Colorado entrepreneur buys back the family business

Dusti Budd

Entrepreneurship runs in Dusti Budd’s family. Capitol Deli was originally owned by her step-dad, Steven Lloyd. Around 25 years ago, Dusti worked under him until he sold the business. Fifteen years later, Dusti was taking business classes at Colorado Mountain College, which required her to create a business plan. This later inspired her to buy Capitol Deli and open a location in Newcastle, Colo.

She relocated Capitol Deli to Rifle in 2019 right before the COVID-19 pandemic. While Capitol Deli “muscled through” the pandemic, Dusti says the relocation was a blessing. Its previous location in Newcastle was secluded in the member’s clubhouse of a golf course, and it would’ve had a much more difficult time surviving the pandemic due to its remoteness. 

Still, rural entrepreneurship has its challenges. Dusti notes that, “Your clientele is more limited and you have to gain their trust.” Rifle has a population of just over 10,000, so the foot traffic present in larger towns doesn’t exist. Additionally, she thinks that rural small business owners in Colorado have less access to knowledge-based programs and financial resources than small business owners in cities like Denver.

However, entrepreneurship is still rewarding. Dusti explains, “I really enjoy working for myself. I worked for a corporation for a really long time, and one of the main reasons I opened my own business was so I could have more flexibility in my schedule.” It also gives her a chance to be involved in the community. The relationships she’s built with her regular customers are meaningful, and Capitol Deli is community based. 

Dusti makes sure she is involved in and gives back to her Rifle community. She provides gift certificates to local schools when they have special events and to school teachers. For veterans, she’s donated $1000 worth of food for their annual golf tournament and Capitol Deli also offers a discount to veterans. Additionally, the relationships she’s built with other small business owners–especially those in the restaurant industry–are rewarding. They’re always helping each other out and supporting each other's businesses. 

Dusti advises other small business owners,“Don’t be afraid of the unknown. You’re always having to adjust to the changes around you. There hasn’t been a year when I haven’t had to make changes, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.”


Small Business Profile