Yew Dell’s Largest Big Bloom Ever

Visit the botanical gardens to improve your gardening skills and experience the beauty of spring

 

By Elizabeth Scinta
Photos by Andrea Hutchinson

 

Spring is in the air, which means warm weather, Derby season, beautiful spring colors and blooming flowers throughout the city. Experience the beauty of spring by visiting Yew Dell Botanical Gardens to see the Big Bloom. “Every year we have our annual bulb display. This year it’s our largest annual bulb display to date. We’ve planted just shy of 17,000 tulips and hyacinths around the gardens. This is the first Spring that visitors have been able to come to Yew Dell in two years because last Spring we were closed due to COVID-19; I’d say that makes this Big Bloom pretty special,” said Lindsay Duncan, Yew Dell’s marketing and PR manager.

Yew Dell’s Garden and Arboretum Manager, Sayde Heckman, who is the mastermind behind the Big Bloom’s design, planted bulbs that flower in succession. “Typically when we think of planning a staggered bloom schedule, it’s throughout the entire year. The Big Bloom, on the other hand, is a drama in three acts: early-blooming, mid-blooming and late-blooming. It’s amazing to witness so much change occur in just one season,” explained Duncan. While most of the hyacinths are finished blooming, there are several late-blooming tulips just beginning to emerge. As one visitor put it, “The garden is like a work of art.” So make sure to plan a visit to witness the final act of the Big Bloom!

Yew Dell Botanical Gardens is here to help you become a garden expert and offer an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. They recently updated their mission statement to “sparking a passion for plants and gardening through accessible science and inspiring beauty.” They offer all kinds of classes, events and workshops for anyone to attend; Yew Dell is currently offering in-person and virtual options. “We’re meeting everyone at their comfort level right now. We have a toe in both the virtual and in-person worlds,” explained Duncan. All of the events they offer can be attended by new gardeners or expert gardeners; they meet everyone where they are.

“If you’re a forever learner, you’re going to find something wonderful about our gardens. The inspiring beauty is unique and a historic treasure. It’s one of the first projects that the Garden Conservancy took on which is a nationwide organization that preserves gardens of historic significance,” explained Duncan. “Yew Dell was a commercial nursery and was started by a family in the 1940s. They built the castle all by themselves; it wasn’t for anyone else’s enjoyment but the family’s and the community, of course. People always ask about our castle and we have such a unique story that it’s fun to talk about. That’s why I love Yew Dell.”

Did you know that Yew Dell also has a plant nursery program? In fact, they just uploaded 150 new plants to shopyewdell.com for you to purchase and start your own garden. There will also be an in-person plant sale at the end of April on Saturday, April 24, if being in-person is more your style. “Everything we do is setting you up for success in your own garden; through workshops, plant sales, coming out to the gardens and seeing all of the plants labeled,” said Duncan. “It’s like a living museum!” 

Yew Dell Botanical Gardens
6220 Old LaGrange Road
yewdellgardens.org
502.241.4788

Meet Marla Brown of RE/MAX Properties East

Marla Brown.

A real estate agent determined to do what it takes to find or sell your home

 

By Elizabeth Scinta

 

Selling your home or purchasing a new one is an extremely exciting step for many, but can also be intimidating. Having the right realtor can make the experience much easier and more enjoyable if you can find the right agent for you. Meet Marla Brown, a realtor at RE/MAX Properties East who believes that hard work and getting to know your clients is the key ingredient to finding your dream home. We had the chance to talk with her to get to know more. 

How did you get into the real estate industry?

I started working for NTS Development Company in 1982. While there, I was selling empty lots, but in 1987, they sent me to real estate school. In 1991, I began working for RE/MAX Properties selling homes. I was New Associate of the Year in four states after my first year with RE/MAX Properties. Recently RE/MAX Properties merged with RE/MAX Properties East as well. I sell the highest-priced homes all over Louisville but focus mostly on Lake Forest, Anchorage, Oldham County and Norton Commons.

What do you love best about being an agent?

My favorite part of the job is meeting new people at every opportunity and job. I focus mainly on selling the larger, more expensive homes in Louisville, so that’s another reason I love what I do. I love getting to know my clients and helping them start a new chapter of their life by helping them sell their home or purchase a new one. 

What sets you and your agency apart from other local agents/agencies?

What sets me apart from other realtors is my dedication to be at almost every showing I do. I always have the lights on for showings and make sure to advertise my clients’ homes as much as possible. I’m a hard worker. Also, the Principal Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Properties East, Joe Hayden, is what makes our company unique. He’s brilliant and easy to work with!

What advice would you give homeowners looking for an agent and agency to help them find a new home?

First, have them come and preview your home. Ask them to give you ideas of what to do to fix it up. Next, ask if they’re at every showing. Do they just put a lockbox on the door and forget about it, or do they actually come and turn on the lights and walk people through the homes?

Is there a particular property that’s hot on the market you want to share about?

The one I just listed is a $2.85 million home on Springhill Gardens Drive in Anchorage. It’s in the Anchorage school district and the man who owns it now remodeled most of the home when he purchased it. It’s on 1.7 acres, backs up to a creek, has the best view of Owl Creek Country Club Golf Course and it’s fabulous.

RE/MAX Properties East
10525 Timberwood Circle Suite 100
Louisville, KY 40223
homesinlouisville.com
502.425.6000

Marla Brown
RE/MAX Properties East
502.643.1234
brownremax@aol.com

What Are The Odds?

A philosopher’s guide to betting on the Derby

 

By Steve Humphrey

 

Last year for the April Derby Issue, I wrote a column on probability, but that was scientific, or logical, probability. This time, I decided to write about something far more important: probability in horse racing. In that last column, I distinguished two kinds of probability, Classical and Relative Frequency. Briefly, classical probability applies to cases where there are a finite number of possible outcomes, each equally likely, like flipping a coin or rolling a die. Relative frequencies are those cases in which there are many trials, and we count how often a particular outcome occurs. 

Clearly, neither of these work in the case of horse racing. If we used the classical approach, each horse in a race would be assigned the same odds, but we do not believe that every horse has the same chance of winning. And we cannot run the same race many times over to determine how often Olivia wins. 

So, what do the odds in a horse race mean? This kind of probability is called “Subjective” and reflects the beliefs of the people setting the odds. The track handicapper sets the “morning line” based upon his or her subjective, though educated, judgment as to who is most likely to win. This can be based on past performance, past races against common opponents, workouts in the weeks preceding the race, how the horses look, etc. But the morning line are not the odds when the race is run. The odds change as bettors weigh in with their judgments. I know horseplayers who like to bet on “value.” They figure that the handicapper knows more than the bettors, and if the bettors change the odds significantly from the morning line, there is a chance to make some money.

