I was introduced to Liz Hoffner through a special meal with a very special friend at Revival Kitchen last summer, and what an intro. I fell in love with the food immediately, and have looked forward to experiencing it since - next time my family and I are in PA... Incidentally, I got to meet Liz in person at Barista Parlor in Nashville a couple months ago as well - I love meeting creatives I've interviewed.
As you'll see, Revival Kitchen is owned by Liz and her fiance, Quintin. They are both passionate about what they do, and it shows in their space, ingredient choices, community work, and food - their art! I am so excited to bring readers both a look at their space and food, and an interview with Liz.
What does Creativity mean to you?
Taking what is available and putting it to use.
How do you expand yourself creatively?
Absorb - Read, Listen, Learn.
Were you creative as a child? If so, how have you evolved through the years? Did anyone encourage you, especially?
Yes, but it was more that I was entrepreneurial, which forced me to be creative - from lemonade stands to bead bracelets in elementary, Hemp necklaces in middle schools...My senior year my classes/ Curriculum consisted of Music in American Society (History through the music) Photojournalism (English) Painting and Soccer. I was blessed to grow up in a nice community with a great public school system, that promoted creativity and forward thinking.
What inspires you most?
Traveling and experiencing other cultures, religion, traditions, food.
What turns you on creatively?
We really did a lot of repurposing, upcycling when we designed RK (Revival Kitchen). Being on a shoestring budget, we had to use what was available and cheap which forced us to get creative.
Do you have any gratefulness practices?
Yoga - I wish there was a yoga studio closer to the restaurant.
Do you daydream often? If so, does it inform your work?
Yes - probably too much… It’s like I can see what I want the end result or future result of a project to be, but have to fill in all of the pieces.
How does a relationship and/or children affect your creativity?
Quintin is my fiance, business partner and chef. His passion, creativity, skill, and dedication to our restaurant is extraordinary and it shows in the food he produces.
Is there a Creative, past or present, that you would give just about anything to work with? Who, and why?
Tim Ferriss, but I am not sure I would refer to him as a creative. He is an author, blogger, and podcaster who focuses on human optimization. After reading or listening to his work I feel more informed and motivated to apply what I have learned to my life and our business.
How do you care for yourself to ensure you’re available when ideas present themselves?
Still trying to figure this one out...
How do you balance life and art effectively? Or, do you?
It is one in the same. Life imitates art.
How do you deal with creative dry spells? Do you make space for them, or push through?
Travel, I try and schedule time to be somewhere but not do anything.
How do you deal with change, especially when it comes to creative mediums and passion?
Keep on Keepin on. I’m adaptable.
How does criticism affect you?
Bad, I take everything personal and so does Quintin, maybe even more so. I hate to see him take criticism. Especially when it is not warranted. We have had a few haters, not because of our product, but because we are different.
Has your work ever been copied? If so, how did you deal with it?
Nope - we would probably be flattered…
How important is self compassion to your creative process?
I should do more.
Do you have any other mediums you use to express yourself creatively?
I really enjoy photography, and I am learning graphic design. I hope to incorporate the two to develop unique marketing campaigns for the future.
Do you enjoy collaborating, or prefer to work alone?
What we do here requires many people - Farmers, Chef, Employees, Patrons.
Do you work in a studio/space designed specifically for your creativity, or on the spur of the moment/anywhere inspiration strikes?
We do all of our work at RK, we get a lot of inspiration from traveling and dining at other creative restaurants.
Is it important for you to have a creative, inspiring environment?
I like to be surrounded by beautiful things, but I think beauty can be found in most environments.
Do you plan thoroughly for projects, or go with the flow?
Dream Big then go with the flow and adjust to what life is throwing you.
Do you have a preferred way of cataloguing ideas?
Ideas? No. But I like spreadsheets to quantify effort and to make sure business is good.
Do you utilize social media? If so, how?
Yes, I lose at least 15 minutes everyday…trying to check on the business account but getting caught up in the feed.
What is your typical day like?
7:30 wake up with Q
Check email / social media
Take 5 (meditate, lay, make list for day)
Maybe 30 min yoga
Run around for the restaurant - farm trip, market, ice cream… you name it then to the restaurant usually by 11
Does spirituality and/or culture play a role in your creativity?
Yes, absolutely. Food/Culture is our fuel and inspiration.
Do you believe art can change the world? If so, how?
Change? Not sure. Enhance? YES.
Do you believe that connecting with your creativity, or helping others to do so, can positively affect the world? If so, how?
Yes, it is very important to us that we contribute to helping create and maintain a positive sense of community.
Are you active in your local art community? If so, how do you help and support each other?
Our remodel was done with help of Quintin's childhood friends who are local and artistic, but as far as organized local art community, not yet.
Do you surround yourself on a daily basis with creative, inspiring people?
Quintin - He makes everything look, smell and taste AMAZING!
What effect do you want your art to have on the world?
We want our restaurant to bring people together, educate them - growing methods, eating seasonal, the various produce available locally and hopefully stimulate the local economy by working with our local suppliers to create a truly unique dining experience.
Does your creativity enable you to contribute to social work in some way?
Yes, we are working with the township right now to turn an ugly empty lot into a park. I have a few fundraising ideas as well as community organization to help with the heavy lifting
What music, if any, plays while you work? What are you listening to at this very moment?
Revival Mix on Spotify - Jessica Lea Mayfield
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
Show up early and stay late…..
Do you have any advice for aspiring creatives?
Stick with it/ see how you can incorporate your art into unlikely daily activities/ interactions.
Do you have any favourite books?
Do you have any upcoming projects/collections to share?
We have quite a few farm collaboratives planned for this summer.
Do you have a favourite quote?
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”
Where can we find your art?
6 N. Main Street
Reedsville PA, 17084