Meet Blair! Blair is the owner/operator of Maple Street Biscuit Company on Towne Lake Parkway and one of the most welcoming faces in town! Blair jumped into this adventure head first because she was passionate about Maple Street’s people-driven mission, and she has been a blessing to Woodstock ever since! Blair is an authentic, hilarious, and kind person, and while I see her often in passing at Maple Street, it was a great joy to have time to sit together and really talk!
Thank you so much, Blair, for sharing your time with us for this interview and your dreamy biscuits with the world!
Question: What inspired you or led you to your current career?
Answer: This really feels like the beginning of my journey! I was in dental for 17 years- I did everything from assisting to sales to marketing there at the end! I loved it and I was good at it, but I ended up getting to a point where I felt like I was building this business for someone else and getting nothing in return. So that got the wheels turning! I also belong to a networking group, YPOW (Young Professionals of Woodstock), and someone posted a job online because the man who was originally going to manage this new Maple Street location backed out at the last minute, so they were looking for someone to come take over! Originally, I thought it was an outreach program I was applying for, but they called me immediately, and it just sounded amazing! So, I was kind of floating through the interview process, until they had me go down to the store in Duluth for 3 days to be able to experience what it’s like and to see if I liked it. I did everything from cleaning toilets to making biscuits to learning recipes, and I got in my car at the end of it all, cried, and said, “absolutely not, this is not for me.” A few days later I went back for one more interview, and I can’t tell you what exactly changed, but there at that interview, they offered me the job and I said, “I just have to make this happen.”
I went down to Florida to train for 30 days, and within two weeks of coming home I had hired 35 people and we opened. And I never planned this career change, but once Maple Street got a hold of me, I was all about it. It is a community store, and they’re all about people.
Q: What is your favorite restaurant in Woodstock, and what do you love there?
A: I think Rootstock and Vine. My friend Anna owns it and they have amazing food. They have such good seasonal stuff. They have this watermelon feta salad and I literally had 3 in one night.
Q: How long have you lived or worked in Woodstock?
A: I’ve lived here since 1991!
Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in Woodstock?
A: Evan Apon. Evan worked with us at Maple Street, and he absolutely blew me away. He started here and just immediately made work so fun. We quickly realized how great he is with people, and so we made him a manager, and I started working with him more closely and I just was constantly amazed at how incredible this young person was in everything that he did! His whole family is uniquely amazing, like every single one of them is so special.
Q: Who would you like to see nominated as a Face of Woodstock?
A: Anna Marie Daily from Rootstock and Vine- She does a lot for the community. She’s always at networking events trying to help others, she gives things away all the time, and she supported me a lot personally as I started this business. She’s a mom and she’s also a broker! Also, Joe and Dan Cianciolo- they are the reason why I have my store. They headed YPOW and own Front Porch Advisors. They’re foster parents and are in the process of adopting two boys. They really act as influencers in Woodstock, but they’re so easy to get along with.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? And why?
A: Probably Italy. I like being a tourist, so the sites are a draw, plus I love food and wine!
Q: What is your favorite movie OR what is the first movie you remember seeing in a theatre?
A: The first movie I *remember* seeing was ‘A Little Mermaid’ with my mom. My favorite movie is probably ‘Pretty Woman.’
Q: What advice would you give a crowd of people?
A: Live each day as an adventure. I’m a very calendar-oriented person, like, I like my days how I like my days. But, on those days I allow myself to do something new, I really really enjoy it.
Q: What is something on your bucket list?
A: We did it!! I wanted to go see my favorite band in concert at Red Rocks, they’re called My Morning Jacket. It was amazing and worth all the money!
Q: What is your favorite music/3 bands you would like to see (dead or alive)?
A: Janis Joplin, Bob Marley, and Fleetwood Mac
Q: What current/former local business makes you the most nostalgic about Woodstock?
A: The Ace Hardware. It’s just a staple- the downtown has really been built up around it!
Q: Choosing anyone alive and a non-relative: with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? Where in Woodstock would you have lunch?
A: I would love to have lunch with my Paw Paw, and I’d have it at my house. He was my #1 person and like the backbone to my entire family.
Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about Woodstock?
A: The art and the culture and the people. It’s funny how 10 years ago there was nothing! Outside of the few neighborhoods with money, it was like, hicksville!
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?
A: In 10 years, I hope to sell everything I have, be living in an RV somewhere living on kind of a permanent adventure, and be completely debt-free.
Q: (Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
A: I’m a really big extrovert, like I’ll be all up in your face, but it’s funny because when the doors close at the end of the day and I go home, I only want to be at home. I used to not be this way, but now I’m a big homebody… I also won a burping contest out of like, 200 people in Atlanta and I actually have a crystal trophy… I beat everybody, it was amazing.
Q: What 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
A: Grace, warmth, and cinnamon (I’ve always got cinnamon candles)
Q: If you were cast into a major motion picture and had your choice of anyone to be your co-star, who would you choose?
A: I love Adam Sandler. I’m a little obsessed with his movies and I think he would be such a fun guy to shoot a movie with
Q: If you had a full-time staff member that was fully paid for, who would you choose?
Chef, Housekeeper, Driver, Coach, Physical Fitness Trainer, or Nanny?
A: It would be a chef. Like, if I could get a Paula Dean meal every day, that would be my dream.