Another fact about wagering at the track is that it is “Pari-mutuel” betting. The horseplayer is not betting against the track, as a roulette player does in a casino, but against other bettors. The money bet all goes into pools of win, place and show, and that money is distributed to the winning bets, according to the odds at race time, minus a percentage that goes to the track. The track cannot lose money on the races. The track only loses money if the “handle” is too light to cover costs, so the track has a vested interest in getting more people to bet more money.

Now, what about betting strategies? If all you want to do is cash tickets, and not lose too much, bet the favorite in each race. If you want big, though infrequent, payouts, bet the longshot in each race. My favorite bets are exactas and trifectas. If I think there are two clear favorites in a race, I will bet them in an “exacta box,” which is two exacta bets. (A $2 exacta box costs $4). In an exacta, you are betting that two horses will come in first and second in a particular order. In an exacta box, those two only need to come in first and second, in any order. The same applies to trifecta boxes, in which you bet that three chosen horses will finish first, second and third. 

But above all, try to avoid a “Dutch Book,” which is a bet in which you are guaranteed to lose money. I see this a lot on the Derby. There are so many horses running, and so much time before the race, that people make multiple bets which end up contradicting each other. My wife grew so tired of not cashing any tickets one day that she bet all the horses in one race to win. Sure enough, she cashed a ticket, but she lost money. Enjoy the Derby and happy betting!

Steve Humphrey has a Ph.D. in the history and philosophy of science, with a specialty in the philosophy of physics. He teaches courses in these subjects at the University of California, Santa Barbara and has taught them at the University of Louisville.

Derby Dreamhouse

On Jamie:
Rebecca Vallance dress, $198, available at Belle Monde Boutique. Prissy fascinator, $675, available at Attitudes by Angie. Earrings, $28; Wood bangles, $18, available at Stella’s Resale Boutique. Stuart Weitzman patent heels, $395; Mini Mal purse, $450, available at Rodes For Her.
On Lucy:
Marisa Baratelli dress, $215, available at Glasscock Too. Lele Sadoughi flower earrings, $295; Valentino heels, $890; Yves Saint Laurent clutch, $545, available at Rodes For Her. Kendra Scott necklace, $125, available at Sassy Fox Upscale Consignment. Monica fascinator, $845, available at Attitudes by Angie.
Decor:
Paddock tablecloth, $72; Mint julep candle, $30, available at Dolfinger’s. Fendi pillow, price upon request, available at Vintage Luxe Up.

Photographer: Andrea Hutchinson
Stylists: Liz Bingham & Miranda McDonald
Styling Assistant: Elizabeth Scinta
Hair: Alexis Apenawicz of NOVA Salon
Makeup: Becca Schell
Models: Lucy Duane & Kristopher Stein with Heyman Talent Agency, Adam Raque with Discovery Management, Joe Daily and Jamie Huelsman
Catering: Wiltshire Pantry
Bourbon: Basil Hayden’s
Champagne: The Champagnery
Decor: Dolfinger’s
Location: Lincliffe

 

On Adam:
Canali jacket, $1,795; Eton shirt, $255; Hudson twill pants, $185; Torino leather belt, $130; Eton pocket square, $65, available at Rodes For Him. Sterling silver mint julep cup, $82, available at Dolfinger’s.
On Jamie:
Saloni dress, $299, available at Belle Monde Boutique. Serpui Marie purse, $335, available at Rodes For Her. Betsey Johnson glitter heels, $36; Forme Millinery fascinator, $72, available at Sassy Fox Upscale Consignment. Pink earrings, $24.99, available at Kathy’s Shoppe.
On Joe:
Samuelsohn suit, $1,595; Eton shirt, $250; Eton tie, $155; Edward Armah lapel flower, $45; Torino calfskin belt, $135, available at Rodes For Him. Sterling silver mint julep cup, $82, available at Dolfinger’s.
On Lucy:
Lavender silk dress, $28, available at Sassy Fox Upscale Consignment. Manolo Blahnik cork heels, $98; Pink and cream clutch, $28, available at Stella’s Resale Boutique. Mignonne Gavigan hoop earrings, $285; Christine A. Moore Millinery hat, $950, available at Rodes For Her.
On Kristopher:
Samuelsohn sport coat, $1,195; Eton shirt, $245; J Brand French terry pants, $228; R. Hanauer bow tie, $75; Torino calfskin belt, $110, available at Rodes For Him. Moncler aviator sunglasses, $590, available at SKYN Lounge. Shoes from Kristopher’s personal collection. Sterling silver mint julep cup, $82, available at Dolfinger’s.

On Jamie:
Flor Et.Al dress, $895, available at Rodeo Drive. Vintage hat, $32; Gold chain necklace, $12, available at Stella’s Upscale Consignment.

On Lucy:
Amur dress, $598, available at Glasscock Too. Bird fascinator, $170, available at The Hat Doctor. Lele Sadoughi earrings, $225; Prada purse, $2,150, available at Rodes For Her. Dee Keller suede heels, $128, available at Stella’s Resale Boutique. 14K white gold diamond ring, $4,995; Shy Creation 14k white gold diamond bracelet, $2,100, available at Genesis Diamonds. Fendi pillow, price upon request, available at Vintage Luxe Up.

On Lucy:
Cinq à Sept pants, $325; Cinq à Sept blazer, $495, available at Rodeo Drive. Marion Parke navy heels, $650; L’Agence silk top, $215; Chris Ovella fascinator, $535, Jenny Bird chain necklace, $295, available at Rodes For Her. Hobo patent clutch, $149, available at Belle Monde Boutique. Gold flower earrings, $8, available at Sassy Fox Upscale Consignment. Moncler gold round sunglasses, $505, available at SKYN Lounge.
On Jamie:
L’Agence silk bodysuit, $380; Alexis pants, $455; Serpui Marie purse, $335; Mignonne Gavigan feather earrings, $225, available at Rodes For Her. Paisley belt, $19; Chie Mihara mules, $59, available at Belle Monde Boutique. Sequin necklace, $14, available at Stella’s Resale Boutique. Feather and floral fascinator, $170, available from The Hat Doctor.

