Always Andersonville: The Podcast – Show Notes for Episode 146 with Ricky Lee Barnes of Meeting House Tavern

Today David and Nate are joined by Ricky Lee Barnes, the Director of Marketing and Programming at Meeting House Tavern here in Andersonville. Meeting House Tavern is a unique, LGBTQIA+ gathering place that offers multiple types of interactive and passive entertainment as well as domestic beers, refreshing drinks, and great music. Ricky Lee Barnes played a key role in the reopening of Meeting House which successfully begins business July 1 at 5025 N Clark!

Listen to Episode 138 with Ricky Lee Barnes!

Top podcast highlights and where to find them (by timestamp):

1:15 – Ricky begins by telling David and Nate about his background with marketing and social media and how he got to Meeting House Tavern. 

4:40 – Barnes discusses what Meeting House Tavern looks for when looking for entertainment. He explains the interactive events like trivia and karaoke but also tabletop and traditional games.

8:24 – Ricky reminisces about his favorite event prior to covid and the three fan-favorite events Meeting House Tavern plans to bring back!

10:30 – Listen in to hear Ricky talk about all the ways you can enjoy what Meeting House Tavern has to offer, especially post-pandemic. 

14:12 – Ricky explains his experience with Meeting House Tavern’s inspiring actions of providing warm meals for service members during the Pandemic. 


“That, I think for me, was one of the turning points where I really understood what Meeting House Tavern is and what it could be.”

17:45 – Ricky shouts out Wil Velez and his Chicago-based group @allies_with_brushes that recognizes social justice issues through art.

18:30 – Ricky explains the thoughts behind the full-color spectrum painted on the stairs you can see from the street and while you are walking around the venue.

“I think there is something special about having a permanent reminder that you are welcome here.

21:30 – “We wanted to create a place to meet up with friends or make new ones that are designed as a social gathering place for the community. We wanted it to be a space that was an LGBTQIA+ space where everyone felt welcomed.”

23:00 – Ricky plugs Robert Retolla (Vibe Daddy) and shouts out his hard work behind the scene creating the perfect music and vibe for Meeting House.

25:24 – Ricky explains what additions were added throughout the Meeting House to recognize the pandemic precautions so that customers will feel and be safe.

26:27 – Nate asks about what goals or events that Meeting House is looking forward to! Tune in to listen to Ricky’s exciting response.

29:03 – Ricky explains the new CBD seltzers now available at Meeting House Tavern! He continues to explain more alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink options now available!

29:50 – Barnes even goes into detail about the drinks he is excited about bringing back both signature house drinks to your classic drinks.

35:30 – Ricky explains the opening date of July 1 at 5:00 PM and what Meeting House has in store all weekend long!

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“I think there’s going to be a line, I’ll be in the line! Just kidding, I have keys I’ll be in there”

36:52 – Tune in to hear our rapid fire questions to wrap up the podcast! Questions include: What is your favorite game to play at Meeting House and what style of game? What is your favorite character to play while you were in quarantine? (Check our Ricky Lee Barnes’ videos on Facebook!) Will you be bringing any of these characters to Meeting House? Do you prefer acting, modeling, or money? What was your last acting experience? Who’s on your Spotify playlist right now? What are you most excited about for this summer in Andersonville and in the city of Chicago? What’s your favorite weekly drink special? Do you have Malort on tap? Do you prefer Malort with or without an orange juice chaser?”

“I just want to say that some of us never quit working and we worked really really hard over the past year and a half to create something special. Now that it’s here I hope people are genuinely excited as we are to come back because I think we really honed in on something and creating something special” 

Don’t forget, Meeting House Tavern opens this Thursday, July 1 at 5 PM! Check out their opening weekend events here!

Connect with Ricky Lee Barnes and Meeting House Tavern on the following platforms:
Facebook: @meetinghousechi
Instagram: @meetinghousetavernchi
Ricky’s Facebook: Ricky Lee Barnes
Ricky’s Instagram: @rickyleebarnes

Always Andersonville: The Podcast – Show Notes for Episode 145 with 40 Ward Alderperson, Andre Vasquez

This week, David and Gene are joined by Alderperson Andre Vasquez of the 40th Ward. A lifelong Chicagoan, Alderperson Vasquez has worked to connect and include members across the 40th Ward. Before his time as Alderperson, Vasquez worked in a senior management position at a utility company eventually servicing over 145,000 Illinois households. Currently, Alderperson Vasquez is actively engaging within the community increasing sustainability, infrastructure, and justice. Find out more on this Podcast!

