This month marks the beginning of our fourth year in business at Out of the Blue. It is amazing how time flies when you are having so much fun. My life has always been filled with talented and unique people and fortunately that lucky streak held for me when it came to opening this shop. Please indulge me a moment while I thank a group of special people that made it all come together for us.
Denise Wright: Truly one of a kind. When I met Denise I asked if she could deliver architectural renderings of a complete kitchen in under 24 hours. She said,"sure." I should have asked for something harder, but I am sure she could have done that too, so I guess it didn't matter. Not only did Denise design the kitchen, she designed the entire look of the shop from the lighting to our red door counter. Thanks Denise- for all the laughs, wine notes, ideas, and even the Barry White records!
Tommye Sigerfoos: Yes, there really is a Tommye Sigerfoos...and guess what? She is married to Tom Sigerfoos! Now, you know I could not make this stuff up right? Anyway, our original web presence, our cool faux painting in the kitchen, and our history of hiring beautiful and talented people started right at the beginning. Tommye hasn't worked here in years, but I think she still has her keys!
Sheri Berry: Something else I will always be grateful to Denise for is introducing Sheri to Out of the Blue. Not one day has gone by that Sheri and I haven't cracked up laughing about something. Not only is Sheri so much fun to be around, she has the wonderful ability to make everyone feel welcome and such a part of what we are about.
Sarah Cole: Sarah stepped up to the plate the day she started, filing the holes that Tommye and Denise left when they moved on to other opportunities. It was a relief for me not to panic outwardly during that transition because that was when we began filming a TV show in the shop.
Enter Hans Rueffert: Food Network star and Food Guru of North Georgia. I met Hans and that was it. The Chef and the entire film crew of Cameraman Hiutt Rabel, Adam Chastain, Chad Crowe and the Studio Monkey became my little brothers. Every Monday we would crank up the Capresso Coffee Center and make lattes, laughter and a HUGE mess that I had to clean up! It wasn't long before Hans realized my favorite cooking shows had no cooking!! Sushi please.
It also wasn't long before Hans, ETC and Out of the Blue won three Telly Awards for Hans Cooks the World. A huge honor and an opportunity that sent Hans to the next level- a bigger kitchen, a live audience and his own television show on Georgia Public Broadcasting. Good work Hansi...thanks for the press.
Spinning off Hans cooking show brought local Chef Libby Stewart into our shop. Trained in France, and the East Coast of the U.S. Libby is the original Slow Food Movement of the region. Libby has made us a must stop shop for goats cheese and great cooking classes and her latest successful effort is the start-up of a Farmers Market right here in Blue Ridge. I am proud to know you Libby-way to go!
Dave Mason and Bill Slater: The two greatest wine reps in the Georgia market. Being a self taught oenophile, these two guys took me around the world in wine so I was able to bring obscure offerings from almost every country right to your table in Blue Ridge. It matters to us to deliver the extraordinary to share in your family via the celebration of wine and food. These two gentlemen have helped us do that.Here's to you both!
In a beautiful shop like Out of the Blue, you need an artist on staff that understands color, design and style. Enter Susan Van Veld-sweet and sophisticated (although not so much as the name implies) Susan keeps the shop at the peak of daily compliments as the most beautiful and unusual in the area. Always going the extra mile, her passion for life is reflected all around her.We are grateful to share the light.
Always last but never least, thank you Linda for everything you have encouraged me to do to accomplish what we have over the last 18 years. Because of all you do for me, I am able to enjoy every aspect of this opportunity we call Out of the Blue.
Thanks to you all.