kendall kennedy.

Although I cannot recall the exact day, it was fall of 2014. I had recently moved to Detroit, Michigan to open another HopCat and it was another day of hiring for the December 2014 open.

Hiring is a tad boring y’all. You meet people for 8 hours a day and try to decide if they are worth the 5-10 minutes you spend interviewing them. A very large handful of the staff we hired for HopCat Detroit were simply amazing and I loved looking back on their interviews and remembering who they were then vs who they became as my best friends.

I will never forget calling Kendall back into an interview room. She was a bundle of long blonde giant curly hair and she had all the enthusiasm in the world. Upon sitting down she presented me with a letter she had written on not just why she wanted a job, but why she wanted THIS job at HopCat – Detroit. There were 10 bullet points, one of them was that her father inspiring her love for beer and she wanted nothing more than to work for a company with a passion for beer.

Sold. Done. Hired.

She reminded me so much of who I was when I interviewed for HopCat, became part of the HopCat family and shared the same passion for not just a bar job, but a company with heart, soul and a ton of love for beer.

As a manager, it was forbidden to establish a relationship with an hourly employee. (I do not pride myself on breaking rules, but breaking this rule for Kendall was the best decision I ever made)

We decided to take a trip to the original HopCat in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It was one of my very rare days off and I simply asked if she’d like to join me to go see the HopCat motherland and spend some time on Ionia Street in GR. If you would have told me then we would be the friends we are today, I would probably tell you that you were right.

Love at first sight may not fit us, but love at first cheers does.

Kendall and I established a connection through a mutual experience currently happening in our 2014 lives and were able to take each others friendship, loyalty and experiences to help ourselves grow every day.

My strength, my courage and my honesty with friendships comes from people like Kendall.

It could be a month, a year, or 23 minutes since we last spoke and we will pick right up.

I recall a particularly painful time last summer after moving to Denver, I called Kendall and without hesitation she said “I think I’ll plan a trip out there,” I asked what made her say that and she said, “You just sound like you’re having a hard time.” She knew it in my voice, she knew it in my cracked smile through the phone and she knew it because she is the most loyal of friends.

One constant theme in California was that our trip would have been completely different, completely less extraordinary had it not been with each other. We focused on ourselves, on our friendship and on two bomb ass females basking in the glory of each others changed lives.

It is rare you meet someone on the same playing field as yourself in terms of positive energy, vibes and overall goodness, and Kendall and I found that in each other.

So cheers to you, Kendall. Cheers to us. Cheers to the lives we have created for ourselves and cheers to the fact that I will be here no matter what, no matter where and no matter when. Thank you for being who you are and accepting me always for who I am. You are my true partner in crime and partner in this beautiful life!

Stories I cannot publicly write about but should be acknowledged:

  • “We’re not from around here!”
  • Cherub
  • Green Machine
  • Tooth.
  • Third Street bathroom
  • My 26th birthday at The Works
  • Hot tub after hours
  • San Fran hostility (pun)

I adore you!

Always,

Kelsey

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