I wasn’t sure what to expect as I followed a horde of people walking into the Weisman Art Museum on the University of Minnesota campus. The usual quiet and calm atmosphere in the museum was disrupted by a gaggle of excited people filling into the long event hall to hear this month’s Creative Mornings speakers.
I had heard about Creative Mornings through word of mouth and with no expectations, well, except for the promise of a free breakfast, I signed up simply out of curiosity.
Creative Mornings began in New York City with the simple idea of having a free, once-a-month gathering in the community for breakfast and a short talk. In part, the Creative Mornings manifesto iterates:
“A creative life requires bravery and action, honesty and hard work. We are here to support you, celebrate with you, and encourage you to make the things you love. We bring together people who are driven by passion and purpose, confident that they will inspire one another, and inspire change in neighborhoods and cities around the world. Everyone is welcome.”
The concept spread internationally and on the same day, each participating city hosts this free event where they introduce a new speaker and theme every month.
This past month’s theme was ‘Pioneer’ and the Minneapolis guest speakers Aubry and Kale Walch perfectly embody what it means to be a pioneer and to take the risk to create something entirely original and unconventional. But before the talk began, I joined the others milling around chatting, grabbing some breakfast and a cup of coffee generously provided by local businesses like Tiny Footprint Coffee and Agra Culture. In honor of the month’s ‘Pioneer’ theme, I was also overly excited to see they had time traveled back to the 90’s and set up computers for us to play the Oregon Trail video game.
Creative Mornings are always on a Friday morning from 8:30-10am. And after the first half hour of mingling and snacking, Minneapolis host Drew Gneiser introduced the sister-brother duo Aubry and Kale Walch, founders and owners of the Herbivorous Butcher.
The Herbivorous Butcher is an all vegan butcher shop. They create meat-free meats and cheese-free cheeses. In a light-hearted and self-deprecating manner, the quick-witted Aubry and Kale told the story of how they built their business from a small stand at the Minneapolis Farmers Market to their own brick and mortar shop on 1st Ave. in Minneapolis. They took a huge risk pooling their money together to start a business with no experience but the duo was successful through tireless work, trial and error, and surrounding themselves with others who shared their vision and were able to mentor and assist them along the way.
The Walch siblings’ passion for animals, health, and the environment is unshakeable and helps keep them grounded in making decisions for moving their business forward. They’re currently looking to open a farm for unwanted animals and have even partnered with NASA to send their sustainable foods on the next Mars Mission.
Aubry and Kale’s inspiring story and impressive achievements are what Creative Mornings is all about. Bringing community together, sharing ideas, and expanding your world. I know I will definitely be at the next Creative Mornings event.