On Adam:
Canali jacket, $1,795; Eton shirt, $255; Hudson twill pants, $185; Torino leather belt, $130; Eton pocket square, $65, available at Rodes For Him. Sterling silver mint julep cup, $82, available at Dolfinger’s. Breitling Gents Navitimer Chronograph 18k red gold watch, $26,605, available at Genesis Diamonds.
On Jamie:
Vintage Neiman Marcus blazer, $42; Vintage Worth chiffon and feather outfit, $148, available at Stella’s Resale Boutique. Stuart Weitzman patent heels, $395; Lele Sadoughi floral earrings, $245; Christian Louboutin purse, $1,450, available at Rodes For Her. Mad Hatter 502 fascinator, $325, available at Mamili. 14k white gold diamond ring, $11,900; 14k white gold diamond pendant necklace, $3,995; 14k white gold diamond tennis bracelet, $17,375, available at Genesis Diamonds.

On Lucy:
Continental Couture sequin dress, $99; Chanel purse, $3,100, available at Belle Monde Boutique. Christine A. Moore Millinery hat, $710, available at Rodes For Her. Earrings, $24.99, available at Kathy’s Shoppe. Gloves from Miranda’s personal collection.

On Lucy:
Vintage Pat Perkins taffeta dress, $68; L.A.M.B heels, $88, available at Stella’s Resale Boutique. Mad Hatter 502 fascinator, $265, available at Mamili. Glam box purse, $60, available at Kathy’s Shoppe. Chanel earrings, $1,100, available at Belle Monde Boutique. Sterling silver mint julep cup, $82, available at Dolfinger’s.

On Jamie:
Bias dress, $235, available at Mamili. Casablanca top, $198, available at Rodeo Drive. Valentino heels, $890, available at Rodes For Her. Beaded purse, $22, available at Stella’s Resale Boutique. Moncler sunglasses, $435, available at SKYN Lounge. Jeweled headband fascinator, $170, available at The Hat Doctor. Shy Creation 14k white gold bangle with diamonds, $3,530; Shy Creation 14k white gold diamond bracelet, $2,490; Shy Creation 14k white gold diamond flower ring, $1,830; Shy Creation 14k white gold oval diamond hoop earrings, $2,340; 14k white gold diamond necklace, $12,375, available at Genesis Diamonds.
On Lucy:
Balmain blazer, $1,199; Forest Lily dress, $48; Feather fascinator, $39; L.K. Bennett heels, $89, available at Belle Monde Boutique. Glam box purse, $60, available at Kathy’s Shoppe. 14k yellow gold diamond hoop earrings, $8,995; Simon G. 18k white and yellow gold diamond ring, $16,610; 14k yellow gold diamond necklace, $4,990; Shy Creation 14k yellow gold diamond bangle, $2,490; Shy Creation 14k yellow gold diamond pave bangle, $2,000; Shy Creation 14k yellow gold diamond bangle, $3,410, available at Genesis Diamonds.

Triple Crown table cloth, $88; Paddock napkin set of four, $52; Sterling silver jockey hat napkin ring set of four, $100; Stoneware Home Stretch plate, $85; Sterling silver horse flask, $98; Stoneware mint julep bar pitcher, $45, available at Dolfinger’s.

Tour of Champions

Hermitage Farm and the Kentucky Derby Museum for the win with a grand new tour

 

By Laura Ross
Photos provided by the Kentucky Derby Museum and Hermitage Farm

 

Hermitage Farm sits just outside of Louisville in Goshen, Kentucky, on a pristine patch of 800 acres of rolling hills and verdant farmland that is dotted with prized Thoroughbreds and is steeped in historical significance. It’s been home to Kentucky Derby winner Dark Star, and countless other equine champions through the decades.

The farm is a busy working Thoroughbred operation and in 2020, opened a thriving agro-tourism venture that includes Barn8 restaurant, tours, events, bourbon tastings, art and more. It’s the next step in the farm’s storied 150-year legacy of greatness. Hermitage Farm’s owners know a thing or two about placing a winning bet, and it was a natural spark to bring together the farm and the Kentucky Derby Museum to showcase the importance of horses, Kentucky and the Derby.

“The Kentucky Derby Museum has around 300,000 visitors per year, and once they go through the history of racing, they want to see horse farms,” explained Steve Wilson, owner of Hermitage Farm, with his wife, Laura Lee Brown. “Until we opened Hermitage Farm and planned this tour, Museum visitors didn’t have that option. It seemed like the perfect marriage for Hermitage and the Museum. It’s always been our desire to have this partnership where you can follow the horse from being born through winning the Kentucky Derby.”  

The new Hermitage Farm and Kentucky Derby Museum Tour came out of the gate in early April at the Museum, located at Churchill Downs. 

“It’s the full immersion experience,” Wilson added. “You’ll see real horse barns, mares and foals. No matter what time of year it is, there is something going on with the horses. We are a nursery for champions. It’s a cycle of babies and yearlings, where they’re handled, primped, weighed and prepped for the Keeneland sales in fall.”

Hermitage Farm is anchored by a pre-Civil War era mansion that sits on the National Register of Historic Places. Owned from 1936 by legendary Thoroughbred breeder Warner Jones Jr., Hermitage Farm produced winners of the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks, Breeders’ Cup and nearly every other stakes race. Wilson and Brown saved Hermitage Farm in 2010 from suburban development and placed it in an agricultural conservation easement, which will protect the land in perpetuity. 

“Our focus on the working farm and tourism keeps the farm alive,” Wilson said. “People understand Kentucky when they come here.”

“We are excited to see the tour come to fruition,” said Rachel Collier, Director of Communications for the Kentucky Derby Museum. “Tourism in Kentucky has taken a huge hit because of the pandemic, and anything we can do to bring more people great experiences, we will do that. And, it’s just so beautiful on the farm,” she added, “It offers a full day, jam-packed with everything Kentucky in one visit.”

Guests who register online for the Hermitage Farm/Kentucky Derby Museum tour will enjoy an adventure that explores the best of Kentucky’s horse heritage. The tour begins at the Kentucky Derby Museum at 9 a.m. where guests will meet their private tour guide, who will take them on a special Churchill Downs track tour where they witness a morning workout. 

“Hearing the hooves hit the dirt, and hearing the horses breathe as they run past is just incredible, and an experience you don’t often get to see,” said Collier. “Once they watch the morning workout, they’ll return to the Museum and get the full experience of watching our signature surround film, ‘The Greatest Race.’” The film, a highlight of any trip to the Kentucky Derby Museum, is shown in one of the world’s only 360-degree, 4K high-resolution theaters. 

Guests then have time to explore the two floors of exhibits and history in the Museum and check out the gift shop, before boarding a bus for Hermitage Farm, located in Oldham County, about 40 minutes from Churchill Downs. Once at Hermitage, a private guide will help visitors explore the many gardens and greenhouses, with an emphasis on farming practices and sustainability for the rich expanse of land.  