Listen to Episode 144 with Alderperson Andre Vasquez! 

Top podcast highlights and where to find them (by timestamp):

0:59 -Tune in to hear about Alderperson Vasquez’s time growing up in Chicago and his path in becoming an elected official.

3:07 – Alderperson Vasquez reflects on his proudest achievements in his past 2 years in office.

5:33 – Interested in hearing how the community has changed since the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic? Listen here.


“A lot of what we did coming into office was really putting the community at the forefront. When we did the zoning processes or really when we do anything, we are weighing in the community as having a really large say in the process.”

6:50 – Alderperson Vasquez talks about the future of the 40th Ward mutual aid group and how it looks like after COVID-19.

8:05 – Have you heard about what a Participatory Budget is? Find out more with Alderperson Vasquez and how it affects the 40th Ward!

9:45 – Alderperson Vasquez speaks on how the local Ward politics has changed since his predecessor.

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“I want to make sure neighbors know, I am responsive, I am listening to the issues, and I am willing to have the conversation with even folks who we may not agree, but I think being able to have those conversations in a respectful manner and hear each other out is how we find the common ground to build our community up.”

10:56 – What is the future of local Democratic Socialist candidates within Chicago? Find out more here.

12:28 – As there is a continuous and growing political division within politics, Alderperson Vasquez speaks about how he worked to build a coalition to improve the budgeting process for the City of Chicago. 

18:31 – Interested in getting involved within local government? Alderperson Vasquez has the solution for you, find it here.

19:50 – Alderperson Vasquez speaks about why he is passionate about the arts and community spaces as well as updates for both.

28:01 – Alderperson Vasquez speaks about advice he would give to youth in Chicago.



“Write it down and remember it. We all doubt ourselves when it comes to those types of ambitions, and you need to articulate them. I tell them I am 42 years old, and I started 6 or 7 years ago, y’all are in high school or grade school. You have a head start that you would not believe.” 

30:25 -Are you interested in some of Alderperson Vasquez’s opinions and city-wide guidelines on Cannabis? Find out more here!

40:18 – Are you a new/old resident in the 40th Ward looking to connect? Alderperson Vasquez explains how you can get connected. 

41:00 – Hear about the 40th Ward staff members that are helping your community!

Tune in for the rapid-fire questions! Questions include: Favorite superhero series? Favorite member of the Sinister 6? Who is your favorite artist to come out of the city of Chicago? Favorite music artist out of Chicago? Which city of Chicago Department would you choose to be commissioner of? What is your favorite thing to do in the summer? If you could pick a small business in Andersonville and Ravenswood to run for a day, which business would you choose to run? Favorite family activity to do in the 40th ward? Winnemac Park fireworks on the 4th of July, yes or no? Favorite Chicago neighborhood to spend a day in, that is not in the 40th Ward? Is there anything you would like to directly say to those listening? Could you talk more about the signage processes for small businesses?

For more information connect with Alderperson Vasquez on the following Platforms
Phone office: (773) 654-1867
Phone Personal: (773) 999-3313
Twitter: @Andrefor40th
Facebook: @40thward
Instagram: @40thward

Always Andersonville: The Podcast – Show Notes for Episode 144 with 47 Ward Alderman, Matt Martin

This week, Laura and David are joined by the 47th ward Alderman, Matt Martin. Elected in 2019, Alderman Matt Martin has spent his political career improving the 47th Ward community that so many of us call home. Before his time working as an elected official, Alderman Martin tirelessly worked as a civil rights lawyer for the Illinois Attorney General’s office, focusing on important issues such as police reform, healthcare, immigration, and workers’ rights. Now, Alderman Martin is leading to build a more prosperous and safe community. Find out more on today’s podcast!

Listen to Episode 144 of Always Andersonville!

Top Podcast Highlights and where to find them (by timestamp):

0:50 – Hear about Alderman Martin’s background and how he ended up in Chicago! 

3:19 – Listen to Alderman Martin discuss some of his favorite parts about living in Chicago.

5:03 – Learn what led Matt Martin to run for Alderman in the 47th Ward. Find out here.


“I wanted to make sure that I was focused on the whole range of issues that our residents and businesses in the 47th Ward care about.”

7:58 – Alderman Martin reflects on his two years in office and comments on some of his greatest achievements.

