A Midsummer’s Night Out

A Midsummer’s Night Out
4 Course Dinner Demonstration hosted by Kelly and Jay Barnes

jay and kelly

Jay and I would like to invite you to join us for an evening of fun, food and maybe a little romance. We have worked out a simple yet elegant 4 course meal that Jay and I will show you how to prepare. Once we’ve demonstrated the simplicity of cooking dinner for two, you will be able to enjoy that dinner with your date.

Since starting the Kangaroostaurant 3 years ago, we’ve learned that we could do a lot together in the kitchen. With one leading and the other following ~ we found that we worked best together when we both did what we were best at. It is our intention to show you the delicate dance of cooking with your partner, while having fun. It’s not as easy as it sounds, but, with the right mindset and a good sense of humor, anything is possible.

Mocha Pots De Creme for Downtown Appleton Death By Chocolate

Mocha Pots De Creme for Downtown Appleton Death By Chocolate

The dinner will feature local ingredients in simple preparations and prepared from scratch. We want you to see how easy this can be.

The demonstration will begin at 6pm. The demonstration part of the evening will be done by 7:30 which will leave you the rest of the evening with your partner to enjoy a quiet and delicious meal. Accordion player Troy Jones will be joining us to play sweet and romantic accordion music while you are enjoying dinner. This is a great chance to meet new people, and share a good meal with the one you adore ~

cheese

 We will have Wisconsin Cheese and Fruit Flights for you to enjoy during the demonstration.

Where – The Kangaroost – 3301 West Prospect Avenue – Appleton

Cost $100/couple (includes 4 course dinner)

Date – Saturday July 19th Time- 6pm-10pm

To sign up, email Kellyjo@kangaroostaurant.com or call 920-830-1688. Payment must be received by July 12th to ensure your spot.

Menu

Crostini with Caramelized New Onions, Fig and Black Tea Preserves and Gorgonzola Cheese

Pan Seared Trout in Meyer Lemon Olive Oil and White Wine Sauce with Grilled Summer Squash*

Ricotta Gnocchi with Peas and Pancetta*

Dark Chocolate and Red Wine Pavlova with Red Wine Soaked Raspberries and Fresh Whipped Cream

*Vegetarian Option Available

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Off to a Good Start ….. Summer Cooking Classes

Start your kid’s summer break off right with some fun and learning at the Kangaroost!

This is just a small sampling of the produce we've purchased from Riverview Gardens. Beautiful tomatoes, Dragon Tongue Beans and fennel fresh and local.

This is just a small sampling of the produce we’ve purchased from Riverview Gardens. Beautiful tomatoes, Dragon Tongue Beans and fennel fresh and local.

As many of you know, Kelly and Emma have been cooking together since Emma was little. Sharing her love of good food with Emma has sparked the same passion in Emma. And now, they would like to share that with your kids!

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Once a week, we will turn the Kangaroom into a Class Room and learn about different foods available locally. Summer is an abundant time in Wisconsin and we are going to show the kiddos how to make the best of this time of year in the kitchen. We will show them some simple techniques that they will learn to do on their own as well as a few trickier items that they can do at home with a little help.

This will be an interactive experience and involve preparing and tasting a wide variety of foods. Below are the details of this six week kid’s culinary adventure. Please note, this class is specifically designed for kids age 8-12. Class space is limited to 15 so be sure to plan now! If you have any questions or to reserve your child’s spot ~ email Kelly @ kellyjo@kangaroostaurant.com or call 920-830-1688. Questions are best sent via email, as many of your know….it’s not easy to get Kelly on the phone ~

cookies

Off to a Good Start
Kiddos Summer Cooking Class

Class Length Six Consecutive Weeks
Tuesday 2pm-5:00pm
1st class Tuesday June 10th
Final Class and Family Dinner July 15th
Kelly Barnes and Emma Witzke
$130 for 6 weeks

Week 1
Leafy Greens

This week we will learn about four greens: spinach, collard, Swiss chard, and kale. Greens are vegetables. Students will prepare a fresh salad and learn about handling, cooking and preparing greens to make them tasty and tender!

 Week 2
Berries

This week the class will explore berries. We taste several different berries available in NE Wisconsin. We will prepare Strawberry Shortcake and Blueberry Vinaigrette in class.

berries

Week 3
Exploring Starches and Beans

Bean and Grains are some of the oldest and misunderstood vegetables. This week we will learn about fresh and dried beans as well as some less common yet nutrient rich grains. Students will be preparing Wheat Berry Salad and the classic kid favorite…Macaroni and Cheese.

