We had the good fortune of connecting with Trevan Sparboe and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Trevan, how do you think about risk?
Risk is present in most situations where an impactful decision is being made, and oftentimes it can be intimidating. However, eliminating the intimidation that risk can possess can be achieved by calculating the risk before taking it. If the overall reward doesn’t equal or outweigh the risk being taken, then it may not be successful or fulfilling. Understanding the presence of risk, and what balance there is with reward, can give someone confidence in the decisions they make moving forward. I believe the word risk takes on a negative connotation when situations are referred to as risky. The only difference is the letter y. If you can remove the “why?” from a risky situation by fully understanding the balance of risk and reward, then you’re left only with risk, which, again, is almost always present. With the confidence of a fully calculated risk, it’s easier to justify decisions made toward the progression of attaining whatever rewards are desired.

Understanding the process of calculating risks has played an important role in my life and career because it has shown me which risks are worth taking. By answering the “why?” in any risky situations I’ve been presented, I’ve been able to mitigate senseless risks that lead to unfulfilling rewards. The quality of risk taken should directly correlate with the value of the reward that is strived for.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’d like to think I’m somewhat of a restauranteur. I currently run a pop-up speakeasy concept called The Blind Bison, which focuses on themed events centered around craft cocktails, live music and local art. This concept travels to different venues to showcase the various restaurants, event centers and art galleries that our community possesses. What sets us apart from others is our willingness to collaborate and share our platform with those around us. The concept started as a way for co owner, Bryan Taylor, and I to showcase our appreciation for classic cocktails and some newer, innovative techniques. This quickly turned into a platform for us to show people just how cool our city is. We have partnered with numerous local artists that have also turned or pop-up bars, into pop-up art galleries as well. Along with artists, we have worked with several local musicians to put more live music into more venues across the city. Our business becomes that much more gratifying knowing that we are helping to promote the talented members of both communities. This support has lead to us hosting large scale food and music festivals with multiple acts, as well as a Bloody Mary kiosk at the local Farmer’s market.

Along with The Blind Bison, I am also co-owner of a dual concept restaurant/donut shop called Kal’s Chicken Coop and Proof Donuts and Coffee. This is an idea that is founded on a collaborative space that benefits both parties involved. I’ve got a lifelong friend named Klay Welter, who is the master behind the donuts at Proof. I had watched this man seek-out his dream of owning a donut shop for years and was always inspired by his drive and willingness to get things done. As he hit some snags in the process, I asked if he wanted any help bringing his idea to fruition. Thankfully, he said yes and helped me get closer to my dream of owning multiple concepts across Montana. Since then, we have taken the market by storm by ramping up the demand with limited release donuts and merchandise. Creating a buzz and teaming up with local artists for merchandising has been to our benefit.

I can’t say that either process was easy, but difficulty in something isn’t a bad thing if you really want it. It’s almost more gratifying to have to earn what you want. It makes me appreciate the whole process that much more. Overcoming obstacles is a part of the process. Persistence and never wanting to give up the dream are essential parts of being successful and eliminating these challenges.

The world works better when it works together. Share resources, skills, talents, smiles, stories, experiences, and anything else you have to share, because we are capable of so much more together than we are alone. Everyone has a dream. Sometimes it just takes a helping hand, or a nudge in the right direction, to make some really incredible things happen.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There are so many cool things happening around town, it’s hard to figure out where to start!

Downtown is a cool hub for being able to see a lot of Billings culture, all at once. There are several outstanding restaurants, breweries and distilleries that capture the essence of Billings creativity and entrepreneurial spirit. I would start by finding whoever has live music that evening and start with cocktails and apps there. There are also multiple alleys and hidden spots with some really cool street art that I like to look at on the way to dinner and the evening out. If I’m looking to catch a show, the Pub Station and Craft Local are usually always rockin’. Good breweries include Uberbrew, Last Chance Pub and Cider Mill and The Montana Brewing Company. My favorite restaurants in this are are The Marble Table, Walkers and The Burger Dive. ALL locally owned restaurants that are incredible!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
As sappy as it sounds, the community that I have surrounded myself with has everything to do with my success today. I’m constantly inspired by the amount of talent there is in my hometown, Billings, MT. When we collaborate and work together, we are capable of so much more than we ever would be alone. There are so many creative minds in the restaurant, music and art industries here that you can’t help but be captivated by the culture it’s beginning to create in recent years. Being apart of creating that identity is something that is truly indescribable. I’d like to dedicate this shoutout to all of the successes of those around me, for inspiring me to be successful myself.

Instagram: @TheGreatSparbinski @blindbisonbar @proofdonutscoffee

Facebook: Trevan Sparboe/ The Blind Bison/ Proof Donuts and Coffee

Image Credits
Photo Credits: Photo in front of Microphone: Ryan Colbert Photos of BBQ Festival: Tyler Rel Photos of Cocktails: Sean White Photos of Donuts: Us

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