Who We Are
We’ve been working at desks in the big city, engaging our creative sides only on evenings and weekends, and we’ve had it. We ditched our careers on the East Coast and headed home to the Northwoods of Minnesota. It’s time to get creative, to put down roots in a place we love, and to get our hands dirty making something that we can all enjoy.
EMILY VIKRE, CO-FOUNDER, PRESIDENT & ARBITER OF TASTE:
Emily is a native Duluthian who holds a PhD in food policy and behavioral theory from Tufts University. She is a nationally recognized food and drinks writer. She is a regular columnist for the James Beard award-winning site Food52, and contributes to a wide swath of other publications including Lucky Peach, Minnesota Public Radio and Norwegian American Weekly, in addition to being the mastermind of the cooking blog Five and Spice fiveandspice.com. She once accidentally won a wine-tasting contest in France. She’s the palate of the operation and resident mad scientist.
JOEL VIKRE, CO-FOUNDER, CEO & DISTILLER:
Joel has followed a crooked path. Exciting highlights: Getting bitten by a bat while mist netting at night in a Costa Rican rain forest. Working with nuns running a clinic on a landfill in Tijuana. Leaving medical school to focus on global health and starting not one, but two! internationally acclaimed non-profits that fight HIV-AIDS and promote water sanitation in parts of Africa. Learning how to distill a moonshine called “the tears of the lion” in a mud hut using clay pots from Dani, his Kenyan "grandmother." Now Joel is using his background in strategic planning, plus his hobby-honed mechanical skills, to assemble and run our crazy amounts of equipment.