Week 4
Tomatoes of All Shapes and Sizes

From Brandy Wine to Roma, tomatoes come in all shapes, sizes, flavors and textures. This week we will taste many of these varietals. We will prepare a no cook pasta sauce using fresh tomatoes and basil and of course, BLTs

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Week 5
Something Sweet

Pastry Chef Andrew Brand will join us as we learn about some simple sweet treats from Granola to Cookies. We will learn how to make the perfect pie crust.

Week 6
Family Dinner

Each participant will help prepare a meal to be enjoyed with their family. As a class we will chose a few of the favorite dishes from the previous weeks for them to share with two of their family members or friends.

Lunch is Served

Lunch is Served

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Labor of Love and Love of Labor

Love of Labor
It’s Monday morning, and I am deep in thought about many things, but mostly, about how much I enjoy the work I do here at the Kangaroostaurant and Kangaroost. It hardly feels like work. I have  an endless to do list  interruptions to say a quick hello or have a short visit with family, friends, co workers and other folks who come by the restaurant.  I enjoy the things on my list….I only wish I had more time!

Devon was grown with lots of Kangaroost food ~ we had the honor and privilege of knowing his family since the beginning of the truck. They have since moved to the East Coast...and like family, we miss them.

Devon was grown with lots of Kangaroost food ~ we had the honor and privilege of knowing his family since the beginning of the truck. They have since moved to the East Coast…and like family, we miss them.

Many Hands Make Light Work
This saying always makes me think about how much easier things go when we have help. I am here to tell you that I have the best help around. Since moving the Kangaroost to the Appleton location, we’ve had the best of luck when it comes to hiring new folks to help us here at the restaurant and on the truck. All biases aside, I think we have the best Crew in town and I couldn’t be more grateful for them. Currently, we have 25 folks who work here each week. Every one of them makes this all possible. We have a great management, front of house, back of house, catering and truck team. The folks that work here do everything from marketing to lawn mowing, along with Jay and I they are the ones behind the scenes doing the work. You might see one of us at the hardware store having keys made, or picking up ramekins at rummage sales, or maybe at a thrift store in search of a cast iron frying pan. You may see us outside in what will soon be our garden. Or pulling burdock from the yard. When the website or Facebook is updated, it’s one of us.

Eric and Alex, working hard and prepping for the day ~ these two have been with us since the start of the Kangaroost.

Eric and Alex, working hard and prepping for the day ~ these two have been with us since the start of the Kangaroost.

The Heavy Lifting
There is a lot of work to be done, and though having help makes things easier, I’m here to tell you that working in a restaurant is not easy work.

When we moved to our new location, much of the work was done by our Crew or friends. We are grateful.

When we moved to our new location, much of the work was done by our Crew or friends. We are grateful.

Chef Adam hammering out menus...

Chef Adam hammering out menus…

If you are a server, you spend countless hours on your feet, taking orders, chatting with folks you don’t know yet trying to remember things about them and somehow connect while multitasking x 20, grabbing hot plates and smiling while your fingers scream expletives. Remembering everything and keeping everything organized in your brain is a challenge that our servers do without flaw. They work hard and it’s common in the restaurant business to be short staffed.  Everyday, these folks show up to work, ready to provide the best possible service and lend a hand to help in any way they can!

Server Adam photo bombing at Loudon's Birthday Celebration...sometimes serving our family and friends is involved.

Server Adam photo bombing at Loudon’s Birthday Celebration…sometimes serving our family and friends is involved.

Server Riley getting flowers together for vases on Mother's Day 2013, Riley does it all...even payroll!

Server Riley getting flowers together for vases on Mother’s Day 2013, Riley does it all…even payroll!

Front of House manager Jess puts together specials each day as well as scheduling, training, hosting, keeps Jay and I sane, organizes reservations, you name it, Jess does it!

Front of House manager Jess puts together specials each day as well as scheduling, training, hosting, keeps Jay and I sane, organizes reservations, you name it, Jess does it!

The truck folks are here early in the morning to prep and load the truck prior to lunch service. Often this means coming in at 7am and not being done until after 7pm. Working on the truck is a lot of fun, and we get to meet so many people, but the days are filled with prep, cooking, cleaning, changing oil, starting generators, filling up propane tanks, driving the truck sometimes for 3 hours, then cooking for 8 hours and then driving another 3 hours home. We have a fantastic truck crew who are learning all the ins and outs of food trucks. None of them just show up for an 8 hour shift. They are involved in the business and committed to what we do almost as much as we do. They know the truck is our baby and treat it with the same care as we do. They know it’s quirks and what to do when something is working and it can’t be fixed by duct tape or clothes hangers.

