When you ask the hard question, and get the hard answer.
Every huge project starts with a question it seems. But sometimes, we don’t want to hear the answer. To take a hard look at something you have poured everything into and come back with the answer - “it could be better” - is definitely not the answer you want to hear.
And yet that was the answer to a question posed as our team prepared to find our first location out of state. The question: Does our brand, top to bottom, represent who we are and what we do accurately? To someone maybe not as understanding as our neighbors, our friends, our church? Someone, like another community entirely that has no idea about our passion for food & beverage? No idea about our commitment to giving the suburbs a foodie option for the whole family?
“It could be better.” Yikes. Where do we start?
Building the team.
We had never used a designer for our other stores. It seemed scary. Would they understand? It felt too personal. But when you realize “it could be better,” suddenly all you care about it is how to make it better. And the how, is really the who.
To say we all clicked would be an accurate representation. Our meetings for 18 months were full of ideas, ponderings, answers and sometimes just more questions. Jeremy Slagle of Slagle Design, Christine Meyers of The Verb Garden, and the Design Collective team Brent LaCount, Laura Kageorge & Matt Toddy, were our design team. We are so incredibly grateful for how well they listened and the thoughtful work they all produced.
All the New.
New menu, website, online ordering, reservations, uniforms, interior decor elements, store design, menu formats, branding, merchandise, new store and who knows what I’m even missing.
So. Much. New.
But what’s not new is who we are. Food & Beer and, more precisely, the pairing of the two is at the core of what 101 Beer Kitchen is all about. Whether you start with our seasonal, chef-driven menu or with your favorite brew, we'll help you find its perfect complement. Our philosophy is that learning "what goes with what" is fun when it ends in delicious results, and our hospitable and knowledgeable staff is committed to making sure every experience you have with us wraps up with a full heart, a satisfied stomach, and the joy that comes from partaking of old favorites and discovering new ones.
So much new, but it feels so good. Like cleaning that closet you’ve been avoiding or organizing that sock drawer - but way way better.
Thank you to all who have been with us at the start of our 101 journey 7 years ago and now as we continue to build and grow our 101 community.
Yours in Food & Beer,
Jess, aka “Mama,” aka “Non-Ops”