Kody Sprague must have had a pretty good idea what he wanted to do from an early age. He grew up in Yorkshire NY, attending Park School in Amherst where he excelled in golf, skiing and basketball. He got to know Ellicottville by being on the Holiday Valley ski team. There were times when he would finish a basketball game on Friday night, and then drive down early Saturday morning to compete in a ski race here. He went to the University of Richmond in Virginia. But after receiving his degree in Political Science, Kody came right back to Western New York to begin work in the family business. Years earlier his grandfather Bill had started a business creating modular housing developments. He helped his grandfather by selling the homes. Some of the homes were in their developments in Springville and Yorkshire, and others were individual units along Maples Road.
One of their previous projects was the remodeling of the building that now houses Coffee Culture. “Most people don’t remember what it looked like. It was a one story building with a flat roof and the siding falling off,” he tells me. Kody, his Grandfather, and a business partner came down to make an offer on the building only to find out that a contract had already been drawn up for the purchase. But after a few hours, they received a call saying the contract had fallen through. The men re-grouped, made an offer and the deal was accepted that day.
Last fall his grandfather Bill and business partner Bill Gugino happened to become curious about the Louisville Slugger bat factory on Elizabeth Street. Bill brought Kody in to help with the purchase and they traveled to Kentucky to create the deal. They closed the purchase on October 8th last year. After six months of meetings, producing plans, front elevation drawings, and appearing before the Village Planning Board, they are closing in on final approval for the project. Only the public hearing on May 8th stands in the way of approval. Kody says once they receive the go ahead he plans to “hit the ground running with construction.” As far as what businesses might go into the building; he’s remaining discreet. “I’ve been talking to people,” he says adding he has had “productive conversations with a couple of potential tenants.” But he did make an announcement at last months Planning Board meeting. The partners have reached an agreement with Kody’s father-in-law, owner of Cascade Lanes in Springville, to put an eight lane bowling alley and restaurant in the building. They are hoping to have at least that portion of the project open by next Winter.
Kody met his wife Heather at a horse show (one of her interests), and together they have three kids. When asked about where he’d like to be in five years it gives him a bit of pause. At first he says, “keep progressing, and say focused on what is happening now.” But, after thinking it over he smiles and says, “on a beach in Mexico.” You can bet, where ever he is, he’ll be focused on the future.