On a recent trip to Milwaukee where we cooked food for over 200 people, Eric, Chef Adam and Kelly left the Roost at 8am to return at 9pm. Yes, long lines and long days indeed.

On a recent trip to Milwaukee where we cooked food for over 200 people, Eric, Chef Adam and Kelly left the Roost at 8am to return at 9pm. Yes, long lines and long days indeed.

If you work behind the bar here at the Roost, your day starts with squeezing fresh juices, making simple syrups, gathering lemons, limes and grapefruit, filling ice bins and setting up cocktails stations before you are ready to serve a drink. Once all of that is done, your time here is spent muddling, stirring, shaking and commiserating with guests. I was taking a break one night when I overheard a guest told Alyssa “you look like you really enjoy what your are doing.” To that Alyssa replied “I love what I do.” Alyssa dreams in cocktails. Jennifer is always experimenting with new concoctions. Even Jess has stepped in and has had guests ask if she was behind the bar ~. No mixes, no high fructose corn syrup…our drinks are about simple, fresh and in house made. The spirits, beer and we serve are well thought out and researched (often many of the Crew will help with the research). Alyssa can tell you a lot about what your drinking…so don’t hesitate to ask! Keep an eye out for Jeff who you may see behind the bar. On Sundays, Jay is usually the face of the Bloodies and Mimosas – with Alyssa helping on the busier holidays.

Jennifer shaking up a whiskey sour! This cocktail, made with an egg white involves 5 minutes of vigorous shaking!

Jennifer shaking up a whiskey sour! This cocktail, made with an egg white involves 5 minutes of vigorous shaking!

 

Alyssa dreams in cocktails! We are lucky to have her here ~

Alyssa dreams about cocktails! We are lucky to have her here ~

The kitchen crew is always up to something. If it is quiet in the dining room, we are preparing for the next meal service. Our kitchen Crew does every bit of the behind the scenes work that goes into your meal. Making the salad dressings, cutting and watering micro greens, cleaning plates,  planting gardens, cutting French fries, making pie crusts, baking cakes, picking up blow torches, scrubbing countless pots and pans,  ordering and sourcing food, maintaining inventories, making menus, specials, prep lists, mopping floors, it’s all part of the deal. Days are often long, without time to take a real break. But each and everyone of our kitchen Crew comes in ready to work hard and are so passionate about cooking!

House made Pickles

House made Pickles

Hard work with time for PICTURES!

Hard work with time for PICTURES!

I get emotional when I think of the love and thoughtfulness that is put into the dishes we serve. From the farmers growing and producing it, to the folks preparing it, to the servers bringing it to your table, every step of the way your food is handled with love. It’s true, this is a labor of love!

These eggs from Olden Produce are used in our kitchen, bakery and yes, even the BAR!

These eggs from Olden Produce are used in our kitchen, bakery and yes, even the BAR!

We were able to take a trip to Nami Moon Farms last fall and hang out with Chris, Maria and a bunch of turkeys.

We were able to take a trip to Nami Moon Farms last fall and hang out with Chris, Maria and a bunch of turkeys.

Chef Adam's daughter Maddy on a recent visit to Keune Organic Meats.

Chef Adam’s daughter Maddy on a recent visit to Keune Organic Meats.

Love of Labor
I’ve told you about some of the work that goes into your experience here. While the work is difficult and exhausting the reason we keep coming back and keep working hard, is because we love the work we do.

Serving food to a restaurant full of guests is a rush unlike any other.

We recently hosted a group of folks from Kimberly Clark. These guests were here from Costa Rica!

We recently hosted a group of folks from Kimberly Clark. These guests were here from Costa Rica!

Plating a dinner to be served to someone celebrating a life milestone is an honor!

We recently served a New Orleans style dinner for a friend celebrating  30 years of life!

We recently served a New Orleans style dinner for a friend celebrating 30 years of life!

Driving the truck filled with delicious food to a farm to serve guests at a wedding is an experience that will make your hair tingle! It’s even better in the rain ~

Our first ever farm service...on a Red Barn Farm, captured forever by Wisconsin Foodie.

Our first ever farm service…on a Red Barn Farm, captured forever by Wisconsin Foodie.

Another first...in an airplane hanger!

Another first…in an airplane hanger!

Having someone share your Facebook post or re tweet your tweet is exciting. It is indeed fun to know that others are as excited about what you are up to as you are!

One of our more popular Facebook photos...,

One of our more popular Facebook photos…,

Mother’s Day
So, why all the fuss over the people that work here? Because, I care for them, deeply. Each and everyone of them. I know about them, their families their other jobs, their children, what they do on their days off. It’s often hard for me to remember that they are not my children as I remind them that a pan is hot or that they should take a break. They will often give Jay and I rides home, they pack a lunch for Jay everyday as he heads off to his other job – they take care of us, and we, do our best to take care of them.

