Meet our Makers

backstory coffee saint paul minnesota locally roasted coffee

Backstory Coffee

Micah Svejda
Saint Paul

Bootstrap Coffee Roasters was started by industry veteran Micah Svejda in 2014. At the heart of the vision was a focus on sourcing excellent, sustainable and traceable coffees in season, careful roasting and amazing customer support! “We believe that economic and environmental sustainability are inseparable from quality. Therefore, we seek coffees that are both of excellent sensory quality AND that are produced and purchased with deep respect for people and planet. We are happy to share the story and the results of this with you!”

View Micah's Maple Cold Brew recipe here!

Visit Website
seher kaplan coccinella mediterranean heritage minnesota olive oil

Coccinella Mediterranean Heritage

Suayip and Seher Kaplan

(Pictured: Seher Kaplan)

Suayip and Seher Kaplan and their two sons came to the Twin Cities from Turkey to share their knowledge of living a healthy Mediterranean lifestyle. Their premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is made from hand-picked olives, harvested using practices designed to maximize polyphenol antioxidants within the final product.

"As a family, we deeply value good nutrition. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, EVOO, is an essential part of our Mediterranean diet and know that not every EVOO is the same. The production process makes all the difference in flavor and quality. Our goal is to work meticulously to preserve the fresh taste of the EVOO and, most importantly, maintain high polyphenol and antioxidants! We are committed to organic farming to positively improve climate change."

Visit their store in Edina, Minnesota to peruse their luxurious textiles handwoven from Turkish cotton, as well as their collection of ceramics and blown glass!

Use Coccinella's premium EVOO in our Mediterranean Tomato Salad and Crusty Bread Dipping Oil recipes!

Visit Website
craig kaiser cry baby craigs hot sauce minnesota local foods

Cry Baby Craig's

Craig Kaiser

Cry Baby Craig's Pickled Habanero and Garlic Hot Sauce has a loyal fan base that is spreading nationwide! Local Chef Craig Kaiser invented the recipe by accident when he was delivered too many peppers and pickled them to preserve them. This creates a unique, bright and refreshing flavor that pairs with just about anything. Craig recently moved his kitchen to Faribault so he could expand to meet the growing demand for his fantastic product. When he's not in the kitchen, you'll often find Craig helping out on charity causes with other local chefs.

Try Craig's very own Brown Butter Wing Sauce recipe!

Visit Website
facepunch foods minnesota hot sauce mark petersen

Facepunch Foods

Mark Petersen

Facepunch Hot Sauce will knock your socks off! This local company evolved over many years as a family affair: growing, cultivating, and bonding while making small batch hot sauces for themselves and friends. Finally, in 2017, Mark Petersen launched Facepunch commercially into the fanatical foray of hot sauce. His family of 4 unique hot sauce varieties strike a perfect balance of flavor and heat. Our featured flavor is Hot Banana Pepper. It is relatively mild, but oh so flavorful! We especially love it on salads and sandwiches. Naturally neon yellow in color, it is bright, and tangy with only a pinch of heat.

Visit Website
monica jimenez hacienda san jose minnesota chocolate

Hacienda San Jose

Monica Jimenez

"If we make the best cacao beans in the world, it’s time to make the best chocolate... And so we did", says Monica Jimenez, founder of Hacienda San Jose Chocolate. This chocolate is sourced from her family's award-winning, 90-year-old cacao plantation, Hacienda San Jose, in Los Rios, Ecuador.

In 2018, Monica introduced her single-origin chocolate bars and baking morsels to her now Twin Cities home market. This is no ordinary chocolate... let a rich smooth square melt in your mouth. Or trying some of their baking chocolate to whip up delectables in your kitchen. As an added bonus, we all know the health benefits of real chocolate right?

Hacienda San Jose chocolate shines in Sarah Beth Tanner's No-Bake Dark Chocolate Pot de Creme!

Visit Website
david leigh taylor hellraising hot sauce

Hellraising Hot Sauce

David and Leigh Taylor

Hellraising Hot Sauce was created in Minneapolis in 2013 by husband and wife team David and Leigh Taylor, and their passion for all things spicy. Hellraising Hot Sauces are made from the finest quality ingredients with a goal of striking just the right balance between flavor and heat. Check out their awards and great recipes on their website.

Amaze your brunch guests with the Taylors' Hellraising Hot Sauce Overnight Egg Bake!

