When Kyle Pierson opened The Branch Craft Beer & Foodery in 2017 on Long Point Road, he wanted to bring his expertise in craft beer to his old stomping ground.

Pierson, a restaurant industry veteran and bar manager, grew up in Spring Branch and attended Northbrook High School.

“The reason I chose Spring Branch is that this is where I’m from. This is my ‘hood,’ ” he said just before opening the business.

For the next five years, even through a pandemic, Pierson ran The Branch — and was also seen running around hyping Spring Branch and other local businesses.

Until the final days of The Branch last summer, and starting up again just a day after closing it, Pierson — dubbed the “unofficial mayor of Spring Branch” — was spreading the gospel of supporting small enterprises and local organizations.

On Aug. 7, Pierson hosted an art auction at The Branch to raise money to ease situations for people with no place to live. On Aug. 9, he posted on social media that The Branch was closing. The next day, Aug. 10, Pierson was at Summit Donuts, 7910 Westview Dr.

“It’s the first day of the rest of your life, Branchachos! Kick it off right with a kolache and sugar coffee from Summit Donuts,” Pierson posted on Facebook.

And he hasn’t stopped posting since. While he has quipped that “a world without donuts isn’t a world I wanna live in,” Pierson doesn’t promote only the ring-shaped cakes.

He also loves kolaches. And burgers. Oh, and Guatemalan food. Also, barbecue.

His posts aren’t exclusive to restaurants either.

One after another, Pierson is visiting small businesses in the Spring Branch District and beyond, posting about them with humor and unbridled enthusiasm on The Branch’s social media pages, which are now about “The Branch” as a community.

There is no doubt Pierson has been out there promoting local “like a boss.” Now he wants everyone else in the area to be a B.O.S.S., too — as in Branch Out Support Small.

B.O.S.S. — Branch Out Support Small is the name of his Facebook group. He aims for it to be a place where people can share information about local businesses they support and he can organize meet-ups.

“Hopefully making it more participatory and getting more involved in real life can help show people the value in supporting local business,” Pierson said.

The Facebook group has already had one “Eat Like a B.O.S.S.” outing at Soju Pocha, a Korean karaoke restaurant at 10049 Long Point Rd. Another meeting was in the works until Pierson got sidetracked by yet another community project.

“My mom takes communion to homebound people and she met an elderly woman and came home to me in tears,” Pierson explained. “This woman didn’t have AC — in the middle of this ridiculous heat wave —  and her house had some other issues, so she asked if I could get her some help. So I put out a call and Spring Branch stepped up big time.”

Pierson said he set up a GoFundMe account that surpassed his fundraising goal for the woman so quickly that he was contacted by GoFundMe’s public relations department for an interview.

More importantly, he said, “we got her yard trimmed and two AC units installed yesterday. Contractors came out to assess everything and we are hoping to get her house repaired in the next couple weeks.”

When he’s not helping some of the neighborhood’s elderly women and small businesses, Pierson has been bartending a couple of nights a week at another Spring Branch institution, The Blue Lagoon, 1248 Witte Rd.

His focus, though, remains on helping the community, Pierson said. The Facebook group grew to 430 members this week.

“I really love this neighborhood and the people in it,” Pierson said. “They’re beyond awesome.”

Want to be a B.O.S.S., too? Join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1180663199520878.

— by Dorothy Puch Lillig