Inspired by a journey with sobriety and an inspiring story of community support, two local families teamed up to launch a new kind of social exchange. Learn more about their new historic-building-turned-social-hotspot that specializes in good food, drinks, and a welcoming smile for everyone.
History is everywhere. It’s in the little old house on Main Street and it’s in the old bank that was once thriving with customers going in and out. Back in 2011, the Freys and the Jobes families wanted to have a little piece of their own history when they purchased the old First National Bank building in downtown Harrison.
“At the time, we didn’t know what it would become,” says Gerilyn Jobe. “We knew the building had a rich history and that one day it would need to be restored. Speed things up to early 2016 when we, alongside the Freys, had a dream that inspired us to launch something amazing.”
They wanted to create something that was lacking in downtown Harrison: an upscale establishment that could be used to help foster community in the small town.
“Without any previous experience in the bar/restaurant industry, we began to research the ins and outs of the process,” she says. “In December 2016, we were blessed by the community with a gift of money that paid for the first set of blueprints.”
That set of blueprints was what would become Heist + Co, a social exchange that was not birthed to become “just another bar” but, rather, something much more than that.
“Just like any other good thing, it took time for Heist + Co to become a reality,” says Jobe. “Many days, months, and years went by to plan, develop, learn, grow, and stretch in areas with which we were not familiar.”
Since the financial gift helped to bolster the project into reality in 2016, the business has since blossomed into something the business partners say they never could have imagined.
“We have worked tirelessly to keep a spirit of excellence in everything that encompasses Heist + Co,” says Jobe. “From the building’s design elements to the food that has been thoughtfully curated on each plate we serve, Heist + Co was created to give our guests an experience they could not get anywhere else.”
Jobe says that the inspiration for Heist + Co came along when the team was looking to develop something that welcome community members and offered small plates and unique cocktails. It was also at the time when Jobe herself decided to quit drinking.
“This became the catalyst which altered the vision of Heist + Co,” she says. “When frequenting other establishments, I felt that there was a definite lack of quality offerings for the non-drinker.”
It was then that she began to do a lot of research in an effort to find options for those who wanted to go out with friends yet still feel included. It was here that she found the growing trend of non-alcoholic bars.
“I found various companies that offered non-alcoholic spirits, wine, and beer,” she says. “It was at that point that the vision of Heist + Co became very clear – it would become a gathering place that welcomed both drinkers and non-drinkers alike, making anyone and everyone is welcome to enjoy the space and feel a sense of belonging.”
Although the group felt the decision was a risky one, they say it’s paid off. “Heist + Co is experiencing an influx of non-drinkers and we could not be more excited,” she shares.
When they opened the doors to Heist + Co in 2019, the Jobes and the Freys wanted their social exchange to be a relaxed gathering place that offered an atmosphere that fosters connection, conversation, and community while also being a space that encourages laughter and kindness and welcoming all guests as they are – no more, no less.
Through their business Jobe says she wants to be able to introduce the Harrison and surrounding communities to something they’ve never seen before, both in the way of cocktails and small plates.
“We want to be the spot that people feel loved and accepted for who they are,” she says. “We want to make sure that everyone who comes in feels valued and special.”
Frey and Jobe are the owners of The Coffee Peddler, another business in Harrison that plans to open a second location in the fall of 2020. Jobe’s husband, Mitchell, and his business partner Brian Hennessey are also opening a retail business called West Oak & Iron that will be located at 419 Harrison Avenue in the District.