Visit Website
helstrom farms hibbing minnesota local free range farming

Helstrom Farms

Jason Helstrom

Jason Helstrom runs Helstrom Farms with his family in Hibbing on northern Minnesota’s Iron Range. Their family farm dates back five generations, and in true, rugged "sisu" (Finnish word for hard work) Iron Range spirit, the Helstrom family has persisted through many challenges, working to keep the farm running. Their perseverance paid off - now practicing holistic, sustainable farming - the farm is flourishing with abundant soils, naturally rich in nutrients and minerals, and raising healthy and hearty livestock.

Helstrom Farms has a mission to take care of the environment, raise animals ethically and healthily, and provide clean and nutritious products for their customers. They offer a variety of cut meats, protein packages, and tasty beef sticks.

Visit Website
csilla grauzer international gourmet minnesota local healthy foods

International Gourmet

Csilla Grauzer
Saint Paul

Csilla Grauzer has been baking and cooking for over 30 years. Her mother, a Hungarian immigrant, was recruited to become the lead master baker for St. Paul Grand Avenue's famed restaurant and bakery, Cafe Latte when it opened in 1984. Csilla was also hired to help bake as well as translate for her mother.

Over the years Csilla has honed her exceptional baking technique. She has developed an extensive line of more healthful alternatives to traditional baked goods that can be enjoyed by everyone. Csilla develops recipes professionally and is inspired by an international palette of flavors. International Gourmet offers homemade sweet and savory baked goods and granola for a health-conscious diet. Their snacks are full of flavor and free from gluten, grains, sugar, yeast, and GMOs.

Visit Website
janets finest compotes northeast minneapolis local jams

Janet's Finest Compotes

Jessica Amel and Angela Kmeck

Janet’s Finest Compotes is a family owned and operated business, started by our mom, Janet, in our home kitchen in the 1990s.  Produced in Northeast Minneapolis, our eight berry and jalapeño compote flavors are all natural with no artificial preservatives.  Our compotes offer food enthusiasts fruit preserves made with the finest of berries accented with a jalapeño kick perfect for the entertaining table.  Enjoyed by the ultimate cheese lovers, our compotes pair well with a variety of cheeses and are a great complement to cheese boards. All of us at Janet’s Finest delight in gathering and sharing a good meal with friends!

Jessica's Baked Brie recipe will bring your charcuterie boards and grazing tables to the next level!

Visit Website
kc kye k mama korean hot sauce minnesota local foods

K-Mama Korean Hot Sauce

K.C. Kye

Initially sweet with a rich and buttery middle and a spicy tang at the end, K-Mama Sauce adds an authentic, delicious kick to appetizers, salads, soups, and entrees of any style. K-Mama is 100% vegan, non-GMO, and MSG-free. It comes in Mild, Hot, and Gluten-Free too!

"My mother made sauce that was a bit sweet, complex, spicy, and went on a variety of Korean dishes. Once I moved to Minnesota I felt a bit empty. I soon realized it was because I missed my mom's home-cooked meals. That is how I came up with K-Mama Sauce." says Founder, K.C. Kye. After you try the delicious flavor K-Mama imparts, you will never want to go without a bottle in the fridge.

K.C. has provided us with his very own recipe for Korean Chicken Tacos, guaranteed to please all palates!

Visit Website
legendary mr b hot sauce curt bradley minnesota barbecue bbq sauce

Legendary Mr. B's

Curt Bradley
Apple Valley

About 40 years ago, the Legendary Mr. B (and his sauces) floated upstream from the Mississippi Delta to Minneapolis. As spoken by Curt Bradley (Mr. B) himself, “This ain’t just another sauce.” You may recognize him from his BBQ Stand at Minnesota Wild hockey games where he enjoys a legendary reputuation with the team as well as the fans. The Legendary Mr. B’s BBQ Sauce is the right kinda slather for what’s on the grill, what’s on the bun, or what you are dipping or mixing. Mr. B’s Chili Sauce is the perfect and easy starter base for any style chili. Amp up your food game because Mr. B's is the bees knees.

Bring a little Mr. B's to your next potluck with Curt's Legendary Baked Beans.

Visit Website
norsland lefse mark johnson local minnesota foods

Norsland Lefse

Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson and his family have been celebrating their Scandinavian heritage through favorite foods since 1997. Located in the beautiful bluff country of southeastern Minnesota in the town of Rushford, Norsland Lefse produces high-quality, delicious lefse year-round. Their "Grandma approved" Lefse is made by skilled workers on custom-made rollers and grills and shipped out fresh across the country as well as sold in their shop and at area grocers.

