The following interview is a repost from the Chaffee's Got Heart Committee featuring Brian England, CEO and owner of Eddyline Restaurant & Brewery in Buena Vista. We love this snapshot of one small business owner's experience from the whirlwind that was 2020.
Today, we sat down with Brian England, CEO and owner of Eddyline Restaurant & Brewery in Buena Vista to learn how the pandemic changed things at this communal gathering place in Buena Vista.
Jamie Billesbach, Center Director Central Mountain SBDC: How did COVID cause you to innovate or change the way you do business?
Brian England: We’ve been working on developing our company culture and values for a long time. As a result, we’ve always been forward-looking, innovative, a leader in the community, doing what we can to set ourselves apart. So, while this was forced upon us, we were able to adapt very quickly because of these values. Our main goal was and continues to be: providing great customer service and great quality food at a value. To this end, our biggest innovations were integrating an online ordering system, changing our menu to include take-and-bake specials and foods that would travel well, and adding take out drinks that included not only beer, but also wine and bottles from Deerhammer Distillery. We added in a bodega so people could get products that were tough to find at the grocery store, and got creative to provide fun take-home projects like Mother’s Day Brunch Kits. Everything we did was aimed at working with what customers could do at home and adding value to their lives.
JB: Why did you decide to go above & beyond to contribute to our community?
BE: One of the reasons we moved to Buena Vista is because of the community here. Looking at how the pandemic has ripped across globe and talking to other people, we are so fortunate to live where we live. The people here are what makes this place so special and we wanted to take extra measures to keep our customers and employees safe. To do this we had to make some sacrifices – like closing the Taproom – but we feel businesses should always put their best foot forward and as a leader in the community, we felt driven to set a high standard.
JB: Where do you see examples of the idea that ‘Chaffee’s Got Heart’?
BE: We saw our community step up right away in so many ways. The community here is selfless and they’ve proven again and again that no matter what happens, we are going to do what is pragmatic, and what is right for the greater good even if it’s inconvenient for one. We are going to protect each other and rally around each other to get through this together.
JB: What’s your biggest takeaway from 2020?
BE: We are fortunate to live where live. 2020 has confirmed that beyond a doubt for me and my family. BV is an amazing place to be. The community is amazing. Not only can we survive, but we can thrive through the most difficult times and that speaks volumes to the people that live here. Another big takeaway is that even though it may seem difficult, we need to stay diligent now more than ever. We need to wear masks, keep our distance and be patient. In Chaffee, it’s easy to feel safe, but we need to keep up safety measures for a while longer so that hopefully later in 2021, we can return to a level of normalcy.
If you’ve taken the Chaffee’s Got Heart Pledge and received a free Discovery Pass as a result, stop by Eddyline for your free chips and salsa. Tight on time or staying extra safe? Place your order online for pick-up.
For the latest brews and news: https://www.facebook.com/eddylinebrewery
Eddyline is expanding its branded merchandise line. Available online soon or stop 926 South Main, Buena Vista to check it out.
The Chaffee’s Got Heart Committee is extremely proud of local businesses and individuals that have gone above and beyond by doing extraordinary things during these uncertain times. From innovating ways to thrive despite trying circumstances to showering struggling members of our community with generosity to prioritizing the health and safety of our most vulnerable, these businesses and individuals, who have been nominated for this honor by fellow community members, have shown what it really means when we say: Chaffee’s Got HEART.