If Duluth feels like home,
it's because it could be.


Hansi Johnson


Destination Duluth’s purpose is to educate and inspire people about the quality of place of Duluth, Minnesota, thereby shaping the city and region’s positive growth.

Wild State Cider brings cheer to the Lincoln Park Craft District

“Plan B” business name grows into a perfect fit for Wild State Cider. 

Wild State Cider is located at 2515 W. Superior St. Submitted photo. 


Wild State facility produced about a million cans of cider last year. Submitted photo.

According to Adam Ruhland, co-founder and co-owner of Duluth-based Wild State Cider, the meaning of the term “wild state” is ultimately open to interpretation.

“We had a business name selected,” Ruhland shared, “But right before we opened, we had a trademark … situation. So, the name Wild State came out of that, and having to come up with another name.”

He explained some of the inspiration behind their moniker. “Wild State can refer to the type of product we offer, where we don’t put additives into our cider. It could also be a place you go to be yourself, such as the wilderness.” For some, the name may also conjure up thoughts of our beloved NHL hockey team, the Minnesota Wild.

Although it wasn’t their first choice, Wild State has morphed into the perfect fit. Now that the cidery has been open for four years, company leadership simply can’t imagine operating under any other name.


Wild State Cider initially opened in March 2019. The business was founded by Ruhland and an old friend, Andrew “Drew” Price,” whom he met in summer camp back in 2008.

Andrew “Drew” Price (left), and Adam Ruhland (right) are co-founders of Wild State Cider... along with a sweet doggie companion. Photo submitted.

Ruhland has a bachelor’s degree in media/video production, and a master’s degree in special education - both from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Prior to owning Wild State Cider, he worked as a teacher and also in the digital marketing industry.

Interestingly, Ruhland also met his wife, Katie Ruhland, at the same summer camp where he met Price. Katie is from Duluth and works as a technology teacher at Raleigh Edison Charter School. Settling down with a woman from Duluth provided the impetus for Adam to relocate.

While Ruhland is from the state of Virginia, Price is from Duluth. As Ruhland was taking a little “life detour,” where he lived in Vermont for a few years – a highlight during that time was drinking Woodchuck Cider - Price was brewing beer at Voyageur Brewing Company in Grand Marais. The two combined their passion for craft beverages with their years of friendship and decided to start a business.

For its first few years, Wild State operated a warehouse, production facility, and taproom out of its location at 2515 West Superior Street. Recently, Ruhland and his two co-owners, Price and Allison Longley, were able to purchase an off-site warehouse roughly three miles away, on 59th Avenue West. The taproom – where all the customer fun happens - is still located at 2515 West Superior Street.


Today, the cidery has grown to include roughly 30 employees. In addition to its owners, there are taproom employees, a sales team, production team, marketing team, and more. The cider recipes are typically created, at least initially, by Longley and Price, and then work their way through the “tasting team” until they are ready to go.

For his part, Ruhland typically handles finances, personnel, distributors, and directs the growth of the business. “Every day is different when you own a business,” he noted. “There’s always something new to figure out and solve.”

Vibe and Events

Ruhland describes the taproom’s vibe as “Scandinavian modern.”

“We have maple wood tones, lots of natural light, vertical lines, and a color scheme of black and white,” he explained. “We also have a plant wall, which was installed by Duluth Living Walls, which provides a lot of breath and life.” The taproom also features lots of unique touches, including twinkly lights, exposed ductwork, and even a large overhead garage door that can be opened when the weather allows.

Wild State Cider has a small kitchen, too, so a few food options are available, including hot pretzels, Vermont-style soft-serve ice cream, and chips and salsa. Customers are encouraged to bring in outside food, as well.

In addition to simply being a cool place to hang out and enjoy a cider, Wild State also hosts a variety of events at the taproom, too. Events include trivia nights, bingo, a Monday night curling league, a Fall Cellar sale, house plant exchanges, Sunday markets, and more.


Wild State Cider creates a variety of hard ciders which are made from a custom blend of fresh apple juices. Wild State prides itself on not adding additional sugars or other sweeteners to its product, other than apple juice. The cider is also sorbate- and gluten-free. Wild State utilizes pasteurization, rather than chemicals, to keep its cider fresh.

