Started From The Bottom Now We Here! (A Road Block)
Canton Board Of Appeals Hearing
Sadly today we will be talking shop! No playlists, no super cool features of neat drinks or places to check out. We are going to share nothing but raw emotion and going to bring out the realness. Our current situation is dire. March 14th 2019 at the Canton town hall we had an appeals board hearing on what we thought would just be our Tenant Improvement permit hearing. To our surprise it was actually the whole shebang, the hearing was to cover ALL OUR PERMITS! Those include food, alcohol (beer), and entertainment.
The abutters (immediate neighbors) were present along with the board and chairman and being shot live on television. You can say we got nervous super quick as I am camera shy, and I had no idea what topics were going to be covered at this hearing.
We have felt nothing but love from Canton but yesterday was a totally different feel and that had us really fearing the future of our livelihoods and Church St. Brewing Co. It began with a quick walk through of the flooring plans and describing the type of business we'd be running in the beautiful town of Canton, Massachusetts. Shortly after the floor was open for discussion by the rebutters, that is when we began to feel the heat. There was legitimate concerns and we listened with open minds. Amanda and I humbly appreciated the feed back but some issues were we felt due to their lack of understanding what it is to be a young entrepreneur trying to make a living, building a brand, and keeping a roof over our heads for our growing family.
The nano-micro brewery scene is not like what you see in Road House with Patrick Swayze (God rest his soul <3 ). Breweries old and new are a show case of the American dream. Creating a product to bring people together through the artists hard work.
All the breweries that we have had the honor of visiting and even touring, have pride in their build outs, costly investments and many throwing everything on the line to make their dreams come true. This is a place where families gather and bring their kids, where pets are welcomed and respect is given to the brew masters, beer pourers (bartenders) and the community. Breweries are where people can unwind responsibly, connect and network without the presence of hard liquor being a contributing factor of fast intoxication.
Yesterday the concerns of our fellow neighbors were great enough to push for a continuance in the hearing and determination of the future of our already at risk company.
Risk you may ask? Is Church St. in trouble? No we aren't in trouble, we are actually growing, but we need the space to grow both for our production of kegs for our nitro cold brew coffee accounts and to also show case our craft by opening our very first brick and mortar. The investments have severely impacted our finances, we have the community who invested in us through our Kicktarter because they believe in us. So why can't you just open as a coffee bar? We believe that there is something beyond unique about crafting your own beer. Our fearless, boss lady, co-owner of Church St. Brewing Co. Amanda Bonanca is one of a very few brewmaster ladies in the field trying to bring attention to women empowerment. We have heavily marketed that we are 100% behind her while she works full time as a paralegal and mom. If we are only denied the brewing of our beer, then Church St. will be another coffee shop in an already cut throat market. Offering both beer and coffee under one roof certainly would be a one of a kind experience for coffee snobs and beer lovers alike. This would also provide an honest living, job opportunities and much much more!
Church St. began as a side hustle. I was making cold brew at the office at a company that sold fitness equipment. Experimenting with natural and raw ingredients and making a coffee that was truly enjoyed by my coworkers. Rumor spread fast about the cold brew I was making (in my basement apartment) and gyms and local shops were asking for samples. I literally was running to Walmart and buying mason jars to fill and then driving all over to deliver them. I was then invited to do pop ups where I was basically selling these jars to help make ends meet, to purchase more materials to make my product more appealing and to buy better equipment so I could produce more. Two years later down the road Amanda became a huge part of what was now small business investing her time to sling coffee with me and she decided to help purchase equipment to legitimize our business and gain a presence in the coffee biz in MA. One thing led to another and we began getting accounts where we were producing kegs of nitrogen infused cold brew coffee and shipping bottles all over the US. We traveled to events in Maryland and New York and ALL over New England. We both decided with how cut throat this market is, we had to set up a home base where people can come watch us create our craft. Last year we signed a lease at 28 Draper Lane and began making serious sacrifices. "Go big or go home" definitely applies in our case. So here we are now, a year later with many set backs beyond our control and now we face a problem that could determine if we make it or not.
You may ask, how can we help? A letter written to the town of Canton, Board Of Appeals would help, expressing your thoughts. Canton residents can come by our next hearing and have their voices heard on March 28th 2019 at 7 pm at the town hall second floor. We truly need your help. We appreciate the concerns of our neighbors and the Canton community. We care about the quality of life and the safety of the people of Canton!
We thank you all so much for taking the time to read this. Below we will bullet point the concerns made by our next door neighbors.
- Noise. We are applying for an entertainment permit. That does not mean we will have massive staging and sound systems set up like at Gillette Stadium at a Aerosmith concert. Local and small! We are aiming to have only acoustic appearances. Local, local, local, local.
- Alcohol. This is a beer license. Which does come with a wine license. We do not plan on serving wine and we only plan on serving our own beer in house. Meaning no hard liquor or other soft spirits. Due to our artisanal craft, price is a huge influencer of what type of crowd that will be coming in through our doors.
- Crowd, again due to our pricing of our handcrafted beer and specialty grade coffee, we expect to be getting an older mature audience and customer base. Our staff will be strictly trained to keep an eye out for any disorderly behavior and outside activity. Our location has a guard station in which security is present 24/7.