12:07 – Interested in what the Participatory Budget is and what the Youth Council does? Tune in to hear Alderman Martin explain it.

13:25 – Hear about some of the new policies and ordinances happening within the 47th Ward!

16:00 – Alderman Martin explains the boundaries of the ward and some changes that could be happening

: – Alderman Martin talks about how the COVID-19 Pandemic has changed himself and the community.

Matt Martin, Alderman, 47th Ward, City of Chicago

Matt Martin, Alderman, 47th Ward, City of Chicago

“When it comes to me personally, and how the pandemic has affected me, I would say that I have even more appreciation for the job that I have. That fact that day in and day out I get to work to help make people’s lives better, and to be creative in doing that.”

: – Through the hardships and innovation of this current pandemic, looking forwards Alderman Martin speaks on how the city and the community will manage crises in the future

: – Alderman Martin speaks on the best way to get involved within the community council meetings

: – Learn more about the 47th ward office team serving you and your community!

: – Alderman Martin describes the one thing he wishes people within the community understood about the Alderman’s office. Find out what it is.

: – Tune in for Rapid Fire Questions! Questions include: What is our favorite jazz musician from Chicago? Do you have a favorite piece of music to play? What is your favorite Jazz Hall in the city? As the city is coming out of lockdown, is there anything you are looking forward to doing this summer? If you could choose one Andersonville business to run for a day, which one would you choose? Who has been your greatest source of influence in your life? Do you have any advice for youth looking to get involved? Is there anything you would like to directly say to those listening?


“Find ways to become active in your community in ways that you find really enjoyable, it shouldn’t be a chore… it should be that you care about this issue, you are passionate, maybe you are curious, and you want to learn more”

For more information on Alderman Matt Martin and what is going on within your community please check out the following platforms:
Phone: (773) 868-4747
Twitter: @AldMattMartin

Always Andersonville: The Podcast – Show Notes for Episode 143 with Jorge Bezera of Bezz Training Club

This week David and Laura are joined by Jorge Bezera, owner of Bezz Training, the community founded, lakeside gym with one of the best views of the City. Bezz Training is an inclusive and accepting club that focuses on one’s health and wellness with the mission is to make working out the highlight of one’s day. Jorge excels at the art of health management and his elite approach to fitness will get you in the best shape of your life. You can find Bezz Training Club at 6033 N Sheridan.

Listen to Episode 143 of Always Andersonville!

Top podcast highlights (by timestamp):

2:43 – Jorge begins by telling us about his personal background and his interest in becoming a personal trainer.

3:43 – Jorge explains his certification process in Cape Cod and his training experiences throughout grad school which involved a lot of travel.

4:36 – Bezera discusses how he made his way to Chicago and his decision to open a gym in Edgewater and his shifts into a larger space.

6:30 – Hear about his shift to Zoom training due to the pandemic and how he focuses on a genuine connection with his clients. And Bezz Training’s eventual move to outside training which became very popular

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“If you communicate and are transparent and that you can get through this together, you can charge rough waters with everyone on the boat if you tell them you are taking them to the other side with communications”

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“We didn’t lay off anyone, we actually hired 3 new trainers. We were like, lets do this but lets do this together.”

6:00 – Listen to Jorge explaining his client connection process at Bezz Training which starts with continuous communication with his clients.

7:49 – Tune in to hear about all the different classes and workshops Bezz Training has to offer!

9:23 – Hear Jorge discuss how he incorporates technology into his business operations and the benefits they entail

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“Building a small community where they cheer on each other in class and push each other in class, I think, is what keeps people coming back, it is that type of connectivity.”

11:54 – Listen to Jorge explain how he offers seminars and workshops for people who want to be trainers!

12:30 – Jorge mentions the accessibility benefits of Bezz Fitness!

17:44 – David and Jorge joke and discuss the benefits of working out so close to the beach and the benefits that can come with it!

18:56 – Jorge explains his hiring process and how incoming trainers must be community builders with high energy and encouraging personalities. 

20:20 – Tune in to hear how easy and simple it is to sign up for a Bezz Training membership!

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“I tell all the clients to bring someone, bring a friend! I’m not asking that for the money, I’m asking that because it will be a lot more fun if you do this with someone you know!”

22:57 – Jorge explains the new and different classes and services offered at client appreciation day.

25:35 – Jorge explains what it’s like to be a parent while running a business and how rewarding it is. 