For a true example of farm-to-table sustainability, guests will be treated to lunch at Hermitage’s restaurant, Barn8. The restaurant, located in a beautifully and creatively renovated horse barn, sources food from Hermitage Farm gardens and a state of the art, computerized greenhouse built specifically for Hermitage. It also features ingredients from other local and regional farm operations. 

A bit after noon, visitors on the tour will reconvene for the highly anticipated Thoroughbred tour, where they will see the Thoroughbred paddocks, carriage room and trophy room. Next, a special treat will include the chance to meet and take pictures with Hermitage Farm’s prized Lipizzans. The tour ends with a Thoroughbred parade, where the handlers will lead the horses past the guests for a close view of the spectacular animals, before guests depart for the Kentucky Derby Museum, arriving back at the track around 3 p.m.

“It’s a really well-rounded experience,” said Collier. “If you’ve visited the Museum and done one of our tours here, and you’re wanting more, you’ll get that experience in person at Hermitage Farm. It truly helps explain why Kentuckians are so crazy about horses.”

The Kentucky Derby Museum is always looking to enhance the visitor’s experience, and its partnership with Hermitage Farm provides the perfect outlet to build on the stories told at the Museum. “Hermitage Farm has been a great partner for the Museum because they believe in what we do here, and we wanted to provide that special experience for our visitors,” said Collier. 

Kentucky Derby Museum fashion exhibition “Railbird Runway.”

“In the past, if you were looking for a horse farm to tour, you probably needed to drive to Lexington,” added Wilson. “Unless you’re spending several days in Kentucky, it’s hard to schedule something like this. We are just down the road, and we are the only Louisville-area farm that has had a Derby winner, Dark Star in 1953.” 

The Hermitage Farm and Kentucky Derby Museum Tour runs Tuesday-Saturday from April-November. Transportation is provided by Mint Julep Experiences. For more information on ticketing and pricing, visit hermitagefarm.com. COVID-19 protocols and safety measures are strictly followed. 

“We want to preserve and promote this wonderful history, give people a chance to learn and enjoy a quintessential Kentucky experience, and maybe drink a little bourbon and have a little fun,” said Wilson. “It’s one thing to walk through a museum, and see the track, but to actually be on a living breathing farm really brings it home.”

Daily Libations

Joe Daily.

Derby season cocktails to get your party started!

 

By Joe Daily
Photos by Kathryn Harrington and Andrea Hutchinson

 

And we are off to the races! Thanks again if you read my first rendition of “Daily Libations.” If this is your first time, welcome. The time is upon us for the sound of galloping horses, the smell of mint in the air, the wonderful Southern glam and the cheers heading towards the finish line. But wait, there is one more cheers to be had and we are talking cocktail cheers! Derby season is here and the days are getting longer and maybe your nights are too! I am here to help keep you and your guests refreshed with Kentucky Derby favorites: the Mint Julep and the Old Fashioned.

Joe Daily.

Starting with the mint julep, its origin is a little murky, but we do know it’s tied to Washington D.C., Virginia and later in Louisville, KY at the hands of one of the most prestigious mixologists of the time and still to this day, Tom Bullock, author of “The Ideal Bartender.” I would also like to highlight a few more trailblazers: Jasper Crouch, Jim Cook and John Dabney to name a few. The humble beginnings of the mint julep came about approximately at the beginning of the 1800s (1803 is my first found reference) give or take a cocktail or two. Another fun fact, the roots of the julep-style cocktail originated in Europe for medicinal purposes and were not the tastiest creations. In the United States, before bourbon found its rightful place as the reigning champion of the mint julep, it was common to receive the beverage with gin or rum of British influence – think Jamaican pot-distilled rums.

So let’s talk about precisely what makes this cocktail so unique in this time period. Being that it was the 1800s, it was ice! Ice was a luxury of the time so the ability to enjoy an iced alcoholic beverage was the ultimate luxury with the mix of mint, bourbon and crushed ice. It was a delightful relief on a hot summer day if you had an extra dime to spare. Today, we will be utilizing Basil Hayden’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, which is always dressed for the occasion like a fine Southern gent. If you have not seen this bottle, it is worth a look and a taste! Let’s dive right in and get to know the mint julep.

Mint Julep

Tools required to tipple your senses:
•1 oz to 2 oz jigger (A bartender’s tool to measure)
•Julep tin or rocks glass (My preference is a julep tin that creates a nice frosting on the vessel’s exterior.)
•Muddler
•Bar spoon or swizzle
•Lewis bag and ice mallet (If you want to get back to the original roots, if not, totally okay to pulse blend ice.)
•Ice scoop (The tool everyone forgets, including me.)
•Powdered sugar shaker/sifter (Handy, but unnecessary if you have a sieve or a tea strainer)
•Julep straw (This is a shorter metal straw with a small ice plate connected to the base to block mint and ice.)

Where the magic happens:
•2 oz Basil Hayden’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (Hue is golden brown with tastes of sweet brown sugar with a touch of black pepper rounded out by hints of dried fruit. Exquisite inside and out coming in at 80 proof allowing you to enjoy responsibly.)
•.75 oz demerara syrup 2:1 (This is truly where we separate ourselves from the pack in terms of flavor, recipe to follow.)
•Muddled: 10-12 fresh mint leaves
Ice: crushed
•Garnish: Fresh mint bouquet coupled with powdered sugar on top

Directions:
Add 10-12 stemless mint leaves to your julep tin and/or rocks glass.
•Add .75 oz demerara syrup into your julep tin and/or rocks glass.
•Lightly muddle mint to release the oils. (No need to pulverize mint. Lightly press the mint with the muddler rotating a ¼ turn to release the oils.)
•Add pre-crushed ice; add your ice on top of the cocktail halfway up the julep tin and/or rocks glass. Give it a couple of quick stirs to incorporate your ingredients.
•Pro-tip:  Add straw now to prevent blockage.
•Top with more crushed ice and pack it tight into the julep tin and/or rocks glass.
•Pro-tip: Take a fresh bouquet of mint into the palm of your hand and give it a good smack! We want to release those oils to add to the aroma! Garnish on the edge of your vessel.
•Shake powdered sugar over the top of the cocktail to your delight.

