A former bottling factory on the bank of Granite Creek has been transformed into a business and social hub for downtown Prescott by two of the many native sons who have left town only to be drawn back home.
Grant Quezada and Jesse Burke own Founding Fathers Collective, which houses six businesses under one roof at 218 N. Granite St., five of which Quezada and Burke also own: John Hancock Barbershop, City Tavern, Merchant Coffee, Liberty Mercantile, Founder’s Gym and Mountain Tribe Brazilian Jiu Jitzu (owned by Robert Johnson).
Since opening in October 2020 the location — rounded out with a members-only speakeasy/event space and food truck service — has been bustling with friends, neighbors and customers as they discover the synergy created by the six spaces.
Burke (Prescott High School class of 2000) and Quezada (PHS class of 2002) reconnected in much the same way. They played sports and went to school and church with each other as well as their future wives, then went on to military service and professional life before moving back about seven years ago.
“We both got back to town, decided to move back here within a month of each other,” Burke says. “And when we both got back, we kind of reconnected downtown in the (courthouse) square, ran into each other at one of the events going on there and just started talking and kind of rekindled our friendship and relationship and started going from there.”
Quezada had worked at a salon in Missouri before joining the Army and serving with the 2nd Ranger Battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment. Once he left, he and his wife Veronica decided to return to Prescott with their family, opening John Hancock Barbershop in 2014.
Their vision of owning the best barbershop in town quickly led to success, so Quezada revisited his dream of opening a barbershop, bar and coffeehouse in one space. Burke had served as a chaplain in the Air Force and was working as a business consultant. He began to work with Quezada on developing the Founding Fathers concept, and his wife Julie eventually took on its interior design.
“Our goal as we were building this was to take what I had done with John Hancock and put it into a larger scale to where you have a myriad of people coming in all different age ranges and demographics, and they’re able to sit and join each other in conversation and just more of a relaxed, accepting environment,” Quezada says.
Burke says he and Quezada are both interested in expanding downtown’s commerce beyond Courthouse Plaza and sat together on the City of Prescott’s Granite Creek Greenway committee.
When the old bottling plant, which was later converted into an antique store, came back on the market “we were really excited,” Burke says — it has the most frontage on the creek of any property in town.
Quezada and Burke are looking to the future with an expansion of their creekside patio and taking the Founding Fathers concept to other communities, potentially starting with Prescott Valley.
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