When was the last time you were legitimately surprised speechless? That happened to us this past Tuesday. You, my dear readers, can attest - we've constantly talked about how cool Tallahassee is and how important a resource like the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce is to the small business community. We've strived to become more involved over the past 1.5 years and that came to a head this past Tuesday.
If you haven't already heard the news, we'll broadcast it out one last time (maybe) - GrassLands Brewing Company won the 2014 Entrepreneurial Start Up Business of the Year Award through the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce! #AMAZEBALLS! First of all, we were simply humbled to have been nominated for the award (Thanks Larry!). Then, we found out that we were one of three finalists (the other two being our good friends at Madison Social - a really cool restaurant/bar right on the back porch of Doak Campbell Stadium that seems to always be packed; and FitFuel Nutrition - a start up that provides college students (or anyone who wants 'em) with healthy meals on a regular basis). That's good company to have.
Saralyn, Scott & Gabe attended the chamber awards ceremony thinking we were going to be 2nd runner up in that category...and why wouldn't we be? We were up against two very successful start ups that were already in business and doing well - while we have yet to make one sale (for obvious reasons), let alone open our doors to the public. Shortly before the ceremony started, Saralyn leans in and says: "What if we win...do they want us to say something?" To which I (Gabe) replied: "I sure hope not, we haven't prepared anything!" Turns out, it wouldn't have really mattered because when they called our name as the category winner, we were totally speechless. I flubbed my way through a few thank-yous up on stage and can't really remember the rest of what I said, but the bottom line was (and still is) this:
We cannot say it enough how honored we were to simply be sitting in that room as a nominee, let alone the winner in a category that included such awesome businesses as Madison Social and FitFuel Nutrition.
We still have to pinch ourselves over the award. Afterward, I began to roll it around in my head: why us? What have we done to separate ourselves? I asked my awesome team and both Saralyn and Scott said - look at what we've done for the past 18 months...how much have we been involved in the community? How much have we marketed ourselves as a driving factor in Tallahassee promotion? I suppose it makes sense, but we're still completely blown away by all this. We're very, very proud to represent what makes Tallahassee so fun to live & work - and we're not done yet. Not by a long shot. We're excited to get official come September and prove the selection committee right in their decision to make GrassLands Brewing Company the start up of the year!
So now what? Onward and Upward! Make sure we get to see all your awesome faces this weekend at the Fifth Annual Pints for Paws event in Market Square! We won't be dressed in GrassLands garb, but our beer will be there! It's also time to finish up courting our investors and begin to make some serious progress toward the opening of GrassLands' doors to the public. The time is approaching with a rapidity that cannot be ignored!
With that, we'll leave you to it! Have an absolutely awesome weekend, my dear readers, because you most definitely deserve it! We hope to see you Saturday from 4-8!