Demerara Syrup 2:1
Demerara syrup is much easier than it sounds! Do not fret, it simply consists of 1 cup water and 2 cups of “sugar in the raw.” The reason we are using this is that turbinado sugar and/or demerara sugar has residual molasses content lending itself extremely well to bourbon as you could imagine, putting us much closer to the original cocktail itself and it is light years tastier. Unlike simple syrup that only brings taste to the table in the sense of sweetness, demerara sugar is also a carrier of flavor.
1 cup water
•2 cups “sugar in the raw”
•On medium heat, add water first then add “sugar in the raw.”
Simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved. (Do not allow it to boil and stir frequently.)
•Allow to cool and then bottle.
•Pro-tip: Keep a small funnel, and if you are worried about granules of sugar that have not dissolved, strain through a tea strainer or small sieve. But if you allow time, it will completely dissolve.
•Refrigerate in a resealable bottle.

Now that we have briefly covered the mint julep, how about we dive into the pool once more and discuss another Kentucky favorite: the Old Fashioned! I could literally write a book on this, so I will try to keep it brief. Not only is this the number one served cocktail in the Western world, it is a staple in American history and, drilling down a little deeper, in Kentucky too! Let’s take a second to discuss styles of Old Fashioneds. Something to keep in mind, the Old Fashioned is technically a category of cocktail in its own right, not just a singular cocktail, so we run into quite a few variations. 

Today we will cover the two styles we run into the most: the “built” muddled Old Fashioned and the “stirred” Old Fashioned with a citrus peel. If you really want to impress your friends, pose that question. Do you prefer “muddled” or “stirred” with the peel? Below I will give you the exact breakdown of both cocktails and I recommend trying them both ways side by side with Basil Hayden’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey to figure out your personal preference. There is no wrong answer between these two styles. At the end of the day, it’s about what you like the most. So, make these cocktails and order with confidence!   

Stirred Old Fashioned

Tools required to tipple your senses:
•1 oz and 2 oz jigger (A bartender’s tool to measure)
•Yarai mixing glass (This is 90% of the time a glass vessel, but there are some metal versions as well.)
•Stirring spoon (This is a spoon designed to stir cocktails.)
•Hawthorne strainer or julep strainer (I prefer hawthorne strainers for all applications.)
•Old Fashioned glass
•Y-peeler (This is for peeling the garnish.)
•Ice scoop (The tool everyone forgets, including me.)

Where the magic happens:
2 oz Basil Hayden’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon
•.5 oz 2:1 demerara syrup
•2 dashes Angostura bitters
•Ice: large format ice (You can buy larger 2×2” ice molds or you can buy premium clear ice.)
•Garnish: large swath of orange peel (Optional, a lemon peel works too.)

Directions:
In the mixing glass, add Basil Hayden’s and demerara syrup together.
•Add two dashes of Angostura bitters.
•Fill with ice above the line of fluid. (I usually fill almost ¾ up in the mixing glass.)
•Stir the cocktail moving the spoon to the outside wall of the mixing glass 30-50 times. We want smooth laminar flow. (Laminar flow means we have layers of liquid moving in the same direction, and in return, super-cooling the beverage.) Your ice should swirl in a seamless manner quietly. It requires a little practice!
Strain ingredients using your hawthorne strainer over fresh large format ice into an Old Fashioned glass.
•Peel your garnish and express the oils over the cocktail. This can be done by twisting the peel over the cocktail or by the pinch method. Lean in and you can see the oils being released into the cocktail.
•Take your orange peel and, using the orange skin side of the peel, rub it around the rim of the glass to add oils and aroma, then discard peel.
•Peel new peel and add that one to your finished Old Fashioned. Enjoy!

Muddled/Built Old Fashioned

Tools required to tipple your senses:
1 oz to 2 oz jigger (A bartender’s tool to measure)
•Muddler (Today, we are muddling orange and a brandied cherry.)
•Paring knife
•Cutting board
•Bar spoon
•Old Fashioned glass

Where the magic happens:
2 oz Basil Hayden’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon
.5 oz 2:1 demerara syrup
•2 dashes Angostura bitters
•Ice: large format ice (You can buy larger 2×2” ice molds or you can buy premium clear ice.)
•Muddled: orange ¼ and brandied cherry
•Garnish: brandied cherry

Directions:
Add one ¼ wedge of orange and a brandied cherry into the base of the Old Fashioned glass.
•Add liquid ingredients including bitters.
•Muddle the orange and brandied cherry to incorporate ingredients. Try to avoid muddling the orange rind and focus on the flesh of the fruit to avoid bitter flavors in the pith.
•Add large format ice.
•Stir 20-30 times to incorporate and chill ingredients.
•Garnish on top with brandied cherry. Sip your heart away!

No matter which horse wins or what style of cocktail you enjoy, we are here with cocktails to get you to the finish line!

Joe Daily.

As always,
“If you drink it, I study it.”
– Joe Daily 

Instagram: jigandspoon #pinkiesup

Cheers to Tradition

The history of the Jim Beam brands and how it has evolved into the legacy of today

 

By Elizabeth Scinta
Photos by Beth Burrows

 

“Living in Kentucky means letting the horses and bourbon just kind of soak into you,” said Beth Burrows, an American Whiskey Ambassador for Beam Suntory. If you’ve lived in the great bluegrass state for any time at all, you know exactly what Burrows is talking about. I had the pleasure of interviewing Burrows to learn more about Knob Creek Bourbon and the history behind it. 

Beth Burrows. Photo by Steve Squall.

It all started in 1795 when Jacob Beam laid down his first barrel of bourbon. From Jacob Beam, the trade was passed down from father to son until Jim Beam came into the picture. “Jim Beam was really our master distiller during the hard times of Prohibition, the Great Depression, World War One and the Spanish Influenza pandemic. The man got us through everything. His work ethic and vast knowledge of a multitude of different things really helped,” Burrows explained. When Prohibition ended, Jim Beam rebuilt his entire distillery in Clermont, Kentucky in 120 days. If that doesn’t describe Jim Beam’s work ethic, then I don’t know what will! This is the same distillery they’re operating out of today. When it was time for Jim Beam to pass down the legacy, he passed it to his son T. Jeremiah Beam. I promise the family history is almost finished, but you must know every step! T. Jeremiah Beam didn’t have any sons to pass his legacy to, so he handed it to his sister’s son Booker Noe. “Booker Noe is the grandson of Jim Beam. He spent a lot of time with his grandad and with the fellows that were with him and he grew up inside of that distillery. Booker had a different approach and a different drive than a lot of his forefathers. Because of that, it drove him to be super innovative and to push the boundaries of what people knew,” Burrows explained.

