Irene Torres

Irene Torres

At their home in Joemma Beach Estates, Mindy and David McKeever have a 21st century adaptation of a memory-maker, Viral Booth CRV.

On Sept. 11, the couple purchased the photo booth business where Mindy had worked for three years. They want to make people aware that they can deliver the booth to weddings, anniversary and birthday parties, bar mitzvahs and corporate events.

The booth is 10 by 10 feet and expandable to 10 by 20 for an outdoor venue. It is a soft booth, a metal frame with curtains, or can be used with a backdrop (not enclosed).

Mindy McKeever said the system features a touch screen with a walk-through menu and takes a series of three photographs in seven-second intervals to allow for a change of fun, silly props.

Mindy said a large client recently held a corporate team building event where they got 60 people in one photograph.

According to McKeever, the photos can be automatically uploaded to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SMS and email for sharing.

“The social media aspect is really neat for the younger generation,” she said.

The McKeevers recommend delivery and setup one to two hours ahead of events, to make sure the equipment is operational. They need only a couple of days of lead time if the booth hasn’t already been booked.

For wedding keepsakes, guests are given a souvenir photo strip with three pictures. Customized logos are available, and there is an option to record a video message, saved to a thumb drive.

“This service enhances any event and makes it memorable,” McKeever said.

On Dec. 9, Viral Booth CRV will be at the Key Center fire station for breakfast with Santa.

The McKeevers are donating this service as a fundraiser for the fire department.

On Feb. 21 they will have a display at the Kitsap Wedding Expo. They are in line to be at Key Fest in 2015.

Both of the owners have full-time jobs.

“We work hard and play harder,“ Mindy McKeever said. “I’m really excited about the business. I am a people person and this is the perfect thing to do. It is a real business. We are fully licensed, carry business insurance and we pay taxes. It is not a franchise. We are 100 percent owners. We pay a licensing fee and have technical support for the software,” she said.

All photos from any event are stored on the website viralbooth.com.

Package charges range from $175 during specials to $1,400 for six to eight hours. There is no delivery fee. For information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (360) 447-8886

Before Kamryn Minch graduated from Peninsula High School, she expressed interest in joining Watermark Writers Workshop in Vaughn.

The Workshop’s founder Jerry Libstaff asked her father, Jeff Minch, if he thought a 17-year-old would be comfortable with a group of older writers who are sometimes graphic.

“He assured me she would be all right. One of the first evenings she was with us, Kamryn read a story about vegetables. Our most vivid 40-something writer, who can be extremely explicit in his work, blushed a bright crimson,” Libstaff said.

Now, as Kamryn Minch is approaching the age of 20, she appears on stage weekly as a stand-up comedienne at the Tacoma Comedy Club (TCC).

According to Minch, she first thought about a career in comedy when she was 12, but went on to pursue other creative outlets including photography. She said she considered a college degree from Scotland or England, becoming a high school counselor, or a real estate agent. “I wanted to be a chicken farmer. Then stand-up popped back into my life and three years ago, I committed myself to that,” she said.

As a graduation present, members of Watermark Writers paid for Minch to attend a comedy class in Seattle.

One of the writers, Linda Whaley, said, “I was with Kamryn when she took her first comedy class. I knew right then she had a long way to go…or was it she would go a long way?”

“Being at the comedy club is a learning experience in itself. To an extent, watching professional comics helps. I pay attention to their rhythm, their stage presence, their timing, their interaction with the crowd –– their persona. I get inspired by someone else’s really bad set,” Minch said. “After you’ve watched a lot of comedy, you put a certain emphasis on a professional ‘stand-up self.’”

On Nov. 6, she will mark one year of performing stand-up. She said she has come a long way since she first stepped onto a stage.

“The lights were really bright. I wasn’t expecting that. I pulled my ‘this is my first time on stage’ card, when I had to look at my note card. I pushed myself. After the first few speed bumps, it gets so much easier. Now I can’t go a week without being on stage. It’s addicting, especially when I do well,” Minch said.

Minch has some advice for the up and coming: “We have enough comics already. They’re going to have to wait until we die,” she said. Then she got serious. “They should write a lot, keep a notebook. When you’re antsy, talk to yourself. Work out jokes. Get that itch to want to be on stage.”

She said many older comics seem impressed that someone her age is performing.

“I’m glad I got on stage when I did,” she said. “But it’s difficult for young comics. Most clubs are for 21 and older. TCC is for 18 and up.”

