DES MOINES, Iowa — It’s been less than a year, but Big Grove is already looking back.

“It was hard!” says Janelle Buxton, Big Grove Brewery & Taproom’s industry relations director. “It was hard and we were not even fully staffed when we opened.”

Opening the largest new restaurant in town, during a labor crunch…in a run-down car dealership?

“I think it’s a good-looking building now,” Buxton laughs. “It wasn’t (at the time we started renovating it).”

But things have gone well — so well they’re ready to share.

“We want to have Big Grove’s name associated with doing really positive things in the community,” Buxton says.

Their first Des Moines donation goes to the Ronald McDonald House. Picked out of 20 potential charities, in part, because it could be specific about where Big Grove’s money would go.

“A stove, a deep freeze,” lists Brenda Miller, RMH’s executive director, “we needed some security cameras in our parking lot, a new computer for the front desk and families…”

A tour made the connection feel more first-hand. Easy to imagine the impact of such a loving place.

“How just incredibly impactful it would be to have a safe, warm place that you can stay while your child is fighting for their life,” says Big Grove’s Lindsey Rawson Van Wyk.

But in this case, the giver will also, no doubt, receive.
“They’re so handy for us, so convenient because the Ronald McDonald House just sits up behind here,” Miller says. “Our families now have a place nearby they can go to where they feel safe –they’re not driving all over Des Moines…”

Big Grove won’t mark its first anniversary until July, but there was cause to celebrate Monday night. A kind-hearted connection between neighbors…and a great big check. Cheers to all.