Q & A with Corey Smale of GOOD FORTUNE
Corey Smale of GOOD FORTUNE fills us in on favorite local spots, who he's eating lunch with & his favorite thing about St. Louis
Q: Lots of people look up to you for your creativity and innovation. What would you say inspires you the most?
A: That's really nice to hear. I am most inspired by things before and after me. I look to those who have done it before and ask for help, often. Most of my weeks are filled with at least two or three meetings with mentors (Zoe Robinson, Matt McGuire, Ben Poremba, Cary McDowell). It's amazing what you can learn for the price of lunch. There's a lot of pitfalls in business of any kind and whereas when I was younger and working on my first concept, I thought I had everything figured out, the older I get the more I am really learning. I also spend a lot of time with friends that are ten years younger than me. JP who does all of our creative direction is one of my best buds and I'm always tapping into what has him excited. I think a perspective should be well balanced so I'm always surrounding myself with positive people confident in doing their own thing and doing it well. Beyond that, Black Flag and the Grateful Dead.
Q: You all ran into some challenges early on with location. How is GF settling into the Tower Grove neighborhood?
A: Everything happens for a reason and after two years and three locations, I can't help but believe we were meant to be where we're at. To be surrounded by other really great concepts and operators has been a blessing. I think McRee/Tower Grove might be the most exciting block in St. Louis for food right now. We've also been really fortunate to make friends with most of our surrounding residential neighbors and their love and support has been really awesome and given us a ton of confidence early on. Couldn't imagine being anywhere else.
Q: Good Fortune is always churning out incredible food, but where else do you like to eat?
A: Thank you, I can't take any credit and will pass all of the compliments along to chef and the crew. I love eating at my friends restaurants because it usually doubles as a meal and hang time. Lately I've been at The Benevolent King a lot because Ben has been cooking, I go to Louie a lot and see Matt, JP and I go to Half and Half for breakfast at least once a week, and I'm at Olio all the time because it's so close and so good. Carl's Drive-In and La Pizza, too.
Q: If you had friends coming to town for a visit, what's on the agenda?
A: City Museum, Botanical Gardens, Antique stores, Farmers Market, maybe a day trip to Alton, I think that town is super interesting
Q: Who are some of your favorite local creatives outside of the culinary industry?
A: Phonzz is our bartender at Good Fortune and also an amazing graphic artist and rapper - look out for him. Cory Miller who shoots all of our photos continues to amaze me always. Phil Jarvis is world famous for a reason and just a humble, down to earth dude. And my lil homies in Foxing are globetrotting the world and just put out one of the best records I've ever heard.
Q: What is your favorite thing about St. Louis?
A: The mix of new and old and the ability to do your own thing. I worked in advertising in Chicago before moving back because I knew I couldn't afford to get something off the ground there with just ambition and energy. Here is a different story. At the same time the city is rapidly changing - we have Ikea and lime bikes - which makes me think we'll be newer than older soon enough, but I appreciate that the city and people are proud of it's history and culture. It's a great place to create.