L-R: Mike Utley, 22 years; Bob Trader, 7 years; Scott Carlson, 26 years; Vivette Perry, 11 years; Neil Stone, 22 years; James Heckathorn, 2 years; Carl Wertzberger, 17 years; Liz Ramey, 12 years; Steve Linn, 12 years. Photographer: Duane Tinkey.
Q: How would you describe your team?
A: We are a close family, brought together by a passion for our industry, co-workers and guests. We work hard and have a lot of fun making people happy.
Q: What do you love most about Greater Des Moines?
A: The people, duh! The cliche is true you won’t find nicer, harder working people than right here in central Iowa. We are fortunate.
Q: What’s special about your career?
A: We all like to have fun and really enjoy entertaining our guests. If you’re happy, we’re happy.
Q: What do you love about your career?
A: Making memories. The original meaning of the word restaurant is “to restore oneself.” People come to us to forget about life for a while. What we really sell are “feelings.” When our guests leave us all they have is a “feeling” and we want that “feeling” to be great.
Q: What are some guiding principles you all have used in your career?
A: Showing empathy. It’s much harder than it sounds.
Q: Who do you consider mentors and why?
A: Our co-workers and our guests, they teach us everything we need to know.
Q: What is a fact about your team others may not know?
A: Our longevity runs deep in an industry that normally burns out quick. Our family of restaurants include Court Avenue Brewing Company, Americana, Gilroy’s and The Iowa Craft Beer Tent.