Lefse is not just a buttery, sugary treat - it is also delicious with pb&j, as a burrito wrap, or in the form of Uffda Chips, their delicious lefse snacks made exclusively by Norsland. Lefse is not all the Johnson family knows; they also sell a wide array of Scandinavian food and gifts including lutefisk and more to give customers the traditional nordic experience year round! Minnesotans will be right at home in their shop with their Uffda line of apparel and accessories and their "Ole and Lena" brand of jams, pickles and other locally made goodies. Be sure to stop in for a true Minnesota culinary heritage experience!

Visit Website
oak valley creations debbie fairbanks organic minnesota food

Oak Valley Creations

Debbie Fairbanks

Before organic was a buzzword, it was a part of Debbie Fairbanks’ life. She has brought her passion and knowledge of organics to her products at Oak Valley Creations, establishing the company in 2012. Debbie offers a wide variety of products made in small batches using locally sources ingredients when ever possible. Her jellies, spices, and teas marry spice with fresh flavor. You'll often find Debbie at local farmers markets and pop-up sales. Make sure to stop by her table and try out her full product line!

Visit Website
pattis nuts and granola patti heimbold minnesota local nuts

Patti's Nuts and Granola

Patti Heimbold

Minnesota Hockey Mom, Patti Heimbold, started out by bringing bags of her granola to her son's hockey games (hockey players need healthy snacks, don'tcha know). Families started asking how they could order it and a new business was born!

You will go nuts for Patti's Nuts too! Both flavors, Rosemary and Maple Cinnamon, feature extra large, premium mixed nuts. They are perfectly seasoned with herbs and spices, hand-roasted and packed with care in small batches. Patti's Nuts are perfect for indulgent healthy snacking, added to charcuterie platters, or chopped for recipes, salads and desserts. Check out her delicious granola too! So, so good!

Patti's Nuts make a fantastic pairing for your daily veggies in her recipe for Mediterranean Broccoli.

Visit Website
red lake nation foods minnesota indigenous minnesota wild rice

Red Lake Nation Foods

Red Lake Nation Band of Chippewa

The Red Lake Band of Chippewa, located in northern Minnesota, is the only Native American tribe in the US that grows & sells their own cultivated wild rice. "Our mission is to offer unique, specialty natural foods and gift products which represent our cultural heritage", such as hand harvested wild rice, hand harvested wild fruit jellies, jam & syrups. Sales benefit the 9600+ members of the Red Lake Nation.

Try this ancient grain in our Wild Rice Salad recipe!

Visit Website
remix popcorn and delights black owned business saint paul minnesota

ReMix Popcorn and Delights

Stephen and Danielle Porter
Saint Paul

All we can say is WOW! This popcorn will blow you away... Stephen and Danielle Porter opened Remix Popcorn and Delights on St. Paul's Marshall Avenue in November of 2019... 3 months later Covid hit, followed by the George Floyd tragedy... Too new to qualify for assistance, the whole family, including their three kids, rolled up their sleeves, doubled down and have been working with the faith that if they stick to their vision, treat customers well, and keep making the most delicious and innovatively flavored popcorn, fudge, candy and cakes in the area, customers will come.

We couldn't be happier they are now a part of the You Betcha! Box family of boot-strapping local entrepreneurs. Walking into their very creative, music-themed store will make you giddy with the incredible selections and amazing, fun and bold flavors.

Visit Website
sailor mercy dani dircks local beverages minnesota

Sailor Mercy

Dani Dircks

At Sailor Mercy Elderberry Syrup Company, they value hard work, faith, and family; owner and founder, Dani Dircks, has certainly proved that to be true. In 2017 Dani’s oldest son missed three days of school which led to an expensive clinic visit. Being a mama of four, she wanted to find a natural way to keep the doctors away. She began making her elderberry syrup at home to help boost immunity for her family. She saw such success with her home-brewed healing she decided to start her own company. Named for her two daughters Sailor and Mercy, Dani is now aiding families nationwide with natural immune defense, Elderberries.

This delicious syrup is perfect for at-home DIY gummies, mixing into drinks, or making juicy ice pops for sore throats and hot days! She has also crafted a delicious and healthy Apple Cider Vinegar recipe "Fire Cider" which you'll love to cook with or add to your daily health routine. We are excited to be a part of Dani's new Elderberry Lemonade launch. This is no ordinary lemonade! You'll love this special, lip smacking treat plus you get the healthy benefits of Elderberry! That's a win-win!

Dani's Elderberry Popsicles are sure to soothe a sore throat or provide a chilly treat on a sweltering summer day!

