Category Archives: CAFE

Entrepreneurs’ Cafe

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View from the Galt House, 24th floor looking Eastward over Louisville, KY.

Sunday last week I split town for Louisville, KY, 200 miles straight across I-64 west (oh those beautiful fall colors on the hills!). The ABC Kids Expo was very informative, and the company I kept was delightful. I shared a hotel room with a natural parenting shop owner from my hometown, and her four year old daughter. We filled each day to the tippy top with meetings, vendors, and social-business events. There wasn’t any sight seeing, bike riding, or much sleep.

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The empty shuttle bus I took from the Hotel to the Expo. Efficient?
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Industry reception at Live on 4th! downtown Louisville. I was content to wonder around for water and scout for desserts but the company I kept insisted I attempt to defy some sort of broken genetic condition and move at least my foot to the deafening music being poured down from the stage. I was a good sport, but good golly, not my cup of tea.
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Our hotel. Swanky.
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Up for sunrise everyday.
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Apple Cheeks diaper reveal ‘party.’ A new pattern was unveiled at the show by the ‘diaper fairy.’ These folks are fun. Meeting the families behind the products was humbling and inspiring.
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What sort of tool was this? Motorized trike with out a saddle, not quite a Segue. Perplexed. Seen inside the Galt House.

Twelve hours after pulling in the home driveway and dragging my sample products into the house, I presented my business concept and my plea for some start up funds to a small group of lunch time supporters. Huntington recently started Entrepreneur Cafes. This lunch venue allows three business owners to present their ideas for 10 minutes each, and the dining guests vote on the idea they want to see be serviced by local company donations and the cash taken in for the meal. It is straight forward, and a great opportunity to make connections and generate ideas, as a presenter, or an attendee/diner.

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I filled my large Thirty One utility tote with my things and put them in Brent’s GoGetters (a perfect fit), since we now have the PeanutShell on my Yuba (more on that later), and the legs interfere with cargo space. In my dress slacks, wedge heels and some light cold weather accessories, I slowly made my way across town. I wanted to arrive glistened, not sweaty. The bike parking was a sad situation, but I did spy a rack at the business next door. I was tempted to park there, but the access was complicated, and there were warning signs and security cameras. Not sure what business it was, but they didn’t seem welcoming to a wayward bike.

20121022-094302.jpgLocking my bike to itself in front of the main doors felt good enough for today.

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We all know how frugal I am by now, right? When the woman signing people in asked if I wanted lunch, I saw it as an option and declined. I knew I wasn’t going to be paying to vote (it’s $15 total, $5 for the meal $10 for the vote) but to walk out without paying to drive, park, or eat…well, I felt pretty good. My expenses in Louisville were low too, taking advantage of comped meals, groceries I brought, drink coins provided by vendors, and sharing a hotel room.

The first two presenters at the Cafe were marvelous. They had notes, they were articulate, professional, organized. I was not. I had a really great executive summary with a short bio, all on one page for conciseness. I knew so many people in the room, who were sent by someone who supports my idea, or came to support me because they know me, and they want to see Kith & Kin Junction alive in Huntington. There were other people I knew there as well, because this is a small town and I have lived here six years, and others I knew only by Facebook groups, email communications or phone calls. It was great to meet everyone. There was really no reason for me to be tripping over my own tongue and changing colors like a chameleon, or going from glistening to the clammy sweatiness I became. I just don’t present well. One on one, no problem, stand up and speak to the room, not so much.

Despite not presenting well, the vote fell in my favor. Thank you everyone! What does that mean? I recall I am eligible for some consulting services, a print banner and some money generated from the lunch, but the details have not been sent my way as of yet. Once they are, I plan to pounce on my paperwork and wade through the beginnings of opening a business. Scarey stuff, but it feels good to be here.

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L to R: Thomas McChesney with Huddleston Bolen (a sponsor), me :), Ursulette Wells with Unlimited Futures (the organizing agency), and Gail Patton also with Unlimited Futures.

