C’mon Breweries [restaurants]

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I started my day off by heading back to Manhattan, KS. I had some time to work on stuff before my meeting. I met with Shely at Get Mean CrossFit who was open to sharing that her circle of trust around her, and the support and knowledge they provided was a large influence in her opening the gym. She has been striving to learn more through the years and understands the best process for her to move forward.

It was just before noon and I only needed one more brewery owner. I had multiple emails out but was lacking any response. I decided it would be best to leave Manhattan and seek more. I could go to Kansas City, KS or Lawrence. Lawrence was intriguing because my buddy has strong KU ties and he would mention the city. I decided I’d head there as there were a couple breweries I could try and move on to Kansas City as necessary.

There were two main breweries that showed up on google maps. Both seemed to have a strong focus on the restaurant approach. This makes it more difficult to talk with owners from my experience. It was early afternoon and I popped in one and had to leave information. I was determined to hit the other and then perhaps Kansas City.

Prior to heading to the next, I spoke with a friend who has provided great advice many times. He reminded me that each experience should be meaningful. It isn’t just about the meeting with the owner, but rather meeting with anyone I come across that should be meaningful. It should be a good experience and it is up to me to make it happen. He is more charismatic than I am, I thought, easy for him to say. Truly I knew he had good points and I needed to push myself. I was determined to make it better.

I went on to my next place and could speak with the General Manager. He tried to get the owner but to no avail. The General Manager offered to speak with me the next day if I was in town. I appreciated his willingness but I needed to speak with an owner, and preferably that day. I told him I appreciated his time and wished him luck on his busy day. Upon leaving their establishment, I found a sticker for another brewery I hadn’t seen, Lawrence Beer Co. I found something online with an address and figured I could walk the .5miles over.

As I was walking, I was determined to get my meeting. I thought the walk was a good idea, my car was in a sweet spot that didn’t require paying, and I could get the steps in. The temperature and humidity were both hotter than I realized as I built up a nice sweat. That wasn’t ideal but I wasn’t to be deterred.

I arrived at the location and saw some guys using a small tractor moving an air conditioning unit. I discovered one is the head brewer of the brewery and I chatted with him. He said the man to talk to was out of town but may be back in an hour. I gave my info and said I could wait around all day if I get my meeting. I was assured he’d relay the message. I gave myself 1.5 hours to wait before moving on. I decided to head to the library.

While walking, I came across an old library dedicated by Andrew Carnegie. This was neat as I know he did a lot of philanthropic work to build his reputation towards the end of his life, including many libraries. It was neat to see one. Now it is a center with some museum like stuff and room to rent out. I then went back to my car and needed lunch. I had a container of pub mix from a friend of mine and mixed in some chili lime almonds and peanut butter filled pretzels I got from some other friends. Well, my container was half empty (no, not half full, it’s empty and the food is leaving!) so I figured the only reasonable thing to do was to add some Costco trail mix to my container. Creating the ultimate mix of mixes. I only wish I had saved some of mom’s Chex mix to further add in. I proceeded to eat my delicious mix and then realized it was already a quarter if not a third empty! Dang mix.

My phone rang and Matt with Lawrence Beer Co said he could meet up. It would be in a few hours and lack of exact timing due to meeting with the city. I told him if he could make sure we met, I could stick around to whenever. He agreed.

I then went to the library for a couple hours. I had 2 hours of free parking. There was a small farmer’s market set up by the library. One person had fresh marshmallows, Dr. Pepper flavored. Everything about the sign peaked my interest, but I thought I’d pass. I saw someone with tomatoes and asked if I could buy one. They said yeah and I paid 50 cents. Then I had another 50 cents and apparently, the smaller marshmallows were 50 cents. So, I naturally bought one and it was interesting and good overall. I then went to the library to wash and eat my tomato. Figured it would be good for me and I like tomatoes for that reason.

Finally got some work done in the library and tried to set up some meetings. I had a place to stay in Iowa and another nice friend offered up their house even though they weren’t going to be there. “Iowa nice” I’ve heard it be called and that it was. Leaving the library, I decided to take in the town and came across KU. I walked around for a bit and saw the football field which was enjoyable as it’s always fun to see stadiums in person and recall when watching on TV.

My phone rang and it was time to meet Matt. He gave me an extensive tour which was interesting and inspiring to see the effort and vision they have. I wish I could’ve seen it completed, but perhaps that will have to be another experience. There are a few guys, all with different experiences that make for a great team. They are excited to be a key aspect of the Lawrence community and the town is already buzzing with excitement as well. Ken who will lead the kitchen was there and gave some input as well. The three of us went to a local spot for a beer and some light food. Afterward, Ken covered my part and Matt got me hooked up with a hat, t-shirt, and some stickers. Getting stuff is great, but it was particularly enjoyable at this point as they are about to become the reality of their vision and supporting that is fun. Quite a delightful experience, especially after so many emails and pop in attempts that didn’t come through at other locations.

I then started my drive up to Iowa but decided I’d sleep in a rest area in Missouri. It was 83 degrees at 11:30 pm. I figured it wasn’t so bad and had blasted the AC in the car to cool it down. I woke up a couple hours later warm and uncomfortable. I turned on my car for AC and saw it was 82 degrees and humid, even though my car didn’t indicate that factor. Just one of those nights. Instead of sleeping through the night I had a total of 3 naps basically and then headed up to Iowa.


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