Good Connections

Plug in at Dropin Redding…

Hey, Techie! How’s the bandwidth out there? Not so good? Download speeds tying you up? Uploads got you down? Got you so frustrated you want to haul off and…? Well, there’s now a place you can go for all that, in Redding, just a phone’s throw from 299 and I-5. It’s called Dropin, and co-founders Greg Ramsey and Brad Rostocil invite you to do just that.

We’re talking 250/250 Mbps of fiber available 12 hours a day in clean, modern office space, whether you want a
table, a soundproof booth or a conference room. You can hardwire to the ‘net or link up with secure wifi. You pay only for what you need, by the hour or the month. And speaking of hours, that’s all the time you need to do the work that now takes you days at home.

“We have people come in with Apple devices, which have huge updates. Sometimes someone will have as many as eight devices at a time. That would take a day for them to do at home, but it only takes an hour here,” says Ramsey.

“One customer, a photographer, says it can take her 12 hours to upload her photos, but at Dropin it takes only 55 minutes.”

“We’re here for anyone who needs a place to go. Internet in the outlying communities suffers quite a bit,” says Rostocil. “We see traveling professionals, too. Like, we have someone making a documentary come in occasionally to upload 1GB portions to the cloud.”

Ramsey calls his come-and-go crowd “remote workers,” and estimates they make up about 30 percent of his
customer base. Often, they just touch in at Dropin, then pursue plans of a more recreational nature. “They will come up Thursday night, work a full day in our space Friday and spend the rest of the weekend searching Shasta County,” he says.

Rostocil sees the locals who frequent Dropin contributing to Redding’s economic community, as well. “We provide a place for their ideas to grow legs,” he says. “We have at least a handful of contractors who roll their plans out on the table here before submitting to the city.”

The two founders found each other years before Dropin, first meeting at church during a shake-handswith-your neighbor moment. They and their wives were fast family friends by the time Ramsey came up with the idea for Dropin. His friend happened to be in transition, ready to take up a new business project.

Ramsey calls it a solid partnership. “He has what I don’t and I have what he doesn’t have, so that makes for a good fit,” he says. “I’m a civil engineer. I design, build things. He has more of a background in business.”

In fact, a background in business management. “I found the idea intriguing. I was not aware of the need,” his partner recalls. “I researched, worked the spreadsheets. We started looking at the market, traveling around the state. I read a lot of good articles on the subject. You have to wear all the hats to start a business.”

“The idea was that professionals don’t work in coffee shops,” says Ramsey. “It’s noisy, there’s interruptions. We moved in next door to a coffee shop, leased two units and tore out the wall in between to open a big office space. We consider ourselves to be a third workspace for people who work at a home office or a corporate office. We’re somewhere in between.”

It wasn’t until Dropin actually opened its doors two years ago that they realized the networking opportunities offered by their efforts. “It was a mistake to think this was only for tech workers,” Rostocil muses. “Pretty soon we found business owners coming in. Everyone wanted a place with really good internet. We created a diversity.”

Customers include students, attorneys, engineers, project managers, coders, start-up owners, even a handful
of doctors.

One of those doctors is also an inventor. Neil Louwrens owns a half-dozen patents, most clustered around his invention GownUP™. “Gowning up is cumbersome, and some workers go without wearing a gown,” explains Louwrens. “I came up with a more streamlined process that takes just a few seconds.” He chooses the soundproof booth at Dropin because sometimes his business can be highly confidential – or loud.

Rostocil likes how the networking led to partnerships between those of common interests, business professionals or young entrepreneurs planning their first ventures. “Greg and I both have a passion for seeing people rub shoulders like that. We’re like gatekeepers, pointing people in the right direction. They are surprised to find someone with the same interests. It’s a great thing to see.”

Ultimately, he hopes people who Dropin will find an inspiration there to pursue their goals. “Working separately but working together creates a synergy,” he says. “You see others working and you think, starting a business, there’s a lot to figure out. I’d better get to it.”

Dropin • 155 Lake Blvd., E., Redding • (530) 483-8880
Monday- Friday 7am-9 pm • Saturday 8 am-6 pm• Closed Sunday •

About Richard DuPertuis

Richard DuPertuis is a Redding grandfather who writes. His stories and photographs have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online. He strives for immortality not by literary recognition, but through diet and exercise. He can be reached at

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