Beers, b.good & BBQ
By: Corey Johnson, National On-Premise Manager Published:
My good friend Jon Olinto, Co-Founder of b.good, met me for a beer the other day to hash out details for this year’s 11th Annual b. good Family BBQ on Sunday, June 22nd. This is an awesome event that we are honored to be a part of, so I asked him if we could share more about their event and our history with the b.good family.
A little back story - I’d been a fan of b.good long before Jon and I had met. Years ago when I was working in the Boston market for Harpoon, I would see the delivery vans, plastered with the smiling faces and names of their employees, all over the city. So I popped in for a bite one day and was blown away. I’m an eater, always have been, and like most people, I don’t really get fired up for a salad. I loved that I could ‘be good’ and still a little bad at the same time. When I met Jon last year for a grad school project to discuss zero mile farming and other ways to bring healthy options to food deserts throughout the city, a bromance was forged.
Here’s what Jon had to say:
Harpoon was founded by two friends that wanted to change the landscape of beer, especially in Boston. They opened the doors of the brewery and put faces behind a product in which other mega companies did not. You guys kind of did the same, right?
Jon: When we wrote our first business plan 12 years ago, we had a really clear idea of what we wanted to do. Our goal was to make fast-food "real". To us, that meant we had to serve food that was made by people, not factories. Growing up together as little kids, we always loved fast-food. But, by the time we were in our mid-twenties, we realized that there was something missing -- there was no love in the mega-chains mass producing food that wasn't good for its customers and its communities. So, we set out to try and change the industry by making food you could feel good about because you'd know what was in, where it came from, and who made, raised and grew it.
What is b.good’s Family BBQ all about?
Jon: Our "Family BBQ" is a really important tradition for us and the culture we want to preserve at b.good. Since the very beginning, we've always closed our restaurants for a day every summer so our staff and our customers can celebrate together with great food, beer and music. We think of our business as a community that's bigger and connected in ways that transcend the transactions in our restaurants. Meanwhile, we use our event as a way to help others in our community. We do it by giving 100% of the money raised to local charities via our foundation. Our mission is to use micro-grants to enable individuals to make positive change in our community and to determine the recipients of our support based on the votes of the b.good family. So, you should stop by to hang out with us -- the folks who work at b.good. You can eat some real, local food, drink real, local beer, listen to real, local music, and feel good about doing all that because it'll mean you're supporting some inspired people who want to make your community better.
What prompted you to join us for Harpoon Helps Spread Holiday Cheer?
Jon: Providing food for Harpoon Helps events was a no-brainer for us. We love your beer. (Harpoon IPA is our de facto beer of choice.) Like our approach to the food we serve, your beer is real. It's made locally by passionate people who believe in the importance of the integrity of the ingredients. We also love the way you run your business. Harpoon is all about building community and giving back. So, in many ways, you guys have provided us with a model of how to build an iconic local business by staying true to your values. We want to do the same.
The b.good Family BBQ is from 1 - 6 PM at the SOWA Open Market this Sunday. Grab your tickets today and we’ll see you there!