Business Owner Spotlight – Matt & Ashley Kwasniewski of Big Timber

When choosing a location for Big Timber Brewing, owners Matt and Ashley Kwasniewski were not only looking for a place to start their business–they were looking for a place to raise their family.  “When the idea for Big Timber first took off, my husband and I were living in Montana,” reports Ashley.  “We loved the small towns there and considered several different locations, but nothing felt quite right. Elkins is Matt’s hometown and he believed quite strongly in its potential to grow and thrive. With rivers and trails in every direction you look, and a community invested in its growth, Elkins-Randolph County is a great place to grow a business and a family.”


Ashley shares the inspirations that brought about their business idea. “My husband and I love the culture and connections you make being part of the craft beer community. I wanted to create a space that was welcoming and open for people to gather and communicate. Matt loves both the art of brewing and the manufacturing process. A distribution brewery with a community focused taproom fit both of our aspirations and we’re so happy it is something we get to do together.”


They faced some challenges with their startup, but the community was there to support their efforts. “So many people were involved in helping us get off the ground. We started on a shoestring budget, forcing us to do most of the initial construction ourselves. So many of our friends/community members came out to do small labor jobs or offer some experience in an area we were lacking in. Big Timber would have been much harder to get open without them.”


Ashley also shares her experience working with local government. “Working with the City was great. Elkins is a small enough town that they are invested in every business and will work with you to get it off the ground.”


The Kwasniewskis take pride in supporting  their community. “I have really loved how Big Timber’s growth has allowed us to give back. We host a lot of club meetings and charity events that truly make the daily grind of running a small business worth it. Growing bigger and expanding our brand means so much more if we can make small positive impacts along the way. We always wanted our company to be a driver for improving our community and state.”


What has been their greatest challenge? “Being in a perpetual state of growth has been really hard. It seems as if the hats we wear change often and we are always a couple steps behind being completely caught up. While our growth has been a blessing that I absolutely wouldn’t want to change, we are also hoping to finish off a couple of projects this year so we can take a breath and see what our next step may be.”


They share some advice for those interested in starting their own business. “The hardest part is just getting started. Write out your business plan. Go shop around and price out real estate, equipment, and anything else you may need. You don’t have to commit to anything, but the more knowledge you have, the more likely your dream will become reality.”



Interested in learning more about locating your business in Elkins-Randolph County? Contact us by calling 304-637-0803 or via email at!