She has done open mic spots at Jai Thai on Broadway in Seattle and at the Comedy Room, a female-focused open mic venue. She did a set at Rendezvous, a small, intimate setting, where “the audience is so supportive that makes it hard to move to other venues” with less supportive audiences, she said.

Open mic at TCC features 25 comics every Wednesday night from 8 p.m., for three to five minute sets, followed by a headliner who gets eight minutes of stage time. Minch has hosted there twice. She said it was very stressful and she felt the pressure to warm up the crowd.

As a female, Minch feels that she isn’t treated any differently than her male colleagues. “You put in the work, put yourself out there and you get stage time,” Minch said.

On Dec. 9, Minch will perform a comedy showcase with Jessica Smeall at B Sharp Coffee House in Tacoma. The event is called “Cold Turkey,” a smoking cessation and healthy lifestyle promotion. “When you’re a comedian, you take on different roles. I want to do what I can to help the comedy community, to let people know we’re here and give comedians more stage time. We want to make you laugh,” she said.

In her spare time, Minch listens to a variety of podcasts of other comedians. She said that many of the routines are about mental illness. “Comedy comes from suffering some sort of subconscious trauma that I haven’t figured out yet. There are ups and downs, some blue times, but it always gets better,” she said.

Minch said she was drawn into comedy and she enjoys being the center of attention.

“I am treating it like a therapy session. There’s a subtlety to it. In school, I used to whisper something that made my group table laugh. That was enough,” she recalled.

Once a week, Minch takes a day to organize and figure out how her ideas will fit into her set. She says she’s still working on her “shtick,” that defining part of her routine that makes her unique. She looks to find consistencies in how she performs and what really works. She keeps perfecting and hopes it turns out something worthwhile.

Not long ago, Kamryn’s mother, Dayl, watched her perform a five-minute set.

“Mom saw how legitimate comedy is. Now she’s full-on supportive. Dad is awesome about it and my brother thinks I’m funny,” she said.

 

Minch would like to start a monthly comedy showcase to get exposure and gain experience producing shows. She’s had one paid gig and has another coming up. She said making a living in comedy as a feature or headliner is doable, “but it takes awhile.” 

Interviews with offenders at the Washington Corrections Center for Women have been produced as a 30-minute video documentary about training to reenter the workforce after release from prison.

“Another Chance” has been selected to screen at the Gig Harbor Film Festival on Oct. 18 at the Galaxy Theater.

Maureen Reilly and her husband, Jim Reynolds, live in Vaughn and together run Seat of the Pants Productions as independent filmmakers.

Since 2001, they have produced short promotional and training videos for Kitsap Community Resources, the Navy shipyards, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and an early-learning clip for the Bremerton School District.

In the spring of 2013, they were invited to film the Gig Harbor Rotary awards ceremony.

There they learned about the Rotary Re-Entry to Work program and decided to film it as a short documentary.

Reilly interviewed women at the prison in Purdy for nearly a month. When she heard of their fears, she realized that it was too much of a story for a six-minute video.

“They don’t know how to support themselves legally. They’re scared of being outside. This program gives them the confidence and support they need to survive,” Reilly said. 

She said she worried that the women would not want to appear on camera, but that the Rotarians have a good rapport with the offenders. Only the women who volunteered and were cleared by officials appear in the video.

Reilly said she would like to expand the story into a full 60-minute documentary to follow up with the women in the program. She wants to ask them how the classes helped them and how the Rotary scholarship fund made a difference.

“This is primarily Maureen’s project. She gets all the credit. She has managed all of the elements herself, and she’s done a great job. I am really proud of her,” Reynolds said.

The Gig Harbor Film Festival screened 42 films in 2012, and will show a similar number during the sixth annual festival Oct. 18-20 this year.

For tickets and information, call the office at (253) 851-3456.

View a trailer here: vimeo.com/74311548.

Thursday, 26 September 2013 07:00

PHS grad is making some waves in paracanoe racing

Lakebay’s Megan Blunk has the heart of a champion and the arms to prove it.

She won two silver medals during her first Paracanoe World Championships in Duisburg, Germany, on Aug. 28, and she has set her sights higher.

“It makes me just want to fight that much harder and win next time,” she said. 

Blunk competed in the Trunk and Arms (TA) classification. She came in second place in the women's K-1 and V-1 races. Her K-1 final finish time was 57.507, just half a second behind first place, Emma Wiggs of Great Britain. Improving on her K-1 heat, Blunk turned in a time of 1:10.838 in the V-1 final, 7.595 seconds behind Jeanette Chippington of Great Britain.

