Keri Sullivan is the owner/operator of The barrel room in the canton of PlainThe Barrel Room on Canal at Canal Fulton, and the new Sully’s Speakeasy Cocktail Bar at Canal Fulton.

She graduated from Canton McKinley High School and earned a degree in criminal justice from Kent State University.

She is the mother of “four incredible boys. Zachary, Reese, Alexander and Pierce.”

“I am also blessed to have an extremely supportive significant other, Chris, and his two children Jackson and Raegan,” Sullivan said. “We recently rescued a Portuguese Water Dog puppy named Gracie.”

Sullivan started in the service industry around the age of 14 and after taking a few other paths, she returned to a career she really felt she was made for – becoming an entrepreneur and sole proprietor.

“I worked at The Barrel Room for about two years as a server/bartender before buying it from the original owner in 2014. Made some improvements to an already solid location. Then I decided I wanted to branch off and start something completely from scratch. This trip took me to Canal Fulton. My dad, Mark, was a big help there,” Sullivan said.

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What got you interested in fine wines and craft beers?

I’ve always been a wine lover, but craft beer was something I slowly studied and became an even bigger fan. I wasn’t much of a beer drinker when I started in North Canton, but I never wanted to look ignorant, so I slowly started experimenting with different beers and styles.

My love of craft beer, especially local craftsmanship, outweighs my love of wine. I also became a certified bourbon steward. Bourbon is my second love after craft beer.

Your website mentions that you work hard to foster an environment of community and generosity. Explain how you do this and why it’s important to you.

We have worked hard to be a generous sponsor/supporter of all worthwhile events and community organizations. From local sports to non-profit organizations, we believe in giving back to our communities.

We provide space to hold fundraisers of all shapes and sizes. Personally (with the help of several friends), I also choose a charity every year and do a big fundraiser in the fall that has become known as “Sully’s Fall Kick Off”.

We have donated money to organizations such as Canton Ex-Newsboys (which is close to my heart as they helped me in my childhood), Breast Cancer Charities, Veterans Charities, Be a Better Me Foundation and this year it was “Light after Loss”. “It’s become something that me and my friends look forward to every year. It’s a great way to be active in the community while having a good time with friends watching football and catching up.

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What motivates you to work hard?

I must say that my motivation to work hard definitely comes from the desire to take care of my children and show them that hard work can be extremely rewarding.

I’ve told all of my kids on more than one occasion that it’s hard enough to go to work some days, so it’s more important to do what you love or find something you feel you can. make a difference in the world.

I also strive to create an environment where my employees can have fun, earn money and bond.

Would you like to share some tips for others considering starting a small business in Stark County?

The best advice I can give someone looking to open a business in Stark County is to lean on their counterparts.

I have come to live by the motto “collaboration over competition”. There are so many great business owners with so much to offer here in the area. Reaching out to others for advice, a new perspective, or a helping hand has taken me further than I can explain. I regularly speak and collaborate with other business owners.

There are so many amazing women (and men) that I look up to in Stark County.

What makes you laugh the most?

A lot of things make me laugh.

But one of my greatest blessings is having a circle of friends who can make me laugh until I hurt. I am eternally grateful. It got me through some pretty tough times.

I also learned to laugh at myself. It’s been a long road to get here, but every step has been beneficial.

Editor’s Note: Five Questions With… is a Sunday feature that features a member of the Stark County community. If you would like to recommend someone to participate, email [email protected]