Leadership. And School Fundraising!


It’s hard to believe January is almost over.

There are a lot of reasons to be optimistic, including the possibility of indoor seating at some point soon. We WILL put our tent back up and use our seating once our region moves to the new Phase 2, so keep an eye out for that.

Here are a few updates, and a little thing I wrote on leadership. I have re-written it over and over and think I have hit the points and tone I want. It’s not perfect, but it’s been going around and around in my head most of the month now. I have been very disappointed by people in our country not taking responsibility for their actions, and wanted to write a little about leadership as a concept as I have been taught. That is at the bottom of this email.

But first:

Pizza for Parkview Elementary all this weekend!

If you are part of Parkview Elementary you probably know we will be donating funds to Parkview for each pizza sold from Thursday (1/28) through Sunday (1/31).

We had a LOT of calls yesterday (Thursday), and are thrilled at the response. We had so many orders come in early, we had to turn the online store off yesterday – the system was quoting inaccurate pick-up times and we didn’t have time to figure out how to fix it on the fly. We have turned the online store back on for ordering pizza today, and hopefully should be good going forward. Either way, you can ALWAYS call us at 360-733-8982.

Our goal for 2021 is to work with schools, and we’d like to help out basically every week. If your/your kids’ school would be interested in doing a fundraiser with us, we would love to chat. We can make it very simple for you. Feel free to reach out to me at patrick@elizabethstation.es and we can chat about how it could best work. Looking forward to it!

Beers for Pizza

Pizza + “Beer for Pizza” 4pk Special

We are really excited about making beers to go with our pizzas, and have now made two Pizza Cat beers (with Stemma and with Beach Cat – we have three more coming starting in late February: with Wander, Urban Family, and Ravenna Brewing).

But until then we are looking for fun beers to pair. We found a really fun pizza beer we think you’ll love (or hate!). This beer is from Chicago’s Off Color Brewing, and is called “Beer for Pizza.” We have the single cans available but we also have a special on a 4-pack price. You can find this on our website by clicking here, and clicking on the “Specialty and Misc Beers.”

When we were researching this beer, it became apparent that a lot of people LOVED this beer, but also some people did not like it at all. When we brought the beer here to the store, we found the same thing: four of us LOVED it (talk to Andy, Andres, Jake or myself), and at least one of us did not at all (ask Tam about it…).

You can click here to read the description from the brewery, but one way to describe this beer is something like “boozy Coke.” It is amazingly nostalgic; it really reminded us of birthday party hats, of red solo cups, of Ms. Pac-Man up-right arcade games.

Basically a near-perfect pizza beer.

“Mythbusters but for alcohol”

We are starting to work on a sort of “Mythbusters-style” email/video/not-sure-what-it-will-look-like idea. We are putting down questions that people have about alcoholic beverages, and going to reach out to industry people, and others outside the beverage industry perhaps with knowledge of biology and chemistry and whatnot. And do some experiments in-house as well!
There are some common questions we get about beer tasting worse in cans vs bottles, is draft beer really better than packaged, with Belgian style beers if you should let the yeast settle to the bottom of the bottle or instead roll the bottle to mix it all in, questions about “gluten free” vs “gluten reduced” and some other more fun ones we have thought up.

We would LOVE to look into any questions you might have. Yes there is a lot of info out there online, much of it often contradictory, but we want to dig deeper. If you have a question or thought that you’d like us to see if we can find some answers for, please email them to me at email@elizabethstation.es.


Here is a little known fact: total money left unused on gift cards must eventually be paid by the business who sold the them to the Department of Revenue as “unclaimed property.”

That means that if someone bought a gift card from a local business with no intention of using it, the business will eventually have to submit that money to the WA Department of Revenue anyway. Far better for you to actually use those cards.

SO: all those gift cards you bought this past year, come on in and use them! We have pizza and growlers we’d love for you to come get (or beer/cider/wine or whole bean coffee, or whatever!).

