Mission: Gather intel on the "Who's Who"
Goal: Help client host weekly parties in target subgroups to strategically launch new 2 level 245 seat restaurant.
My job does not suck.
The coolest part is that I used to work for these dudes, but as their corporate DOM. In fact, I built the monster spreadsheet that we've gutted to repopulate for my Salem recon. I got this.
So here's what day one looked like.
Coffee at Gulu Gulu - the de facto city center. Steve and his staff ROCK at every level. This place hosts business meetings over breakfast and serious coffee options, has the largest craft beer list in town, has live music nightly and even has crepes. The vibe brings me back to my Burlington, VT days in that professors and attorneys and college kids and mommies all hang here together in a harmonious hum that just says, "chill". Also, they just opened a pizza place next door called, "Flying Saucer Pizza" decorated in full fledged sci fi cartoon images from your favorite movies. And they have a bicycle delivery like a mini pedi cab. Image below.
My nephew, Zachary is the only person I know who actually understands my humor and has a mad talent for bringing me to "snarf craft beer out my nose" laughter. Also, he lives in Salem with his super talented artist/tattoo artist girlfriend, Ashlie. She has a tie-fighter tattooed on her leg. I approve.
P.S. find him at Scratch Kitchen
and her at Salem Ink.
Zak and Ash shared dish on everyone I need to know to create my list. Not the stuff you get from the Chamber guide (which has been useful and represents 300 of the names on my list). They know which mad coffee drinking poet is also an attorney, who the local witch doctor is and what's the scoop with the drama between the psychics.
So I bought them lunch. A chicken pesto crepe here, ham and brie crepe for Zak and a cheese and veg crepe for Ashlie. Plus, some of that great craft beer. Did I mention I love what I do?
We spent two hours kvetching Salem scoop. I know who the scary voodoo guy is, who hangs out at Howling Wolf, which local venues the industry folk won't frequent, the connections that the arts have to the business world and the ones the gay community has with everything Salem. I met a personal trainer who is a freelance writer and a restaurant reviewer and also a city councilor who was sporting a crushed up purple J Timberlake cap and pushing the mac daddy of empty baby joggers. Without their guidance, I'd have just painted him into the "colorful" Salem landscape in a tactile Heming-way and never have known what a boon his friendship would be to my project (and my life -He-llo we are the same person). P.S. the jogger is a raffle item for the Salem YMCA event being held at Lobster Shanty Sunday 6-8. It adapts to cross country skis (included) and sells for $900. I have no info on the purple hat.
Stuffed and slowed, we dropped my laptop in my car where a homeless man solicited a dollar from me. This is important because later, said homeless man asked me on a date. I'm not sure where we would go with only $1 between us. I admire his optimism.
Regardless, Pamplemousse is awesome-town for foodies and winos. Their hip kitchen apparatus is legit for chefs but cute and cool aesthetically. The wine and beer selection is worth the walk down and will definitely cause spontaneous consumerism and probably abundant consumption. They haven't yet made me yearn for citrus fruit. I'm admittedly a little hung up on this.
I spoke with the store manager, Beth Gerard, who of course had met my hosts at a craft beer event, aspires to vegan-ism, belongs to the same food writing group as my new friend, councilor Bill, knew ten people I knew, cheerily shared aspirations for her own run for city council and offered me both more of the Salem landscape and this lil' gem, "Salem is a quaint village...of 40,000".
I have a lot to learn about Salem. I am happily anticipating lots of days like this. I WELCOME your intel. I'll buy the coffee or craft, your pick. Just tell me what I need to know so this new joint hits the mark. Thanks.
See you in Salem.