26:49 – Rapid Fire Questions:

Least favorite muscle group to workout? Favorite cheat meal or snack? What is the best pre-workout snack? What is the worst diet you have heard about since you’ve been training? What is the best way you ease first timers into working out? When is the best time to start? Which business would you switch with?

Connect with Jeorge Bezerra and Bezz Fitness on the following platforms:
Facebook: @BezzTraining
Instagram: @BezzTrainingClub
Twitter: @BezzTraining

Always Andersonville: The Podcast – Show Notes for Episode 142 with Jessica Texidor of American Eagle Productions

This week on the podcast we have Jessica Texidor, director of programs at American Eagle Productions. American Eagle Productions has blazed the trail for youth and educational theatre in the Chicagoland area, bringing the performing arts to over 300 schools and groups a year for the past 28 years. Their programming builds confidence, fosters empathy, and encourages collaboration as well as provides a safe space for children to express themselves.

Listen to Episode 142 of Always Andersonville! 

Top podcast highlights and where to find them (by timestamp):

0:52 – Jessica kicks off the podcast by telling us a little bit about her background.

 2:02 – As Director of Programs for American Eagle Productions, Jessica plays an essential role in the company. Hear about how she came to occupy this position and what the job requires.

4:39 – AE Productions offered a number of online classes, workshops, and camps over the last year with the pandemic. Tune in to hear what the response has been like!

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”We feel lucky to keep kids moving but also hopeful that we’ll be in the room with them more regularly soon.”

7:21 – On AE Production’s website, there is a statement about how they strive to create a safe environment for children to feel like they can express themselves comfortably. Jessica takes us through how they facilitate this welcoming space. Leading by example and allowing healthy expression and dialogue between the kids are a couple of examples!

10:14 – Listen in to hear Jessica’s favorite children’s production. 

11:37 – Our guest has played many roles and has produced a number of different performances. Here, she takes us through the different progressions she’s gone through as an actor and producer. She takes a lot of her skills as a producer now from being a performer and knowing what steps are necessary for the performance.

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“My progressions through the different roles has definitely come with experience in age, and the, sort of, graduating through the roles.”

13:36 – Jessica tells us her favorite locations she’s performed at, as well as her favorite production she’s been a part of. She worked in Alaska for one of Princess Cruise Line’s travel destinations!

15:54 – Tune in to hear Jessica’s take on what will happen to/come out of the performance industry post-pandemic.

18:05 – No need to go all the way to New York to see a great musical performance! Jessica explains the Chicago theater scene in this section of the podcast.

19:49 – AE Productions is having camps throughout the summer! For more information, visit here.

21:50 – Listen in to hear tricks and tips about how you can become involved in the performance industry.

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“You have to be willing to go for it, and try new things, and say yes, and stay late, and work harder, and have more homework, and it really does pay off. The thrill of an audience is like no other.”

23:21 – Jessica talks about the benefits of becoming involved in theater for shy or quiet children. Most importantly, you have to create a safe space for all.

25:18 – Hear what Jessica’s response is when it comes to the competitive nature of theater.

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“It’s not about the number of lines, it’s about the energy of engagement … That’s what makes you a good cast member, a good friend, a good company member, a good collaborator; Those are important things.”

26:55 – There are other behind-the-scenes opportunities for children at AE productions that don’t involve being directly on the stage.

28:05 – Listen in to hear Jessica’s inspirations and what made her strive to have this career.

32:14 – Warm up exercises? NECESSARY. Hear some of Jessica’s favorites here!

33:56 – Tune in to hear what it takes to be a good audience member. #1 – Be willing to go along for the ride!

35:46 – Is Jessica a coffee drinker? No! She is a big Diet Coke drinker, though.

37:19 – How should an audience cheer? Hear Jessica’s preference at this timestamp.

38:20 – Tune in to hear Jessica’s professional and personal goals.

Connect with Jessica and AE Productions on the following platforms:
Instagram: @americaneagleshows
Facebook: @americaneagleshows

Always Andersonville: The Podcast – Show Notes for Episode 141 with Bridget Gainer

This week, Laura and special guest Gene Wagendorf, Associate Director, of the Greater Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce, welcome Bridget Gainer, the Cook County Commissioner of the 10th District. Elected to the board in 2010, Commissioner Gainer has used her leadership role in the non-profit, government and corporate sectors. She has worked tirelessly to create pension reform solutions, was able to institute the Cook County Land Bank and has continued to create new assets for regional workforce development, to name a few.

