Friday, August 31, 2012

Coffee Date 6 - Leon Khameson

Coffee Date 6

Leon Khameson

This was a turn in coffee dates, so far I have only met with small business owners.  Leon doesn't own a small business, but after meeting him, I definitely consider him a creative.  Also, he was/is the first person I've met for these coffee dates that I knew ZERO about before meeting (I like to do my research).  He was recommended to me by Silvia of Carpe Diem and well, that was good enough for me!

Leon is a sushi chef at a Tsunami.  I only start with that because it's food.  Leon's passion is food, and it's obvious.  (I love foodies).  Leon and I see eye-to-eye on what it means to have a good time.  Food, friends and family.  I like to add wine and board games in that mix.

I've never tasted any of his food creations, but it would seem he has some talent.  Later that evening, he was praised because there is a Leon Roll on the sushi menu, and this girl loves it.  Literally, she said so at least 5 times.

We ended up talking for 3+ hours, I lost track.   He told me his life story being originally from Laos and how he ended up in Lafayette, LA.  If you meet him and he's up for telling the story, I'd encourage it.  He spoke of food recipes and restaurants he enjoys.  Life abroad and other travels.  A possible food blog he may start, which I definitely encourage.  Leon recommended I watch "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" - which is now on my to-do list.  It was wonderful to have great, interesting conversation with someone my age.

After talking about food most of the coffee date, we went to Jefferson Street Pub.  Apparently they added gastropub, which is like really good food made for the bar.  I didn't even know it existed till Leon recommended it.  Come to find out, I knew the chefs, C.J. Pothier and Robert Sandberg.  Last year I went to a dinner hosted by The Underground Supper Club.  They were two of the four chefs that cooked for us.  That was an amazing dinner, these guys know what they are doing.  So when I found out that they were the cooks, I knew no matter what I go, it would be delicious.  I ordered the fried pickles, which were actually speared and breaded differently than any I had ever tasted.  Leon had the deep fried pimiento cheese balls.  For the main dish I had the special of the day, which was a black eyed pea soup with some french bread.  Leon ordered the shepherd's pie, which was tasted like home.  I plan to go back to try more!

After supper we parted ways, but I have a feeling it will not be the last time I hang out with Leon. ;)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Coffee Date 5 - Thomas Peters

Coffee Date 5


    Thomas Peters - The Lab

I find that one of the most difficult aspects of owning your own business is picking out the name.  How do I encompass everything about this business in just a few words!  Well Thomas and Pam Peters hit the nail on the head.

The Lab
Handcrafted Coffee & Comforts
Taste and Engage.  

It matches their place perfectly.  The Lab - Thomas says he is constantly experimenting.  How fun is that?  When you go, you can always expect new flavors of the Cold Sweet Cream.  For those that have never been, Cold Sweet Cream is it kind of a blend of gelato/ice cream and it is amazing.  They have a wonderful atmosphere.  I love the open windows constantly letting in daylight and the assortment of different seating options.  It's a beautiful open space, that is very inviting and comfortable.

For this meeting I went there and had a Green Tea and a croissant.  Both were delightful.  I made a point to tell Thomas that I had been to Paris for a Study Abroad program and I had croissants there everyday.  These taste identical to those, I literally felt like I was back in Paris for a moment.  Now my mouth is watering and I'm hungry for one.  

One aspect of this business that I found interesting is that it's a Husband & Wife company.  I've always love hearing about couple-owned businesses.  Really, I'd love to be a fly on the wall for a while and see how couples manage a business and personal life.  Thomas says they have a great relationship and are able to use each other strengths to work as a unit.  He said you also need to remember when you walk in the door (of your home), that you need to drop what's happening at work.

I questioned his response towards naysayers.  Instead of ignoring them, he always wants to hear them out.  If they think his place won't succeed, then he wants to know why not.  I think that's awesome.  Though for myself, if it's not constructive, I have a hard time listening.  Although I mentioned doing my art full-time and someone said "oh, so you can be poor the rest of your life."  A stigma that really erks me.  The comment annoyed me, but at the same time I wanted to question why.   At that moment, I was too busy to get into it, but I will find out later.

