Megan Hess, owner of Sunset Mesa Funeral Directors and Delta Funeral Home, saw an unmet need about a year ago and decided to launch Colorado Cremation.
Located at 746 East Main St., Colorado Cremation offers the backing of the three-tiered operation of Sunset Mesa Funeral Homes, Delta Funeral Home and Colorado Cremations, for less.
“Colorado Cremations is a simple, basic, dignified cremation service,” Hess said. “Whereas, my Sunset Mesa operation is a multimillion-dollar business.
“Colorado Cremation offers a simple service, but it’s still dignified. Any family that needs funeral or cremation services — burial or cremation services — we can accommodate them. The niche is simple, dignified and basic. The building is simpler, the entity is simpler, too.”
Hess manages the operation from her office at 155 Merchant Drive in Montrose, a new building that serves those customers who want a more traditional place for a funeral.
“As time goes on, there is a certain niche of people who still want everything that Sunset (Mesa Funeral Directors) does,” Hess said. “But there is a group of people who don’t necessarily find value in going to a multimillion-dollar operation. They find value in something that is just a cremation, so that their loved one is respectfully taken care of, but they either don’t wish to have a service or funeral, they may not want to meet with a funeral director in person — they’d rather do it online. There is a niche for keeping things simple, but keeping them proper. That’s what Colorado Cremation does.”
Asked about the difference of the services, Hess didn’t balk.
“I want people to know,” she said. “I want people to know they can get a Colorado Cremation for $695,” she said openly.
Hess said the Colorado Cremation experience is something that is tailored to those who want basic, solemn, dignified services with few extras.
“Families can do 100 percent of their business on that website,” she said. “They can go on, they can pre-plan, they can pick out their merchandise, and they can pay. They can do everything right on that website. We’re happy to help them along with their process. They just want it to be simple. It’s not for everyone, that’s why we have Sunset. Not everyone is the same.”
Hess said plans for Sunset Mesa Funeral Directors start at $995.
“People want to know, so I tell them,” Hess said. “I don’t hide anything.”
Hess said she is able to offer the lower cost cremation because she owns her own crematory, located at the Merchant Drive location.
“Because I have my own crematory, I control the cost, and I control the environment, the timing,” Hess said. “Whereas, some larger funeral homes have a crematory, other smaller operations do not. They can never afford it.”
“Why go to someone who owns their own crematory?” Hess asked rhetorically. “Because then you know you’re getting your loved one’s ashes back. The funeral director oversees the entire process, we control the timing — we’re not waiting for someone else to do it — we’re performing the cremation, and the most important thing is, their loved one never leaves our care. They never leave our family’s care. We’re family-owned and operated,” Hess said.
Hess has 12 years experience in the funeral-home business, having worked elsewhere before she started Sunset Mesa Funeral Directors in 2006, added Delta Funeral Home in 2012 and Colorado Cremation in January.
“Business is excellent,” Hess said. “I really care about my people.”
To reach Hess at Colorado Cremation, call 249-1130 or visit the Colorado Cremation website at www.coloradocremationinc.com.
Alan Lewis Gerstenecker is news editor of the Daily Press. He can be contacted by calling 252-7039 or via email at email@example.com.