Cheers to a glass of Wild State Cider. Photo submitted.

Its flagship options, which are available all year, in all markets, include pear, semi-dry, raspberry hibiscus, classic dry, and hazy pink pineapple. Seasonal and limited-release ciders are also available, and the “on tap” options vary weekly.

Wild State also does occasional collaborations with other local companies, such as Vikre Distillery. The duo’s limited-release canned cocktail last November was a huge hit with customers.

Wild State sources its apple juice from orchards and press facilities in Washington, New York, and Michigan. The business typically orders juice by the tankerload, which equates to 5,500 gallons of juice, and typically orders one tankerload per week. The cidery produced 180,000 gallons of cider last year, which equates to about 80,000 cases or around a million cans.

While Ruhland can pinpoint the specific apple varietals used, there is more to the story. “We typically use Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, and McIntosh apples, but we order by requesting things like how much acidity we need; how much sugar content we want; and by pH,” he explained. “The orchards and press facilities we use then blend the juice to meet these requirements.”

Wild State Cider also offers plenty of merch; sweatshirts, hats, hoodies, glassware and more are available for purchase online and in the taproom.

Where to Buy

Customers who visit the taproom can order cider by the glass, or try several mini samples with a flight. Kegs, four-packs, cases, crowlers (25-ounce cans), and refillable growlers (32-ounce glass containers) can also be picked up to enjoy at home.

Additionally, most major liquor stores, including Target, Trader Joe’s, Cub Foods, Costco, and more, carry the product. Wild State Cider is also available at select restaurants and bars.

The product can also be shipped direct-to-consumer, in 40 states. Please visit wildstatecider.com to learn more.

Another unique option is the Wild Cider Club. Participants can choose to receive specialty ciders, which are usually only available in the taproom, delivered to their home four times a year. Local residents can also choose to pick up their order.

Giving Back

Giving back to the causes they care about is important to Wild State’s leaders. The company donates 1% of its top-line revenue to various non-profit, environmental organizations which help people gain access to the outdoors.

Wild State also participates in local environmental efforts, such as the “Clean Yer Creek” initiative.


For Adam and Katie Ruhland and their family, which also includes a 4-year-old daughter, Tessa, a one-year-old son, Davis, and a dog named June, Duluth has become a wonderful place to call home. The family has settled down in the Morley Heights neighborhood, which is a perfect location to enjoy all their favorite activities.

“That gap of five years I spent in Vermont helped condition me for the cold weather,” Adam noted with a chuckle. “Then, Katie and I lived in St. Paul for a while, but it was too urban. We wanted to go somewhere with less people and more recreational opportunities.”

Duluth appeared to be the perfect fit. “Duluth – and Lake Superior – are so impressive, geographically,” he added. “And, we love skiing and hiking. We enjoy how the trails here are so intertwined through the neighborhoods.”


Wild State customers can expect to see a slight brand refresh in the coming weeks. While Wild State’s logo (featuring a bear, fox, and goose), won’t change much, the logo and packaging will undergo a slight refresh, to give the products a more polished look. Additionally, the plastic PakTechs (the device used to connect four-packs of cider) will also be phased out, in favor of cardboard cartons.

Ruhland shared some of his dreams for the future of Wild State Cider. “Our ultimate goal is to be the top cider in the region. Also, we want to be a place that is a staple of Duluth. We want our employees to be happy, paid good wages and benefits, with a good work-life balance.”

Please visit wildstatecider.com to learn more.

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Homegrown Music Festival Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Homegrown is the area’s biggest musical extravaganza

Homegrown had its humble beginning in 1998 when Scott Lunt (a former area DJ) celebrated his 30th birthday party with five bands. Little did he know that in 1999, it would become a weekend festival with ten acts and would keep growing from there. Lunt has since become known as the unofficial founder of Homegrown.

Over the years, this annual community celebration of music has expanded into an eight-day festival. For this year’s Homegrown, they expect 165+ bands representing every musical style and 35+ eclectic venues all over town. Homegrown also features a children’s showcase, poetry, visual art, film, fire spinning, a kickball game and much more.

