This weekend I had the chance to take the Peach Cheesecake Ranch on the road.
I helped plan and cater the amazing Mary-Beth Frerichs' “special birthday” brunch. She gathered 25 amazing women together to launch another year around the sun.
You might be thinking, hey, isn’t The Ranch a physical event and meeting space in The Gorge? Well yes, yes it is. And the Ranch is me, I am the Ranch, so where ever I go, it goes too.
Here’s the back story. Mary-Beth attended my Take Action Retreat in June, the Council of Visionary Business Builders edition with Michael Knouse. She came to get some focused time to work on her growing coaching and consulting business.
A few weeks after the retreat on a Monday morning, I was doing my weekly planning and was thinking about my business development prospects. How can I bring more people to the space and how can I create lots more meaningful experiences for them? I had the thought, I’m going to have to think outside the box to attract more of the opportunities I want.
A little after lunchtime that day, Mary-Beth (also known as MB) called me and started the conversation with, "I’m not sure you do this, but I really loved the food you served at the Take Action Retreat, would you consider catering and helping me plan my birthday party?" OK universe, here was the perfect outside the box opportunity. I immediately said heck yeah!
I went to MB’s amazing house in the Bridlemile neighborhood of Portland to get the lay of the land and talk about what kind of experience she was shooting for. We ironed out the Brunch menu and agreed I’d set up an Evite event to manage the invitations. Mary-Beth has a lovely collection of dishes and serving items that are delightfully illustrated with cute little people holding hands. Since we were going to serve all of the food on those dishes, I thought we should use them as the main design element for the invites and such.
Fast forward to Saturday, August 24th. After plenty of planning, lots of cooking and wrangling a super duper moist gluten-free carrot cake that was being held together by a lot of cream cheese frosting, the big day was here.
The women arrived. Coffee, mimosas and bloody marys were drank. They feasted on blackberry breakfast bars, yogurt, granola, berries from the ranch, blueberry muffins, deviled eggs, avocado toast with all the fixins’, carrot cake and peach cheesecake.
Women from all parts of M-B’s life gathered, made introductions, shared stories, participated in a decades-old tradition (leaving your mark on the underside of the dining room table), had meaningful conversations and offered a whole lot of love support. It was magic.
What I learned from getting outside of the box:
- It reinforced why I’ve created this space called the Peach Cheesecake Ranch. It’s not all about the space, it’s more about the ability to create the environment for people to come together and share in the positive feeling of community.
- We need to stay fluid with how we offer our gifts and talents to the world.
- When we gather a group of strong, heart-lead women the positive energy is palpable.
- No matter where I go to create experiences, there are a lot of dishes to do.
How have you thought outside the box recently? I'd love to hear about it.