Alan Anderson, coach of the Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak racing team, met Blunk about two years ago and was inspired by her drive.

“When I made the decision to add paracanoe to our program, it was my intention to help athletes with disabilities understand our sport and to perhaps give them something healthy and positive to do. I have realized that, working with Megan, it’s kind of the other way around –– she inspires all around her, including me, to be better,” Anderson said.

Blunk said she tries to put herself into uncomfortable situations so she can push herself.

She said it helps her to build confidence and make her stronger.

“When I was able-bodied, I wasn’t happy, but I slacked off and didn’t do anything to change it. Fighting to overcome disability has allowed me to feel like an athlete, and to know who I am.

“It feels really good because it shows me not to second-guess myself and if you just go as hard as you can, then you can accomplish your goals,” Blunk said.

Blunk’s teammate, Ann Yoshida, won the bronze medal in the women's V-1 Arms (A) direct final in 1:31.382, finished 25.754 seconds behind Chippington, the first-place finisher. Yoshida lives in Hillsboro, Ore. Vadim Kin, from Seattle, came in seventh during the V-1 A final.

Ryan Padilla, of Gig Harbor, completed in the men's K-1 A using aluminum braces to support his legs and straps to hold them still. The steering mechanism on his canoe allows him to adjust the rudder to counter side winds. Such modified equipment is typical of Class A paracanoeists, Anderson said.

The Nelo Viper 55 is the standard paracanoe and is designed according to International Canoe Federation Touring Specifications. 

According to Nelo, paracanoes are designed for stability and balance and weigh more than other canoes. Paddlers who can use only their arms could be vulnerable to the wind, so their boats have a lower the center of gravity and are heavier on the bottom.

All Paralympic Games are governed by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). The Paralympics were started in 1948 as a small group of British World War II veterans and has become one of the largest international sporting events today. Paralympians strive for equal treatment with non disabled Olympic athletes, despite a large funding gap between the two events.

Blunk has returned to her study of psychology at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she plays wheelchair basketball.

During the next two years, she will train for both basketball and paracanoe and try to qualify for the Paralympic summer games in 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where paracanoe will make its Olympic debut.

The U.S. paracanoe squad currently consists of nine paddlers, and “I am excited to be part of a pioneering effort,” Anderson said.

Wednesday, 01 May 2013 15:55

Popular KP winery is up for sale

Before it was Trillium Creek Winery, it was a tiny ad in the Tacoma newspaper that read: Three parcels of land totaling nearly 12 acres of blackberries, trees and possibilities.

Claude Gahard had been making raspberry and blackberry wines for 20 years before moving to the Key Peninsula in 1992. In 2000, just prior to planting their Pinot Noir vineyard, his wife Claudia told him: “You’re French, let’s make wine ...”

They did. It was educational and fun, and soon turned into a labor of love lifestyle.

“It was luck and divine guidance,” said Claudia Gahard. “We didn’t know they (the grapes) needed to be planted on a hillside.”

In the years before the first crop was harvested, the couple had designed and built their dream French farmhouse.

The two-bedroom home, complete with a den/office, features open-beam ceilings, hardwood floors, a brick fireplace and stainless steel appliances.

The happy-go-lucky duo added an Alsatian cottage tasting room, a rockery, a shop and a large underground wine cellar to the Home-area property.

Gahard continued his career as a commercial pilot while his wife worked on the property between his junkets with Continental Airlines, until he retired after 18 years of service.

Gahard said he met with Gerard Bentren from Bainbridge Island Winery for grape-growing and wine-making tips and contracted with Paul Burgess vineyards to purchase bulk Syrah, Merlot, Riesling, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon varieties from Eastern Washington.

The winery buys between 30,000 and 50,000 pounds of grapes every year to make low sulfite (50 parts per million) wines. “There are no headaches and no hangovers,” Claudia Gahard added, “but you can’t store them on the top of your refrigerator.” 

She said the two of them are solid business partners. “Claude takes care of the inside and I take care of the outside.”

They met in a grocery store in Oak Harbor, where Claudia worked in public relations. She said the chemistry between them was “instant.” They will celebrate 35 years of marriage in September.

The Gahards have recently put the winery up for sale with Wilson Properties.