Alicia one of our cooks and also a student at the Fox Valley Tech, created this Wisconsin gem for this year's Wisconsin Restaurant Association Cake Decorating Competition.

Alicia one of our cooks and also a student at the Fox Valley Tech, created this Wisconsin gem for this year’s Wisconsin Restaurant Association Cake Decorating Competition.

they are like family...

they are like family…

The line between employee and employer is often blurred here. But, at the end of the day, we are still employers, and the people that work here employees. We take that seriously. Jay and I have spent countless hours worrying about payroll and we have often had to ask for help to make sure everyone working here gets paid. It’s a big responsibility and a huge commitment on both ends. We recognize that and take that very seriously.  Sometimes, things happen that make it necessary for folks to leave the Roost. It’s the way it goes. Things don’t work out for whatever reason, but that’s life. We always want folks to enjoy being here and being a part of the family. If it’s time to move on, we support that and have even encouraged it.

Josey and Veronica.

Josey and Veronica.

Emma.

Emma.

So, for me it’s about more than employees and employers. It’s about people, their families, their history but most of all about respect and dignity. I may get frustrated and may not always have a big smile on my face, at the end of it all, I respect the folks that work here, not just for the work they do here, but for the things they do in their life to make the world a better place to be.  They are good people, who I trust, with what has become my Labor of Love.

Mason.

Mason.

So, on this year, this mom is saying thank you to all of them, for helping me learn, grow and be a better person, both personally and professionally. Just like my children,  you teach me something new each and every day.

Chef Adam and I on the line for dinner one night. Judging by the bags under both of our eyes, we were whipped, but still smiling - kind of ~

Chef Adam and I on the line for dinner one night. Judging by the bags under both of our eyes, we were whipped, but still smiling.

And to your Mothers who have raised fine human beings!

With love and gratitude.
Kelly

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On the Road

No Ho Hum Monday
As some of you know, my daughter Emma is now a college student in Milwaukee. In order to keep me happy, she has agreed to me visiting her on a weekly basis. This day has become what I call Monday with Emma Day.

Emma graduated from Appleton West and is currently a student at MSOE.

Emma graduated from Appleton West and is currently a student at MSOE.

The Journey and the Destination
I have often said “it’s not about the destination” but as I travel to and from Milwaukee each week, I realize that the reason we journey is indeed the destination. Some people are in a big hurry, others (like myself) are not. Some are distracted by phones and radios and children. Others hold tightly to the wheel at 10 and 2 and keep a steady gaze on the road ahead.  The one thing that they all have in common is they are headed somewhere! All on the same road going to different places. There are often detours, roads closed or delays, but ultimately, we all do get to our destinations…hopefully.

Emma an engineering student was impressed by the open bridge. We were delayed but not bothered...

Emma an engineering student was impressed by the open bridge. We were delayed but not bothered…

What is the Destination?
Emma and I keep our plans pretty loose. We do like to go eat and have enjoyed great lunches together at several Milwaukee gems including Beans and Barley,  The Noble and Horny Goat – Emma and I have always shared a love for good food and it’s been good fun to explore new places with her. She is always happy to take food back to the dorms with her since the food is as she describes it almost inedible.

Emma ordered the Surf and Turf on a recent visit to The Noble. Good food is always part of the destination!

Emma ordered the Surf and Turf on a recent visit to The Noble. Good food is always part of the destination!

Also part of the destination is just to spend time together. It doesn’t really matter what we do or where we go, it’s always a good place when we are there.

What About Us?
And it makes me think, that is true for all of us here at The Kangaroost and Kangaroostaurant.  We all have a destination that we hope to reach some day… not physical destinations –  but career destinations, family destinations, spiritual destinations, relationship destinations and many other places we journey to. We all have a deep sense of community and a passion for good food. Each day, we get up with the hope of doing a little better than the day before. We are people behind the wall, cooking food for people on the other side of the wall.

I recently found myself reliving and regretting the same day over and over for 3 sleepless nights. I made a decision in the kitchen that seemed like the right thing to do at the time, but afterward, I had hindsight to help me see what I should have done. Those are hard lessons for me. I’ve talked to many folks about what it’s like to work in a restaurant and all say the same thing, that 100% satisfaction is always what they aim for. We can serve 100 people who are extremely happy, but if one person’s experience is less than perfect, we will relive that over and over and do whatever it takes to ensure that not happening again. But it does for different reasons and again, we vow to never let that happen again. In our kitchen we have a slew of perfectionists.

