Rafter Eleven: the result of great intentions and dynamic actions
By Brooke Wasowicz
Rafter Eleven is the heart of Prescott Valley. It is a symbol of community, a place of camaraderie, and an intersection where kind people, deep conversations, and delightful libations find their way to one another.
Not many people are aware of who is at the heart of this hidden gem, which has brought so much life to the town of Prescott Valley.
Rafter Eleven is the brainchild of Dawn Wasowicz, a true Prescottonian, a mother, and an entrepreneur. She is easy to spot; she’s the one zooming around the patio, through the kitchen, and behind the bar, making everyone who enters her space immediately feels welcomed and at home.
Tucked away at a wine barrel sipping on a smooth cabernet, I discussed with Dawn what inspired her to create such a unique business concept combining coffee, wine, premium olive oils, and balsamic vinegars under one roof.
Three words sum up Dawn’s inspiration: legacy, love, and family.
Legacy is at the core. Dawn’s great grandfather founded the still-functioning Rafter Eleven Ranch, and created the brand that hangs on the business’s walls (it’s still stamped on the ranch’s cattle, too). The brand itself is rooted in symbolism. The pillars that create the “eleven” represent the pillars of the Prescott Valley community, encompassing the original ranchers, the people of the town, and the visionaries; those who laid the groundwork for Dawn to be able to do what she loves. The “rafter” or “rooftop” element of the brand represents the present and future of creating a single space where friends, family, and strangers can come together for a quality experience.
Love is also a major component of the inspiration behind Rafter Eleven. Running and managing a small business is a labor of love. Dawn has poured her heart and soul into her business to create a space she loves that also offers the things she loves most. This is where the unique combination of coffee, wine, and oils comes in. Rafter Eleven provides experiences and products that are used every day. A hot cappuccino or silky blended Mocha Chip is a great way to start your day. Homemade artisan bread (Rafter Eleven’s secret recipe) is served warm with a savory pairing of Tuscan Herb Olive Oil and 18-year Aged Balsamic Vinegar. Of course, no meal is complete without a nice glass of wine, which Dawn hand picks from a wide range of varietals from around the globe.
Last, but by no means least, family is the driving force that creates the warm and inviting atmosphere of Rafter Eleven. Dawn comes from a long line of entrepreneurs and visionaries herself, with her entire family embracing the value of a brand, dedication, and building relationships. Although Dawn provides the impetus behind her vision, she is empowered to pursue her passion in honor of her husband, Jeff, and with glowing support from her two daughters.
To wrap up our conversation, I asked Dawn what it means to her to be an entrepreneur, and what advice she has for other who are considering turning their passion into a business.
She answered by sharing her definition of entrepreneur: “Someone who is not a leader by label, but who truly leads by great intentions and dynamic actions.”
This definition can apply to anyone in any industry, as can her advice to future business owners: “Listen. Work. Fail. Grow. Trust. Succeed.”
And, of course, Repeat.
As a woman in business, Dawn has overcome countless obstacles, and she has persevered—and wouldn’t give up what she has created for her community for anything.
If you haven’t already, pay a visit to Rafter Eleven, where you’re guaranteed to feel welcomed with an instant sense of community, family values, and quality.
Rafter Eleven is at 2985 N. Centre Court, in Prescott Valley. For more information call 928.227.2050 or visit www.raftereleven.com.