Thursday, August 30, 2012

Local Inspirations (Part V)

It has been a little while since I last visited the topic of where I head for local inspiration.  Two recent outings instigated this post.


Belle Clementine: I think my first introduction was when I noticed a foodie friend check in on Facebook.  I had never heard of this place so I googled it and then added it to my restaurant to-do list.  It’s a never ending list btw with 73 destinations and counting.  Fast forward to my business partner and I having occasional discussions on the merits of communal dining, she spots a mention in the Seattle Times, and presto we have reservations.  We loved it. Our family style menu is included below and for $40 per person (inclusive of a glass of wine or beer AND gratuity)… I’d say this is the best foodie deal in town!

Canapé of herbed fromage blanc and house-cured gravlax
Lentil soup with pickled peppers and creme fraiche
Braised Stokesberry rabbit, raddichio, corn & chanterelles with aged balsamic
Rice salad with herbs and greens
"Cookies and Cream"

Beloved dish:  the rabbit, raddichio salad was to die for but the menu changes daily
Special detail: Owner/chef, David Sanford, invites you to join him in the kitchen as your meal is being prepared
Delicious drink: modestly appointed wine list with an abundance of tasty options

The Dray: For the love of beer!  This tiny and by tiny I mean less than 1000 square feet. Most of the local studio apartments are bigger.  But what it lacks in size it makes up in quality beers, snacks and locals hanging out there daily. 

Beloved dish: I really love their sandwich melts but my favorite is the extra-sharp white cheddar and turmeric pepper pickle relish on rustic whole wheat bread.
Special detail: dog friendly
Favorite server: Nico
Delicious drink: an easy dozen specialty beers on draught and a list of more than 80 in the bottle with show stoppers like Russian River’s Pliny the Elder (on tap as of last night) available.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Penny Profiler #42

For some reason the iphone flips all images!  

Erik Andrew.  His artwork was the medium for our friendship blossoming nearly a decade ago.  You can find his work at and in a few hot spots around Seattle.  This gentle and talented, shy at times, man is a self taught artist whose genuine persona will warm your heart. 

Buyer beware: once you crack that sweet shell, the hilarious and spirited side will rear its lively little head.  He has participated in some memorable debaucheries (thank god no photos exist of either of us) and provided me with wheels on more than one occasion when my car wasn’t worthy.  (Reference photo above – a ride came complete with pennies)

I am proud to have his art hanging on my wall and seeing sweet reminders of my dear friend every day.  

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Penny Profiler #41

Stewart & Jody Todd.  They were acknowledged in an earlier post for generously sharing an 1875 Madeira.  If that weren’t enough, I’ve got pennies added to the collection from this sweet duo.  Before taking a new job at Amazon, Stewart had generously put a collection box in his office for anyone to dump their extra pennies into.  

Although we’re practically neighbors, I’m quite certain that our paths originally crossed over shared interest in alcohol and likely at The Tasting Room.  Like so many others mentioned in these posts, Post Alley served my social life well.  While Stewart’s profession is geared toward the technical, there is a softer side with his poem of the month posts:

Friday, August 24, 2012


I mentioned this organization in the previous post of gratitude to my coach, mentor, counselor, and friend that has helped get this business off the ground. I realized that SCORE deserved its own post.

Refresher: Originally the acronym for “Service Core of Retired Executives” is now “Counselors to America's Small Business”).  Any business that is just getting started or any business that would like to improve upon its current standings should look into this outreach program at

They do not receive a single dime (or penny) for their time.  Classes are offered at a modest fee.  For example, I recently attended a half day seminar on Financial Statement Analysis for only $40.  It was worth every cent and minute of my time.

