When do you press the start button?

You know the hesitation you feel when you hover over the “send” key on something really important? You can’t take it back and you want it to be perfect? That’s been my dilemma with my new business.

I’ve literally walked on hot coals, started three businesses with two babies at one point, created successful events for thousands of people from scratch with all the challenges mother nature and county and state regulations could throw my way. I’ve studied and traveled in unfamiliar surroundings, I’ve visited the markets of Marrakesh, road horseback with no experience around the Pyramids of Egypt with some very questionable guides, removed my mask and the regulator that was tightly clenched in my mouth for dear life on the ocean floor to get scuba certified, sea kayaked and camped my way island to island through the Virgin Islands and Belize, enrolled in intimidating culinary courses at both L’Academie de Cuisine and at the Culinary Institute of America just so I could communicate intelligently with chefs, and most recently, quit a great job to follow my next calling which was returning to my culinary and entrepreneurial world in some very questionable economic times.

So, with all that courage or stupidity, when do I press the start button on my next venture? In my younger days as long as my “gut and vision” were in sync, my very sophisticated business strategy was to just dive in and figure it out! Somehow, with a bit of sweat, it actually worked. Maybe I’m just a little older, more cautious and want everything just perfect.

It took traveling down the historic scenic highways, byways and some seriously bumpy back roads of Virginia doing my research when it became abundantly clear. Why does this road even exist? Who envisioned clearing a path in the first place? Who created that farm or Estate and planted those seeds or hillsides of seemingly endless grapevines? Who builds a restaurant and Inn far away from the populous? Do they know what their harvest will yield? Will their restaurant be full, and their menu never change?

My new venture is following, promoting and creating a business around farmers, chefs, winemakers, brewers, distillers, artisans, B&B’s and Inn keepers who have a plan but nothing is guaranteed. They are growing somewhat organically, still creating and still evolving. So, to honor all those who planted seeds figuratively and literally, with a vision for the future, on this Earth Day, which also happens to be my birthday, without further ado, I present you Forks, Corks & Kegs LLC!

My mission and vision statement has always been that “I am in the business of producing smiles and creating memories”. And in this case hopefully some delicious ones.