My name is Maddy Hornecker and I have been working at Jack’s Bar and Grill and Steamers Coffeehouse for the past 4 years. During my time here, I have had numerous jobs, including working in the kitchen, bartending, and serving, working with clients, and now managing. Jack’s and Steamers has become my family, my place of comfort, and has supplied me with the greatest memories.
I am writing this blog because my time here has come to an end. In May, I graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a Mathematics Degree and will be teaching at Evergreen High School come August. I would like to share a little bit about my time here, so the community can see the awesome opportunities and stories this tiny restaurant in Arvada has to offer.
When I first started, I did not think this job would see me through my college years. My most fond memories include laughing with the kitchen staff, catching up with regular customers, and having the ability to work with the 80 plus adults with developmental disabilities. This place has truly changed my life. It was here that I learned to appreciate the fact that I have the ability to work. The kitchen staff that I have worked with over the years has always supplied me with many laughs. Whether it’s them cracking a joke because I rang in a ticket weird or it’s a slow night and they are trying to find a way to entertain the staff, they always made sure to put a smile on my face. Some of the regular customers have turned into regular people in my life. If ever I was having a bad day, they were the first to talk it out with me. The people that I had the pleasure of serving have had a great impact on my life. I’ll never forget the twenty dollar bill that was slipped to me a week before I left for college, the wise words of wisdom I needed before a big test, or the simple “How’ve you been” turning into a counseling session that saved me numerous hours of stress. The customers that I have had the pleasure of knowing will forever leave an impact on my life. The clients that I have gotten to know and love will leave the biggest impact on my life. Not only have they helped me in terms of my degree, but they have helped me with my outlook on life. I have learned there are many ways to teach a skill, many ways to talk to a person, and many ways to have fun. I truly love my job here and the clients take a large portion of credit for that.
This place has also given me my greatest friends. Even on my days off they are the people I want to hang out with. These people have seen me through four years of college and through the many ups and down four years of college can bring. I cannot tell you how many life altering problems (or problems that I think may be life altering) have been solved at the computer stations or on quick trips to the basement to “grab some napkins.” Some of my favorite times are sitting on the patio or at the bar with my coworkers after a long day of work. Trust me, the best stories are told and the best advice is given after we are all brain dead from a busy work day. My friends here have turned into my family. They are the ones who know the ins and outs of my life and would drop whatever they were doing to lend a hand if I was ever in need. I cannot say enough how enjoyable it is to work here and it is because of the friends I have made here. I plan on staying in touch with everyone here as they have been such an integral (math joke for those of you that love calculus) part of my life.
As I sit here writing this, I think there are a total of 4 people that have been here longer than I have. I have seen this place through 3 menu changes, a software change, and the opening of a new prep kitchen. I truly consider this place home and it is going to be a challenge to leave and venture on to something new. I think this restaurant was placed in my life to teach me patience, offer me friends, and teach me how to enjoy working. Here are a few things that I will take away with me: to be patient with people learning (how fitting for my new career as a teacher), to always be open to having new friends, and to appreciate the fact that I have the ability to get a job and to enjoy that job.
When a customer purchases a meal, a coffee drink, or some jam they are supporting the employment of people with disabilities (and of course the rent of most employees). (Both very important things) It is the little things that make a difference in the lives of people here. If there is one thing I want the community and beyond to know about this place, it is that the people that work here make Jack’s and Steamer’s what it is. The loving, caring, and friendly environment is all a reflection of the people that work here. Working in a restaurant can be extremely stressful and things don’t always go the way they are planned, but with the right people, any one and any place can be successful. This is exactly what Jack’s and Steamers is. This place will forever have my heart and I plan to return whenever I have breaks and on summer vacation. I hope through this post people have gotten a little insight to what it is like to work at Jack’s and Steamers and the home it has created for me.