Gift cards DO work on both our website and on our online store too.

Personal Feelings on Leadership

My grandfather of the same name and I used to go get lunch about once a month at Anthony’s (Grandpa’s treat, of course) up until his passing last February. We would mostly talk about business – after giving him his mandatory full update on my wife and kids. Once he got his salmon and vegetables (nothing on top, butter on the side, definitely no pepper) he would start buttering his half of the bread loaf before pushing the rest towards me and would then ask me about Elizabeth Station and then offer me his ideas and stories on business, mostly the same ones he had told me over and over. I think he felt that it was important I hear them again. He would tell me “as the leader you thank everyone who works for you. But just don’t expect anyone to thank you.” He would say “it’s lonely. You never stop thinking about it. You can’t really take a vacation in the full sense, because you will always have a part of your mind on the business.” He would say “you have to take responsibility for everything and give the credit to everyone else, and be ok with that.”

I did not get a degree in business (English Literature, yeah yeah!!). So I felt like I had to read a lot, study a lot, and learn from mentors like my grandpa who had done it successfully. My grandpa never made me feel bad for not studying business, and never talked down to me. The most philosophical he would get would be talking about leadership. He had stories about General MacArthur, and General/President Eisenhower, amongst others. Classic WWII heroes. He would tell me about the lessons he learned, which he would always surprise me with how helpful and practical they were (“if a customer sees garbage on the sidewalk, he doesn’t stop to consider if you own the sidewalk outside your business or not. It is your problem you have to take care of. No one else will.”)

But I noticed that the topic of leadership was actually all over most of the business books I was reading too. It seemed like business and leadership went hand in hand.

To pick my favorite one out as an example: Jim Collins, in his best selling book Good to Great, discusses the “five levels of leadership,” based off of a study of 30 years of data from 1435 publicly traded companies. He states that of all the businesses they studied, the best companies all have what he calls “level five leaders.” The five levels of leadership are defined as:
1) a highly capable individual
2) a contributing team member
3) a competent manager
4) an effective leader
5) a leader who has a “paradoxical combination of personal humility plus professional will.”

In a podcast he was interviewed on a few months ago, Collins stressed that humility is the key factor that separates the good leaders from the best, the great leaders.

I would not tag myself as a leader but I do strive to the principles and actions of leadership. I want to do the best I can, I want to learn to do better, and I want to look back on my life and realize I lived brought value to others and made peoples’ lives better. I do believe that everyone gains from the better our leaders are.

I do not believe that someone who takes credit for everything, and throws everyone else under the bus can be a leader that should be followed. I don’t believe that a leader who tries to divide the people in their care should be one to be looked up to. I have been taught to let “your word be your word” and that someone that has a position of leadership who talks outside both sides of their mouth is not a true leader. I have read that the result of poor leadership is their employees quitting bitterly, a focus on financial success at the cost of human beings’ lives (sometimes literally), and the quality of peoples’ lives around them being worse overall.

I don’t put my faith in people, because that has proven to be folly for, well, basically always. But leaders do have the potential to do a lot of good.

As I followed along with the presidential election last week, I thought a lot about leadership and what kind of leaders are now going to run this country. I do hope there can be some good changes, a vision that cares for those in need, a way to create and maximize opportunities that everyone has access to. I do think we should expect more of our political leaders, despite the bar being pretty low.

But I also think we also need to be a part of the solution we want to see. We can focus on the good we can do and not be overwhelmed by the heaviness of the negative actions of a few. We can listen and learn a lot about others; listening is hugely important so that the actions we take can be effective and avoid unintended negative side-effects. We can be more caring, more generous, more ready to act to defend those who need help, looking out for others. We can choose to focus on what we can do and not what we can’t.

And hopefully we can look back on our lives and see the sum total of value we have brought to our community, our world. And hopefully some of us will look back on our lives and see that maybe we just might have been the leaders we wanted to be after all.

If you made it this far, thanks. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
Best wishes,