The Man Behind Gravy's Diner

Kevin Graves is the creator of Gravy’s Diner. Every business has its own character, and Gravy’s culture is not only built from Kevin himself, but his wife Madelyn and all of the other friends and customers that have made it what it is today. Here’s a timeline of memorable events from Kevin’s life that he shared with me, so I would like to share these with you all because these are the experiences that have shaped him into not only a business owner, but a dad, a veteran, and a pretty dang impressive role model.

October 3 1962 – Born in Grundy Center, IA to Dennis and Bev Graves.

Went to school in Dike, IA – his passion growing up was basketball. He played basketball with his two older brothers Doug and Brian in the front driveway almost daily. There was no AAU or club basketball back then, so playing against his brothers was huge in getting better.

1980 – Junior in high school – Dike Bobcats high school basketball team won the state championship – scored 32 points and made the All-Tournament team. It was a very special time.

1981 - Graduated from high school and went to college in the Northern Iowa area –played basketball, and got Associates Degree in Engineering.

1983 - Went to University of Missouri – Rolla to play basketball and got his Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering.

1985 – Joined the Navy in the Civil Engineering Corps. - did training in Port Hueneme, CA and New Port – received commission as an Officer and serve his first tour at the OICC in Manila, Philippines.

1987 – Transferred to ROICC at Clark Air Base in San Angeles Philippines where he administered a $300,000 housing project amongst officers’ projects.

1989 – Met wife, Madelyn through his secretary – they were high school friends. They first dated right before he was going to leave the Philippines.

1990 – Transferred to Pensacola Naval Air Station for his next tour – administered various facility management projects.

1991 – Madelyn arrived in Pensacola, FL on a fiancé visa – three months later they were married on January 22, 1992.

Left the Navy and got into restaurant management business – managed a Waffle House in Pensacola, FL.

1994 – Krystal was born

1995- Transferred to Houston, TX – promoted to District Manager.

Did not care for the heat in Houston – Transferred to Cedar Falls, IA to start his own restaurant – Waffle Stop which he had for about 9 years.

1999 – Kiara was born.

2002 – Kirsten was born.

2003 – Kyle was born.

2005 – Felt burnt out from the restaurant with their two young children– sold the Waffle Stop and tried other ways of making a living.

2008 – Became bored and missed the restaurant atmosphere - opened Gravy’s Diner!

To Be Continued…


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