From I Do To IPA – The McFerren’s
To fall in love is truly a great experience, but to find that person that completes you in every which way, that is priceless. The story of Laina and Rob McFerren begins with an office romance. He was the manager of a restaurant and she, the trainer for the servers. They had mutual friends and would get together from time to time and eventually their time together turned into romance. Since they worked together and because of company policy, their love had to be kept secret. When Rob was transferred to another restaurant they were able to share their love with the world.
The two would fall deeply in love and on June 30, 1990 they were married. Like most young couples they wanted to start a family. So, in 1992, Santa Clarita’s affordability and suburban feel would become home to the McFerren’s. A few years later Laina and Rob brought home their beautiful baby girl, Mandee. Although the Santa Clarita Valley was home to the young family, they still commuted day in and day out to Woodland Hills and the Pacific Palisades for work. As their family grew they felt that Santa Clarita was missing that neighborhood hangout place. Yes, there were some great places for food, but nowhere to bring friends and family and just spend time. This would be the seed that sprouted into the next big idea.
One Christmas, that seed sprouted roots; Laina gave Rob a home beer brewing kit. Rob, being a connoisseur of flavor, took immediate interest in brewing. Perfecting their recipe, the McFerren’s beer became an instant success amongst friends and family. Through this popularity, Rob and Laina began the hunt to becoming restaurateurs. With the help of a college friend, with an MBA from Harvard, they created a business plan for their bright idea of opening a restaurant of their own. They toyed with the idea of moving to Colorado because this was around the time craft beer pubs were becoming a thing and Colorado was the epicenter of it all. In 1997 local builders Newhall Land & Farming developed a shopping center in a perfect location at the corner of Decoro and McBean Parkway and were looking for a family oriented restaurant, they approached the McFerren’s and Wolf Creek Restaurant & Brewing Company was opened.
As their restaurant began howling with excitement and patrons, the McFerren’s would welcome their youngest daughter, Gillian, into their lives. The first few years the two worked opposite shifts to care for the little ones, and sometimes they would take them to the restaurant while the parents worked. As the years flew by and the business and family grew innovation and great ideas would begin to stir again.
In 2012, the McFerren’s decided to open something a little different and Wolf Creek Brewery was opened. It became a tasting room for their beer and a great place to grab a beer with friends, play some games, or just enjoy the atmosphere. One can say that their tasting room is like a Starbucks for beer lovers. One thing that they hold dear is investing into their community. Wolf Creek Brewery has become a hub for non-profits to throw events like the Child & Family Tri-Cycle Racing or the SCV Charity Chili Cook-off, which gives back to different non-profits each year. They have even created a monthly event that supports a different non-profit each month called Community Pints. Wolf Creek is highly involved with the Los Angeles Brewing Guild, which has grown to over 60 brewing companies within LA County. They are huge wildlife supporters as well. Wolf Creek has hosted events for the Shadowland Foundation, a non-profit that educates children on wolves and their loving nature.
One might think, how could a young family with two small children be able to run not one, but two successful businesses. Well, it takes two very dedicated alphas whose love started from working together to make it happen. Rob says Laina is the people person and she has a lot of community involvement, so much so, she won the SCV Woman of the Year Award. Laina says that Rob is the “details man”. They complement each other being involved with different aspects of the business and home life. If they do disagree they are able to talk it out. “We are good communicators and respect each other and the work the other does,” says Laina. When posed with the question “how have you worked together for the last 27 years?” they simply say ,“being business partners was easy, because at the end of the day we know we have each other’s back, no matter what.”
Come join the pack and howl with excitement and fun at either Wolf Creek location. Wolf Creek Restaurant is located at 27746 N McBean Parkway, Valencia and Wolf Creek Brewery is located at 25108 Rye Canyon Loop, Valencia. There website is wolfcreekbrewingco.com.
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