Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ballwin Busting Out of the Box

Great News:

Bravo to the city government of Ballwin for passing our special use exemption for the building of Lone Wolf Coffee Company and Cafe. I must say that both Kevin Miquelon (a longtime resident and business owner) and I (12 year former resident and current business owner) are quite proud to bring our newest concept to the community. Lone Wolf is all about active living and will purvey just that when we open in January. We think Ballwin has a great passion for active living and has demonstrated this on many occasions. The Ballwin Point being one of the most state-of-the art designs for athletic center when it was built. Don't forget about Castlewood State Park and the programing that the city provides there including the Adventure Race, Conquer Casltwood. The annual Ballwin Triathlon is a favorite among families in the area as is the Ballwin Municipal Golf Course.

Attached to the Cafe are the new Pfoodman Corporate offices, making good use of the space occupying the former Zhivago's Russian Restaurant at Clayton and Kehrs Mill Road in Ballwin. Stop in and see what's taking place in "your town".

Lone Wolf will celebrate active living with a unique decor supplied by Alpine Shop and items donated and/or on display by people like you, meaningful images/artifacts relating to outdoor/active living and achievement. If you have cool stuff and want to make the wall...get a hold of me...lots of heroes out there.

Some unfinished business:

Back in March of 07 I wrote a post, well, about the condition of the Ballwin Board of Aldermen. You can read it here. I have forgotten my exact reason for writing it in the fashion that it came about, but I am sure it had something to do with the in-fighting that was taking place between the mayor and the rest of the board which had created a lot of bad PR. That combined with what I still consider a "stamp out" of business development climate by making the smoking ban a municipal issue instead of a county or state issue. But what was in the hopper was the concept of raising of property taxes due to the decline in revenues from business revenue. Yes, I am sure that was what it was, Jim. I ran into Jim Robinson last night and he asked me about this. Upon returning to my computer last night, I found a response from a board member (whom I referred to as old timer) wishing to meet and discuss.

My response is below:

Would love to talk. I am not sure that I can contact you. You can call me direct at 314-496-2317. I just re-read my post and I must say, there must have been a grain of sand in my shoe. Most likely as it related to some of the issues clouding "our" towns image--how the lack of cohesion and personal agenda on the board related to the challenge of economic (re)-development. I am pleased to provide fodder as a springboard for good decision making and policy setting, unconventional and raw as it may seem. My interest remains with the entrepreneur, always. Ballwin had/has an image to overcome and conversations "on the street" in my circles reflect/reflected this. I am also pleased to provide for our community one of the most exciting restaurant concepts to land in St. Louis, right here in Ballwin. I believe in the city of Ballwin and have a high standard when it comes to those responsible for the vision and policy of advancement. Sometimes it takes a missile over the bow. So be it. Robinson is a friend and, since he approached me on the topic tonight, I suppose an apology is in order as it relates to our friendship. Politics are politics, and I rightly don't know what I am talking about half the time and express that in my profile.

Amends:

Gentlemen, please accept my sincere thanks for moving forward in making our community a better place. The Lone Wolf Coffee Company will be that which Ballwin can be proud of. The Cafe will serve as the ultimate advocacy for active living, wellness and continued business development in "our" community. Together, business owners and administrators can make for positive change in the climate--that which puts Ballwin as an attractive option to those seeking to start and/or move businesses to the community. Pfoodman (and its subsidiaries) started in Ballwin and will stay in Ballwin because we believe in the city, its values and its business owner heroes.

Please be assured that my opinion of the Ballwin board is in no way perpetually pessimistic. My expressions on this blog are simply just that; an expression of my opinion and of the "state" of things at any given moment, MY account of things, the Ralph account. My perception is the reality if I am the one with the blog. My perception is that things needed to change in order for the community to move forward. Myself (and my group of cronies at the time) were of the opinion that Ballwin (as it relates to business development) had become blighted by the bad press from the smoking issue and business flight (leakage) to the valley--that the impending property tax increase was in part due to both and that the city had lost its edge on recruiting new business in to the community. This along with the unrest between board members and the mayor. I acknowledge your moving forward as a group and witnessed this first hand last night. As a result, Pfoodman is proud to ante-up the Lone Wolf Coffee Company and Cafe to open in January. Please share with Kevin and I, along with our families and friends, the remarkable process of entrepreneurship and business development in our community.

We will see you all at the opening party!