I asked if he keeps a positive group of people surrounding him.  Instead of saying positive people, he said he likes to have well-balanced people in his life.  Since no one is truly positive 24-7.  We are all human, and all have stuff going on in our lives.  I was kind of blown away by this comment.  So simple, but yet it did.  I realized this much more realistic and more of what I want in my life.  So instead of me saying I want positive people in my life, I want well-balanced people.

So happy I had the pleasure of sitting down with Thomas.  He is a cool, laid-back guy, that is really easy to hang out and chat with.  He's always at the coffee shop so stop by and get something tasty and say hello.

Also mentioned them a while back in Shopping Local

Check them out on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.
They are always posting photos that make me want to go!

The Lab
  • 1042 Camellia Blvd No. 6
  • Lafayette, Louisiana 70508  
  • 1 (337) 889-5782

Mon - Thu:7:00 am-9:00 pm
Fri:7:00 am-10:00 pm
Sat:9:00 am-9:00 pm

Friday, August 3, 2012

Coffee Date 4 - Silvia Bertolazzi

Coffee Date 4
 for the 30 Coffee Dates with 30 People Project


    Silvia Bertolazzi - Carpe Diem Gelato

Carpe Diem - Gelato & Expresso Bar is amazing.  Locals, if you haven't tried it, you are truly missing out on something fantastic.  Leave your house or work and go get some gelato, STAT!

For this meeting, I was enjoying the Blueberry Tea.   Deeeeeelicious!  Not only is the product wonderful, but it's the atmosphere.  Silvia has put together a team of fun, hip, super nice workers, which she calls her family.   They create a pleasant environment that makes you want to go back again and again.   A simple Italian-infused, cozy place that after a while, feels like a home away from home.

I wonder how many more adjectives I can include in this one writing to express how much I love this place?

Seriously, amazing team, amazing product, amazing atmosphere!  Now, I can officially say that Silvia is just as amazing.  Silvia radiates life and positivity.  She believes in the words Carpe Diem! - "Seize the Day."  She lives for her passion and you can tell she loves what she is doing.   She is one of those people who "fill your bucket."  (Reference to How Full is your Bucket by Tom Rath - great book.)  By that I mean, she leaves you feeling wonderful, rejuvenated, and inspired.  I try and make a point to surround myself with these types of people, they are positive, uplifting, and usually overall great people.

I asked if she had any advice to give to me about pursuing my business adventures.  She encouraged me to follow my heart and my passion.  Ignore nay-sayers and pursue your dreams. Your heart will lead you on the right track.  Jump and take risks, if your passionate about what your going after, it will work out.  Silvia mentioned that it was also a mindset.  Instead of saying "I hope this happens," say "this will happen."  I agree, I've started to really push myself towards the positive mindset, but I still think there is room for improvement.  She also recommended the book "The Secret," which I instantly added to my must-read list.  Sooner than later. (I literally stopped writing to add it to my Amazon cart and ordered it.)

Something I learned while meeting with Silvia is that she actually has a business partner, Erik Graveson.  I have been hanging out with a friend lately, who is all for collaboration.  The more I think about it, and learn about it, the more I think I would really enjoy collaborating with someone.  I reminisce on college days, we all had our studio desks and could easily walk to each other, share our ideas, and get feedback (something I miss terribly).  Someone to have bounce ideas off of, helping out, and the support of not being in it alone.  I can see a partner being extremely beneficial.  She said you must trust that person, because making a business together is like a baby.  It needs a lot of attention and commitment from both parties.

Overall fantastic meeting!  She's given me more motivation, a brighter outlook, and inspired me to continue to pursue my passion.  She's a wonderful person, and I'm so happy I had the pleasure of meeting with her.  Now go get some gelato!

To learn more about Silvia, check out this amazing video of The Passion Series. It's truly beautiful.