Katie, Chef Lindsey and I are often the ruling majority of perfectionists in the kitchen.

Katie, Chef Lindsey and I are often the ruling majority of perfectionists in the kitchen.

We are a different kind of destination at The Kangaroost. One where your food is cooked to order when it’s ordered. One where we are more concerned with the experience you have here than we are about “table turns”. We invite you to stay and linger. Talk over coffee, have a cocktail crafted for you by our Barchitecht Alyssa.

Alyssa dreams in cocktails! We are lucky to have her here ~

Alyssa dreams in cocktails! We are lucky to have her here ~

Enjoy dessert…baked from scratch by Chef Adam.

Chef Adam created this decadent and rich chocolate cake for folks on Valentine's Day. So much chocolate and love

Chef Adam created this decadent and rich chocolate cake for folks on Valentine’s Day. So much chocolate and love

It doesn’t matter why you are here, it matters to us that you ARE here. It matters to us that you’ve chosen to spend your hard earned money with us. It matters to us that you have expectations, and it is always our goal for you to be completely fed and fulfilled when you leave here. If you aren’t, we want to know about it. We ask for feedback and with all sincerity invite you to share with us how your meal was. If you weren’t happy with every part of your experience, we ask you to tell us. This is how we learn. This is how we grow and this is how we can best achieve the goal of complete satisfaction, all of the time!

Jay has proven time and again, that customer service and satisfaction is his top priority and he will do whatever it takes to make that happen. Including this.

Jay has proven time and again, that customer service and satisfaction is his top priority and he will do whatever it takes to make that happen. Including this.

And, Riley will do the same.

And, Riley will do the same.

Once Emma asked me “why do you have to turn everything into a life lesson”. The answer to this is – I’m not sure, but I do. I am always searching for meaning or reasons that things happen the way they do.  I feel like every person that comes to eat here is coming for a reason. We honor that reason and hope you enjoy your time spent with us.

This baby, was grown with lots of Kangaroost food ~ we met him last week for the first time. His family has been eating at the Kangaroostaurant and Kangaroost since that first summer.

This baby, was grown with lots of Kangaroost food ~ we met him last week for the first time. His family has been eating at the Kangaroostaurant and Kangaroost since that first summer.

So to whatever destination your journey takes you today, may you enjoy that place while you are there.

Safe Travels!

Kelly

 

 

 

 

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Welcome New Year’s Eve

Ringing in the New

Join us on New Year’s Eve for a night of good food. We will be serving a 7 course meal specially prepared by Chef Adam Devens and out wonderful kitchen staff. There are vegetarian and vegan menus available as we want to create a night full of good food for all to enjoy. Because we make everything from scratch, many of the menu items can be modified to accommodate gluten free and other dietary restrictions. Call us at 920-830-1668.

New Year’s Eve 2013 Menu

 Amuse-bouche

Hand Sliced Grass -fed Tenderloin  on  a crisp Crostini spread with Goat Cheese and topped with Red Onion and Shallot Confit and Red Apple Balsamic Glaze.

Pickled Kohlrabi and Carrots wrapped in a thinly sliced Cucumber drizzled with Meyer Lemon Olive Oil. (Veg)

Salad

Fresh Mixed Greens tossed with Caesar Dressing and shredded Bellavitano Cheese and topped with a crispy soft-boiled Duck Egg.

Fresh Mixed Greens tossed with Sesame Balsamic, Roasted Cashews, and topped with curried Tofu and Pea Shoots. (Veg)

Cheese

Cinnamon Bellavitano cheese and Assorted Potters Crackers (Veg)

Soup

Butternut Squash Bisque with Winter Spiced Cream and Candied Pecans (Veg)

Sorbet

Pomegranate Champagne Mead

Risotto

Wild Mushroom and Tarragon Risotto with Black Truffle Olive Oil (Veg)

Entrée

Coffee rubbed, Slow Roasted Pork Belly with Herb Roasted Brussel Sprouts.

Garnished with a Chimichurri sauce.

Primavera – Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Grape Tomatoes, Pea Shoots, Sunflower Shoots and RP’s Linguini tossed with a light white wine and cream sauce. (Veg)

Sweets

Grasshopper Roll topped with Spiked Chocolate Sauce and Crème Anglaise.

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Re – Opening Day – December 11th, 2013

So Soon?

Just three weeks ago, we signed a lease and began preparing to open the doors at The Kangaroost. With a lot of hard work and creative preparations, we are preparing to reopen in our new location on Wednesday, December 11th. In true Kangaroostaurant style, we’ve done this turnaround quickly and will be continually working to make additional improvements as we go.

