For our first Hometown Highlight, I got the chance to sit down with the owner of The Beer Barn, Karen Langianese. We talked about the values of her business, community engagement, and how she manages to find work/life balance. The Beer Barn is a drive-through beer distributor that has served Bradford’s thirsty residents since 2005.
When Karen set aside some time to meet with me on Friday, I was excited because I know she leads a busy life. Aside from being a business owner and mother of three, she works full-time for the State of Pennsylvania. I was relieved that when we sat down, she seemed relaxed and we didn’t feel rushed even with her busy schedule. I asked her how she can stay so balanced despite her many responsibilities. Her answer: friends and nature. Oftentimes, these two things are combined. She says her almost daily walks through the “Chapel of Trees” brings her solitude and peace.
In fact, the closeness with nature is one of Karen’s favorite things about living in Bradford, PA. Because her personal and professional life is so entwined with the town she lives in, she and her late husband Michael “Pink” Langianese, always found it very important to find ways to support it. Currently The Beer Barn sponsors one of the city’s most popular golf leagues at Pine Acres County Club. This is not to mention the numerous community events, teams, and organizations that the family has supported throughout the years. Even if you don’t drink, the name of the business will likely always ring a bell due to their constant involvement in the community.
All of this would not be possible if it were not for the Beer Barn’s ability to be successful and turn a profit. According to Karen, the secret to the business’s success is mostly due to the friendly and customer-oriented employees that she is lucky to have. The Beer Barn is known for its convenient business model of loading the drinks in the vehicle for the customer. Thus, the customer has more interaction with the employees than they would typically have at any other similar establishment. Its not uncommon for a Beer Barn employee to crack a quick joke or simply offer a friendly smile while working on the customer’s behalf. To Karen, the convenience and friendliness of her establishment is what sets them apart. This type of culture is not likely to change any time soon and so the Beer Barn looks forward to many years of serving Bradford and its thirsty residents.