Employee Nia Morales is a server and bartender at Montanya Distillers who found her way to Crested Butte from New Jersey. We can so relate to her sense of wanderlust and recognize a kindred spirit when she talks about how life changing travel can be. (After all, Karen hatched the idea for Montanya Distillers when she and Brice visited a beach in India.) She’s been such a great addition to the Montanya crew—we can’t wait to see what she does when she earns her degree.
Finding CB and Montanya
Although I have been living in Crested Butte for almost eight years now, I originally came to CB as a tourist from New Jersey. My best friend from college has a home in town that her family has owned since the 70s, and what started as a weeklong vacation to Crested Butte with my father turned into a month long adventure in town and around the state with him and my best friend.
I fell in love with the friendly locals, gorgeous scenery and funky restaurant scene (I had actually interviewed for a management position at the brewery I was working at in New Jersey prior to visiting Colorado. After I didn't get the promotion I decided to move to Crested Butte three months later). I have always been drawn to Montanya first and foremost as a distillery, as the beer brewery I worked for previously got me really into the craft of fermented libations! Also, I enjoy the mixology aspect of Montanya cocktails and combining interesting flavors together in a balanced way! I love the freedom to experiment with cocktail specials while working with Montanya.
Dream Scenario Five Years from Now
I am currently back in school at Western Colorado University in Gunnison (just down the road from Crested Butte) pursuing a Graphic Design, Printmaking and Business degree so I suppose I see myself hopefully more on the business side of things within the Design scene in the near future. Ideally I'd like to have my own business further down the road! The visual arts and culinary scenes have always been two huge passions of mine, so five years from now I'd love to be creating in some way (and making a living off it!).
A Passion for Globe Trotting
If I could get paid to travel, I would literally drop my whole life! Traveling is another huge passion of mine. I most recently spent last spring traveling (mostly) solo around Germany, Austria, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. It changed my life. There's something indescribable about totally immersing yourself into another, unfamiliar culture. You learn things when you travel that no text book or class could ever teach you. Hungary, Poland and Czech Republic were by far my favorite places I've visited so far and I hope to get over to Italy, Slovenia and Croatia sometime very soon. I could go anywhere though, really!
My favorite part about weekends is first and foremost waking up and pouring myself a nice hot cup of espresso. Otherwise I'm either doing some art, relaxing, hiking, kayaking or cooking or usually working. I love to walk around the farmers market on Sunday mornings. Really, I just love to take some time to myself on the weekends, doing something that I love.