Saturday, May 21, 2011

In Motion

I must get better at posting! So much has happened that it will be easiest to just list the experiences that have placed me/us where we are right now:

December: Do more research on Distilling and look for classes.  I sign up for a class from ADI and Bill Owens in Petaluma and learn enough to know I could use a partner.
December/January: Meet Chris Bollenbacher, Classic Cocktail and Infusion wizard Bartender from Serafina.  We find similarities and agree to work together.  Chris has moved to Portland but will come to Seattle to start this business.
December/January: Talk with my dear friend Kenny Carlson about partnering together.  He is interested and wants to also have a winery. I give him lots of books. 
February/March: I look at Still manufacturers and for my budget, order 2 stills from Hoga Company, Spain.  A 500 litre Absinthe Copper Pot Still and a 60L as well.  Chris and I are excited and I am also nervous. I am really doing this!
January-March: We spent time looking around Seattle for a decent location that would be most cost effective.  Nothing was fitting the bill.  Chris called and suggested looking in Portland as it was 25% less exensive per square foot on average:
March: Head to Portland to check out a few potential spots and we found one that will serve us well. It also has a vacant cafe.  Possibilities are opening.
April: We agree to take both the Distillery space and the Cafe Space. Location is 6635 N Baltimore Ave in the St. John's neighborhood in Portland.  Located right next to Cathedral Park by the St John's Bridge, the location is great. Built in 1904 as a wool factory, the large building houses 200 plus tenants for cafe business and its a hip, up and coming little 'hood.  We are excited.
May:  Just signed both leases for Pure Lush Spirits and Cathedral Park Kitchen.  Chris and Sara are running the Kitchen and the buzz is growing. People love the delicious fare that Sara and Fabian, our chef and friend, put out.  Utlizing fresh local ingredients and creativity, the neighbors are Happy!
May: Pulling together the legal papers for the liquor licensing process. What a large amount of repetivie paperwork! wow.  Thinking about hiring a professional to help with the distillery license so we don't miss anything and cause delays.
Cathedral Park Kitchen First Photos
ok--we're caught up and I will post more often with more photos!  until then, check out if you are in Portland and stop by for lunch or get information on our Secret Chef dinners, coming soon!

A bientot!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Bolt of Lightening

October 4, 2010: I had just visited with my friend Alpa and I was headed back to my car when I decided to stop in at the liquor store to pick up my proverbial bottle of Absolut--I don't care, I know its not the 'in' vodka but I like Absolut. It has a clean flavor, its a classic Vodka.  I walked in the door, noted who was in the store at 5.30 on a Wednesday besides me; the older man with the shopping cart, the UW jacket and the very red nose, making a mental note to not drink too much in older years--it doesn't look good and headed to the vodka aisle.  I picked up the Absolut Blue and was just turning to move to the check out aisle when my eyes passed upon an unusual bottle with a red fly on the front.  Then my eye moved out a bit and saw other bottles that were a little unusual and as I focused on the first one, I saw that it was from Washington state, and this other one, from Bend Oregon and another, with an odd picture of the back side of a woman and 'tail' in the name(what are you suggesting, btw?) made from APPLES and it was like I had been struck by lightening, all the bells and whistles went off and I thought--OMG! Its happening! Its TIME! cut back briefly to 5 years ago when I had returned from Wenatchee, home of the Washington Apple to lament to my friend Kenny that they were ripping out all the apple orchards to either build houses or put in vines.  I said, "We should make Calvados!, We are the Frickin' Apple State but not for long if they keep ripping those orchards out" and we laughed, talked and moved on with our lives. I mean, I wasn't looking for a career for me! I was trying to find something inspirational for Kenny--but I have always loved cognac, armagnac, calvados...etc...

Now, back to me in the UVillage Liquor store: I put back the Absolut, decide to try the Washington Dry Fly Wheat Vodka and head to the counter. Its $34 versus $23 and the guy at the counter tells me they make a whiskey that they keep behind the counter at $50.  I am wondering if this could my new life vehicle?  but BOOZE?  wasn't I trying NOT to drink? and I dont even drink that much and I am my worst target audience as I drink wine not booze but anyway--I paid, left and called Kenny on the way home. I have found my new passion!

more tomorrow...