Meet Kenny, Our Multi-talented Finisher

Kenneth “Jolio” Kerstetter the II was born in a strawberry patch, or so the story goes. Well, perhaps that is a bit of an embellishment, but Kenny has been around a very long time, his career with Meadowbrooke starting almost twenty years ago. Kenny started working for Ben at the tender age of twelve picking strawberries on the farm crew. There was some speculation at first concerning the length of Kenny’s employment do to his chatty nature with his fellow pickers and his resistance to actually picking the strawberries, i.e. he almost got canned, but Ben saw the potential often hidden in a twelve-year-old and kept him on. After working with the farm crew for years, he began to make parts with Darren and several others inside an old tractor trailer anchored at the Park Place farm. This was the very beginning of what is Meadowbrooke Gourds today and Kenny has been there since the start. As Meadowbrooke grew, Kenny found himself in charge of the parts department after moving to the Potato Road location, but with all things that evolve, he eventually chooses a floating position where he helped out in all the departments.

A few years back, Kenny landed, quite permanently, in the finishing department where he is active in all aspects of completing the final gourd products. Here is where the paint and stain go on, the birdhouses are dipped, and final coats of poly are applied. There are many other things that happen in the finishing department and others who work in there with Kenny, so if you want to say hello, that is where you will find him. Now, Kenny does in fact, have a life outside of Meadowbrooke. He is married and according to him, in the lifelong process of fixing up their house. A three-year renovation of the kitchen is the last project completed. They have three happy dogs running amuck at any given time, with a brand new puppy as the newest member of the family. If you asked Kenny what his day off would look like, besides working on the house, he would say a relaxing day on the golf course or a day out with his lady at a winery or festival. The fact that Kenny is basically the baby of Meadowbrooke Gourds isn’t a derogatory statement. It speaks to the notion that some people find their place in the world early, doing what they like with people they like and end up sticking around.


This blog post was written by Heather Shelley. Heather is a contributing writer and former member of the Meadowbrooke team who helped make Meadowbrooke Gourds the company it is today. She is now pursuing her dreams as a photographer with Dreaming Tree Studios.