If you’ve ever walked into Cyril’s, taken in the scenery, and said something like this, “DAMN! This place is amazing,” then you are a fan of Orange Design and Construction.

I first met with Jake Gunderson, one of the principals and founders, back in May or June of last year. We signed their firm days after signing the lease and they took us from permits and plans through opening day in about 8 weeks. And then they left. Our space felt incredibly strange and almost lonely without them.

We are not the only people aware of their awesomeness so of course after they wrapped at Cyril’s and Clay Pigeon they were off to the next all-consuming project. Months later we were bordering on feeling abandoned, so Michael and I did what we do when we miss people- we invited them to be our guests for dinner. They came, they ate, we talked, they stashed money under a plate so we wouldn’t see it, we hugged, and they left.

On the drive home I mentioned to Michael that having the crew for dinner reminded me how shy I can become around people I admire. It’s like an everyday version of being starstruck. When I spent a little time thinking about why this team of people dazzles me into an early adolescent shoe-gazing state I found a very simple answer. They really enjoy and believe in what they do, they have tremendous integrity, and a great capacity for laughter.

I realize that those things all sound like sweeping platitudes- my least favorite kind of endorsement of anything because one person’s “amazing” is another person’s “absolute minimum”. So I’ll be specific.

They quoted us a budget and, apart from changes we requested that impacted that number, they stuck to it. They also delivered on time. They took our vision- both our little poster board with ripped out magazine images- and my goofy imaginings about what it would feel like to walk into Cyril’s as a customer, and translated them into what you see today. 

The other very specific thing I can share with you is that they never made us feel stupid or amateurish. Ever. We were always comfortable asking questions and, for those of you who know me, you know that I ask a lot of questions. To say that our two months of construction were enjoyable is not an overstatement. I mean it. We had fun, even while we were signing giant checks- and that might be the biggest endorsement of all.