For the ninth straight year, October is Dining Month on OnMilwaukee, presented by the restaurants of Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, dining guides, delectable features, chef profiles and unique articles on everything food, as well as voting for your "Best of Dining 2015."
During the past month or so – as I’ve made the journey from writer to published author – life has been a bit of a blur. I’m busier than I’ve ever been, and despite the constant hum of activity, I’m also finding myself regularly overwhelmed by the kindness of those around me.
Ever since the Sept. 21 release of "Milwaukee Food: A History of Cream City Cuisine," I’ve had any number of delightful things happen to me.
Last week, I got a lovely email from someone who’d started reading the book and just wanted to let me know that, although they hadn’t finished it yet, they found it difficult to put it down.
Just yesterday, I showed up at Anodyne in Walker’s Point to grab a cup of coffee with an acquaintance (soon to be friend, I'm quite sure), and she presented me with a bouquet of beautiful flowers with a lovely note, telling me how much she enjoyed reading the book.
And this morning I learned that Purple Door Ice Cream will carry copies of my book in its scoop shop.
That news was cool enough all by itself. But, it got even better when Purple Door owner Steve Schultz told me it will be donating all of the profits from the sales of the book (from now through Thanksgiving) to the Bay View Community Center Food Pantry.
"They are a very busy food pantry just blocks from our home in Bay View," Schultz wrote in an email to me. "...this just made sense. Using your book about food to raise money for a local food pantry seemed like a natural relationship."
My eyes welled up. My heart swelled. I'm so grateful to know such wonderful, generous people – and to have them in my life.
I think the gesture means even more to me since Steve and Lauren were some of the first entrepreneurs I met along my writing journey. Back in 2011, I wrote one of the first articles about them for OnMilwaukee. Even then, they impressed – not only by their dedication to supporting other local businesses – but by their desire to use their business to give back.
One thing I never expected is that I'd be a part of their circle of generosity. But, here I am.
Thank you, Steve. And thank you, Lauren.
And thank you, Milwaukee, for making me grateful every day that I live, work, write and play here. You are a really, really great town.
The Blessings Get Bigger
Edited 10/30/15: After this article was published and began circulating via social media, yet another amazing development occurred. Juli Kauffman, landlord of the Freshwater Fix building where Purple Door resides, has agreed to match all funds generated through the sale of "Milwaukee Food," dollar for dollar. So, the impact for the Bay View Community Center Food Pantry will be doubled. Thank you, Juli!
Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club.
When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.