Listen to Episode 141 of Always Andersonville!

Top podcast highlights and where to find them (by timestamp):

1:06 – Gainer kicks us off by telling us a bit about her background and where she’s at today.

2:19 – Hear about how our guest became interested in community organizing. 

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“I think organizing is probably the most relevant skill you could ever have for so much neighborhood work as well as politics.”

6:54 – Curious as to what a commissioner is/what someone in this role might do? Tune in here to find out!

10:14 – The lakefront is a beautiful, natural addition to Chicago; However, the forests around and scattered throughout the city are just as beneficial to residents and their enjoyment. Bridget takes us through why the forests and their protection were crucial during the pandemic.

12:39 – Gainer created the first Cook County Pension Committee. Listen here to hear about what sparked her interest in pension reform and starting the committee.

16:19 – Tune in to hear Gainer answer the question: Does responding to a financial crisis make it easier to create a working group that involves people from labor and local government or does a crisis like that drive a deeper wedge?

18:48 – Gainer also played a foundational role in the establishment of the Cook County Land Bank. She explains that they basically do the dirty work for you, in regard to dealing with the two-year process with the court, various licenses, etc. 


“The beauty about the Land Bank, the simplicity of it, is that we kind of decoupled two things. What we wanted to see was people in the neighborhood getting the house, redeveloping it, and selling it so somebody lives there.”


“Better to get the barriers out of the way and then people don’t need an Alderman, don’t need a lobbyist, don’t need a lawyer, they just need themselves.”


My greatest gift of being able to be in this job, on the county board, is to be able to look at a system like that [house development/market value] and try to dismantle, piece by piece, the things that get in people’s way.”

30:12 – Wanting to get involved in this kind of work? Gainer explains where to go and how to make that happen.

34:05 – We’ve seen people losing jobs/work over the pandemic. Here, Gainer explains what actions she’s taking to mend this issue in her own realm of work.

37:13 – Gainer tells us where she hopes to see Cook County and herself in 10 years.

Connect with Bridget Gainer on the following platforms:
Instagram: @BridgetMGainer
Facebook: @commissionergainer
Twitter: @BridgetGainer
Cook County Website:

Always Andersonville: The Podcast – Show Notes for Episode 140 with Heather Saenger of the Uptown Business Center

This week, Laura is joined by former Andersonville Chamber of Commerce employee and now current manager of the Uptown Business Center, Heather Saenger. The Uptown Business Center is one of eight business centers throughout Chicago. It aims to support new and existing business owners with licensing, permitting, and additional, specialized business assistance in collaboration with BACP, local Chambers, and community partners.

Listen to Episode 140 of Always Andersonville!

Top podcast highlights (and their timestamps):

0:59 – Heather tells our listeners a little bit about herself and how she began working with the Uptown Business Center.

3:11 – The Uptown Business Center is 1 of 8 in Chicago. Tune in here to learn about how these Centers came about and what they do overall.


”The city, business affairs, and consumer protection saw a need to serve historically underserved communities, especially the small businesses within those communities, as the pandemic drew on.”

6:14 – Hear about how the Business Center in Uptown works together to get their goals accomplished. Uptown United, Uptown Chamber of Commerce and SSA are all under the same roof!

7:25 – Tune in to hear how to schedule a consultation with the Business Center and what that meeting might look like.

8:29 – Why would businesses reach out to the Uptown Business Center? Hear common questions and answers here! is a great place to apply for business licenses.

11:31 – Heather explains where businesses would have to go prior to the establishment of the UBC, as well as what kind of permitting businesses would come to the UBC for. 


“Everything just still takes a lot of time. From beginning to end, there isn’t usually a clear time frame. Usually things take a little longer than you’d expect or hope, but that’s part of this program too. We hope that the help that we can provide at least expedite things just a little bit.”

16:38 – What other services does the UBC offer? And how do they offer funding for certain businesses? Tune in here! There are webinars coming up soon and will be offered over the course of the next year. Learn more here:

22:50 – The UBC and Uptown Chamber do a wonderful job at referring new businesses to places with available commercial spaces to start up. Hear about the process behind this aspect of the job.

24:41 – Heather talks about the “make-up” of her services, meaning, what types of businesses she’s primarily been working with and what they’ve needed since the start of the UBC.


