My Story and and an Update as of May 2016

My Story Steven Shomler

My Story

In the Summer of 2011 I stood in a dirt driveway in Southeast Portland and decided to bootstrap my way to a new life. I declared that I was going to take my writing seriously and become a Writer , become an Author, a Speaker, become Self Employed and become Part of the Portland Culinary Community. I set a total of 8 goals.

What led up to my decision to bootstrap my way to a better life? I am glad that you asked.

Tribes by Seth Godin          Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuck

In the spring of 2009 I read Seth Godin’s book Tribes and over Thanksgiving weekend 2009 I read Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk. Both those of books inspired me to start a website and start writing.

I launched December 2009 and I began occasionally posting articles. when I posted articles there it was more for fun than anything else. From December 2009 to the summer 2011 I definitely did not take my writing seriously.

In the Summer of 2011 when I made my dirt driveway declaration I had nothing left to lose and I decided that I would go build the life I imagined.


For more than 20 years I had wanted to go to a book store and buy a book on the shelf that I had written — Author. To that date I has spoken publicly more than 400 times and I loved inspiring and equipping people – Speaker. I wanted the flexibility and freedom that comes with being self employed and owning a successful business – Self Employed. I liked that lifestyle that Anthony Bourdain seemed to be living and I loved food, so I decided to become a food writer and leverage that writing so that I could become – Part of the Portland Culinary Community.

My longterm plan was to someday have enough success to get to travel and see the beaches of the world and go places like Peter Island in Caribbean and get back to places like theFontainebleau resort in Miami Beach, and Greece and Jamaica.

As I said,  I had nothing to lose so I set out to live the life I wanted to live.

Bootstrapping my way to a better life 

Up to this point I did not like to write, I did not know anyone in the Portland culinary community, I did not know what book I would write, and I did not know what topics I would be speaking on.

What I did know was that I was hungry and desperate and willing to pay the price needed to live my dreams. 

One strength I did have was my deeply held convictions about Branding, Marketing, and  Social Media and I was convinced that if I applied my perspectives about those concepts to myself that I would succeed.

I also knew that kind of tenacity it takes to succeed in a startup – I call it Startup Tenacity and I was ready to put in the work needed to make my plans happen and I had the mindset that is required when you are bootstrapping your way to a new life.

Prior to 2011 I had worked in two different careers – one in the banking world and one in the non-profit world. I had also provided leadership to three startups, two of which succeeded and one of which failed. As you can imagine I learned the most from the failure.

I was burned out on banking (I had just finished a 4 year run there) and I was ready to build a brand new life and have a whole new career.

Here is the kicker — The Great Recession hit my family later that it hit some, but when it hit us, it hit us hard. By the summer of 2011 we were homeless. We moved from our 5 bedroom home into a one car, unheated, unfinished garage and we lived there from July 2011 to December 2011. I remember sitting in that garage on cold nights in October wearing gloves while I typed telling myself that someday I was going to be able to go into Powell’s or Barnes and Noble and buy a book that I wrote.

I truly know what it is like to bootstrap your way to a new life.

The fall of 2011 I wrote and begin doing research for my first food writer’s project. Jan 1, 2012 I launched my first food centric website and I was off and running.


Four Years Later

By the Summer of 2015 I was well on my way to accomplishing my goals.

Two of my books have been published — Portland Food Cart Stories April 2014, and Portland Beer Stories June 2015. I am now working on my next two culinary books —Portland Coffee Stories and Donut Tales and Oregon Wine Stories and I have a cookbook in the works – Beer Drinkers Cookbook.

I host my own radio show – Tasty Tuesday on 99.1 FM Portland Radio Project and every Tuesday at 9 AM I have a Food Cart owner live and in studio.

I am still active in the Portland Food Cart community and  I consult with someone wanting  wanting to open a Food Cart about twice a month –

I write for two food centric websites and

I am part of a Portland startup brewery Culmination Brewing Company. I am the Culmination Branding and Marketing Director and I have been served and helping out there since December 2014. I became an official part of the Culmination team in May of 2015. I LOVE being part of Culmination!

I launched my own company Spark to Bonfire Consulting and I have been fully self employed since August of 2015. I help my clients with their branding, marketing and social media and I consult quite a bit with people launching startups.

I have about 1-2 speaking engagements a month – I still love public speaking! To date I speak about branding, marketing, social media, and what it takes to succeed in a startup.

From the Summer of 2015 through the Spring of 2016 I invested time into the projects I had going (those listed above) and I took some time beginning to recover from a brutal personal setback.