The couple plan to build a bed and breakfast winery in Lake Chelan after their granddaughter graduates from high school in two years. When it happens, they plan on being open during the summer months.

“I will deliver to my best customers,” Claude Gahard said.

Gahard said about half of his present customers have become good friends, most of whom prefer wines made in the French style. 

“This is a people business. It’s all about personal relationships,” he said. During tastings, he emphasizes wine and food pairings, in the French tradition.

“No matter how you feel when you come in, you leave happy,” Claudia Gahard said.

For information, call (253) 884-5746.

Earth-toned walls set the mood in the Serenity Salon and Spa.

It is a cozy place where clients are welcomed with tea or espresso and a smile.

Located on State Route 302 near Minter Creek, the building housed Collins gas station and garage in the 1920s. Later it served as a video store, then a pizza restaurant, and was purchased in the early 2000s by the owners of Ravensara –– a locally-owned coffee stand.

The popular salon leases the front section of the space. On April 5, the Serenity Salon celebrated 10 years of business at this location.

Co-owners Tracey Hasenbuhler-Oliveira and Rachelle Erdt hosted a Key Peninsula Business Association social to mark the occasion.

They want clients to know they will be open during upcoming road construction which will permanently block their current driveway. A new entry is being planned to allow vehicles to enter the parking lot from 118th Street, as a left turn lane is added at the intersection.

Serenity is a full-service salon for hair, nails and aesthetics.

They provide manicures, pedicures, and apply acrylic nails. They give haircuts and permanent waves, and apply hair coloring and foils. They also offer paraffin hand dips, and face and body waxing. Three pedicure chairs and a make-up station are set in a room off the main salon, offering a degree of quiet and privacy. To complement their services, the owners said they are looking for a massage therapist, either as an employee or to lease a station.

Hasenbuhler-Oliveira compounds bath salts and foot scrubs for use during pedicures. She is an artist who crafts jewelry.

Her Kruk-id Stitches line includes beaded earrings, necklaces, hair clips, beach glass pieces and rock hangers. She supports local artists, several of whom have work displayed for sale in the salon, along with her own creations. She also offers a line of aromatherapy calming scent pouches, as thoughtful last-minute gifts.

Both owners live on the Key Peninsula. Erdt has been in the beauty business for 25 years and is licensed for all services available at Serenity Salon. Stylist Corina Henry, a seven-year employee of the salon, lives in Gig Harbor near Fox Island. Tanya Ames travels to work from her home in Tacoma to style hair. Both are employees of the shop. They all take walk-in customers, subject to already-scheduled appointments. Clients who make four referrals are rewarded with a free haircut. Gift certificates are available.

To continue their anniversary special, they have agreed to take 20 percent off any hair service during the month of May. 

“We are all very thankful that we were able to get our voices heard within the state planning. We are thankful for the upcoming road improvements for the safety of our community. We are thankful that we will continue doing business on the Key Peninsula,” Hasenbuhler-Oliveira said.

For hours and information, call (253) 841-0009

In the three years Michelle Spruell has owned NNRI Consulting, Inc., she has helped more than 400 clients find work.

She operated the business out of her Lakebay home until it outgrew the space.

Last year, Spruell opened an office in Gig Harbor and hired more staff to meet the demands of being a state and federal employment vendor.

It is Spruell’s belief that employers are looking for a specific set of skills from job-seekers who match the skills necessary to perform a particular job.

“The good news is that most job-seekers posses these skills to some extent. We help them focus on their skills and match them to job announcements. The better news is that job-seekers with weaknesses in these areas can improve their skills through training, professional development or obtaining coaching/mentoring from someone who understands these skills,” said Spruell.

Once her clients understand the skills and characteristics most employers seek, they can tailor their job-search communication –– resume, cover letter and interview language –– to showcase how well their background aligns with common employer requirements, Spruell said.

As a woman-owned business with state and federal contracts, Spruell and her staff of 12 serve some 13 counties in Washington from Port Townsend to Portland. They help individuals who face barriers to employment such as disabilities, criminal histories, lack of experience or transitioning to a different career.

According to Dennis Funk, NNRI executive consultant, their company uses a holistic approach to employment.

“We focus on individuals and align them with the core values of the job market where they can fit. Spruell, herself, had a disability and was confined to a wheelchair during her school years. She understands discrimination and how it can affect confidence in a negative way,” Funk said.

Spruell said her company may be a for-profit, “but we serve people first.”

