Sometime in early 2014, I first walked into Maple Street Biscuit Company in San Marco. At that time, I couldn’t imagine how that would forever change my story. As most people do, I fell in love with the Five and Dime and the people working there. When you find something incredible, you want to share it with the people you love! I began bringing my coworkers, friends, and family into Maple Street. The more I came, the more I observed how fascinating Maple Street was. It wasn’t just a place to get breakfast; it was a place that people loved to work. That was evident through how they treated their guests and each other.The company I was working for underwent some changes and I no longer felt like supporting a company that didn’t reflect the same values that I lived by. Looking to get out, I began praying and asking for God to give me an opportunity. In praying that prayer, I began talking with friends about my situation. A couple of friends from church who worked at Maple Street were key here! With a stay at home wife and a toddler to support, a career change was a huge change for our family. After a lot of prayer, I had a peace about taking a leap of faith from a promising, but unfulfilling career into making biscuits. Day one: I LOVED it! I made biscuits and new friends who would soon become family. I will always cherish memories made with my Maple Street family in San Marco. The mission of Maple Street, “to help people, serve others and to be a part of the community”, has not only given me freedom, but encouragement to fulfill my life’s purpose: to love people as Christ does. Falling in love with work and believing in the mission that supports your purpose drives you to work harder.I learned everything I could as fast as I could. As Maple Street grew, so did I. Gus offered me the community leader position in Fleming Island. At the time, I didn’t even know where Fleming Island was. I had never been there before. However, it was an opportunity to further the mission and I couldn’t pass that up. To be able to take the model, a team who grew to be family, who loved to serve others, and put in into another community, I was in! Here was a new store to build, with an entire new crew to build.There was a lot of work to do! While waiting on construction permits, building etc., I began praying for God to prepare and send me a team for Fleming Island. During that time, I spent several months in our Julington Creek Maple Street. I grew to love that team as family as well and so many of the guests from that community. I learned a lot from them and will also cherish the memories and relationships built there. The time came where Gus called me and told me to come down to Fleming Island and to wear work clothes. I had no idea that I’d literally be helping build the store! It was an exhausting process that I’m very thankful for. How many people in their workplace can look over at the bench and say that they sanded, stained, and placed them there, or stood up on scaffolding to help place the siding on the wall?After it was built, and God delivered on my prayer of an awesome team,we opened. The community lovingly welcomed us and it’s been an awesome opportunity getting to know so many different people and to hear their stories. Scott Moore has said and shown this to me so many times, “We’re all in this together.” Here, I have an opportunity to not only be a part of a community, but to invest in the lives of the team members I lead. We’ve all grown to become family and it’s not uncommon to see my 5 year old daughter having a conversation with or giving a bear hug to any of them. When I ask her what she wants to do when she grows up,she always warms my heart by saying “I wanna work with you at Naple Street.” (That is not a typo.)Being a community leader has challenged me in so many different way sand continues to do so. I always want to be a better version of myself for my team and guests. Some days I feel like I’ve failed. A great part of my work is that tomorrow is a new opportunity to learn, grow, and try again. I really do have a dream job and we work hard to fulfill this mission so that we can earn the right to go help more people, serve more people, and be a part of more communities.
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