This column serves as a spotlight, highlighting the ordinary people who work and live in Callaway County. The Fulton Sun takes a moment with someone who isn’t typically featured in the news, but who is just as essential to making the community the strong and beautiful place that residents here know and love.
The Brick District Playhouse in downtown Fulton reopened its cafe on June 28, and in March Brian Mann was named the new general manager. Mann was born in Orlando, Florida, and graduated from high school in North Carolina in 2005. He met his wife, Jessica, in Orlando and they had their first child there before deciding to leave town. and move to Holts Summit in June 2017.
A month later, Mann was hired as a line cook at Glenn’s Cafe in Colombia and was quickly promoted to chief cook, then sous-chef within 90 days, before finally being made chef de cuisine. He left Glenn in March 2020 to become a stay-at-home dad when his wife returned to work as a medical assistant at the Community Health Center of Central Missouri in Jefferson City. He returned to the workforce a year later at the Playhouse Café.
Brian and Jessica Mann live in New Bloomfield with their two children, Emily and Brian Jr.
Q: What was your first job?
My first job was a paintball instructor at a Christian church camp in Tennessee. I shot a lot of kids with paintballs and watched a lot of other kids shoot a lot of other people with paintballs and saw a lot of kids cry. Ultimately, I taught them how to shoot paintballs safely, not to be on the course just pointing the gun anywhere without a mask.
Q: Who inspires you the most?
Today I would say it’s my children and my wife. I really want to give them a life that is better than mine by providing for them. I want to give them opportunities that I maybe never had when growing up.
Q: What have you done in your life that has been the most fulfilling?
Besides family, I guess it would be my persistence in wanting to continue to be better at myself, my career, my own hobbies or whatever. Since switching to the kitchen aspect, I have always wanted to become better, not just as a cook, but more simply in the whole of the kitchen itself. I’m intrigued by how the whole operation works, and the crazier it is, the more I organize myself. It seems like in the chaos, I just seem to work more efficiently.
Q: What are you proud of and for which you have been recognized?
A lot of my old friends… who follow social media in some ways just say how good a dad I am. It’s nice to hear that, especially when you’re not (looking for) that, and then you hear the gratitude of other people that you don’t expect to hear say something to you like that, so it makes you feel good. .
Q: If you could do any job in the world, what would it be?
A job that I would love to do, in the end, would be charity work, just giving. Really what I’d like to do is just go out and give to people who have nothing – countries or whatever.
Q: What is the job you wouldn’t want to do?
Any job that scared me would be more like speaking in public, like in a giant auditorium or a stadium of people. It seems that intimidates me, just because of the number of people and the pressure.
Q: What is your favorite thing about Callaway County?
The hospitality of the people was the biggest revelation. People are showing that they really care here. Callaway County just has more friendliness and a more inviting atmosphere. People take the time and really care. You get more time, more personalization, you just get more hospitality and friendliness from everyone you meet, instead of just a glance.