After doing some experimenting, Booker Noe created his first small-batch collection: Booker’s Bourbon. It began as something he gifted to friends and family in the early 1980s, but shortly after, they decided it needed to be a real brand. In 1988 Booker’s Bourbon was launched on a larger scale. “Booker’s was his baby and he brought the idea of small-batch whiskey to the forefront. It didn’t exist before him,” Burrows said. According to Burrows, small-batch bourbon simply means a smaller curated batch that is a little more deliberate than a larger batch. “It was just a way for him to challenge himself and take it to a new level, and that’s what he did with Booker’s.”

He later added three more bourbon collections in 1992: Baker’s, Knob Creek and Basil Hayden’s. Baker’s was named after his cousin Baker Beam who was retiring from the distillery that year, according to Burrows. Knob Creek is named after former President Abraham Lincoln’s boyhood home and was created to be a pre-Prohibition whiskey. Booker Noe created Knob Creek to be 100-proof and to have a specific flavor profile. “To me, Knob Creek has that profile of toasted marshmallows, strong caramel and strong vanilla. It definitely has notes of char, which is like a smoky campfire taste. Char is dousing a campfire at the end of the night and really getting that smoky sweetness. Knob Creek absolutely encapsulates all of that,” Burrows exclaimed.  Knob Creek’s family has grown over the years to include small-batch, single-barrel, Knob Creek Rye, Knob Creek Single Barrel Rye and more. 

Booker Noe took a different approach with Basil Hayden’s. Basil Hayden’s is also a small-batch bourbon, but it has an extra ingredient: rye. “So it’s still bourbon, but that extra ingredient of rye is pretty much double the amount of our traditional mash bill. So it’s going to taste a whole lot different. It’s also 80-proof so it goes on the very light side because bourbon has to be no lower than 80-proof to be considered a bourbon,” Burrows explained. “In order to keep those rules, he took it right down to the limit. He did this because those nuances that you get from the rye, and the extra rye that you’re going to get out of that mashbill, really accentuates some of those subtle flavors and you can do that at 80-proof. It was the perfect space for it. Then he dressed it all nice with the bib and belt and put that beautiful foil on the top and the timestamp. So not only is it delicious, but it’s also very beautiful.”

When it was time for Booker Noe to retire, his son Fred Noe took over the legacy. “Fred was the one that took Knob Creek on the road. As a joke, Booker used to tell them ‘Booker’s is for the men and Knob Creek is for the boys, so take it boy and run with it.’ So Fred took it and that was his real step into the whiskey world,” Burrows explained. Eventually, it will be passed down to Fred’s son, Freddy, and the legacy will continue. Raise a glass to generations of legacy, determination and fine bourbon. Cheers!

Leroy “Lee” Richard Leet, Jr.

1968 – 2021

 

On March 3, 2021, Leroy “Lee” Richard Leet, Jr. traded in his first set of wings for his eternal ones. Lee earned his first set of wings on June 11, 1993, when he became a Second Lieutenant with the United States Air Force. Serving in the Air Force and becoming a pilot set the path of Lee’s life and his passions.

Lee’s curious spirit and quest for knowledge shaped his early years as he worked his way through Butler High School and the University of Louisville where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Engineering Math and Computer Science in 1990. After graduation, Lee served in the United States Air Force. In the mid-1990s, Lee was working as a consultant for a major quick-service restaurant and was tasked with creating a cutting-edge kitchen solution for their multi-brand concept. Lee saw an opportunity and he jumped at the chance to create these solutions on a broader scale. So, Lee quit his consulting job, and in 1996, he founded QSR Automations to build that system. For 25 years, Lee was dedicated to driving QSR’s growth, strategy and innovation of industry solutions that revolutionized restaurant technology. Under Lee’s leadership, QSR Automations has become a global leader in the hospitality and restaurant space.

Lee met his wife, Angela, while they were studying engineering at the University of Louisville and were both members of the Air Force ROTC. They married in October of 2000 and have two sons, Zak (19) and Brennan (16).

In 2009, Lee’s hard work was rewarded with fulfillment of a life-long dream of plane ownership. For the past 10 years, Lee entertained audiences around the country with his mastery of aeronautical maneuvers, including his favorite hometown crowd each year at Thunder Over Louisville. Lee generously provided flights to Air Force cadets who would become pilots themselves, and flew in airshows to help show kids what their future could be.

Lee had many passions in life. His greatest was being a father and watching his sons play sports, especially lacrosse and soccer. He made any and every excuse to spend time at Disney. He was the loudest fan of the Colts, UofL Cardinals and Louisville City FC Soccer teams. He cherished spending Thanksgiving in Chicago with family and friends. He knew every song by Jimmy Buffett. He was a beautiful piano player and loved Mozart. The spark that lit his fire was aviation. He treasured every moment he spent in the sky, performing at air shows around the country and at Thunder Over Louisville, and taking up his friends to see how they would handle the 345 miles per hour twists and turns in his Tucano aircraft.

Lee is preceded in death by his paternal and maternal grandparents along with his mother, Gertrude B. “Trudy” Leet.

Lee leaves behind his wife of 20 years, Angela Chamberlin Leet, along with two sons Zachary (Zak) Leet and Brennan Leet; his father Leroy R. Leet Sr. and wife Mary Belle Perry Leet, his sisters Kimberly Meyer (Jim) and Ginnie Hammons (Jeff); his father and mother-in-law John and Liz Chamberlin, and sister-in-law Elisha Risher (Chris); nieces and nephews Jamie, Julia, Lauren, Logan, Benjamin and Jacob; along with many close friends and his beloved cat, Panda.

Over the past hours and days, the family has relished in the shared memories of Lee’s legacy. One of his QSR employees shared, “I’m sure it doesn’t need to be said, but Lee has been such an amazing and inspirational mentor throughout my life. I started working for him when I was 16, and have been so proud to call QSR my home ever since. This life that I’ve been lucky enough to build for myself is all thanks to him. He’s been my biggest supporter and I’ll forever be grateful. I will certainly miss all of our conversations about work, sports, and most of all, raising our boys.”

From another close family friend, “Lee was a wealth of knowledge and a myriad of unique talents from a wine connoisseur, an avid collector, to an acclaimed stunt pilot, brilliant inventor and top athlete. It would appear there was nothing out of his field of knowledge…”

From a loved friend and mechanic, “Lee was an outstanding man and first and foremost a devoted family man. Lee’s family always came first and in my 85 years, I have never met a successful man such as Lee who so unselfishly dedicated loving time to his family. Lee’s priorities were family, work and his beloved Tucano airplane. I cherish those enjoyable hours at the hanger working with Lee on his Tucano. It was so gratifying to see and share Lee’s keen interest and excitement with the work at hand.”