After the meeting, I high tailed it back home and dragged my drenched self upstairs so Brent could get to work. He missed class one day while I was gone because Oliver developed a fever and some respiratory issues. Then he stayed home so I could present and not take the germ factory to lunch. He has been so supportive of Kith & Kin Junction, but neither of us are certain how this two working parents thing will play out. It seems to be you or me right now, and not both and all, or us.

Speaking of both and us, Brent and I are taking the Amtrak to Charlottesville, VA on Friday. Without our children (or our bikes because of the lack of roll on service for the Cardinal line). This will be our first time away in nearly nine years. We have very few dates as it is (all our dates have been posted on this blog in the last year, can you recall many?) My youngest sister is coming down to stay with the heirs and we are adventuring off to somewhere we have never been and where we don’t know a single soul. I have a light optional agenda picked out (theatre, walking tours, art galleries, cyclocross race) and can’t yet find any affordable bikes to rent ($55/day per bike is not affordable!). If you know anyone, want to meet up, have suggestions, etc., I’d love to hear! We might be going out alone, but we really do like company.

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Breakfasty bike date: Recycling, CSA & River and Rail Bakery

When we set out to reduce our driving I made a chart of the places we go and the alternate ways we could get there. One of our driving issues was the recycling drop off. We typically would take our items to the stream recycling bins in South Point, OH, which we would have to drive to. We then discovered a recycling bin on 6th Avenue downtown that was located in the parking lot were we pick up our CSA. During my reduced driving phase, I would take out recycling on Tuesdays and pick up my produce at the same time. When we decided to park the cars I signed up for curbside pick up but discovered the service did not accept glass or cardboard.

Running up to a porch requires someone to hold the bike steady with Oliver in it, or take him out.

Dropping off our cardboard and glass.

During the month of August we have been asking a friend and our share partner to pick up the CSA and we have been holding our glass and cardboard in the basement till I could muster the organization to get it to the bin on 6th. Today was the day. With the three older children in school I knew Oliver and I could take out recycling and pick up CSA using the iBert for Oliver and the trailer for all our cargo. Brent came along for company on his way to work so we turned the whole affair into a date.

Locking up at First Presbyterian for CSA pick up.
Lewis, the farmer who provides all the CSA produce, was bagging and unloading when we arrived. He said the heat shriveled his entire fall crop of cabbage (5000 plants) and cauliflower (2500)! We certainly thanked our farmers!

Heritage Station

Brent hauled his gear and the trailer and I took Oliver in the front seat carrier. This was a good use of our physical strengths and bike abilities. His bike is better suited to haul. Something I need desperately to fix, as I am the one who has more time for errands.

This morning was very chill and foggy. Fleece for Oliver and jeans for me. I think some of that fog seeped into my brain because a mile or so after we left home I realized I forgot my helmet.  I used Brent’s and left his head unprotected (we joked it was because the life insurance was higher for him). Later we discovered I forgot to put the flag on the trailer when I converted it from stroller to trailer this morning. Some days are like that.

Recycling dropped off and the CSA picked up, we took advantage of our downtown location, reduced child accompaniment and smidgen of extra time Brent could spare, and headed to River and Rail Bakery at Heritage Station. Perfect breakfast date for us. Cinnamon roll for the boys, mocha for the parents, both shared unequally on the outdoor patio. Tonight River and Rail is hosting the CAFE dinner, something we won’t attend this time, but wanted to let you all know about.

Inside River and Rail Bakery

A lending library

Brent got a hold of my camera.

More shops at Heritage Station

Riding home we came across the PATH mural project on 10th Street at the via-duct. A dozen volunteers were busy painting a scene to reflect the people of PATH in Huntington. I don’t know how long folks will be painting, but they need more volunteers.

10th Street via-duct heading south. It was blocked to traffic, but we meandered through on our bikes to thank everyone and snap a few pictures.

Brent did accompany us home as well. He lugged Oliver and the produce back just so he could get his helmet and see us safely in. I am very happy he did. I love his company and that’s what makes every time we spend together a great date.

Miles Walked: 2 Biked: 23.9 Bused: 0 Drove: 0 This week
39.7 136.8 12.6 399.9 Since August 14, 2011
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