Riley, Emma and Meng working hard to pull up 20 years of red carpet.

Riley, Emma and Meng working hard to pull up 20 years of red carpet.

The concrete floors have been sanded (by Jay) and finished with a sort of shiny sealer to create a clean yet unpolished look.

The concrete floors have been sanded (by Jay) and finished with a sort of shiny sealer to create a clean yet unpolished look.

Where Do I Begin?

We’ve been asked by so many people what they can expect at The Kangaroost when we reopen. My best answer is a lot! From the décor to the menu,  things are different here. Old and new, fresh and familiar, local and seasonal are the best way to describe everything!

Chef Adam has worked with our kitchen staff to make our pickles in house. This is a new and much appreciated improvement to our menu!

Chef Adam has worked with our kitchen staff to make our pickles in house. This is a new and much appreciated improvement to our menu!

The dining room is a fresh mixture of natural elements. From the wood on the ceiling to the cement floors, we’ve used many of the elements already here, and updated them to a younger more current feel, while keeping the basic structure and form of this wonderful space.

The ceiling once cloudy and grey is now wrapped with this beautiful repurposed wood from Urban Evolutions in Appleton.

The ceiling once cloudy and grey is now wrapped with this beautiful repurposed wood from Urban Evolutions in Appleton.

A few special holiday decorations create natural beauty with a few touches of fun thrown in. Keep your eyes open for the birds!

A few special holiday decorations create natural beauty with a few touches of fun thrown in. Keep your eyes open for the birds!

Hand Crafted tables from Urban Evolutions adorned with candles designed by Lou Ann McCutcheon create a rustic elegance.

Hand Crafted tables from Urban Evolutions adorned with candles designed by Lou Ann McCutcheon create a rustic elegance.

More About the Food

Many of our menu items will be staying on the menu. Chef Adam and I have worked to put add a few more options for all – including more salads, sandwiches and entrees. Our menus can be found here. I am excited that Jay and I have dishes named after us on the breakfast menu.  ‘The Jay’  Monsieur and ‘The Kelly’  Madame are Chef Adam’s surprise to us on the new menu.

We will continue to focus on local and seasonal ingredients. Our menu includes many items from suppliers we’ve used since the beginning as well as a few new farmers including Keune Organic Meats. There will be a nightly steak feature on the dinner menu. Look for our Fox Cities Magazine Golden Fork Award winning Royale’ With Cheese on both the lunch and dinner menus.

The Royale with Cheese. Please note, fresh tomatoes are available seasonally only.

The Royale with Cheese. Please note, fresh tomatoes are available seasonally only.

Chef Adam's daughter Maddy on a recent visit to Keune Organic Meats.

Chef Adam’s daughter Maddy on a recent visit to Keune Organic Meats.

We were able to take a trip to Nami Moon Farms this fall and hang out with Chris, Maria and a bunch of turkeys.

We were able to take a trip to Nami Moon Farms this fall and hang out with Chris, Maria and a bunch of turkeys.

We look forward to continuing with  delicious Red Barn Family Farms milk and cheeses.

We look forward to continuing with delicious Red Barn Family Farms milk and cheeses.

And the wonderful eggs from Olden Produce!

And the wonderful eggs from Olden Produce!

Artist Daniel W. Green is working on a commissioned 4′ x 6′ piece of art for us – which will highlight all of the suppliers we use from within the great state of Wisconsin.  Here is what it looks like so far!

Each vendor will have a mini piece of art depicting the location of their farm.

Each vendor will have a mini piece of art depicting the location of their farm.

vendor map

We look forward to having this hanging at the Roost. It is scheduled to be finished in early January! What a great way to start the New Year ~

So Much to See and Savor

I could go on forever about the changes and excitement here. We are eagerly anticipating Wednesday. We look forward to seeing you during the hours below!

Monday – closed
Tuesday – 11am – 8pm
Wednesday – 11am – 8pm
Thursday – 11am – 8pm
Friday – 11am – 9pm
Saturday – 8am – 9pm
Sunday – 8am-9pm

We will be serving our full menu. We will also be offering a fantastic beer and wine menu.  To help our staff prepare and get ready for dinner service, we will be offering a smaller menu between 2pm and 4pm.

Where is The Kangaroost?

Our new location can be found at 3301 West Prospect Avenue – click here for a map. If you have any questions or would like to make reservation please call 920-830-1688.  We will have a banner our front for now, but there is a Vineyard sign – as well as a Living Faith Church sign. It’s a little confusing, but if you see all those signs, you are in the right place!!! There is a 4 way stop light at the entrance to our driveway. This makes it very handy to get in and out of and we are just minutes off of Highway 41.