Lee celebrated his 53rd birthday on Sunday, February 28, surrounded by family. His sons’ handwritten birthday wishes brought Lee to tears as he read, “Happy B-day dad. I’ll never tell you, but you are my hero. Have a good one, I love you. Zak” and “Happy Birthday Dad! I Love you so much. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to make up for everything you’ve done for me. Love, Brennan.”

In 2015 when Lee’s dear friend and pilot mentor passed, Lee wrote, “Flying down for the air show on Jay Gordon’s wing on Friday afternoon. This was Shirley Gordon’s first formation flight and it turned out to be my last with Jay. Jay was a superb pilot and a wonderful human being. He loved flying. More than that he loved his family and friends. He will be missed by everyone he touched. I’ll miss our UL flyovers, our air show adventures, bourbon on the back porch, hanging out at the airport, in the neighborhood, trips together with the kids and talking about family and life. Mostly, I just miss my friend. Safe flying up there and don’t drink all the bourbon.” These words from Lee truly express his character as a friend and a father.

Visitation was held Monday, March 8 at Hanger 34, Bowman Field, 3325 Roger E. Schupp Street, Louisville, KY 40205, from 2 – 5 p.m. with a Celebration of Life ceremony at 5 p.m. that closed with a Missing Man Formation aerial salute. A private funeral will be held at a later time.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations may be made to support the Veteran’s Club INC. (veteransclubinc.org), 1608 Overlook Circle, Shelbyville, KY 40065, or the Lee Leet Memorial Fund (events.lls.org/ky/KentuckySOY21/lmemorial) benefiting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, PO Box 772391, Detroit, MI 48277-2373.

Lee will be missed by many. Always and forever.

Note from the Publisher

When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk:
he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than a pipe of Hermès.”
– William Shakespeare
 

This year, the Kentucky Derby will once again be like no other sporting event you can imagine – unique, full of tradition and spectacles of all sorts. Men will be in their finest suits and ladies will don the chicest fashion trends of the day, some might even call them costumes, worn by folks from all over the world. Where else can you watch a muddy Slip and Slide in one section of Churchill Downs and less than 50 yards away find a more demure crowd perched high on Millionaires Row? The day holds everything from women’s Derby hats that measure more than two feet in width and often higher in height, to men’s seersucker suits that are worn only this one time a year. Memories are made as the crowd listens to the sound of hoofs thundering past as they watch the Thoroughbreds cross the finish line, hoping they hold the winning ticket. Several photos of my Derby memories are shared here with you. Each bubbles up thoughts of celebration when I think of the special people whom I’ve shared each Derby with. Spectators from all walks of life make the annual pilgrimage to this sacred ground. Rain or shine, there are those that have a deep affinity and dedication to attending “the fastest two minutes in sports.” Whether you’re planning to attend the race in person or hosting an at-home party, I hope you enjoy it to the fullest!

Speaking of colorful events, check out our Homes feature as our very own Account Executive, Lauren Sharp Anderson, spruces up her home with loads of color that will inspire you to do the same. Our entire team is dedicated to creating and continuing to publish Louisville’s iconic monthly magazine for over 70 years. Our gratitude is endless for our loyal advertisers and readers. Without you, we cannot do what we do so well.

With gratitude,

Janice Carter Levitch Humphrey
Publisher

 

Win, Place, Wiltshire!

Wiltshire Pantry shares how they survived the pandemic and are preparing for Derby 2021

 

By Laura Ross
Photos by Kari Smith

 

Susan Hershberg of Wiltshire Pantry thrives on stress. The dynamo chef, restaurant owner and catering maven knows her food, events and the crazy business of keeping people well-fed and happy.  A Louisville legend in and out of the kitchen, she is used to juggling multiple events, restaurants and ideas all at once. Typically, during Derby time, she is dealing with non-stop craziness in her world. 

But, the events of 2020 put a screeching halt to all of that and created a level of stress she had never known. “It was a roller coaster of emotions,” Hershberg remembered. “For the first couple of months, I kept trying to predict what was going to happen. By July, I realized it was futile and overwhelming to handle.”

During the early part of the pandemic, Wiltshire shrank from around 80 employees to about 30 and saw its catering and restaurant business evaporate. Those were scary times but also offered a chance to refocus business on what could be done, instead of what was usually done. “We had to be very creative and stay positive,” Hershberg said. “We went many, many months where we didn’t do any group events at all. We changed the way we approach providing food for folks, and we concentrated on taking care of people who don’t like to cook, couldn’t cook or who couldn’t get out.”

But now, as the world gently steps back into a more hopeful future, Hershberg and her Wiltshire team are ready for Derby. “As we see the rapid decrease in positivity rates, an inching up of venues providing vaccines and rules allowing larger capacities, I’m hopeful that by Derby we’ll be allowed 80% capacity,” said Hershberg.

Her team is ready for Derby time. “I think we’ll do a robust box lunch business for locals who are entertaining,” she said. “We’ve always done more Derby house parties versus corporate Derby events. To fit those outdoor, backyard parties this year, we are rolling out single package bento box meals.” 

The bento box idea evolved during the pandemic as an easier approach to socially distanced catering. Wiltshire follows strict COVID protocols to protect both employees and guests. “We are shying away from buffets where people are congested around a food table, and we’re staying away from passed trays where our staff approach guests with masks down,” she explained. The boxes make perfect sense and they won’t skimp on culinary creativeness.

“Our theme is a Southern antipasto platter, with South Carolina pickled shrimp, pickled crudité, country ham biscuits and Hot Brown biscuit sandwiches,” said Hershberg. “There’s also deviled eggs, sliced beef tenderloin and lots of vegetarian options. Think of all those items that would usually be on a Derby buffet and instead, it’s in a nice little bamboo box.” Hershberg encourages a peek at the Wiltshire website to see Derby menus online.  And, don’t forget the weather, she added. “As a host, you need a weather contingency plan. Be ready for Louisville weather, which can always turn on a dime,” she laughed. “Honestly, people are dying to get together. If you plan properly, it will be a success.  We took our food truck out to neighborhoods through the autumn and people were clamoring for us to come.”

As she moves further into this year, she’s concentrating on lessons learned and the shift in focus that 2020 forced upon everyone. She’s feeling hopeful. 

“We learned to exhale through the control part and lean into the creative part,” Hershberg said. “It’s amazing when I look back now, that the first special event we did was Mother’s Day and it was pure chaos, trying to manage orders and curbside pickup and such, but now we have it down to a science.” 

