Every year the Kokomo Tribune conducts it's online "Best of Kokomo" contest. Somehow The Brick got nominated and actually annihilated the competition:
The Brick 670
Pizza King 308
Tipton's Pizza King 206
(For those not in the know, The Brick is in essence a party we hold in our home where anyone is welcome click here for the full story.)
I have it on good authority that although we won, we will not be pronounced the winner. When I asked why, it went thusly:
"You're not a business."
"So how did we get on the list then?"
(awkwardly) "Someone nominated you."
(Reading the body language) "And you never imagined this outcome..."
(sheepishly) "Uh, no."
I tracked back to the online voting page and indeed, one of the little red links reads "nominate business." So who were we to argue; we aren't a business.
Basically we were fortunate to be allowed to run a race we weren't qualified for. And I did understand that the nominees are advertisers or at least potential advertisers in the K.T. So for a non-business to win a category would defeat the purpose of the contest.
My source tells me The Brick will get some kind of public mention and perhaps even a plaque; but will not be the winner.
We appreciate anything the K.T. wishes to grant us and we do appreciate that they left us on the list. It's been great fun and exposure. (We'd watch the voting daily and just be amazed...)And after all, the votes do speak for themselves. (It's kind of like winning the popular vote but not the electoral.) Seriously, Sandra does make some of the best pizza in town--that's why we started to doing this--it's just too good to keep to ourselves.
To date, we do not know how we got nominated. And we have wondered about the 670 votes. One could only vote in a 24 hour period, so "stuffing the ballot box" wasn't exactly feasible.
I attribute the votes to the reality that The Brick as a matter of course, happens through social media, whereas the other businesses happen through foot traffic. In other words, The Brick's fanbase naturally interacts and knows when the next Brick occurs through Facebook (Sandra & Morgan Young's posts) and it's website.
So for "Brick-heads" voting was just another couple clicks in their normal routine. Conversely imagine how un-natural to tell people picking up a pizza at Gabes, "After you get home, be sure to get on your computer, go to this website and vote for us." Sure they'll remember to do that (sarcasm).
The Brick owes a lot to the social media dynamic of our times. I imagine how difficult it would be to get the word out about a monthly offering that happens on different dates without Facebook, Twitter and a website. It wouldn't have worked ten years ago. Social media is a game changer, or in our case a game maker. We just won a local readers poll and spent ZERO dollars on advertising and our online presence!
Add that dynamic to the loyal fanbase of The Brick and you get 670 votes! There is a palpable zeal to the "Brick-heads." I think that's tied to the concept that at most we're "open" once a month; so it's good food that you can't get any ol' time you desire it. (I think this dynamic works against a lot of restaurants.)
And too, I think people subconsciously voted for something beyond crust and toppings. Sandra and I are blessed with unbelievable friends. We don't know why, but great people show up when we put out the pies; people you just want to be around. And it happens in our cramped house. It's not big--it's a normal sized older home, but there's something warm and welcoming about it.
The people and the setting are things businesses can't compete with and can't replicate. Many restaurants try to make it like home, but deep down, everyone knows that only a home can be a home.
So Sandra and I want to say a huge heartfelt thank you to:
Our friends (and friends of friends) who bring their good vibes to our home, and for all the votes of encouragement.
The Kokomo Tribune for allowing us to participate in a race we weren't qualified for.
God for granting us gifts of hospitality and culinary delights to share with all kinds of people.
Here's our website http://kokomobrick.com/ you don't need an invitation--we hope to see you (or meet you) soon!