Update May 2016

It is now May 2016 and I am embarking on my next three year run. During this next step in my journey I will continue the projects I have been doing. I will keep writing books and serving at Culmination, and doing my radio show, etc,

I also plan to take steps to increase my speaking engagements  and I have a couple of other projects I am launching. Here is what is coming down the pike —

Portland Culinary Radio – The Portland Beer Podcast and The Great Food Great Stories Podcast

I created Portland Culinary Radio and it will produce two podcasts — the Portland Beer Podcast and the Great Food Great Stories Podcast. I plan to have both these podcasts available on iTunes by July 2016. I am host of these podcasts and Ken Wilson is my co-host.

I love being a storyteller and these two podcasts are a way for me to get to tell the awesome culinary stories I have come across since the summer of 2011!

Portland Beer Festivals 

I created Portland Beer Festivals and I brought in my friends Brian Yaeger and Arthur Breur to help me launch this fun beer centric project.

The Culmination Back Bar Podcast

We have started a podcast at Culmination Brewing  that covers all things Culmination and it is called the called the Culmination Back Bar Podcast. As far as I know, we are the first brewery to have our own ongoing podcast.

Shom TV

Shom TV is a new project of my 19 year old son Zac Shomler and I get the joy of helping him a little with it. I am regular guest on his videos about movies. I can’t tell you how fulfilling it was to have my son invite to be a part of his journey.

Spark To Bonfire YouTube Channel

Later this summer my son Zac is going to help me establish a Spark to Bonfire YouTube Channel where I will share my thoughts on Bootstrapping Your Way to a New Life, Branding, Marketing, Social Media and Startup Tenacity.

That’s it!

I am Steven Shomler and I am pulling for you!

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Heading to Vegas to Speak at the 2016 Roam Mobile Food Conference


Heading to Vegas to Speak at the 2016 Roam Mobile Food Conference!

I am so looking forward to Sunday March 13th !!! I will be in Las Vegas serving at the 2016 Roam Mobile Food Conference happening at South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa.


I am the Emcee for Sunday, and I am speaking twice. At 10:50 AM my topic is — “The 3 DON’TS! Avoid These 3 Food Truck Breakdowns if You Want To Have Food Truck Success.”

At 2:45 PM I get to be on a Marketing and Branding Panel with Kristen Vanstrom with and Malik Jaffer Author of The Mobilizer!

For more information go to

Steven Shomler








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Culmination Brewing Voted the Best New Brewery at the 2016 Oregon Beer Awards!


Culmination Brewing Voted the Best New Brewery at the 2016 Oregon Beer Awards!

Been meaning to share this! Culmination Brewing was voted the Best New Brewery at the 2016 Oregon Beer Awards.

It was such an honor to be up on stage with the rest of the Culmination team receiving this award!


Steven Shomler



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Author Steven Shomler at Holiday Cheer 2015 – Oregon Historical Society

Holiday Cheer 2015

Author Steven at Holiday Cheer 2015 – Oregon Historical Society! 

Sunday December 6th, 2015 from Noon – 4 PM the Oregon Historical Society is hosting Holiday Cheer 2015 – a Celebration of Oregon Authors!

From the OHS website – “For nearly 50 years, the Oregon Historical Society has celebrated the literary talents of Oregonians at this annual holiday book sale and signing. Meet your favorite author, and take home a personally signed book for the perfect local holiday gift.  All authors who are invited to participate have published in the current year, and many will have multiple books available for sale. Sip on hot cocoa, listen to carols, and get into the spirit of the season as we kick off the holidays at the Oregon Historical Society!”

Steven Shomler, Author of Portland Beer Stories and Portland Food Cart Stories will be at Holiday Cheer 2015 as will a number of other Oregon Authors.


The Oregon Historical Society is located at 1200 SW Park Ave, Portland, Oregon.

More Information

For more information and a list of participating authors go to


Holiday Cheer 2015

Portland Beer Stories Front Cover 15pt9 mb

Portland Food Cart Stories


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The Wedge – Portland Celebrates Cheese!

The Wedge Cheese Festival
The Wedge – Portland Celebrates Cheese!

The Wedge is an annual event celebrating cheese that happens each fall here in Portland, Oregon!  I have been to the Wedge the past two  years — 2013 and 2014, and it is a very fun culinary event!  If you like cheese, you will want to attend.

Here are the details about the 2015 Wedge–

The Wedge is happening Saturday Oct 3rd, 2015 from Noon – 5:00 PM.

The Wedge takes place outside of the Green Dragon Bistro and Brew Pub located at 928 SE 9th Ave, Portland, OR 97214 and you can park free on the surrounding streets.

Tasting tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door and they include a $5 voucher to buy your favorite cheese.