Homegrown venues come in all shapes and sizes. Photo submitted.

Many of the festival’s events are free of charge and accessible to audiences of all ages. Celebrating its 25 anniversary this year, the event will run from April 30-May 7.

The First Annual Homegrown March Mixer, is Saturday, March 25th, starting at 4 pm. at Blacklist Brewery and Taproom. The Mixer will provide local musicians, venue employees, artists and others a chance to meet and network.

Throughout its history, Homegrown has featured up-and-coming bands, total newcomers, and bands that have become famous — the band “Low,” formed in 1993 and led by Alan Sparhawk (guitar and vocals) and the late Mimi Parker(drums and vocals). In 2003 another band debut went on to become famous. "There weren’t a lot of new bands in the 2003 Homegrown," according to the Homegrown History webpage, "but one of them would later become Homegrown’s biggest draw — Trampled by Turtles. The group was a four-piece at the time and hadn’t come up with its name, so the show was listed on the schedule as “Dave Simonette Band,” misspelling Simonett’s name."

The Homegrown Field Guide helps attendees choose from more than 150 bands. Submitted photo.

Tony Bennett, area writer, editor, and musician  came on board Homegrown in the second year with his band “The Dames” and has also played with the band “Cars and Trucks.”

He said, “I just think music is the greatest form of art humans have created, and a festival dedicated to celebrating original music from the region is a great thing. It's a communal celebration of this thing I love.”

Board member Jason Beckman, who has been attending the festival since 2003, said, “Homegrown always indicates a return to spring when people are ready to get out and about and have a good time after a long winter. It gives people a chance to try different venues, and get experience with some bands they may have never heard before, along with their favorites.”

Homegrown Admission, Locations and Theme Nights

During Homegrown, admission wristbands can be purchased at any venue that requires them. Advance tickets are available at Globe News (Superior, WI) and Zenith Bookstore (Duluth, MN), and remain on sale throughout the week of Homegrown. Wristbands do not guarantee entry to venues at capacity.

Weeklong Wristband: All eight days – $40

Single-day Wristband: Friday or Saturday – $25

Single-night: Monday through Thursday – $15

Part of the fun of Homegrown is visiting a variety of venues throughout the city, with one night featuring mostly Superior locales. Specific sites are given in the annual Homegrown “field guide,” also featuring artistic representations of the festival’s infamous chicken logo, and providing participants with venues, bands, times and more to help them navigate.

Sunday, April 30            Most events downtown Duluth

Monday, May 1               Most events downtown Duluth

Tuesday, May 2             Most events in the Canal Park area

Wednesday, May 3        Most events in the West End of Duluth

Thursday, May 4            Most events Superior

Friday/ Saturday /

Sunday, May 5-7            Most events downtown Duluth

Another way that participants can add to the fun is to dress for the various theme nights. While attire matching the themes is optional, getting into the spirit makes the week even more of a party.

Theme nights add to the eclectic vibe of Homegrown. Photo submitted.

25th Homegrown Sunday—Wearing merchandise from previous Homegrown or band shirts of those who have played

Moody Monday Dress Like Your Mood

Tacky Tuesday    Ugly/mismatched garb

Western Wednesday  Best cowboy gear for West Duluth Night

Trick or Treat Thursday  Halloween Costumes

Formal Friday Fancy outfits

Sexy Saturday Slinky, seductive clothing

Relaxation Sunday Comfortable attire

Leading the “Shenanigans”

Planning and putting on what some of them jokingly call the “shenanigans” of Homegrown are a dedicated group of board members and a steering committee.

Beckman said, “We are lucky to have a great board of directors and a steering committee who do most of the leg work on the ground, getting out to the venues.

Dereck Murphy-Williams, Interim Co-Director, started as a general committee member back in 2016 and has been taking on more responsibilities each year. This year he is heading Homegrown’s operations side, including volunteer coordination. “We couldn’t do it without all our great volunteers, many who come back every year,” he said.

The Great Lakes Aquarium is one of the dozens of venues for Homegrown. Submitted photo.

