Lately, over the course of the last year or so, I get that a lot. A large majority of the time it is not actually verbalized, but spoken through that "look" which questions my insanity. I understand it completely. I think I am nuts too. I shared with my staff last month how I feel like a surfer inside one of those waves that you ride inside of and I am surfing, but don't know how I got there or how to surf or where I am going to end up. I read the story of Noah to my son last night and felt like I could relate just a little bit with him. What am I talking about? Well, if I can, let me tell you about a real God in my real life.
About 15 years ago, not long after we opened our country market and began cooking pork burgers, God gave me a glimpse of a vision. He put the desire for a drive-in restaurant on my heart. It was to be called Piggies & Cream. I learned the hard way very early in my life that when God gives the vision, don't try to make it happen just let him direct your steps and let the glimpse guide your choices and decisions. It was shortly after this that we were asked by a business in Valparaiso to start selling grilled pork burgers during lunch there. We did this for a summer and then the next summer remodeled the pork patty wagon to do it again. I always felt in my heart that if we were to open a drive-in someday, I would start then by introducing people to our product and thereby build a customer base. We served in Valparaiso for several summers and also began to do some catering.
About 10 years ago, we remodeled a second concession trailer called the Pork Chop Express and began serving our products at the Porter County Fair. Every year we have seen more and more people blessing us with their support. We started serving lunches on the farm on Fridays during the summer. Later, we began serving on Saturdays as well. Five years ago, we began a relationship with our cousins in Kouts, Birky's Catering and Banquets. We began doing all of their grilling, and we also started renting their commercial kitchen for our homemade baked goods and pies. In the spring of 2010, we were made aware that the catering business in Kouts wanted to sell. The owner's brother, Keith approached me about possibly purchasing this business with him. We did. Being in partnership with him was something that had always been on my heart and here it was...done. Right after this, we were contacted by County Line Orchard about doing their food service during orchard season. We declined then, but accepted for the following year. This allowed us to hire Tim Jones. He was the second person I always wanted to work with, and here was the opportunity...done. Last summer we happened to go on a vacation that we were supposed to go on the year before. We ended up sharing this trip with a couple that we hadn't planned on going with the year before. While on this vacation, the vision of Piggies & Cream came up in conversation. This couple is from North Judson. After that weekend, we discovered the drive-in, The Point, in North Judson, was up for auction. We went, and we bought it with a group of guys that I always wanted to be partners with...done! Last fall, we were approached by Luke's Oil, the owners of County Line Orchard, to manage their restaurant in Wheatfield. Around the same time, we were approached by the owners of the Depot in Kouts; they asked us to purchase their business. Both of these events occurred after the several dreams I had about opening our bakery and coffee shop in Kouts.
If you had any doubts before about my sanity and the craziness that is always going on at Birkys rest assured you weren't mistaken. In just a few weeks we will be opening Piggies & Cream at the Point in North Judson, Piggies & Cream at the Depot in Kouts and Piggies & Cream at Luke's in Wheatfield. We just opened our Bakery & Coffee Shop in Kouts last December and have spent all winter remodeling our kitchen. Whew! I can't begin to tell you how much God is all over this. I can honestly say I didn't make any of this happen. It has been a whirlwind of God directed steps, but he always allows us to participate. That is always the scary part. I must walk by faith and not by sight.
I apologize for this long, boring story, but I just had to give glory to the giver of all life and what he is doing in our lives. I can't begin to tell you the number of circumstances, people and opportunities that have God written all over them. Why do we do it? It is our desire to bless the communities that he leads us to and give them a reason to be proud. If we can give people a place to come and be refreshed and give people and kids a place to work and see real people living in a real world trying to best serve a real God, we will have done our job. Am I overwhelmed? At times. Am I excited about what God is doing? Yep! Thanks for traveling this journey with us!