Coppinger who is also a regular sponsor of school events. "I'm one of those lucky people who's able to work closely with things they feel passionately about __ in my case wine and dogs."

Though she has taken classes herself, Coppinger admits she is largely self-taught when it comes to wine and remembers how she first got started at Pettyjohn's doing the books in the morning and buying wine in the afternoons.

About three years later she and Chris, who had known each other as 5-year-olds in Maryland and gone through school and college together, were married. Apart from short breaks __ including for the birth of their daughter Jane in 1985 and son James (J.T.) two years later __ one or both of them has worked at the store ever since.

And says Jon Pettyjohn they're doing a great job with the shop that still bears his name.

"They are not the sort to just sit back but are always thinking of ways to improve things. They are great innovators, especially with the wine."


Pettyjohn's Liquor and Wine is located in Boulder, Colorado, in the Table Mesa Shopping Center, and is especially focused on the tastes and desires of Boulder's population.

Pettyjohn's Liquor and Wine serves all of Boulder County, including Louisville, Lafayette, Superior, Longmont, and Erie in Colorado.  Customers also come from all over the Denver Metro area, including Denver, Lyons, Broomfield, Westminster, Arvada, Northglenn, Thornton, Wheat Ridge, Golden, Brighton, Estes Park, Fort Collins, Aurora, Morrison, Englewood, and Littleton, Colorado.

Copyright © 2008  Pettyjohn's Liquor and Wine; All rights reserved.

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