doug goettsch

Fabulous People: Doug Goettsch

Doug Goettsch is the co-founder and director of hospitality at the ever-expanding Big Grove Brewery. “What started off as a desire to have the best brewpub in Iowa morphed in to one of the largest breweries in the state. We make great beer and food, in beautiful and inviting spaces, served to you by fun and passionate people.” Learn about Doug Goettsch…

Hometown: Calamus, Iowa. Population: 400

First job: Farmhand. In my industry? Dishwasher.

Favorite ways to spend your free time in IA: Golfing or exploring the Iowa countryside via the gravel roads with my wife by my side.

Your biggest accomplishment and why: Diving headfirst into creating Big Grove Brewpub. For years, I thought I wanted to own my own restaurant. When my friends, and now partners, the mother-son team of Faye and Matt Swift, offered me the opportunity to be a partner, I never looked back. All those years I thought, if I ever get a chance to run my own business, I would apply all of the lessons I had learned from my previous experiences in the industry, both the good and the bad. I always thought if you gave people a fun, safe, challenging environment and led them by example with care, passion, honesty and genuine hospitality, I could create a restaurant unlike any other. Along with a lot of help from my friends and colleagues, we did, and I was right.  If you care for people, they will care for you and about what you do.

The biggest obstacle you overcame: I had a fairly serious health scare in my early 30’s. I had an immune disease that severely impacted my mobility and had me facing some rather somber diagnoses. When you think about your mortality at such a young age, it changes how you want to participate in the world and the legacy that you leave behind. Luckily, I had access to amazing healthcare, and we were able to get the disease in remission after four years of treatment and medication.

Someone who inspires you and why: I can’t limit it to just one person, because I couldn’t say one without the other. First, my parents, because they literally started with nothing. They married right out of high school and started life in a 10-by-10 sleeping cabin with no running water, just a lightbulb and a bed. From there, they raised six kids and retired in their late 50’s. They bestowed a work ethic in me that still carries through to this day. Second, my wife, Sarah. She is a pastor in the Lutheran Church. She is an amazing and courageous woman and a dynamic preacher that leads with love, compassion and empathy. She truly is on the frontline fighting for people that are overlooked, discriminated against and made to feel “less than.” She is staunch advocate for the LGBTQ community, and I stand firmly behind her supporting her however I can.

Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Show up on time and work hard; the rest will take care of itself. If you constantly do that in this industry, you will rise through the ranks. Also, choose who you partner with carefully.

Favorite quote: “Show me your friends, and I will show you your future.”

Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: That I have five older sisters and am the only boy in my family.

What makes someone fabulous: Keeping your word. Integrity is valuable. Every time you give your word, you’re saying that others can place their trust in you because you value integrity and would never let them down.

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