A dream came true in downtown La Porte Wednesday evening as Twisted K-8 Brewing held a ribbon-cutting ceremony officially opening its brick-and-mortar location.
Over two dozen people packed the new brewpub at 610 Monroe Street for the ribbon cutting. Husband-and-wife ownership team Michael and Kate Boshaw cut the ribbon and then got straight to work – Michael headed to the kitchen and Kate went behind the bar. A small staff waited on tables while other patrons bellied up to the bar.
“It’s kind of overwhelming,” Michael Boshaw said, a smile stretched across his face. “The crowd … for opening has just been incredible. Hopefully everyone likes the beer and the food and everyone has a good time.”
Twisted K-8 (pronounced “Kate”) Brewing was serving five varieties of beer and a few entrées – including hot pulled pork and cold roast beef sandwiches – with plans for the menu to expand with more options for both brews and grub. The brewpub is locally sourced, included cheeses from Fair Oak Farms and meats from Sims Meat Processing. Growlers of Twisted K-8 beer can be purchased at the brewpub and refilled for a discount.
The Boshaws have seen their dream come true, a revelation that likely wouldn’t have happened without assistance from the Greater La Porte Economic Development Corporation (GLEDC). Knowing they wanted to open a brick-and-mortar location in downtown La Porte, they reached out to GLEDC for help.
Spearheading the effort to help the Boshaws was GLEDC Kim Ramsey, GLEDC assistant development director, and Tiffany Bley, downtown director for the La Porte Chamber of Commerce.
“Tiffany … and I obtained the specific information regarding how many square feet they’d need, what utilities they’d be using for their type of business,” Ramsey said. “Then we took them around to the downtown properties that were available. We attended site visits with the local relators or the property owners. We narrowed it down to two on Monroe Street – 610 or 612 Monroe Street.”
The Boshaws settled on the Monroe Street location, and Ramsey and Bley helped reach out to the property owner about what kinds of changes would be made to the building to make sure the owner was on board.
“Once they secured the agreement with the property owner, we at GLEDC helped [the Boshaws] schedule the site review committee meeting … just to make sure that what their plan was that what their vision and plan was for the brewpub would actually be acceptable for that location,” Ramsey said.
Twisted K-8 Brewing is a small-business success story for GLEDC. The corporation wants other entrepreneurs to be aware that GLEDC is there to help all La Porte businesses.
“Our focus is on economic development in the city of La Porte and to make the city of La Porte vibrant,” Ramsey said. "We want all businesses to feel like La Porte is the place where they want to be. We want to present a very business-friendly environment.”
Ramsey wanted to encourage any small-business owner or entrepreneur to take the same initiative the Boshaws did and approach GLEDC for help.
“GLEDC has an open-door policy. We have a fully staffed office and we always encourage entrepreneurship,” Ramsey said. “We definitely encourage small businesses and we want to let the community to know that we’re here to help connect the dots. We just want them to know that we’re a resource available to them.”
Like many other large and midsized cities in Indiana, La Porte is focusing on development in the downtown area – and Ramsey hopes the Twisted K-8 Brewing success story can motivate other entrepreneurs to seek out the downtown area.
“I think that downtown is really the entryway or the gateway into La Porte. If we can get sustainable businesses to move back into the downtown, we can create a vibrant, stable environment that is inviting to other businesses,” Ramsey said. “Success breeds success. We definitely feel that the downtown area is seeing some new and exciting things happening.”
The Boshaws were thankfully to GLEDC and the Chamber of Commerce for all of the help they had received while working to see their dream come true.
“Kim and Tiffany both have been just excellent with all of the support they’ve given us,” Michael Boshaw said.
Ramsey grew close to the Boshaws during the process and was excited for the brewpub’s opening – and for the future.
"We're really happy for them. This is something that they're passionate about. They started out as home brewers and their goal is to have a great brewpub for the people to experience their product," Ramsey said. "We're really excited that they reached out to us and that we were able to be a part of this and we wish them great success. We're fully on board to support them and hopefully the community will do the same."