Can’t wait to FEED you some GOOD Local FOOD and DRINK!

We have plenty of parking in the back of the building - so don't let the full parking lot .

We have plenty of parking in the back of the building – so don’t let the full parking lot .

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Community of Supporters

What IS that?

Over the past 3 weeks, this is a question I’ve found myself asking more and more. As we work to transform what was most recently a church into The Kangaroost. It’s been a continuous series of projects. Here is a photo of the dining area before all the fun began.

This photo shows the red carpet and white and white ceilings. We decided this was not the look we wanted.

This photo shows the red carpet and white and white ceilings. We decided this was not the look we wanted.

Who Knows What?

We knew there would be many challenges and questions along the way. I personally am not much of a style expert and Jay knew we’d need some help with the technical and mechanical issues we needed to take care of. So, we called in the experts.

Which Way Do We Go?

So, we signed the lease, and then asked ourselves, now what? I don’t know much about style, but I do know what I like when I see it. Every time I’ve visited Urban Evolutions Inc, I would leave thinking how stylish I thought the things they had were. So, I called them first. We are on a very tight budget and timeline, so I knew that would be an obstacle, but Robin from Urban Evolutions Inc. has been a huge help along the way of transforming this space full of red, white and fabricated stuff to a space with natural light and elements. Robin introduced us to Lou Ann McCutcheon of McCutcheon Design and the two of them brainstormed with us and we set out to change the look of this charming building, full of character. We wanted to show off some of it’s brilliance while downplaying the not so brilliant. They have both offered so many suggestions and support and advice along the way. It’s been invaluable to us as this is not our area of expertise.

Lou Ann from McCutcheon Design has helped us in so many ways. The chickens on the windows and the wood on the ceiling, were both her ideas and both are brilliant!

Lou Ann from McCutcheon Design has helped us in so many ways. The chickens on the windows and the wood on the ceiling, were both her ideas and both are brilliant!

Call In the Experts

Lou Ann and Robin have been fantastic in creating ideas and a plan, but next we needed help from those folks who knew how to get the job done.

We met Steve from Northstar Contracting a couple of years ago when we started down the road of looking for a brick and mortar restaurant. He has looked at several buildings with us and has been an asset in looking at properties with open eyes, as he will often see things we don’t. Northstar Contracting have been responsible for fine tuning the plumbing and electricity and most noticeably right now, painting the ceiling. This building has high ceilings covered with popcorn stuff popular in the 1980’s. So, Steve not only figured out a way to paint them, he took on the task himself. It’s a busy time for them right now, and knowing we are pushing to open sooner than later, he spent 2 days with us painting.

Steve from Northstar

Steve from Northstar covered in paint and thrilled to have his photo taken.

Once Steve finished painting the ceiling, we called on our friend Mark Apitz to help hang 360 square feet of wood on a ceiling 12 feet high. He showed up with a bunch of tools and an enthusiasm unlike you’ve ever seen. I’ve heard about people who own a lot of tools, but, I could not have imagined some of the things Mark showed up with. Saws, electric hammers, compressors – you name it, he brought it.  In a little over 2 days, Mark had the wood in place. He even used a homemade stain recipe to blend the edges of the cut wood with the rest of the reclaimed wood. This is truly a work of art. Be sure to notice some of the detail in the wood along with some of the markings.

Mark brought with him a world of knowledge and skills that we didn’t have as we worked to get things ready. We are grateful for all of his help and have named him project manager as he seems to be readily available with an answer or solution to whatever we need help with.

Our friend Mark Apitz carefully pieced together 360 square feet of reclaimed wood.

Our friend Mark Apitz carefully pieced together 360 square feet of reclaimed wood.

From the Bottom Up

Next up, the floor. Now, this is undoubtedly, the least glamorous of all the tasks. It’s dusty, smelly but incredibly necessary. Emma, Riley, Meng and Ross pulled approximately 1500 square feet of old red carpeting from the building. It seemed never ending at times involved removing baseboards, fixtures and whatever else stood in the way of it’s riddance.

floor

Not a fun job at all but you wouldn’t know it by their attitudes!

After a Sunday of putting a few finishing touches on the paint, it was time to bring in that thing.

painting on Sunday

What is THAT????

Jay sanding floor

I don’t know what this thing is called, but I do know what it does. Scrapes stuff off the floor. It had a very ominous warning sticker on it and made a lot of noise and dust, but at the end of the week, the floor was brighter and ready for a finishing coat. Jay and Mark were covered in dust. It was quite the experience ~ but, as is often the case with the process of change…it’s not all fun and games!