During the pandemic, with less staff, normal operations shuttered and an uncertain future, Hershberg and her team adapted. They developed a series of individual meal packages for clients and focused on a new gourmet-to-go service featuring creative entrees, appetizers, soups, pizzas, empanadas, and of course, the famous Wiltshire pastries and desserts. 

“Our special event business is down 90 percent,” she said. “We had to be creative in how we market our meals to folks. Our weekly delivered meal service is very popular, and we’ve yet to repeat a single meal since the shutdown. And, our Friday night fish fry drive-through service has sold out every week with more than 200 dinners served each time.” 

While Wiltshire on Market remains closed for now, it is slowly opening for private parties and small events. Wiltshire Pantry Bakery and Café on Barrett Avenue has retail display cases that feature items and meals for purchase and gourmet-to-go items can also be found at Primo Oils and Vinegars on Brownsboro Road.  

“Our bakery production team is stronger than it has ever been, and they are producing some of the most spectacular desserts and breads,” Hershberg added. “Wiltshire at the Speed is adding more hours as the Speed Museum has more open evenings and weekends, and we will have a presence at the Douglass Loop and Beargrass farmers markets soon.” 

And what once was a longshot might be a sure bet for Wiltshire Pantry by the summer. “Keep an eye out for Wiltshire opening a new location soon,” Hershberg teased. “It will be a way to keep bringing new team members on board until the catering industry picks up again.” 

“I went into this crisis anticipating a five-week shutdown, and even that was devastating to consider,” reflected Hershberg. “If someone had said it would be a year, I never would have thought I could survive it. I’m grateful for where we are now, and I’m beyond grateful for the team I have that has weathered the storm and supported me. I think our food is better than we’ve ever been. We are singularly focused on excellence right now and it is mirrored in the quality of our food.”

Wiltshire Bakery & Cafe
901 Barret Ave
Louisville, KY 40204
wiltshirepantry.com
502.581.8561

Modern Day Marketing

Diane Davis and Randy Blevins.

How Think Tank specializes in social media marketing to bring your brand to the top

 

By Elizabeth Scinta
Photos by Kathryn Harrington

 

If you’re anything like me, the first thing you do in the morning is check your social media. You scroll through Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and if you’re feeling really zealous, through LinkedIn too. Social media platforms are a place to share your life, stay in touch with friends and family, follow bloggers, influencers and celebrities, find new businesses and organizations and learn more about the places and people around you. 

For Randy Blevins, founder and CEO of Think Tank Marketing, social media is his work and the thing he’s constantly learning more about. “When I first started in the business and the reason I started it is because social media was this up and coming new thing and I thought that it would be a really great opportunity for businesses to get the word out about their services and products. I started my business in 2011, but the problem was not everyone is an early adopter like I was at the time, so it was really hard to convince businesses to pay me to craft messages and tell stories on these social channels that they probably haven’t heard of yet,” Blevins explained. 

Blevins uses social media platforms as a marketing tool to help promote businesses by telling their stories. Social media is constantly evolving, and with that comes new challenges but also new benefits. Over the past few years, we’ve seen social media platforms become an advertisement hub for businesses across the board. Blevins agrees that this can be a great way to tell more people about your business, but not everyone responds well to those “buy me” ads as he described it. “We take an approach of let’s let people get to know you, what are the cool things about your business, what are the fun things about your business and how can we show that through a fun video,” Blevins said.

“We may put money behind them to serve this, but it’s really not about money and saying ‘buy this.’ It’s here’s what we are, here’s why we’re doing this, this is why we’re in business and authentically telling those stories for businesses.”

With social media platforms continuously growing, Blevins and his team at Think Tank are always figuring out the best way to market the businesses they are working with. Whether it’s figuring out a space for your company on Tik Tok or Twitter, they monitor what they think works best for your unique business. “We’re very much interested in video production right now and I’m really interested in Tik Tok because this is another new platform that operates differently than any other social channel. It flips the script and instead of going to your feed and seeing videos from your followers, you’re going to your feed to see videos that Tik Tok thinks you’re interested in. You don’t have to have 100,000 followers to reach 100,000 people when you’re on that platform if you’re doing it right,” Blevins said. “That’s a really cool, interesting concept and probably why it’s taken off because its algorithms are so good at showing things that you like. You’ll sit there forever and watch all of these videos because it’s exactly what you want to see.” I can confidently say I fall down that Tik Tok rabbit hole every day and have started to prefer that platform over others, so it makes sense why Blevin’s team is working on ways to get their businesses on that platform.

As for the future of social media, who knows what will happen! Blevins thinks people will start to own their content. This means that a blogger on Substack would be able to charge people for subscriptions to view their content. In turn, marketers will want to use them as a platform to showcase their client’s products and services. “Not only are people paying to view their content, I think marketers can pay them to then do a commercial or promote a product in the middle of their content. It’s kind of like influencers only people are paying that influencer to watch their stuff,” Blevins explained. 

Blevins also expects users of social media platforms to adopt the word “social” back into their vocabulary. Blevins means that people will connect and interact with each other more, rather than just scrolling through. “The pandemic has taught more people how to use digital technology to stay connected and I think we can use that to connect more broadly even post-pandemic. We’re thinking about when we are allowed to have something in person, can we still Zoom that for people that don’t live here in Louisville? Because then they can have access to this bourbon dinner or this talk in a way where they don’t have to drive here to come in person and that’s valuable. I don’t think we were really thinking about that in terms of how we broaden our message to people who don’t even live here,” Blevins said.

As Blevins and his team continue to help companies expand their reach via different social media platforms, you can look for some of their projects to be coming out in the next few months. A lifestyle brand called Herbal Vanity will be launching its social platforms in April. Blevins is also working on a musical theater project that he’s hoping to announce at the beginning of April. Finally, you can participate in Froggy’s Popcorn’s Flavor Madness! Vote on which flavor you want Froggy’s Popcorn to make next. “That’s what we try to do. We make sure that we’re creating engaging content for people to participate in. Whether that’s fun contests or cool behind-the-scenes videos, those are some of the tactics we use to build that brand awareness so people are familiar and feel like they know what these businesses are about,” Blevins explained.

If you’re interested in learning more about Think Tank, head to their website, thinktanklou.com. “We believe in authenticity and transparency when telling the story of our clients and ourselves. There’s no guarantee that your content is going to be seen so you’ve got to make it as creative, clever or as engaging as it can, so it can rise to the top, and Think Tank has the skills to do that.”

Randy Blevins and Diane Davis.

Think Tank Marketing
125 Chenoweth Ln #308
Louisville, KY 40207
Thinktanklou.com
502.897.0649