Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

By Victoria Fowler
Gazette Reporter 

New management makes changes at Cornerstone

 

October 31, 2019

Brittney Hanson

Brittney Hanson stands in front of Cornerstone. She became the new manager in September.

New management is in place at Cornerstone on Main Street in Colfax. With new management, new changes are also being put in place.

The new manager at Cornerstone is Brittney Hanson, with April Phillips as the night manager.

Brittney Hanson has been with Cornerstone since July and started taking over in September.

"The managers stepped down and the owners asked if I would step up and run it," Hanson said. "It's me and April Phillips, the owners' daughter, that run the restaurant."

One of the biggest changes Hanson noted coming to Cornerstone would be the hours of operation.

"When I first started we were only running five days a week, Tuesday-Saturday, and now currently we are seven days a week, but we close early Tuesday and Wednesday," Hanson said.

"Starting Nov. 1 we are opening full time, seven days a week, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m."

The idea that sparked going from five days to seven days, full-time, was Hanson noticed there weren't many options to eat breakfast on a Sunday morning in the area.

"Our goals for Sundays and Mondays is a place the community can come with their friends and hang out," Hanson said. "We want to offer a good home-cooked meal that is comfort food."

Hanson mentioned the biggest challenge with going to full-time was having the restaurant staffed to meet the demand. Using the restaurant's Facebook page she was able to reach a broader audience and get people interested in the job.

"We have a very diverse amount of people working here," Hanson said. "The atmosphere here has changed, it's been amazing with the crew we've got going now."

Hanson credits a great deal of Cornerstone's success to the community. She said as a business, they try to help and work with other local businesses as much as they can.

"Our pies come from JP Pies in LaCrosse. We have Purpose Roasters coffee. We work with Cougar Graphics for our menus and business cards," Hanson said. "We have Joseph's Grainery here, we serve his pancake and cornbread mix. I also use his garbanzo beans and lentils in soups we make."

Hanson said they would also like to reach out to local artists who would like to sell some of their work and would have it hung in the restaurant.

"We are all about helping other people in the community," Hanson said. "We want to help and promote local businesses and artists. With small towns, you got to help each other out."

She mentioned they have added catering.

By New Years, Hanson plans for Cornerstone to also have its own liquor license.

"Pepsi is sponsoring us with free signs, they are replacing our old Taco Time sign and then they are going to give us two translucent window clings, for free, we just have to put their logo on the sign," Hanson said.

The biggest need Hanson says the restaurant has is people don't know they are there and they want to be heard.

Cornerstone offers home-cooked meals, with house-smoked meats, homemade barbecue sauce and homemade clam chowder to name a few.

"I want it to be as close to a home-cooked meal as you can get, without cooking it in your home," Hanson said. "We get our produce fresh daily from Rosauers, we don't order from a food vendor, our vegetables we know exactly where we are getting them from."

Since Hanson has been at Cornerstone she has seen an increase in traffic into the restaurant. She noted the clam chowder they make started as one batch on Fridays. It has now grown into being tripled to accommodate the need.

"I'm just amazed by the support from the community," Hanson said. "Without the community, we wouldn't be here. It's definitely been great because they've stuck by during the management changes."

This is the third restaurant Hanson has managed and helped improve in her career.

"I love doing it and I love helping out," Hanson said. "I have a big heart for turning a small restaurant into a big popular thing. It's amazing."

Hanson said her main goal for Cornerstone is for the space to be too small. She said she would love to see the place packed and a must-stop experience for people coming through Colfax.

"I want people to feel like they are getting what they want for their money," Hanson said. "April also has a big vision for this place, so it's nice we are on the same page of wanting to promote and grow, we don't want it to just stay little."

 
 

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