Dream To Do: Anne and Andrew Decker

You guys, going for your dreams and making them a reality is HARD WORK! From all these interviews with people busting their asses to make stuff happen I am learning and admiring. Dream doing isn't for the faint of heart. It's not a jog in the park in a polyester jumpsuit. It is a marathon in a really hilly city with weights on your back and feet and maybe even you are barefoot?? It is a roller coaster. It is thinking about your goals around the clock. It is being creative with ways to get started and moving. It is trying to get people to rally behind you when maybe you aren't even sure if its going to work out. It takes a certain bravery and determination that I think all people have but may have just not uncovered yet. I could go on but nothing will make you understand that running analogy like reading Anne and Andrew's story. 

We love what Anne and Andrew are doing to fulfill a dream of opening Landlocked Social House. Not to mention we love that its right here in Cincinnati! They are finishing up a Kickstarter and they are so close to their goal! We are so inspired by their hard work that we are going to give our profits from any sales from tonight until Saturday (**except the wildflower flag. I know, I know, but we can hardly keep them in stock to begin with..) from our online store to the Landlocked kickstarter campaign. Their campaign ends in one week, so make sure to check it out before you miss out.

***ALSO, WE HAVE SUCH A SPECIAL PLACE IN OUR HEARTS FOR DREAMERS IN THE KICKSTARTER FAMILY. REMEMBER 1.5 YEARS AGO WHEN DREW WAS STRESSED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HIS LIFE AND WE HAD A 3 MONTH OLD BABY IS NOW OLD ENOUGH TO SAY CRACKER AND WATCH SHOW... don't judge me ;)

But read about Anne and Andrew's dream below and check out their campaign or pick something up in the Parative shop to support them!

PARATIVE: What is your dream? 

ANNE: For the past 8 years I have been working in coffee growing my passion and knowledge and skill. Andrew started brewing beer with his friends 10 years ago and always was the go to guy on beer information and could tell you all about various taste profiles or bitterness contents etc. We met working at Starbucks which has always been something we explain to people when they warn us of working together as husband and wife. We work well together and through the years Andrew has taught me and shown me so much in the beer world and I have done the same with coffee. We realized very early into our relationship that we wanted to own a business together that offered the things we loved and served them in a way that showcased the product in the best light. To us supporting quality roasted coffee and craft beer is not just about taste, but it's also about supporting and working with people just like us, trying to make their dreams come true. These smaller producers are employing people and they know their names and faces and they care about their employees. This is how we want our business to be so to us it's a no brainer to support others that are doing the same thing. Through our years working various service industry jobs we realized what we most enjoyed about the worlds we worked in was all the people we got to know. We wanted to own a spot that served the neighborhood with quality coffee and beer and to be able to hire employees and treat them well and help them grow and learn more about coffee and beer. For us the employee aspect is a heavy one because we have been in that role for so long and we are so excited to create an environment where our staff feels they have a place where they can grow and learn but also know that we are excited about helping them in whatever way fulfill their passions. 

PARATIVE: Love that you guys work together as husband and wife. I don't know if its because we are a family business ourselves, but I have always been drawn to families working together. What are some actions you've taken recently to fulfill your dream? 

ANDREW: We jumped into jobs that we knew would help us learn and grow. Anne knew that Press Coffee Bar in Dayton was one of the best around and that learning and working there would benefit her in the long run. She stayed for 4 years and became the manager. So through her time there she not only learned about coffee but also learned what makes a shop run smoothly. I worked at Eudora Brewing Company where I taught people how to brew small batch beer and also working behind the bar as well. I learned how to talk to people on the full spectrum of beer knowledge and make them feel comfortable and at home at Eudora. Both of these experiences lead to us feeling more and more confident about our dream of running our own operation. One fateful day our friends Becki and Jeremiah Griswold aka owners of White Whale came up to Dayton to spend time with us. It's impossible to hang out with Jeremiah and not talk about your dreams so of course that's what happened. In the building they own and operate White whale out of they had a second storefront available and asked, what's stopping us. We had been asked that a couple times and every time learned a little more about what it takes to open a business. This time though we felt a burst of confidence and felt it was the right time to jump in all the way. The neighborhood the space was located in was exactly what we were looking for and we felt confident that this was the spot. So we did it, being the kind of people we are we put in a 3 month notice to our employers. They had helped us so much and we thought it to be fair. The reactions were just another step of reassurance, they were not surprised and were rather excited for us. It was the first time that we felt it was a gentle closing of a screen door rather then the slamming of a giant wooden door. They believed in us and wanted to help however they could. Quitting our jobs and being "unemployed" was a very new thing to us, scary at times but the idea that we were working towards our dream made it worth every minute of it. 

Now here we are almost a year from the day we quit our jobs and moved to Cincinnati. We have hit so many hurdles as you do when opening a business and being completely new to the scene, but with every hurdle, one of us would look at the other and say, we have got to keep moving forward and we have. Some of the roadblocks were more expensive then the other or more exhausting then the other but the need to run our own place and meet new people and serve the neighborhood has grown more intense. Sitting at a bar down the street and hearing someone ask the bartender "when is Landlocked going to open" gets us fired up! The last hurdle we have left is of course money due to all those hurdles. We have decided on going the Kickstarter route because it's a great way to find out who is excited and get people excited about our dream while inviting them to be a part of It. 

PARATIVE: Sounds like a wild ride and so exciting when you invite people into it with you! Love that you are pushing through and your Kickstarter is so close! What does your dream look like in 5-10 years? 

ANNE and ANDREW: Well going off of what we said earlier about being a great employer and having growth in mind for our employees in 5 years we would like Landlocked to be able to function with us being more behind the scenes. We envision a staff that has from day one understood that if they want to be more involved they can and we will make that a reality. The best functioning shops and bars we know are the ones that the owners have allowed someone else to take the reigns after quality training and time so that the owners can begin to grow and work on more projects that either enhance the business or something completely new. We hope that by the time we hit 5 years of being open we have a few members on our staff that take pride and ownership in our business as much as we do. 

Now the specific projects that we would like to work towards range. We would like to have a small batch brewing operation and we already have the brewer in mind. Our idea is to brew small batches and do limited releases at Landlocked exclusively. 

Another dream is to open a sister shop in a far off place. This would be a 10 year dream for sure but Anne being from Germany and us spending our honeymoon there for 3 weeks we really fell in love with the various cities we visited but also the coffee scene was incredible and the craft beer scene although just starting out has become amazing in a very short period of time. The dream of opening a sister shop is definitely in our minds, we are just not certain where and when. We have to see first where Landlocked Social House 1.0 takes us and then grow from there. We have definitely learned from chasing our current dream that things happen and we must be willing to be flexible with the events life throws in our way.

Drew Oxley