It’s hard to believe just a few months ago, this place was empty and we were still rigging up - shall we say - creative? ways to get tanks off pallets without the aid of a forklift.
There were many, many days where it did not seem like we’d reach the finish line but with TONS of help from our friends & family, we got it done. We will be forever grateful for: Pete H., Steve & Marissa, Chris & Emily, Dave & Meg, Marty & Karen, Paula & Hal, Cyndi & Steve, Jeremy, Dave & Christy, Pete L., Jim P., Jen R., Chris K. and many, many others who helped along the way. We couldn’t have done it without you.
We are also incredibly grateful to our Stiltwalker Club & Mugless Club members for putting your faith in us so early on. We hope to continue to grow the program next year and offer even more member benefits. And we are also deeply appreciative of our loyal regulars who have made Luppoleto a part of their weekly ritual. We are so humbled by your support.
If you’ve been following us a while, you know this is just the beginning. What we started in 2019 is just the simplest version of Luppoleto which we believed could still deliver a quality customer experience. We’ve always had big plans for Luppoleto but not a big budget. So we borrowed a page from James' software past and decided to strip down our plan to the absolute minimum; the MVP (Minimum Viable Product), in order to get from just an idea to an actual, operating business.
The space between nothing and something, between the idea and the execution, has been written about extensively and represents the largest expanse in the path of an entrepreneur. This chasm often seems impossible to cross. Like talk, ideas are cheap. Getting in the trenches and actually doing it – that is the really, really hard part.
So far, everyone we’ve talked to said it was harder than they expected. We agree. It’s unsurprising in hindsight. Very few folks with an accurate view of what’s involved would take on a new business venture.
Everyone thinks they are better prepared. At least we did. And we were wrong.
It seems that most entrepreneurs set out to cross this chasm with a blend of planning, persistence, optimism and ignorance. Planning helps foster optimism. Optimism pushes you to take the leap. The tough reality requires persistence to push thru the harder-than-expected work. All the while, ignorance (itself a form of optimism) gives you hope to continue. You think it can’t be this hard the whole time. This was just a small bump in the road, the rest should go smoothly. And so it goes until you are so committed to making this thing a reality that you stubbornly pour everything, every last bit of energy, time, and will it into existence.
Now, this real thing: Luppoleto MVP, was not exactly what we had once dreamed. The first chasm is between idea and execution. The next is between what you made and what you hoped to make.
We are proud of what we accomplished but there is a long way to go. We believe we can eventually reach our full vision but it will be a slow process of improvement layered upon improvement.
Which is all to say, what Luppoleto is now is good start, but we hope it will grow to become much, much more.
Here are the steps we hope to accomplish in the next year or so to improve the Luppoleto experience.
Once we hire some folks to help out in the Taproom, we’ll be able to expand our hours a bit. We’ve been talking about this for quite a while now – and actually conducted some interviews – but we were the ones not ready to pass the baton. It was only after the fact that we realized we hadn’t carved out enough time to develop the appropriate training materials for new hires to ensure a consistent customer experience. So the Employee Handbook is really priority #1 sigh the boring truth behind why we aren’t open more hours.
We’ve been exploring lots of food options behind the scenes. Food trucks are definitely a part of the warmer weather plans but there are a lot of moving parts & approvals that need we need to get sorted out before we can develop any sort of regular schedule. But never fear, expanded food options are on the horizon!
Based on the positive feedback for the Live Music experiment we tried a few weeks ago - and now that we have some of the licensing issues sorted out - we’re working on building a live music calendar for the new year. If you are interested or know someone who is interested, please check out our Live Music Form.
Aside from Live Music & Food Trucks, we are hoping to introduce some game nights (or afternoons), plus our own spin on Trivia, Beer Education & fingers-crossed maybe some meet & greets with beer authors. We are still in early planning stages of this but have some cool stuff in the works.
We have a lot of extremely knowledgeable friends in the brewing industry who are eager to teach basic & advanced beer courses. We are still working out the details. More soon…
We are working on building a small gallery wall along the back corridor of the brewery. We want to setup purposeful exhibits showcasing local artists, local events and local businesses. And we also hope to connect this to the Connecticut charities we support as proud members of the Windsor Locks community.
We also have a series of internal efficiency, equipment and beer quality improvements on the docket for the new year.
Will we actually deliver all of this in 2020? Absolutely NOT. If this process has taught us anything it’s that (a) everything takes longer than you expect (b) we can only focus on one big thing at a time. So if you want to help shape our priorities in the coming year, let us know where you’d like to see us focus.
These items are generally in the order we think will work best but we’d love to hear from you.
Thank you for making 2019 unforgettable & cheers to making 2020 even better!
Saluti! ~ Jen + James
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