More Info Go To Great Food Great Stories 
For more info, and to see the preview I wrote about the 2015 Wedge, go to my culinary website —  Great Food Great Stories

Here is a link to the 2015 Wedge Preview article I wrote —

The Wedge Portland

The Wedge Links

Facebook –

I am Steven Shomler and I am a fan of the great culinary events that we have here in Portland!


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Pints and Possibilities – 7:00 PM August 18th, Portland, Oregon

Pints and Possibilities 1

Pints and Possibilities — Come Have A Pint and Discover What’s Possible For You and Your Business!

Pints and Possibilities is a Portland, Oregon based, quarterly event for entrepreneurs and those involved in startups . 

At Pints and Possibilities you will hear from four different speakers who will each present for 15 minutes. The speakers will also take part in 5 Minutes Q and A’s following their presentation.

Ben Edmunds Breakside Brewing-1  Joanne McCall 1

Heather McDaniel 1  StevenShomler2

The Speakers for August 18th

The Speakers for the August 18th Pints and Possibilities are–

Ben Edmunds, Founding Brewmaster Breakside Brewery — Who is Making The Beer? Transitioning your Growing Startup from a Few People to Large Team

Joanne McCall, The Media Polisher — Finding Visibility at the Intersection of PR and Social Media

Heather McDaniel, Get Together Media — Heather McDaniel, Get Together Media — What No One Tells You About Marketing When You’re Starting a Business.

Steven Shomler, Writer, Author, Radio Show Host and Consultant — Storytellers Win! Branding and the Importance of Storytelling.


Here is the link for tickets –

The First Pints and Possibilities is August 18th, 7 PM

The first ever Pints and Possibilities event is happening Tuesday evening August 18th at 7:00 PM at Culmination Brewing 2217 NE Oregon NE Oregon Ave, Portland, Oregon.

The Second Pints and Possibilities is 13th, 2015

 The next Pints and Possibilities following the August 18th date is October 13th.


Facebook –

 Twitter –

Pints and Possibilities was created by Steven Shomler and is brought to you by Heather McDaniel and Steven Shomler

#Culture #PR #SocialMedia #Marketing #Branding


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Portland Beer Stories Book Release Party at Lardo June 27th Noon – 10 PM

Portland Beer Stories Book Release Party at Lardo Poster-1

Portland Beer Stories Book Release Party at Lardo on 12th and Hawthorne! 

This Saturday June 27th from Noon – 10 PM Lardo is hosting a Book Release Party for Portland Beer Stories!

Author Steven Shomler will be at Lardo located at 12th and Hawthorne from Noon to 10 PM with copies of both of his books – Portland Beer Stories and Portland Food Cart Stories for sale!

Lardo is going to be putting Beers and Ciders from the book on tap during this Book release party!

brewing-book_poster  brewing-book_poster  brewing-book_poster  brewing-book_poster

Four Mini events – Lunch, Happy Hour, Dinner, and Cocktails!

You are welcome to come by at Noon for Lunch, at 3 PM for Happy Hour, at 6 PM for Dinner or at 8 PM for Cocktails (or a Beer).

Each of these four mini events will have special guests and people featured in Portland Beer Stories stopping by.


Lunch with Steven! Noon – 3:00 PM
Come have lunch at Lardo and see Author Steven Shomler!
Steven recommends the Bronx Bomber Sandwich for lunch! Shaved Steak, Provolone, Salami, Hot Peppers and Mayo!


Happy Hour with Steven! 3-6 PM
Come get a great beer at a great piece during happy hour ands make sure to get some Dirty Fries – Lardo Fries, with Pork scraps, Marinated peppers, and fried herbs and parmesan.


Dinner with Steven! 6-8 PM!

Come have a great dinner at Lardo pick up a copy of Portland Beer Stories! Steven recommends The Porchetta Sandwich! Porchetta, Gremolata, and Caper Mayo


Cocktails (or a Beer) with Steven! 8-10 PM!
Beer is always good! However Lardo recently added a new cocktail menu with cocktails created by renowned Portland Mixologist Justin Siemer. Come have a coktila (or a beer) with Steven. Steven recommends the Whiter Shade of Pale made with Rum Thai Basil, Mint and Lime — or the Dirty Boots made with Bourbon, pickle brine, lime and ginger.

Portland Beer Stories Book Release Party at Lardo Sponsors-400

Many Thanks the Portland Beer Stories Release Party Sponsors ! 

The Portland Beer Stories Releae Party is sponsored by Culmination Brewing, Portland Spring Beer and Wine Fest, Daffodil Jill Marketing Group,  Firespike LLC and Portland Radio Project.

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