The phone was ringing and it was late in the day. Sometimes, after a long day at SAME, I just don’t feel like answering another phone call. I looked at the caller i.d. and it said “Rock Bottom Brewery” and I thought to myself, “What could these people want?” Curiosity got the best of me and I answered. The gentleman on the line introduced himself as Bill Wallace from Craftworks Breweries. He wanted to know a bit about SAME Cafe but seemed in a hurry. He asked what our kitchen was like and I thought to myself, “That’s an odd question.” He also wanted to know if he could come and take a look at our kitchen the following morning. I told him I’d meet him at SAME at 10.
Not knowing what was about to happen, I hung up the phone and told Brad that the phone conversation I just had was one of the oddest calls I had ever recieved at SAME. The following day, we met Bill here and showed him around our primitive kitchen. He saw that we boiled water in an electric skillet. He also commented on the fact that we served about 100 people a day with no range or cook top. He told us that he wanted to nominate us for a kitchen make-over with RFMA Gives. We couldn’t believe our ears. We had dreamed of having a commercial kitchen (a real commericial kitchen) for years but could never afford the upgrades to the building. He said he was going to bring in some engineers to take a look at the space and see what he could do. About a month went by and we didn’t hear anything. To be honest, we got a little discouraged.
Then one day Bill called again and asked if he could come back with some folks to see what the space was going to need. He did that and the following month, he stopped in and asked if we could talk to someone on the phone because we had been chosen as “Finalists”! We were so excited! Come to find out, the RFMA board voted the night before and we had been chosen unamiously. Bill’s sense of humor is hilarious! I smacked him in the arm when Tracy Tomson, Executive Director of RFMA told us on the phone that day that we were getting an entirely new kitchen. Then, of course, I burst into tears of joy.
Brad and I were overwhelmed and still are at the generosity of RFMA and Bill Wallace. Since the day we found out about the project, Bill Wallace has worked tirelessly to see our new kitchen come to fruition. He showed up every time a new piece of equipment arrived to place it in storage until the construction began. He drove daily from Lyons, CO to Denver to oversee the job site and coordinate all of the workers and volunteers. He continues to follow-up with us as the punch list of small items that need to be finished get completed. Bill even missed the conference in Las Vegas to oversee the project. This man works so hard for projects he believes in and we can’t thank him enough for all he has done for the SAME Cafe community. Bill, you will hold a special place in our hearts forever! Thank you for your generosity, your dedication to this cause, and your friendship!