Chapter Be hosted a fireside chat this past Saturday at The Big Wonderful with featured guests Kathy Lee of Modern Gingham Preserves, Patricia Chapman of Veree Chocolate and Sarah and James Howat of Former Future Brewing Company. We were blessed with a great fall night and a bright lights big city view as our backdrop. The highlight of the evening, though, was getting the chance to hear the stories of how these four self-starters began and pursued their own paths within the food and beverage industries in Denver. Each transitioned from a very different career path and they took the time to explain the steps they took to pursue something they loved – jam, chocolate and beer!
While each product is different, there were common themes between all the speakers which include the love to make people happy through food or drink, the need to be their own boss and dictate their own schedule and the determination to be the best at what they do. They were open and honest about the fact that it takes a lot of hard work and that they continue to learn as they grow. Another important point that was made was the need to keep things into perspective, through going outside and taking a walk to get a break, knowing when to start hiring people to create balance and making sure you don’t count the hours when you are working.
They shared their successes – BIG congrats to Former Future winning bronze in Experimental Category at the Great American Beer Festival – and their failures – having the freezer that stored all the Modern Gingham Preserves fruit die on Kathy’s birthday. As one of the attendees said to me at after the fireside chat – it was just nice to hear that someone else is going through the same fears and concerns that I am. It was wonderful to be able to speak to the attendees after the talk, hear their own stories and ventures and see how they could relate to the speakers. A huge dose of appreciation to everyone who came out!
The night ended with Sarah of Former Future sharing her favorite quote with me. It was the perfect ending to the evening…
|It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. – Teddy Roosevelt|
Point being – the most important thing is to just get in the arena and give it a try. I’m so thankful that Patricia, Kathy, Sarah and James made the decision to get in the arena – the world is better because of the delicious things they are making and the goodness that they are putting out into the world.
Images via Adam Larkey, Brian Bartlett, Stephen Moon and Jill Curry
*Check out the “Be ____” photo album on Facebook for more pictures of attendees with the Be Board!