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Duhawk Dozen | Abby (Moore) Lawrence (’12)

Loras College Marketing

2012 graduate, Abby (Moore) Lawrence, just celebrated her 10-year Loras Reunion at Homecoming 2022. In addition to the time she spent planning her reunion, Abby has been spending her days working with Verena Street Coffee in Dubuque, starting a barbeque business with her husband, and adjusting to life as a new parent. “I have found that just feeding a baby takes about 20 hours per week,” Abby said. “So, it’s like a part-time job just feeding.” But as mentioned, Abby is no stranger to hard work and long hours. She spent all four years at Loras, staying involved in clubs and organizations, and succeeding both inside and outside of the classroom.

After graduating, Abby and her husband (and fellow 2012 graduate) Michael Lawrence, moved to the Twin Cities where Abby took her love of summer camp to the Catholic Youth Camp. She had worked there over her summers at Loras “It was really fun, and I knew I always loved camp,” Abby started. “It was a natural transition for me to work at camp with my Elementary Education degree.” Despite what some may think, one of Abby’s highlights was the paperwork she got to work on behind the scenes. “I would plan and organize, and it was a lot like lesson planning. It was kind of like education, just a different path.”

Abby and Michael spent four years in Minnesota until they moved back to Dubuque. “When we moved to the Twin Cities, it was for my job.” Abby said on their reason for moving. “Since Media Studies jobs are more difficult to find, when we decided to move to Iowa, I said ‘okay, it’s your turn.’” There were fewer opportunities, at the time, for full-time summer camp jobs so Abby pivoted to a new career path. While Verena Street Coffee is where Abby spends the bulk of her time, the barbeque business that Abby and her husband started, combines Michael and Abby’s love of family and food. “Food is how we met at Loras. I could bake some really good cookies in Rohlman and that’s how we met.” Since barbeque options in Dubuque was a little limited, Michael and Abby spend about 40 hours a week during the summer of 2021 trying to change that. “It was funded by Michael’s brother’s estate after he passed away,” Abby said, “so it’s called Lawrence Brothers’ Barbeque.” In April of 2022 a new Lawrence joined the family, their daughter Lucy was born, causing them to take a break from all those extra hours on the smoker to enjoy time with her. They plan to add more Lawrence Brothers’ events in 2023.

Not only are they receiving accolades through awards at competitions and Telegraph Herald articles, but they also found some local praise as Abby brought some of the pulled pork that Lawrence Brothers’ Barbeque is known for to Homecoming 2022. With nearly 50 classmates coming back for the Tailgate, Abby was able to enjoy the weekend while catching up with classmates, some of whom, she hadn’t seen in a decade. “It was a great time to meet up and a lot of people continued the fun after Tailgate at our social. I’d say it was a huge success!”

The last piece of advice Abby left with our listeners: “focus on making the memories – I know it can be a lot of work – but that’s what you’ll always go back to.”

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