Hey there; Kristen here! I’m the owner/event planner and coordinator here at Rooted Event Company. I just wanted to take a moment of my time to share a little bit about me and also the “why” behind starting Rooted with you! If you don’t have a minute now, click the bookmark button or do whatever you need to do to save this post for later because, trust me, you’re gonna wanna be a part of this story!
Here we go. So, my personal story goes a bit like this… A little over 5 years ago now I was living in southwest Virginia until I decided I wanted to have an adventure. I sold most of my belongings, packed up what was left in 2 suitcases, and hopped on a plane to Portland. Hood River was supposed to be a pit stop to visit my mom on my way to adventure, but pretty soon after my feet hit the ground here I just knew the Gorge was home, so when my mom moved to California a year later, I stayed. That year, I met the love of my life, a fluffy grey Korat cat named Emma… Just kidding, although I am a pretty dedicated cat mom. I met a Phoenix, AZ transplant with kind eyes, a big heart, and a knack for having a pun for every possible scenario named Jakob. He eventually won me over with his ridiculous jokes, proposed, and we got married in May of 2015 on a picturesque spot on the Oregon coast… right next to a dead seal (not kidding, no it wasn’t intentional, and yes it did smell to high heaven). Fast forward to November 2016- we had just closed on our first house in The Dalles, OR and couldn’t be more excited to begin putting down roots here! In April 2017, our friends Ali + Dan moved back to the Pacific Northwest from Ecuador looking for rest and decided to make the upstairs of our house their home.
Ali + Dan are our kind of people; shortly after they moved in we all discovered that our love for food was mutual, and the collaborative dinners began! Since then, many nights have been spent gathered around our kitchen table. The four of us eat, drink, talk, laugh, and occasionally cry around that table. We welcome in new friends, and find deeper relationship with our old friends there too. The idea for Rooted began as a statement uttered by Dan at our table during one of those dinners. “I would bet money that this has to be the best restaurant in The Dalles,” he said with conviction. We all laughed a bit at the craziness of that statement, but after it was repeated multiple times over meals of Japanese fried chicken, Israeli hummus, crispy harissa chicken, handmade fresh pasta dishes, and more with Dan + Ali or other friends we began to think, “Well, why shouldn’t it be the best restaurant in The Dalles?” We all began to bounce ideas off each other about doing pop up dinners, starting a fresh pasta business, or opening some kind of restaurant, but never in terms that aligned with reality. It became a someday dream for me, and that was enough to get me by in my day job on the occasionally rough days.
Over the next few months, I unexpectedly met a few different small business owners with places in The Dalles through mutual friends and at coffee shops. The impromptu conversations we had in those meetings were the turning point for me. The different dialogues were oddly similar in that they always ended up with both of us expressing a desire to have a hand in fostering genuine relationships that could result in growing new community in The Dalles. Words spoken in those chance meetings kept echoing in my head for days afterward, adding fuel to the fire, helping me think of my someday dream as a real possibility, and giving me hope that the community we’d found at the table within our home could be reproduced in a meaningful way outside of it.
As I look back over the past months of moments spent at our table, I find meaning and so much value in them. I remember and feel the hope of desiring friendship with our new roommates, and also the initial trepidation of living so closely with another couple without knowing them very well. I remember the intentionality and faithfulness it took on both sides to deepen our friendship, and also the feeling when I realized that these friends would not only be there to laugh with me, but were also wholeheartedly willing to stick around for my tears. I remember that these friends kept showing up in my life, kept desiring wholeness for me as a person, and kept coming to the table, and I feel encouraged that this is what true community is- this is what it should be.
So that brings us to here, to the launch of Rooted Event Co. Ultimately, our vision for Rooted is to give others a chance to come to the table and find the community they seek in the same way we did... and also to make and eat some ridiculously flavorful and delicious food while we’re together! We’re partnering with like-minded local business owners who are willing to open up their space for free community-building events, as well as launching a series of ticketed dinners that will bring something fresh and different to The Dalles food scene. I want to be the first to invite you to join with us in cultivating the community we all want to see here, and I sincerely hope to see you at the table!