From Texas to Texas Township, the Apple doesn’t fall far from the Tree0
It's been a year and a half since Texas Corners Brewing Company opened its doors...and business has been steady and growing. Andrew Schultz, General Manager of the operation is both pleased and proud of his decision to move back home and be part of this new family venture of more than your average microbrewery.
Andrew left the family farming business-Schultz Fruitridge Farm to pursue a new career path, but leaving behind a 65 year old fruit farm rich in family history wasn't easy. Andrew had his sights set on college and leaving town for a different experience. After graduating from Michigan State University he landed a positon in purchasing with the Nestle Corporation in Dallas, Texas. But after being away from home for a while he came to the realization that the people he was still most connected to were part of the MSU Alumni club. Interesting right?
Then the 'opportunity' presented itself. The Schulz family had found a location to house their hard cider business as well as provide locally sourced, made from scratch food for the residents of the community. The little white church formerly known as 'Christ the King' in Texas Township rich in its own history, would be that location. Schultz now had a reason to move back and as he put it, "to have the opportunity to build something from the ground up and be part of something big." He didn't disappoint!
The brewery now has over ten of their own craft beers and hard ciders, many of which are also carried and sold by local retailers around town. Their farm to fork concept has been well received, and they are believers in using farm-fresh product from local farmers, including their own farm with items such as the bison meat for a fabulous bison burger that is on the menu.
Handcrafted, artisan cuisine is apparent on a menu that changes with the seasons. Their homemade chips are made fresh daily, and the Three Brothers IPA battered onions can't be missed! One major change however, has been their shift in focus from a date night spot to a more family-friendly, every week dining establishment. Tim, the kitchen manager for the microbrewery, describes his food as "what people are familiar with, but with a twist."
Schultz adds, "My hope is that with our $5-$25 price-point it will make patrons think of Texas Corners Brewing Company as a place to come for all outings including happy hour, for special occasions and anything in between."
As GM, Schultz has a favorite aspect of his job and that is the relationships he develops. "I like to employ people, local people...college students, mothers...the relationships I have formed are very fulfilling." And with the mantra of "FAMILY, FRIENDS, & COMMUNITY," his job is pretty amazing. Think about it you… can't go wrong with great food, incredible cider and beer, and awesome people.
Curious as to what Andrew might say to his younger self about life after graduation, it was interesting to hear him advise, "don't stop moving; continual education and community involvement is important". He also felt that being involved in extracurricular activities helps enrich both your personal and work life- how wise!
Regarding careers that involve start-ups, Andrew was fortunate to have four generations of family to lean on for support. But if you aren’t lucky enough to have that legacy in your own business, he encourages you to find a mentor who can be a guide. Schultz was also quick to say, "don't give up, and DON'T GO IT ALONE. Be passionate and persistent. Surround yourself with a good support system. It is possible!"
So how does Andrew feel about the Kalamazoo area since he decided to move back and make it his permanent home? "Kalamazoo has a lot going for it- craft beer, the art scene, Western Michigan University and the people in Kalamazoo support local."
Stop by the Texas Corners Brewery Company soon where beers are brewed for one purpose…to be enjoyed by all; and the handcrafted food does not disappoint!