Mark and Polly Lestikow, owners of Colorado’s largest closet company, marry their love for closet design, nutrition, athletics and the University of Denver when they donated custom cabinetry for a new health and nutrition station for the University of Denver
It isn’t often when business partners can successfully merge their common vocations with divergent avocations to create something special for a client. However, Denver’s Closet Factory owners, Mark and Polly Lestikow, recently found themselves spearheading a unique project that touched distinctly different emotional soft spots in each of them. The Lestikow’s donated the design, manufacturing, and installation of elegant custom cabinetry to the University of Denver’s first ever, state-of-the-art athletic department health and nutrition station, a project that held different but powerful appeal for each of the well-known Denver entrepreneurs.
Being able to attend UD changed my life and opened a new world for me. I will always be grateful.The project gave Polly an extra special feeling by giving something back to the athletes because she is a master swimmer and a professional dietician.” Mark Lestikow.
Building custom cabinetry for the health and nutrition station resonated with Polly, who did not attend UD, but did graduate from Colorado State University with a degree in food science and nutrition. Following graduation, she became a licensed dietitian for more than 20 years. The health and nutrition station also captured Mark’s attention who graduated from UD under a full academic scholarship.
“I graduated from the University of Denver with a full scholarship, otherwise I never would have been able to afford the school. Being able to attend UD changed my life and opened a new world for me. I will always be grateful,” said Lestikow. “The project gave Polly an extra special feeling by giving something back to the athletes because she is a master swimmer and a professional dietician.”
The new athletic health and nutrition station that features custom cabinetry provides convenient access to unlimited, healthy and nutritious food for Denver’s student-athletes, maximizing their energy, performance and recovery with optimal food for athletes. The “fueling” station is located inside the Pat Bowlen Training Center, and provides student-athletes the opportunity to better balance time demands between classes, practices and lifts.
“These student athletes are really dedicated and they work really hard, and what was happening was that they were running out of the door with a candy bar in their hands. So, this new nutrition station will help keep them keep hydrated, provide good caloric intake, and keep them fueled up with great food,” said Mark.
According to Lestikow, the university had their own vision of how they wanted the nutrition station to look.
“But Polly came in with some really cool custom cabinetry design ideas of her own. For example, she wanted to keep the counter top uncluttered, so she built these trays with drawer faces, and larger left-side cabinets to hold bulk items. The whole idea was that you place the food in the trays which provides convenience and portion control while also reducing clutter. Then she used slat walls to hang baskets and shelving which are great for storing because you have baskets that you can move and easy to adjust and add to or remove stuff from,” said Lestikow.
The Lestikow’s also worked hard to find laminate and melamine cabinetry that matched the school’s official crimson and gold colors.
While the Lestikow’s feel incredibly proud of their recent contribution to the school, their generosity and commitment to the Denver area does not stop there.
“Polly and I both believe in giving back, and so we’ve been very involved with the school over the years. I was the president of the alumni association for a few years, and since we’ve been blessed with having a successful business, we’ve also been able to endow two scholarships there: a women’s athletics scholarship and a business school scholarship,” said Lestikow.
By Vincent Aviani
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