Meat Travis Robertson, Our Meat and Axe Throwing Workshop Champion
So Travis, what's one super interesting thing about you, and where's home?
Proud owner of over 5,000 Christmas songs ranging from classic to reggae to hip hop. I’m originally from St. Louis Missouri (Go Cards!) but have lived in Minnetonka for more than half of my life.
So if cancer caregiving is a journey, where would you say you are on yours?
In the thick of it. My wife Katie has stage 4 breast cancer that’s metastasized around her lungs and on her brain. Because the first treatment plan was unsuccessful, Katie just started a new treatment plan three days ago. Shit is getting real, my friend. That said, we’ve got amazing doctors, friends and family – and Jack’s too—who are helping us manage this very bumpy road. We call our family Team Robertson, and we’ve had some of the highest highs and lowest lows in the past 6 months. I’m an optimistic person and so is my wife, so we’re ready to fight like hell to keep the Team intact for as long as possible!
Can you describe the The Meat Workshop? How did you come up with the idea?
It’s an epic chance to learn from an expert of all things Meat! Dr. Ryan Cox is a PhD at the U of MN who has a lot of knowledge to share, and he’ll be schooling us on all the different cuts of meat. So, when you go to a restaurant or go grocery shopping, you’ll be more informed about what you’re choosing. This workshop event originated from a group I started with my friends a couple of years ago called “The Gentlemen’s Workshop.” Every month, we would put on monthly events to get us guys out of the house while learning something new (e.g: ice sculpture carving, knife fighting, scotch tasting). Partnering with Justin at Jack’s, we wanted to bring a new type of programming to Jack’s in addition to the hunting and fishing events. Hopefully, our fellow Jack’s participants think this direction is a worthwhile one going forward.
At Jack's we strive to deliver world-class hospitality to men who are cancer caregivers, can you talk about what hospitality means to you? And what sort of things did you do to make sure you brought that hospitality to the Meat Workshop?
To me, hospitality is about being empathetic and anticipating what someone needs, even before they know they need it. Whether it be providing money for parking, a cooler for taking home your cuts or hosting a happy hour afterwards, I believe we’ve anticipated many needs along the way. Caregivers like myself have a lot to juggle all week so hopefully events like the Meat Workshop are a nice reprieve from the whirlwind of life.
The Meat workshop was your first crack at leading a Jack's program, overall how did it go? What surprised you about the experience?
For me, planning it has been a blast! It’s fun to plan something for other caregivers and see what the response will be to an unconventional idea like a Meat Workshop. What always surprises me about Jack’s is how we think through every detail from start to finish of an experience. Hopefully we made this day one of the most effortless times of their week, given all that they’re dealing with as a caregiver.
What do some of the other program events look like that you are bringing to Jack's later in the year? Which one are you the most excited about?
Can you keep a secret? We’ve got some fun surprises up our sleeve. The idea is for each event to be something that makes you say: “Man, I’m glad I did that. That was epic.” While we’re still finalizing the events, we do have some starter thoughts: The Classic Car Road Trip, Exotic Cooking Class, Axe throwing, and Ice Sculpting with chainsaws. Each event will be incredible in its own way, but I’m most intrigued about the Classic Car Road Trip where we get to pick out a vintage car to drive for the day as a group.