When Curtis and Mandy Herbig were teenagers, they met as employees of a Culver’s Restaurant in Illinois. Fast forward 16 years and the couple is still in love and still at Culver’s.
The couple moved to Newton to purchase the Culver’s franchise, located at the 168 exit on Interstate 80. Owning the restaurant was a dream come true for the couple. After five years living and working in Newton, the couple decided to chase another dream of opening up a new Culver’s and moving to Alabama. That journey will be featured on an episode of HGTV’s “Island Life.”
“We were contacted by our realtor Kristina (Jones Halfacre) who had been contacted by HGTV looking for a young couple that would be good for a show,” Curtis Herbig said. “We were actually considered for two different shows.”
The Herbigs went through a casting process, doing several interviews with talent scouts and producers, before they were chosen to be a part of the reality house hunting show.
“The show follows our move from Iowa to Gulf Shores,” Herbig said. “They focus on why we moved and talks about opening the new restaurant. It follows our family working with Kristinia and the whole process of wanting to trade in snowmen for sandcastles.”
The family was filmed for four days ranging from 12-14 hour shooting days for the upcoming episode of “Island Life.” In addition to filming the family looking at houses, the crew took the Herbigs on a variety of Gulf Shores excursions from the zoo to boat rides and much more.
“It was long days, but I’m glad we did it,” he said. “It was great for the kids because they shot a lot of footage of the kids. They took footage of us picking up the kids and doing family activities. I don’t know how much they will use, but we got to do a lot of fun things as a family because of the show.”
Herbig said his daughter Mykenzie is a fan of HGTV and was thrilled by the prospect of being on her favorite channel. He also said it was a family decision to try out for show. The Herbigs sat down with their daughter and two sons — Dawson and Rylan — to discuss the opportunity and decided together to jump into reality TV for one episode.
“Mykenzie is a big HGTV watcher, so she was excited. All the kids were excited, but when they turned the camera on it was different than expected,” he said. “Anytime they turned the camera on the three of the kids it was total stage fright. But I think it will turn out OK. At the very least ,it was a memorable experience.”
The “Island Life” episode featuring the Herbigs will air at 9 p.m. Sunday on HGTV. Herbig said the family plans on watching the show together.
“It was a great experience. I’m glad we did it,” he said.
While the family has moved to Foley, Ala., Herbig said they will remain a part of the Newton community through owning the Culver’s franchise. He also said his family is forever grateful to the people of Newton.
“If it weren’t for Newton and the amazing people supporting us there is no way we would be able to relocate to Foley, Ala., and follow our dreams,” Herbig said. “We will miss the people here because everyone has been so supportive of us and the move. Newton still feels like home.”