The S’waffle Shack – Our Unexpected Journey
(No Hobbits Were Harmed In This Story)
Our family briefly lived in Charleston, West Virginia 20 years (from 2000 – 2003). We were brought out here in pursuit of a job with a private education company called Bridges LearningSystems, which at the time was installing educational programs throughout the State. In 2003 the company went out of business, and our family moved back to Utah where we are from.
Over the next nearly two decades we really missed the State, and often talked about how much we had loved living in Wild And Wonderful West Virginia. Every time we heard ‘Country Roads,’ we teared up, and we felt forever torn between West Virginia and Utah.
In the summer of 2019 we sat out on a family vacation in the form of a long cross country drive. We didn’t really have a destination in mind. We just kind of meandered across those country roads, exploring various cities and towns. When we were close to West Virginia, we couldn’t resist driving through Charleston, so that we could visit our old favorite places.
While driving through the area we commented to each other about how nostalgic we felt about the community and how about how we wanted to stay. As a couple, both of us agreed. We wanted to live here. We made the decision, literally on the spot to move back to Charleston. So immediately that by the end of that vacation, we were already under contract on our current home.
We literally went from having no plans for a move to signing on a home in a matter of a few hours.
As a couple, Hiram Bertoch is a teacher, and Anna Bertoch is a nurse. Both jobs are highly transferable. Hiram took a job at West Side Middle School (then Stonewall) and Anna took a job as a nurse working in hospice. We returned from vacation, packed our home up, and moved within just a few weeks.
Enter Hannah and Xander Anderson
Our oldest daughter Hannah and her husband Xander, as well as their children followed us to West Virginia a few months later. Right as Covid-19 hit. During the pandemic we spent countless hours discussing our lives here, and at the same time, absolutely falling in love with the West Side. We decided that we wanted to be lifelong participants in the revitalization that is taking place here. We love the pride, the people, and the humility of the community. (Yes, I just used ‘pride’ and ‘humility’ in the same sentence)
During this time we actively drove around the West Side looking for buildings to invest in, and business ideas. As the pandemic came towards its conclusion we put our plans into action. Purchasing our favorite building (The Five Corners Building) and then immediately began working towards opening our favorite idea “The S’waffle Shack.”
Hannah and Xander are managing the day to day operations. Hiram Bertoch is still working as a teacher at West Side Middle School (I love the kids too much to leave). Hiram and Anna can be found working at the S’waffle Shack during our off hours but day to day operations are being handled by our adult children who are co-owners and managers.