What’s Next?

This week, we’ll be putting the finish on the floor, adding a few finishing touches and bringing in the furnishings and fixtures. You can expect things to be simple and natural, with a few clever and kitschy items thrown in for Good Measure. Our friend Daniel Green is painting a large 6’x4′ painting that will hang in the space between the dining area and bar. This painting will indicate our suppliers and producers and show people just where their food is coming from.

This work in progress will have a spot for all of our suppliers!

This work in progress will have a spot for all of our suppliers!

Community Supported Restaurant

This brings me to my point in this blog post. We’ve been working hard and getting the things done that we need to open, but there is much to do. The structural things have been worked out, the design and décor is coming together, and now…the other stuff.  All of this has only been possible with the support of you – Our Community. We are very grateful and acknowledge the fact that we are doing things different, creating a place for folks to gather, have a meal and get to know one another. We’ve been able to make the many changes and adaptations we’ve made over the past few years thanks to the generosity of our CSR (Community Supported Restaurant) members. We have over 30 people who have purchased shares. Many of you are familiar with CSA Shares (community supported agriculture) but a Community Supported Restaurant is a relatively new idea in this area. A google search will provide several articles and links to other restaurants across the country taking this new approach to running a restaurant. The link below is an article from Travel and Leisure in 2012 that called Community Supported Restaurants the trend to watch.
http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-blog/carry-on/2012/10/9/trend-watch-community-supported-restaurants

Based on the premise of having a lot of folks invested in a restaurant’s success rather than enter into a very competitive business with a lot of debt and risk, CSR members purchase shares to restaurants.  These shares are redeemable in food and are much like a gift certificate ~ or in store credit redeemable over an extended period of time. The reason these models succeed is because of the support of members. Not only do they come in regularly to redeem their share, they bring their friends, they tell their family and most of all, they encourage us. They offer honest suggestions and feedback. They are invested. They have a reason to see they business succeed.

Another reason these restaurants are often more successful, is that the risk is shared by many, rather than a few. We have 4 investors in The Kangaroost who have loaned us the money to make some of the larger purchases and meet some of the larger expense needs to open in this space.

While doing all we can to save expense, and do the minimum needed to open, we’ve found ourselves in the position of opening without some key things. Call it a wish list, it’s really much more. It’s things like awnings (our awnings from the old location will not work in this space), a point of sale system to help better manage sales and transactions, a steam table for the kitchen to help keep soups and other things hot, a blender, and a few other things that while we can get by without them, will be needed sooner than later, to make us successful.

How Much Does a Share Cost?

We are currently offering two different share options.

  • $500 Share – Redeemable at The Kangaroost or Kangaroostaurant in $25/increments over the course of 2 years. Members are also the first to know what happening as well as often a part of special events. We have a Sunday Supper planned for members this winter so that the folks who support us in this way can get to know each other.
  • $1000 Share – Redeemable at The Kangaroost or Kangaroostaurant in $50 increments over the course of 2 years.

Is It Really That Simple

The answer to that is yes. And no. This is certainly a difficult business and their are innumerable obstacles to success and we appreciate that now more than ever. We do the hard part. We worry, work hard, get up early and go to bed late and do our very best to make every dollar count and every investment is taken seriously. So, is it simple for us? YES, because we LOVE what we do. All the hard work, all the fretting, all the frustration is gone when we receive emails and cards from guests who’ve eaten at the restaurant and enjoyed themselves so much that they took time to send us a card. When we see those familiar faces of friends and neighbors coming in and saying hello we forget about the struggles and get to stop for a minute and chat. We hug our customers, hold their children, support them in difficult times and they do the same for us. It’s what community is about. The little things that matter.

How Do You Purchase a Share?

If you are interested in becoming a shareholder, please let us know and we can answer any questions or concerns and get you the information you need to make a decision. You can reach us at 920-277-8173 or by email at emmar@thekangaroost.com or kellyjo@kangaroostaurant.com . Emma Reiser or I would be more than happy to tell you all about it.

Where We Left Off

So, we are getting closer to opening every day. Our hope is that by Saturday, December 7th , we will be serving up food for our soft opening and open officially to the public on December 9th. But, as you can see, we’ve made a LOT of progress, but still have much work to do.

We are about 1/2 way done with the transformation ~ thanks to all for your HARD WORK so far....

We are about 1/2 way done with the transformation ~ thanks to all for your HARD WORK so far….

See you soon at The Kangaroost – 3301 West Prospect Avenue – Appleton Wisconsin!

Gratefully,
Kelly

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