If you have an existing business that you want to grow, SCORE is for you.  If you have a business that you want to launch, SCORE is for you.   There is a pay-it-forward mentality in their offices that can’t help but ignite and encourage the growth of ANY business.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Penny Profiler #40

Ed Milan.  An acquaintance introduced us when I mentioned actually getting this bar off the ground.  Ed is a volunteer with an organization under the SBA (Small Business Administration) called SCORE (Originally the acronym for “Service Core of Retired Executives”, is now “Counselors to America's Small Business”).  Any business that is just getting started or any business that would like to improve upon its current standings should look into this outreach program at  Ed has coached from the outer reaches of the east coast and now Seattle is lucky enough to have him call her home.  He has coached at least 529 businesses owners in Seattle alone.  To say that I adore Ed would be an understatement.  He is the best coach, mentor, and friend a kid could ever ask for!  Grey Goose will be waiting fine sir!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Recommended Reading?

The stack of books around my house these days don’t quite measure up to the Harlequin summer romance spin for an easy reading line-up.

I have been looking at everything from design and layout features, management components, financial formulas, human resources, and much more. 

Nerves have kicked in like the old school days prior to test time. It feels like last minute crunching and studying for the big exam, only this time it’s an open book final. I know that I’ll be tested in more ways than I can count and all the rote knowledge in the world won’t help me in the practical tests.  My nerves are comforted by the resources available now, during, and after the fat lady sings.

Now where did I put that 50 Shades of Grey book?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Penny Profiler #39

Cynthia Nims & Bob Burns.  And honorable mentions to the late Marian Jane Nims along with Cynthia & Bob’s brunch guests that also threw in their two cents (or more).  I am not exactly sure how I managed to cross paths with these two lovely people.  I’d imagine it was somehow related to wine and food, a repetitive theme in my life.  Cynthia is a talented writer and has published some very worthy cookbooks.  Among my favorite are the Homegrown Cookbook Series, Gourmet Game Night, and her most recent, Salty Snacks.  You can find others at

Cynthia & Bob hosted a summer brunch that I was lucky enough to attend.  The spread of food and drink was impressive and it was a delight to cross paths with so many new people.  At the end of the party they sent me home with fresh Yakima Valley cherries and pennies - some they’d personally collected, some from the party goers and some they’d salvaged from cleaning out Cynthia's late mother’s home.  The history behind them is vague but it is comforting to know that Marian liked to collect things.  In her home it would be common to have an assortment of dishes collecting things she was fond of.  My home is like that too and I wish that I could have known her mom.  For now, I’ll take comfort in having a few pennies she touched and coveted for some reason.  

Monday, August 13, 2012


Ragnar was a 9th century Norse King.  He was also known to be a pirate, raider, conqueror, explorer and overall wild man. Fast forward to modern times and Ragnar is a national relay race that perhaps draws upon the tough, fearless, rugged attributes of this King. 

It is an overnight, running relay that makes testing limits a team sport.  (Check it out for yourself at A team is made up of 6-12 individuals; each running 3 legs.  The legs of the race vary in difficulty and distance, allowing the elite and novice to run together.  Over 2 days and 1 night, teams run across 200 miles of the country’s most scenic terrain.  Pair that with crazy costumes, inside jokes, and a memorable finish line party.  Some call it a slumber party without sleep, pillows, or deodorant. 
Late last month I completed the Northwest Passage with an amazing team of 4 other women and 1 courageous guy.

The race reiterated that while our individual work is critical, the purpose of partnership is to create something greater than we can create alone. Not because of any deficiency or incompleteness, but because each of us are unique, with our own talents and special abilities. In partnership we increase the efforts and talents available for creating something meaningful because we have harnessed the power of union. 

While I look ahead to our future crew at B&H, I take comfort in the skills and abilities we will each bring to the table and look forward to realizing what we can accomplish together.

Long live the Ragnar in all of us!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Penny Profiler #38

Kalindi and Jonathan Thompson.  Kalindi and I met awhile back when we were preparing for the London Marathon.  Our training later expanded into our hearts and souls at weekend workshops, mentioned in earlier posts.  Certainly a great base for a lasting friendship! 