NNRI starts with “tangibles” in a career mapping workshop called the “The Hope Session.” The next step is goal exploration and setting realistic expectations. A third workshop is career development for targeting resumes, cover letters, creating portfolios and learning to decipher job announcements which focus on disclosure of barriers to employment.

Step four is professional interviewing. Clients practice one-on-one, group, panel, phone and videotaped interviews. They also feature “speed” interviews, where prospective employers gain efficiency by spending less time with more candidates to find the right fit.

The final phase is Networking 101, where the concept of social media, branding and professionalism are introduced. The sessions cover two to four days, and have a one-hour lunch break each day.

Some training cost can be defrayed by state and federal funding for work re-entry, veterans and disability programs, Spruell said.

NNRI offers some free workshops and 1- to 3-day “boot camp” sessions. They also offer job coaching and case-by-case consultations.

When the unemployment rate climbed to more than 11 percent, NNRI placed 58 percent of their clients who took the workshops in order.

“We make no guarantee, but it is our vision to help people who are being lost,” Spruell said.

NNRI Consulting, Inc. is named for Spruell’s daughters, Natasha Nichole and Rachel Irene.

For information, visit nnriconsultinginc.org or call (253) 514-6753. 

Another recent accident in the vicinity of the Wauna curves brought out road crews for shoulder repairs and gave drivers a glimpse of major roadwork slated for Key Peninsula’s highway in 2014.

Steve Fuchs, project engineer with the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), said the highway has been identified as having many accidents.

He said the goal of the upcoming project is to increase safety by reducing the “frequency and severity of the accidents by reducing congestion.”

The $6.5 million “Key Peninsula Highway to Purdy Vicinity Safety and Congestion” project will be funded by the Transportation Partner Account.

Fuchs said there are two main intersections of focus. One is at 118th Avenue and SR-302, where the state will add left-turn lanes to try and reduce some of the major left-turn accidents. The other area of interest will be at the west end of the Purdy sand spit, at Goodrich Court and Goldman Drive, where they will also be adding left-turn lanes.

“We are trying to remove a lot of the fixed objects in the right of way –– mostly trees, so where we can (where wetlands aren’t present) we will remove trees so when people leave the roadway they aren’t wrapped around a tree,”  he said.

When construction delays start up next year, Fuchs said he is hopeful that drivers will be as patient as possible.

According to Fuchs, there are also plans to install six pullout areas on the shoulder where vehicles can clear the roadway to allow emergency vehicles to pass. Each pullout will be 120 feet long. 

The state does not have the budget to widen shoulders all along the 6.23-mile project, but Fuchs said the Legislature appropriated some money because they recognized the need to make some safety improvements.

“I think we have a very solid justification where we plan these improvements based off a roadway safety audit completed in 2009 in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration and the State Patrol,” he said. “We also did a speed survey and were able to reduce the speed from 50 to 45 mph.”

Fuchs plans to advertise the project near the end of this year, and construction will start in the spring. He said it’s a one-season job and construction should be done by fall 2014.

Fuchs attends Key Peninsula Community Council meetings for quarterly updates on state road projects.

For information, call (360) 570-6600. A full project description is available at wsdot.wa.gov/projects/sr302/kphtopurdysafety/.

Tuesday, 05 February 2013 10:10

Of love, life and friendship

A Key Peninsula woman fights for her life and her best friends step up to help

 

By Irene Torres and Scott Turner, KP News

 

Last month, Amanda Messinger, 22, sat in the center of her St. Anthony hospital bed surrounded by her dad and best friends Jessica Skelton and Stephanie Hahn.

Amanda has all the support in the world, but what she needs most now is a gift from a complete stranger. A bilateral lung transplant is the only way to save her from the grip of cystic fibrosis (CF) –– a condition that threatens her young life.

Skelton and Hahn say they know what love is, and have put theirs into practice. Their “Pandamanda” fundraising campaign is all about love for their friend.

Because Messinger loves pandas, the two friends used a likeness of the bear when they designed T-shirts and bracelets to sell to help pay for her medications, a caregiver, breathing treatments and hospital travel expenses.

Messinger is no stranger to doctor appointments, especially at the University of Washington, where a lung transplant team is waiting for a matching donor.

In mid-October, doctors at the UW thought they had one. Messinger and her troop of friends and family traveled from her Key Peninsula home only to learn that the donor lungs would not expand. Messinger stayed in the hospital ICU for two days, disappointed, but still hopeful.