Visit Website
salsa collaborative brian and nikki podgorski saint paul minnesota hot sauce

The Salsa Collaborative

Brian and Nikki Podgorski
South Saint Paul

The Salsa Collaborative proves that Minnesota's food scene is much bigger than just canned soup hot dishes. The Salsa Collaborative started when Brian and Nikki Podgorski went on a mission to create the perfect Salsa Verde. In 2016, a severe accident forced the couple to look at what they valued most in life. Out of that process they decided to pursue more meaningful work through their own business. Brian’s natural creativity and curiosity for flavor led them to where they are now. Operating under the tenet that food is a love language, The Salsa Collaborative offers an array of fun flavored, fresh, hot sauces. You can taste the love in every drop!

They recommend trying Habanero Express in a Bloody Mary, or Jingle Jangle in Margaritas. We think that the Mo-Heato Hot Sauce, with its traditional Thai-inspired flavors of coconut, lime, mint, and a variety of peppers, is one of the most unique and delicious we've ever tried. Try it on rice dishes, chicken lettuce wraps or wherever you feel inspired!

Brian's Best Chili recipe puts Salsa Collaborative's sauces front and center in a tasty classic!

Visit Website
leah trevelen sweethaven tonics craft cocktail concentrates woman owned business minnesota

Sweethaven Tonics

Leah Trevelen
New Ulm

Sweethaven Craft Cocktail Concentrates uses minimal, natural ingredients to make it easy for cocktail lovers to become their own master mixologist!

Leah launched her venture into the world of artisan drinks during the COVID-19 pandemic, when she decided to take the plunge to pursue her passion.

She was inspired to make drink infusions that combine fruits, herbs and other interesting flavors after receiving a shrub (fruit drinking vinegar) as a gift. “From my first sip, I was hooked.”

“During the long days at home last fall, I found myself craving a creative outlet. I was drawn to the thing that I so often enjoyed with my friends and family that I was missing…cocktails. For me happy hour is more than a drink to start the night. A cocktail is crafted to savor as I slow down and focus on the present moment with those I love.”

Sweethaven sources ingredients from local farmers markets for Leah's latest creations. Delicious as a healthy non-alcoholic mixer too! Elevate your bar cart (or any club soda!) with the addition of Sweethaven Craft Cocktail Concentrate, and enjoy delicious drinks made in minutes.

Follow Leah's recipe for a smooth and balanced cocktail or mocktail!

Visit Website
terroir chocolate kristin mohagen local chocolate minnesota

Terroir Chocolate

Josh and Kristin Mohagen
Fergus Falls

(Pictured: Kristin Mohagen)

Josh and Kristin fell in love with chocolate making and the complexity of cacao while honeymooning in San Francisco. Their passion became TERROIR (pron: tare-whar) CHOCOLATE, meaning a sense of place.

“Each of our organic, single-origin dark chocolate bars have unique taste profiles, much like wine or coffee. We use ethically sourced cacao beans, hand sorted, small batch roasted, and stone-ground for several days, molded into bars and hand wrapped in Fergus Falls. Crafting chocolate our way is about patience with the process, nurturing the ingredients, and celebrating the beauty of it all."

Kristin's Drinking Chocolate is guaranteed to warm and soothe on even the chilliest winter nights.

Visit Website
michael and carrie baker wild country maple syrup minnesota

Wild Country Maple

Michael and Carrie Baker

Founders Michael and Carrie Baker fell in love with the North Shore and decided to buy a little maple farm in Lutsen, Minnesota called Wild Country. Tasting Wild Country's 100% organic maple products will make you feel like you're standing over Lake Superior in the middle of Fall! Their syrups and caramels give a true taste of Minnesota found in nature and loved by all.

While Wild Country maple syrup is a perfect addition to pancakes or waffles, it also amazes us in the Bakers' Maple Dijon Salad Dressing.

Visit Website
zambezi kitchen mwila kapungulya minnesota spices black owned business

Zambezi Kitchen

Mwila Kapungulya
Saint Louis Park

Founder, Mwila Kapungulya, migrated to Minnesota 15 years ago from Zambia, Africa to attend university. He is a computer scientist as well as culinary artisan. He founded Zambezi Kitchen to share his native land's rich culture through seasonings. The mighty Zambezi River near his birthplace is a major exchange for spices and cuisines from the region. This diverse combination of Southern African cuisines is known as "Rainbow Cuisine".

You'll want all 4 of their spice blends to amp up your grillables, sauces, and comfort foods like rice dishes, west indies jerk, BBQ ribs, chicken and burgers. "Zesty Herb" makes a wonderful marinade, salad dressing or olive oil bread dip. "Our goal is to honor our rich culinary traditions and inspire our customers to experiment with other food styles."

Mwila's Zambezi Beef Pot Roast will take center stage at your next feast!

Visit Website