FlutterBye Mobile Diner is a small part of exciting business
Goals are the first steps to every journey in life and no one knows that better than Zach and Shannon Hettenbach. The young Augusta couple has learned the power of goal-setting and are applying that knowledge to their own lives. The results are amazing.
“We’ve listed our goals each year since 2005. Some goals are simple things, some are not. Shannon always wanted to get back to the farm. The concrete jungle seems so prevalent in today’s society and she wants people who don’t have access to outside spaces, be able to enjoy spending time with nature. We want to create a positive impact and offer an escape. It became a goal for both of us,” Zach said.
The idea of FlutterBye Ranch Family Retreat and Event Center was born. Owning and caretaking farm land in Shannon’s family for generations, is a responsibility that the couple takes seriously and works well with their business idea.
Zach, a chef and graduate of culinary school, has years of experience in all aspects of food service, including catering. Shannon has an extensive background in financial services , employed at Primerica, and she teaches yoga. In her spare time, she enjoys raising vegetables and flowers. They have a daughter, Ruby, a middle school student who enjoys cooking and spending time on the ranch.
The ranch is located at 1001 SW 140th, rural Leon. An event barn has been completed, which features lots of room for all types of events. The loft has a bridal suite, bunk rooms and a dorm room. Coming soon will be 3-4 cabins and a master suite tree house - perfect for weekend retreats and getaways. There will be a commercial kitchen and a safe room.
For those who want a little action with the nature setting, there are horse riding trails, trails for bikes, plans for a platform in the woods, and possibly flat boarding on the river.
“We were spending time at the ranch with friends and we decided to explore the cost of building some sort of restroom facility and the idea morphed into a 4,000 square foot building,” Hettenbach explained.
“The land is rocky. We’ll have stone fire places inside and out, a stone retaining wall, a stone staircase, and a stone fire pit,” he said with a smile.
During the planning and construction of the retreat and event center, Zach was searching for a commercial griddle to use for preparing food, when he found a unique mobile diner trailer on Craigslist.
“The price was so good that I had to see it. The owner had used it for fundraising events and was finished with it. I offered him a lower number and he accepted it. He even included a number of accessories. It was a great opportunity.”
Trevor Lockamy, principal at Augusta’s Garfield Elementary School suggested that Hettenbach and the FlutterBye Mobile Diner be at the Teacher’s Appreciation Luncheon at the school last year.
“We made grilled chicken quesadillas and everyone loved the food. We had the diner at the Rainbows Run event, the WFO Car Show and we’ll be at the Solar Eclipse Watch Party on the 21st at Shryock Park,” Zach said.
The future looks bright for the FlutterBye Ranch Family Retreat and Event Center. The mobile diner and the catering business have received rave reviews. A Halloween party has already been booked for the upcoming fall season.
“It’s all about doing what’s right. We want to provide good food, good fun, and a good health style,” Zach added, “We are planning a public open house soon to thank all of our supporters and those who have helped make this possible.”
There are still ample volunteer opportunities for any local organizations or groups that would like to help with clearing trails, creating flower beds, and landscaping.
In addition to booking venues for special occasions, don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy relaxation, delicious food, and restoration of body, mind and spirit.
A website that will feature menus, prices, and information will be online soon. You can find FlutterBye Mobile Diner on Facebook.