ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Venable making big business plans in Baldwin City


Adalyn Madl, BHS Journalism

BHS alumnus Cory Venable has been a part of this community for many years. Aside from being involved in community politics as a city council member, his latest venture is opening a local restaurant and brewery.

“My wife Jenni and I still have our full-time jobs,” Venable said. “She works for an investment company and I am currently working for an insurance company. Outside of our jobs we like to spend time with our kids Jack and Vivian.”

Besides their full-time jobs Venable is working on his plans to build a brewery in Baldwin.

“Things are going great,” he said. “It’s not the greatest time in the world to build a giant commercial space and there have been quite a few delays due to the effects we’re still feeling from the pandemic, but we have taken it all in stride. We have been able to keep the tent and patio open for business to keep our head above water while we wait.”

The new business has had many challenges getting off the ground.

“There are several challenging parts, but the two we feel the most are the time it takes away from our kids and learning how to handle the unknown,” he said. “We’ve never operated a business before, so this is all new and kind of scary at times. There’s not a manual or roadmap for opening a 10,000 square foot brewery/restaurant. You kind of just have to put yourself out there and….do it.”

Venable put’s almost every minute he can spare into his business. He is working very hard at it.

This venture is an ever-evolving one,” Venable said. “Every spare minute I have is down there helping get this thing built. Furthermore, we operate out of the patio on weekends with some time off during the colder months.”

Venable has shared his best memories at BHS.

“I loved my experience at BHS,” Venable said. “I grew up in Baldwin my whole life and loved it so much I went to Baker and then immediately bought a house before graduating. Baldwin has always been good to me and my family. I ran around with a big group of friends in high school. We all did/do take deep pride in being from Baldwin. Fellow ’02 graduate Chris Eichhorn frequently refers to Baldwin as ‘God’s Country.’ My best memory at BHS was hosting Star Struck with Casey Millstein.”

Venable has had many people influence him and help him throughout high school.

“Kathy Cook encouraged me to go out for Forensics and audition for the spring play,” Venable said. “Former librarian Jana Jorn had a big impact on me. I liked working in the library and tried to squeeze in one or two hours of independent study working with her. She challenged me to think critically about things. Then discussing the days’ headlines, I can’t leave out your esteemed editor, Kit Harris. He was a newer teacher when I was in school and understood our generation maybe more than some of the more tenured teachers. He somehow made English class fun and humorous, but also had a cool way of abruptly pausing the fun and getting your attention for some of the serious stuff. I majored in history because of Bob Martin. I ultimately also majored in Political Science because of Melody Hoffsommer. Chuck Hoelvett asked me to try debate my senior year, and honestly it taught me how to think.”

Venable was involved in many clubs and extracurriculars at the school.

“I did Tennis, Debate, Forensics, Scholar’s Bowl, and Theater,” Venable said. “We didn’t get baseball until my senior year and by that time I had a pretty good thing going with tennis in the spring, otherwise I would have definitely gone out. I had a very brief stint on the football team my sophomore year before an injury helped me decide it wasn’t for me. We didn’t have soccer yet or I would have gone out. I regret not going out for wrestling.”