Owned by Adam and Cara Stark

CARA: I remember when we were shut down during COVID and made the decision to rebrand. Adam and I sat in the sunroom of our downtown apartment with a post-it easel pad and started discussing how we could improve our business. Adam said he would like to have some board games at Cork, namely a chess board. We wrote that idea in the middle of poster board and started researching. Later that day, we decided on renaming our business to Cork and Board and re-opened a month later. A chessboard is always on the table closest to the bar, ready for anyone to play.

ADAM & CARA: The best moments are when we see the community come together to support our concept and get excited about what we have to offer. Having chess club on Tuesdays, watching people battle over trivia questions on Thursday, hosting community game nights highlighting locally-made games, like “First to Worst” by Clayton Toebben. These are our favorite moments.

CARA: We strive to always celebrate our customers. We’ve hosted proposals with scrabble games, celebrated retirements, sang happy birthday to our customers countless times, and poured champagne for some very special engagements. We have been so supported by our community that celebrating them feels like a privilege.

Cara and Adam, owners of Cork & Board, located in Jefferson City, Missouri.
2019: Cara and Adam
Adam, Cara, and Llewyn at Cork & Board, located in Jefferson City, Missouri.
2023: Adam, Cara, and Llewyn at Cork & Board

ADAM: Cara and I are opposite in about every single way. We met working in a small pizza shop where she would mop the store back to front and I would mop the store front to back. We’ve done things differently ever since. But, we’ve built teamwork in our marriage and in our family. We are constantly working toward a common goal, which builds a stronger relationship and more successful foundation for our business. Our successes are both shared and celebrated.

“We strive to always celebrate our customers.”

CARA & ADAM: If there is one piece of advice we’d give, it’d be to be flexible! Our business has grown and changed in so many unexpected ways. Who knew when we bought the game “Pandemic” that we would be living in the midst of one. Our menus have changed to accommodate our customer base, we’ve hosted unusual events, and we’ve grown in unexpected ways. Being flexible and open to change, while sticking to the core values, have been challenging, but rewarding. Our core mission of providing something fun todo in Jefferson City remains steadfast. It requires flexibility and evaluation.

CARA: Llewyn is a year and a half old, so not quite up to the task of washing dishes, but he is a favorite amongst customers as his little feet pitter patter across the shop. One of my most-prized memories happened shortly before Llewyn was born, when I showed up to host trivia in early November of 2021, and was surprised with a baby shower that all of our regular trivia attendees conspired to throw for us. Llewyn sleeps with a blanket knitted by a member of the Cliff Claven’s team every night, and I feel honored that our customers have become our friends, and are so invested in our family’s growth.

124 E. High St., JCMO
(573) 634-3643