A few years ago I was thrilled to be asked to officiate their wedding.  Melding two lives, a few religions, and several families was an absolute honor, to say the least.  Kalindi’s father gave them a container of coins at their wedding with a sweet dedication.  My dear friends decided that the pennies were worthy of re-gifting to my project and all 14 lbs. of them rode shotgun from San Carlos to Seattle on a recent road trip.

Once again, I am humbled by all of my friend’s sweet, sweet gestures and look forward to this floor’s construction.  I will be such a blubbering fool for its official unveiling.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Edit, Review, Repeat

A business plan is an exercise that banks require for those seeking funding.  It is a worthwhile and laborious process fueled by a lot of questions about intent, budget, market strategy, philosophy, and much, much more.

Currently we have 23 pages that specifically outline the following:

  • ·         Mission, Vision and Purpose Statement
  • ·         Executive Summary and Business Description
  • ·         Company Ownership
  • ·         Start-Up Summary
  • ·         Industry Analysis
  • ·         Market Location and Customer Demographics
  • ·         Competitors
  • ·         Operations and Management Plan
  • ·         Menu and Beverage Program
  • ·         Financial Summary
  • ·         Professional History
  • ·         Industry Endorsements
  • ·         Press Clippings

Each section is scrutinized and analyzed for accuracy, logic and sage business decisions.  The irony is that the data is mostly hypothetical.  Collectively we’ll apply all of the lessons we’ve learned in our previous roles but until this project is live, who knows how much of the plan will be used or whether we came close to the targets. 

We’re in final edits now and the next steps are to shop it around to various banks/lenders for pre-approval discussions.  They will also be testing us on the 4 “C’s”… Capable, Credit, Collateral, and Cash. 

More to report on soon.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Penny Profiler #37

Jerome & Ellie Fisher.  Oh the joys of lifelong family friends.  My dad grew up with Ellie in Ellensburg.  I’m quite positive that she’ll gladly admit she is a few years his junior.  Ellensburg was and still is a small town.  Census reports the population back then to be a little over 8,000 (circa 1950) and today it’s just over 18,000.  As a result of growing up in that small town and keeping some lifelong friends, my folks have come to share in some lasting memories with some great people and the Fishers are among them.  Embarrassing stories aside, I have to say, that while nostalgia is sweet, so is the notion that we’re afforded these sweet connections with these people through my adult perspective.  It will give me great joy to have people who saw me grow up sitting among the patrons at Brimmer & Heeltap.  At least, now I can’t get into trouble for talking to strangers.  

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Penny Profiler #36

Stronk Clan. My mother’s sister and family live about 3.5 hours south of here in the beautiful community called West Linn.  Some of my fondest childhood memories involved road trips to spend time at their lovely riverfront home.  The Willamette River taught me at an early age that if something was bothering me, I could only hang on to it for as long as it was in my sight.  Once the river’s current took it downstream and around the bend, it wasn’t mine to hang onto anymore.  While I don’t always practice this, I hope I can recount this valuable lesson when the doors open. 

My aunt and uncle have always been staunch supporters of both my education and career.  Hopefully this new endeavor will make them all proud.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Penny Profiler #35

Joy Bryngleson.  A wedding in Mexico introduced this friendship and her namesake hasn’t disappointed.  As the definition suggests:

joy (joi)

1 (a)  Intense and especially ecstatic or exultant happiness
   (b) The expression or manifestation of such feeling
2       an outward show of pleasure or delight: rejoicing

She’s the first one to dance with strangers, chat up the grocery clerk, travel the globe solo and meet friends as she goes.  I can only hope B&H has a fraction of the joy that Joy emulates!  Her penny delivery was no exception.  They arrived in recycled jars from the kitchen and my favorite was the picante sauce can.  The pennies smelled spicy.  Not a surprise given the deliverer.  I think her new nickname should be Joy+ Spicy = Joycy.