Very near to my heart and my stomach lie two people. One is someone I’ve known of old, the other is someone new. Neither are borrowed and I hope neither are blue. And yet weddings they do do. Alliteration too.
Enter Jamie Casady. One of my oldest friends, I have known this lovely lady since pre-school. From Pinky’s Promise Patrol (Vacation Bible School at Overlake Christian Church) to Camp Sambica on Lake Sammamish, there are very few memories of my childhood summers that don’t include Jamie and her brother Zach.
And the funny thing is, as far back as I can remember Jamie’s always been a fierce-some entrepreneur with keen eye and attention to detail. I mean even our lemonade stand as kids had a well thought out business plan. This wasn’t just some dinky table with a pitcher of lukewarm lemonade… No. Our “stand” was not only covered with a clean white tablecloth, but we also had elaborately decorated poster-boards advertising our refreshing, ice-cold, thirst-quenching beverage. I feel like we even made our brothers walk down to the corner and wave them around. I could be making this up, but it honestly sounds like something we would’ve done. And if that weren’t enough, Jamie decided we needed to differentiate ourselves in order to corner the market from all the other beverage purveyors on the block. So we also sold flower bouquets.
If Jamie’s going to do something she’s not only going to do it right, but she’s going to go all out. There’s no half-way with this girl. I remember one birthday when we were really into the American Girls stuff, she had us perform the play that was part of the Felicity series. But this wasn’t just “stand around and read the parts” kind of thing. Nope. We had colonial costumes her mom and grandma made and even a canvas backdrop that I’m pretty positive Jamie painted herself. We were maybe 10.
But these character traits of Jamie’s are so minor when compared with her deep deep love for her friends and family and the Lord. There really is nothing Jamie wouldn’t do for the ones she loves… even planting ranunculus in her yard for a friend’s wedding she recently catered/planned. I mean who does that? Jamie does.
Which brings me to the present. After several years apart, J and J (Jessika and Jamie) were finally reunited, and of all places in the Big Apple. I was visiting my brother and she was attending the C.I.A. (the Culinary Institute of America, not the government agency). And over lunch we caught up on the past and dreamed about the future. She shared with me her passion for people and food, and how these two unite in one vision and venture.
Enter Jordan Cooper. Fellow C.I.A. grad, chef extraordinaire, and friend/cohort of the other J.C. – that is Jamie Casady – in this joint visionary venture they’re making a reality.
I love Jordan. I’ve only known him for a a couple years, but he’s one of the most genuine people I know. Fully embodying the strong and silent type, he’s generally a man of few words, but what he says he means, and you know it too. He tells it like it is, and is honest and kind. In other words the kind of person you want to do business with. It’s called integrity. And while both Jamie and Jordan personify the best kind of business people, they are also artists of the highest caliber.