Former Major League Baseball player who hated the short hops in baseball but loved the hops of craft beer, Kevin Youkilis’ vision to open Loma Brewing Company came from the perks of traveling across the country and exploring breweries while playing baseball. If you ever saw him play, you can understand why he needed a beer after a game to taper the adrenaline. Once he stopped playing baseball professionally, he wanted to find business ventures that consumed his passion to work and to be on a team. He is currently opening up a coffee roasting facility, Loma Coffee Company, in Portland, OR.
We caught up with Kevin Youkilis for a round of 50 questions, here’s what he had to say:
1. What is in your fridge right now?
Kevin Youkilis: We have pretty much everything. From Loma Brewing Company beer to fresh produce to leftovers. You name it, as a family of five, we have it.
2. What's one meal you couldn't live without?
Kevin Youkilis: Enchiladas.
3. Food memories are super powerful. Is there one strong food memory that you have?
Kevin Youkilis: I think my favorite food memory was probably going to Mastro’s Steakhouse, for the first time. The whole experience was out of control. From the moment you get your appetizers to until you get that butter cake, I mean it's just a lot of flavors. Definitely don't feel like you can eat for another 24 hours. Amazing food and my favorite steakhouse.
4. What family foods did you grow up with?
Kevin Youkilis: So my mom was the predominant cook. We always joked around that my dad used to make hockey pucks for burgers. He liked them a little more well-done. To this day, I have to grill to make sure that there's no charbroil. But my mom mostly cooked. Her meatloaf was always a big hit, her chili, her chicken Tetrazzini. That was one that I still remember to this day that I loved. She’d do grilled chicken with rice, more of those typical American home meals. Eventually, the meatloaf turned into turkey meatloaf as eating a little healthier became a priority. But the meatloaf and chicken Tetrazzini were probably my two most memorable family meals.
5. What is one food that you hate?
Kevin Youkilis: Yeah, unfortunately, I don't do well with curry. I've tried, I will try everything! I also don’t like blue cheese. And raw celery—raw celery is like a nemesis for me, even the smell of it. It's the weirdest thing, it's a bad thing. The only Mexican food I don't like is mole sauce, which is, like, so disheartening because I love Mexican food.
6. What restaurateurs do you most admire?
Kevin Youkilis: I think The Hillstone Group is probably the group I admire most. They've created an incredible system of operations. And their service is impeccable. I mean, they do such an amazing job, and the menu is so inviting to all, which is something that is very hard to do.
7. What restaurant do you miss?
Kevin Youkilis: I do miss going to my brother's restaurant Hog & Rocks. Good food, good drinks. I definitely miss Scott’s place.
8. Favorite industry event?
Kevin Youkilis: The Great American Beer Festival is one of those events you miss but you don't miss because it's so crazy and hectic, but it's really cool to see how many fans are out there, to see how many people have such a great passion for craft breweries.
9. One thing you can't run a restaurant without?
Kevin Youkilis: Good people.
10. One thing you wish you knew before you opened your first restaurant?
Kevin Youkilis: Architectural fees.
11. If you couldn’t be a restaurateur, what would you do?
Kevin Youkilis: I’m very lucky. I've already lived my first dream and now I get this second act. If I had a third act, I’d probably have a career in the front office of baseball. It would be pretty cool to utilize my experience as a baseball player and as a business owner to motivate people, share knowledge, and build a really cool vision.
12. First job?
Kevin Youkilis: Yeah, my first job was landscaping in the very hot Cincinnati summer! But it was awesome because I got to work with some power equipment.
13. First album?
Kevin Youkilis: Beastie Boys. I was allowed to buy their tape because they were Jewish.
14. First concert?
Kevin Youkilis: Eric Clapton.
15. First time you fell in love . . . with a dish?
Kevin Youkilis: Skyline Chili Cheese Coney.
16. First time you fell in love . . . with a restaurant?
Kevin Youkilis: Skyline Chili.
17. Last vacation?
Kevin Youkilis: Montana.
18. Last song you listened to?
Kevin Youkilis: Pearl Jam, "Future Days."
19. Last book you read?
Kevin Youkilis: Death by Meeting.
20. Last podcast you listened to?
Kevin Youkilis: I kind of stopped. With three kids, I really don’t have the time.
21. Last thing you ordered online?
Kevin Youkilis: Thai food.
22. Weirdest job?
Kevin Youkilis: Dumping barrels of trash into a truck for a summer job in Cape Cod.
23. Weirdest thing you've ever eaten?
Kevin Youkilis: Squid ink.
24. Weirdest place you’ve traveled?
Kevin Youkilis: Navojoa, Mexico.
25. Weirdest thing you're good at?
Kevin Youkilis: I can touch my tongue to my nose.
26. Pets, yay or nay?
Kevin Youkilis: Yay. We have two dogs, Rocco and Khaleesi. They’ll probably be the last two dogs I have.
27. Green thumb or black?
Kevin Youkilis: Definitely black.
28. Coffee or tea?
Kevin Youkilis: Coffee.
29. To snooze or not to snooze?
Kevin Youkilis: I don’t have snooze in me.
30. The book or the movie?
Kevin Youkilis: The movie.
31. Cocktail/mocktail or beer?
Kevin Youkilis: Definitely beer!
32. Casual or fancy?
Kevin Youkilis: Casual.
33. Digital or analog?
Kevin Youkilis: Digital.
34. Black and white or color?
Kevin Youkilis: Color.
35. Windows down or AC on?
Kevin Youkilis: I like the AC on, but my wife likes the windows down.
36. Ocean or desert?
Kevin Youkilis: Ocean.
37. Early Bird or night owl night?
Kevin Youkilis: Early bird.
38. New house or old house?
Kevin Youkilis: New.
39. Flea market or mall?
Kevin Youkilis: Mall.
40. Introvert or extrovert?
Kevin Youkilis: Extrovert.
41. Live to work or work to live?
Kevin Youkilis: I live to work.
42. Sweet or salty?
Kevin Youkilis: Sweet.
43. City or country?
Kevin Youkilis: Country.
44. Sunrise or sunset?
Kevin Youkilis: Sunset.
45. Summer or winter?
Kevin Youkilis: I’m a Fall guy.
46. Reality TV or documentary?
Kevin Youkilis: Documentary.
47. To binge watch or not to binge watch?
Kevin Youkilis: Binge watch, unfortunately.
48. Classic Rock or Classical?
Kevin Youkilis: Classic Rock.
49. Board game or video game?
Kevin Youkilis: Video game.
50. Rain or sunshine?
Kevin Youkilis: Sunshine.
Read more from the Real Talk with Restaurateurs blog series.