Messinger wants her community to understand what CF really is. She said most people are clueless when she explains it to them.

According to her dad, Mitch Messinger, CF is a genetic disease that attacks and scars the lungs. People with CF don’t absorb enzymes or nutrients, and most die of malnutrition, infections or other complications –– sometime before their 20s, he said.

Messinger grew up with her sister, who experienced the same disease and the routine of hospitalizations and medications and she watched her illness progress until her sister died.

During a recent hospital visit with his daughter, Mitch Messinger said he has been through a lifetime of pain, but insists he has hope and strength in his faith. He was told a cure for CF would be widely available in five years. He’s still waiting and fighting by his daughter’s side  –– 20 years later.

“She is the strongest, most caring person I know. She deserves a second chance with new lungs.

“I taught my kids to believe in God and life after death. I have to believe there is more to life than this. All you take with you is your love. Life is precious and too short to worry about the small stuff,” Mitch Messinger said.

He said he is grateful for her friends’ awareness and fundraising efforts.

“She’s their angel. I am so proud of her, all that she’s gone through, and what she’s fighting now. Maybe this is the purpose of her life, to reach out to people who can help her and other kids with CF,” he said.

Messinger said her friends are very close to her and understand her condition well.  Amanda

“The only ‘cure’ they’re offering is a lung transplant, and that’s a 50-50 shot,” said Skelton. “It’s sad that someone would have to die so that someone else could have a second chance at life.”

Skelton said that Messinger just wants to live and experience the world the way everyone else does.

“She has touched the hearts of many. ...I will do everything in my power to keep her here as long as possible,” she said.

Messinger’s friends have set up a few ways the public can help her cause.

Donations can be made in her name at any Kitsap Bank. Shirts and bracelets can be purchased by calling (253) 515-5847 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To learn more about their fundraiser, visit facebook.com/PandamandaTransplantFundraiser.

To learn about cystic fibrosis visit, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Twjg7v-pTO4&feature=youtu.be.

When Greg Murphy’s father started his barbecue business in 1968, he told his son “It’s better to work for yourself, because you’re getting paid for what you do.” 

Years ago, Murph, as he’s called, had a 1965 Apache tent trailer up for sale.  Somebody stole the canvas around it’s shell and left him perplexed.

He came up an idea to convert it into a mobile barbecue pit, then landed a contract with King County ballparks for their food concessions, and got busy cooking –– following in his father’s footsteps. 

Since then, he said his Murph’s BBQ and Catering business has become a staple at the Puyallup Fair and at other venues throughout Western Washington, including Bumbershoot, Pridefest, Taste of Tacoma, and most recently at Key Peninsula’s Volunteer Park. 

Murphy expanded into Pierce County when the Seattle Super Sonics basketball team played in Tacoma during a remodel at the Key Arena.

He has owned a restaurant and a bar and grill, but says he doesn’t want all the responsibilities of being open seven days a week. 

Murphy loves sports, especially track and field; and has followed the Olympics since 1984. He attended the games in Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Greece, Italy, Beijing and Vancouver, British Columbia. Murph’s BBQ sponsors qualifying Olympic athletes and he has tickets for the 2014 games in Russia.

 “I’m a pinhead,” he said. “I make my money on barbecue and spend it on the Olympics.”

He has transformed the Volunteer Park concession stand into a football tailgate party with Seahawks memorabilia lining the walls.

“During (Seahawks) away games, we go outside, play football, get dirty, then come inside to watch the game and eat.” 

Murphy is a season-ticket holder for the Seattle team and attends home games. During the baseball season, he said he will be changing the concession décor.

He moved to the Key Peninsula a year ago.  He wanted something different and wanted to build on his name brand recognition; but found the Key Peninsula to be different than anyplace he’s ever lived or done business.

“It’s hard to market myself out here because I’m a special events and catering guy.” 

His menu includes the usual barbecue fare: turkey, chicken, ribs, pulled pork/chicken/beef sandwiches, sausages, hamburgers and hot dogs with side dishes.  

He’s joined the Key Peninsula Business Association and works with other businesses to meet their catering needs. 

In 2011, Murphy lent his expertise to the Key Fest fair and served as a working volunteer with a stand for roasted corn and pulled pork sandwiches.

During January, he plans to begin marketing “theme” parties, from the “usual to the unusual.” He said that he can feed between 20 and 1,000 people. “I’ve got wheels. I will come to you,” he said, smiling. 

For information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (253) 572-7374.

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