“Often times, I find if people ask the question, “Do I need a license?” the answer’s always yes.”

28:07 – Tune in to hear questions that you SHOULD be asking or things you should be thinking about if you are seeking help from a place like the UBC.

30:33 – Hear about upcoming events through the UBC and Uptown Chamber!

32:52 – Tune in to hear Rapid Fire Questions!

Connect with Heather at the following:
Phone: (773) 878-1064

Always Andersonville: The Podcast – Show Notes for Episode 139 with Virgil Roundtree of Downstate Donuts

This week, David and Laura are joined by Virgil Downtree, owner of Downstate Donuts. Downstate Donuts has been cranking out life changing donuts since 2018. Many were shocked after just 4 months on the donut scene. They stole the show with first place @donutfest for a “simple” vanilla glazed donut.  It’s all about that potato! Chicago restaurant industry pro Virgil, has taken the potato donut to new heights by focusing on fresh, local, and wholesome ingredients. You can find Downstate Donuts locally at Andale Market. 

Listen to Episode 139 here!

Top podcast moments (by timestamp):

:49 – Hear Virgil tell us a little bit about himself and background. He’s been making donuts for 2 ½ years, but he originally went to school to become a political science major!

2:23 – What was he going to do with a poli-sci major? Tune in here to find out!

3:41 – Hear about how Downstate Donuts was started and the history behind the potato donut here. They ended up winning 1st prize their first time at a Donut Fest!

8:39 – Tune in to hear about where Downstate Donuts came from.

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“I had this vision of the company being, sort of, small town America. A place where you could go with grandma and bring the kids.”

11:02 – Virgil tells us about how he came up with his “warm and welcoming” brand.

13:58 – What flavor did he win with at Donut Fest? Tune in to hear which donut to get during your next visit!

15:32 – Virgil explains their flavors and some crowd favorites. The sweet potato maple donut is a hit! He also discusses what differentiates them from other donut shops in the city.

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“We’re not afraid to, sort of, test your palette … We try to find things that we like that are simple, good staples … But with that, we’ve always focused on trying to use really good ingredients.”

20:19 – Downstate Donuts works with the Andersonville Farmers Market. Hear about their journey to marketing themselves and becoming noticed. Their trikes make them hard to miss!

30:16 – Their donut business is now partnering with Ándale Market and selling donut tots! Hear about how this connection came about and if there are any new flavors in the works.

38:10 – What is it about the donut that draws such a large crowd? Hear Virgil’s answer here.

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“It’s a vehicle for pretty much anything … It’s this very simplistic, easy thing that has flavor that everyone connects to.”

40:40 – Mia Sakai, the owner of Ándale Market, sent in some questions to ask our guest! Tune in here to listen. Questions include: You mentioned avoiding pastry in culinary school, so why donuts? Why potato? What does the potato add? You’ve been a resident of Andersonville for 10+ years (?) and started DSD here, both at the Farmer’s Market and with the trike. How has this community in particular helped shape your business? You’re a bit of a one man band — wearing all the hats including cook, distributor, business man, PR, marketing, everything. What are your favorite parts of the business? Least favorite? Last summer you shared a post about being a black business owner and what it felt like to see small businesses being destroyed, but also understanding what triggered everything. What can we, as a community, do to support our black and brown community members and business owners? [this is pretty loaded, and I’m not quite sure how to phrase this to him, but I think it’s a missed opportunity to skirt it.]

1:00:32 – Tune in to hear Rapid Fire Questions! Questions include: Donut hole or donut whole? Favorite TV show? When do you sleep? Favorite flavor?

Connect with Downstate Donuts on the following platforms:
Facebook: @DownstateDonuts
Instagram: @downstatedonuts

Always Andersonville: The Podcast – Show Notes for Episode 138 with Sean Todd of UnicornLife

This week, Laura and Joelle are joined by Sean Todd, owner of UnicornLife: The Creative Agency. Unicorn Life offers services related to branding, digital design development + marketing, and print design. Sean is a firm believer that your mind should not be confined to an ideal set by the world around you. If your mind can imagine it, Unicorn Life can achieve it!

Listen to Episode 138 of Always Andersonville!

Top Podcast Highlights and where to find them (by timestamp):

1:18 – Sean starts off by explaining his southern background, his time in college, and how he ended up in Chicago.

3:36 – Want to know how Sean got into creativity and design? Tune in here!

