Picking me up at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport on a cold Monday morning in February — and, really, are there any other kind of February mornings in Minnesota? — my new client and friend from 3M asked if I had any preference for a lunch location.
“Something familiar,” he asked, “or some local color?” Naturally, I opted for the local place — somewhere more distinctive than the normal, national chains.
And that’s how I ended up at St. Paul’s Obb’s Sports Bar & Grill.
Obb’s doesn’t look all that much different from a thousand other local places. You go inside and feel as if you’ve been transported back a few decades. Obb’s first opened as a bar licensed shortly after the repeal of prohibition.
We sat down after a very friendly greeting from a nice server, and I began to scan the menu…and there I saw it: The story of Obb’s.
As I read the story, my host from 3M suggested I turn around and take a look behind me. There was a grey-haired senior citizen, working with enthusiasm, serving diners and talking with everyone. Pointing to the menu, he focused on a picture and said, “THAT’S Rosie!”
Rosie Johnson — widow of Bob, who spent his life owning and working at Obb’s, and mother of the current owner — is still working and waiting on customers into her 90’s!
It’s easier for me, as a thrilled customer, to share the story of this wonderful bar and grill because they tell their own story.
Consider this aspect: It’s one thing to wonder what the history of the place might be — however, it bonds you and creates emotional connections when you learn the real story of where you are doing business.
I hope the next time you’re in the Twin Cities, you’ll venture to Obb’s for some of the best home cooked food you will ever find.
However, with even more fervor, my desire is that you write and start telling the story of your business — or how you have assisted a customer in the past — so your customers become more emotionally connected with your efforts…and so they can start telling your story, too!