A Valpo Life in the Spotlight: Chuck Scates

A Valpo Life in the Spotlight: Chuck Scates

Since he was old enough to remember, Chuck Scates has always dreamed of being a business owner. As of today, he co-owns downtown Valparaiso’s reputable Fluid Coffee and three other locations of the local Northwest Indiana coffee company with his wife Allison. Aside from being a predominant business man, Scates is also a traveler, outdoor adventurer, woodworker, artist, volunteer, and Indiana enthusiast at heart.

For Scates, traveling has always been something he enjoys. He loves being able to see the Region for its breweries, wineries, coffee, art museums, hiking trails, and adventure. Some of Scates other favorite places to travel to in Indiana are Indianapolis and Fort Wayne. When considering Indiana’s sister states, Scates enjoys traveling to Grand Rapids, Michigan and Chicago, Illinois. He enjoys traveling to these places due there being tons of attractions and the modernity of them.

The reason Scates classifies himself as an Indiana enthusiast is because he grew up in the Region and has lived in several places in Indiana. In 1988, he graduated from Merrillville High School and in 1992 graduated from Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). When attending high school at Merrillville he met his wife and while attending IUPUI found his passion for woodworking.

“I’ve grown up here. It’s home to me. There’s just so many good places to travel and explore. Plus there's the Indiana Dunes and all the other beaches we have. It’s just a great asset to us, many people don’t think of traveling to Indiana but there’s more than just corn growing here. I love that there’s so many biking and hiking trails,” said Scates.

Since he was a young boy Scates has always had a passion for art. One of his favorite artists and also influencers was Jasper Johns due to his originality and creative ambitions. Scates favorite genre of art is surrealism due to its devotion to avoid normalcy and mix together both dream-like and realistic images. In the Region and outside of it there are many art museums, a few of Scates favorites are The Indianapolis Art Museum, The Fort Wayne Art Museum, and The Contemporary Art Museum in Chicago.

“I am an art advocate, I’ve always been appreciative of the arts. I love all types of art, even steet and outsider. It’s really wonderful to have so many museums right in our backyard. It’s cool to see modern art be apart of technology, I like it because it’s open and how it’s able to be apart of modern culture,” Scates said.

In consideration of woodworking, Scates found his passion for the craft while working for an art museum in his early 20s. Since he found this passion he’s made chairs, bars, and more. One of his most favorite pieces of woodworkings was the first ever computerized chair he made for Fluid. This chair was given the name A1 and still stands in the Fluid Coffee store today.

After setting up and opening the new Fluid Coffee location in Michigan City, Scates came across a volunteer group that helps underprivileged children through art. This organization is titled Fly High Youth and Scates and his wife have now been members for almost a year.

“Me and my wife started volunteering there because everytime we open up a new store, we like to give back and be a part of that community. When we heard about Fly High Youth it came natural to us to want to help them,” said Scates.

Thinking back out of all the places Scates has lived he knows that as long as he’s in Indiana he’s home and happy. As long as he has his wife, good art museums, a place to woodwork, some good hiking trails, and a place to volunteer, Scates is one happy guy.