5:53 – Sean explains how the name Unicorn life came about along with the backstory of what made him decide to start his own agency, Unicorn Life.

10:05 – Sean talks about what California taught him during his time there for both his business and his life

12:24 – Sean explains his employment and the business model he uses.

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“I would rather do something that is going to uplift my agency, uplift me, and uplift the people I am working with. If I am not uplifting that person or that business then I am not doing my job”

18:32 – Tune in to hear all of the services that UnicornLife has to offer!

23:17 – Sean talks through the process of his services from the initial conversation to launching the final product.

26:48 – Tune in to listen to Sean tell one of his favorite stories about his work experiences and some of his favorite projects!

34:37 – Sean shares how he makes each client unique and different depending on their business.

38:23 – Listen to how Sean uses magic to motivate him!

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“I believe big and dream big so I make big decisions and big moves. It’s a lot easier to love people than to put sadness and hate in the world,”

“The only thing that is limiting you is believing that you are limited,” Sean says when explaining what his main advice would be. 

58:00 – Talks about his branding and how he can use the work he does for his own portfolio.

50:30 – Sean says how much he enjoys Andersonville’s vintage and antique stores!

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“The more I give, unapologetically, out of my heart the more I receive in return.”

51:55 – Tune in to hear Rapid Fire Questions! Questions include: What soul cycle class is your favorite to teach and what was your go to music? What is your opinion on Taylor Swift’s new albums during COVID? What is your favorite element of your redesigned office? Who is someone you admire or inspires you?Are Unicorns your favorite fictional animals?

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Instagram: @datunicornlife
Phone: (415) 500-1803

Always Andersonville: The Podcast – Show Notes for Episode 137 with Liam Donnelly of WasteNot Compost

This week,  David and Laura are joined by owner of WasteNot Compost, Liam Donnelly.  WasteNot Compost, Chicago’s first and only zero-emission compost collection was born in 2015. WasteNot Compost currently serves homes and all business types ranging from schools, cafes, bakeries, to farmers markets, and everything in between. They take the work out of composting for you so it can not only be easy to do so in an urban setting, but is a clean experience with all tools provided every pickup.

Top podcast highlights (by timestamp):

:43 – Liam tells us about himself and his background.

1:24 – Tune in to hear about when Liam’s passion for composting began.

4:05 – Liam talks about his childhood and experience with composting.

6:18 – Hear about how WasteNot Compost began and Liam’s journey of starting his own company! He worked at a coffee shop, ended up composting for them as a hobby, and then was offered payment for his work. It was the first time he realized that he could use something he was passionate about as a career.

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“It’s really not a nuisance [composting], it’s when you get lazy that composting goes bad and gets a bad rep.”

10:00 – Hear Liam talk about the top misconceptions about composting.

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“How do I educate the public that food waste is not composting and landfill, instead it’s contributing this really potent greenhouse gas that we’re all suffering from?”

11:56 – Hear about how you can begin composting and making a difference in your ecological footprint!

17:02 – Listen in on how they came up with their brand. Their current brand identity has helped them become noticed for being local and has appealed to their roots.

23:10 – Wondering if WasteNot makes it over to your neighborhood? Tune in to hear where they are currently servicing and where they might consider expanding!

26:04 – Should composting be added to the formula of farm to table, but rather, farm to soil? Hear Liam’s thoughts on the topic here.

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“I think it’s critical that if we want long term, sustainable agriculture and long term, sustainable restaurant business, we really need to start thinking about the soil that grows our food.”

28:34 – How long does it take to make that “black gold,” and what does the timeline look like overall?

30:12 – Wondering what you can do with compost? Listen here!

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“When I grew up with composting, the reason I fell in love with it was because of the transformation process. Seeing food waste become the finished product was critical. I believe it’s critical that those that compost with WasteNot see the transformation process.”

31:37 – Liam gives information about compost workshops they host!

33:44 – Tune in for Rapid Fire Questions. Questions include: What is your favorite “compost-friendly” product? How do you guys like to spend your free time? Liam, we saw that you worked at a local cafe growing up. Do you have a favorite coffee drink you either like making your sipping yourself? A favorite cafe in the city? If you could expand your business anywhere, where would that be and why? What are three things you couldn’t live without?

Connect with WasteNot Compost on the following plaforms:
Facebook: @wastenotchicago
Instagram: @wastenotcompost
Twitter: @WasteNotChicago