Local artisans breathe new life into outdated projects. by Brandon Hoops, photos by Keith Borgmeyer CRUZ CHAVEZ At age 22, Cruz Chavez walked away...
Mike Tompkins, Tompkins Construction, and Mary Kroening, Hidden Treasures Tours
How did you meet?
Mary: I bought my first home in Columbia while it was under construction by Tompkins Construction. I then worked with Mike to build our second custom home in the country. I later rented a home from Mike and gardened for Mike in his personal home.
Mike: I built two houses for Mary.
What was your first date?
Mary: We went for a bike ride from the McBaine trailhead to Rocheport to have dinner at the Rocheport General Store. We then biked back to our cars in the dark. It was awesome fun.
Mike: Bicycle trip to Rocheport.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Mary: Travel, hike, bike, trail run, golf, garden.
Mike: Hike and bike.
What’s your favorite place you’ve traveled to together?
Mary: Coast to coast hike in northern England.
Mike: Wow — so many I can’t list only one. Italy, Spain, England, Iceland.
What are some of your favorite outdoor activities?
Mary: Hiking, running, biking, golf.
Mike: Backpacking and biking.
What is the best quality of your partner?
Mary: Mike is incredibly tender and considerate, and he has an amazing storytelling side, as well. He is very witty with his storytelling.
Mike: She is strong, both emotionally and physically.
What makes you most proud of your partner?
Mary: Mike’s work ethic and drive, and his integrity and self-respect.
Mike: Her ability to not get bogged down in the little stuff. She knows life can be hard sometimes. She shrugs those times off and keeps moving forward.
What is unique about your relationship?
Mary: How similar our travel style is: incorporating our need for a strong daily physical workout with our love of travel. We both enjoy and value hiking abroad from small village to small village, staying in pubs, taverns, and B&Bs.
Mike: We met later in life — just getting to the point where we can go have fun together. We don’t have to get caught up in raising families. We get to spend most of our time enjoying each other.
What is your favorite restaurant in Columbia?
Mary: Hoss’s Market. The menu always varies and I can enjoy a lighter fare.
Mike: D. Rowe’s.
What is one thing people don’t know about you?
Mary: I did my master’s thesis researching an insect called the apple maggot.
Mike: I am a simple person — I don’t need many materialistic things. I like to think of myself as humble.
How would you describe your relationship in one word?
What does the future hold for the two of you?
Mary: Lots of travel.
Mike: Adventure travel all over the world. We have a lengthy bucket list.