In this feature, we gathered 16 young business owners in the food, farm or beverage industry that are establishing a brand in the FLX. We sent each one the same list of 10 questions. Below are their answers. We hope you enjoy learning about and supporting these local entrepreneurs!
Ian Conboy of Lucky Hare Brewing in Hector, NY
What’s the first FLX wine or beer you tasted? If my memory serves me correct it was from Rasta Ranch and I believe it was Purple Haze. For beer, Wagner’s Sled Dog Doppelbock.
What’s your biggest challenge in being a young business owner in the FLX? Taxes! That’s why we pay a professional to do it. Always use a pro.
What’s your favorite local comfort food after a long, day of hard work? FLX Wienery‘s K-Town Burger and Foie Gras Fries with a giant beer. Only if they were closer……
Favorite piece of business advice? Be on social media. Constantly post new photos with fresh information. Keeping people informed while being consistent always helps spread the word of what your business is all about.
Why do you run your business here? My family was always going to retire here and I loved Hector from the first time I came up as a teenager. If we ever were to start a brewery it had to be in Hector and it had to be on the Wine Trail. We lucked out on both fronts and now we are here to stay!
Who’s your hero? Hard to say because everyone in my immediate family are heroes to me in different ways, but my Mom really stands out. She has worked so hard and has gone through a lot. Her toughness and determination through everything proves to me that no matter what, whatever your goal is, it can get done and usually with a smile on your face. She really is the best!
What did you want to be when you were a kid? Archeologist. I could not stop playing in the dirt.
At what age do you think you will retire? Probably whenever I physically cannot make beer anymore. 89?
Describe yourself in 3 words. I. Like. Beer.
In the past people were buried with the items they would need in the afterlife, what would you want buried with you so you could use it in the afterlife? Assuming that the afterlife provides free drinks, food and is on the beach in the Caribbean, I would like to be buried with a nice hat and a pair of shades to keep the sun out of my eyes. Some comfortable open toed shoes to walk around in and the appropriate beach wear attire. Maybe a surf board too. And definitely not my cell phone. If it ends up in my casket it is going in the ocean.
If you had to choose a completely new career, what would it be? I would go back to my old career as a Marine Biologist. I have a lot still left to do so maybe one day when I hit the age where I can’t brew beer anymore that is what I will do.
What would the book or movie about your life be titled? Suds & Buds – The Early Years.
Favorite place to eat in the FLX? I will give you three because I love them for different reasons and they are all amazing. Red Dove Tavern, Graft Wine and Cider Bar and The Elf In The Oak.
Local businessperson who inspires you? Chris and Isabel at The FLX Wienery. They have so many wonderful businesses that are all done so well. It is amazing to watch from afar. Seriously, do they ever sleep?
A version of this article originally appeared in the May/June 2019 edition of the magazine.