“This is such a great community get-together,” he noted. “The essence of Homegrown is hopping on the trolley and wandering between vendors. There is just a feeling in the air of being out with friends and people you may not have seen all winter. And the insane amount of talent makes this a fantastic week.”

Cory Jezierski, the other Interim Co-Director,  has worn a lot of hats for Homegrown over the years as well, including playing with bands. He has worked mostly on the production side including sound production,

“We’re proud that we really are homegrown with acts from area bands. Some of the musicians used to live here, moved way and came back.” Jezierski said. “The diversity is incredible with hip hop, rock, alternative, hard rock, punk rock, anything goes, with something for everyone. There are always new groups that people will love that they may not have seen before.”

Letting the Good Times Roll

For many dyed-in-the-wool local music lovers, Homegrown is as good as it gets. Meeting their friends, listening to an exciting mix of local talent onstage, and just making it the best rolling party in town and a sort of annual reunion for many.

Musicians of all stripes are here to support each other and to build their audience. While festival-goers are guaranteed the most variety and bang for their buck, exploring all the festival has to offer.

Homegrown is an 8-day rolling party. Photo submitted.

“It depends on what you're looking for, but you can find just about anything you want,” added Bennett. “If you want to chill out to ambient music, you can. If you wanna get in a mosh pit, you can. It's a Whitman's Sampler of local music.”

And Scott Lunt? He is still rocking on and will be back celebrating his 50th birthday this year, reveling in how far his original little birthday bash has come!

For more information on Homegrown, visit their website at duluthhomegrown.org or their Facebook page.

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Ski Hut Youth Programs Are Affordable for All

Ski Hut’s Youth Programs Are Making Outdoor Adventures Affordable for All

Here in the Northland, opportunities abound for outdoor recreation.

Our region is an absolute haven for sports like skiing, stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, biking, canoeing, and snowshoeing. But, between lessons, equipment, and maintenance, these types of sports can be expensive, making costs a significant barrier to sampling a new activity.

Outdoor adventure kids camp. Submitted photo.

Duluth’s Ski Hut is trying to change that. This family-owned, family-operated adventure gear business has been open since 1955 and located at 1032 East 4th Street the entire time. Ski Hut caters to outdoor enthusiasts and aims to make outdoor adventures accessible for people - and particularly kids - of all income levels.

“At Ski Hut, we work with local non-profit agencies to help sponsor their programming,” said Bobbie Larson, Ski Hut’s Event Outreach Coordinator.

“In particular, we sponsor events for women, kids, and those of lower economic ability, to try to address what we call the ‘adventure gap.’ We help provide opportunities for everyone to participate in these activities.”

All women's night Ski/Ride. Submitted photo.


Ski Hut was started in 1955 by business partners Wes Neustel and Martin Harney. Today the business remains in the Neustel family.

After Wes’ death (at age 100), Ski Hut was passed down to Wes’ son, Scott “Potter” Neustel. And, Potter’s son, Dave Neustel, is expected to be the next in the line of succession when his dad retires.

“Ski Hut has been in business for 66 years, and has been located on the same corner the entire time,” Larson shared. “It’s currently in its 2nd generation of ownership, and soon to be the 3rd. Wes Neustel was an absolute legend in the ski community; he skied well into his 90s.”

Sales & Service

Ski Hut’s slogan is “Bike, ski, paddle,” and it offers gear – along with maintenance and repairs – to support this mission. Ski Hut sells Nordic and Alpine skis, mountain bikes, fat tire bikes, kayaks, canoes, snowshoes, and many accessories. It also sells bike and ski racks, along with winter apparel for all ages and sizes.

All ages are welcome. In this photo is a 65-year-old and 50 year old and a 20-year-old. Submitted photo.

On the service side, the business offers bike tune-ups and repairs, ski waxing, the repair of broken or damaged equipment, and more. Additionally, Ski Hut values educating people about their gear; it offers plenty of bike mechanic clinics; both women’s-specific clinics, and those for the general public. Here, participants can learn to change a flat tire and fix bicycle brakes, among many other useful skills. Ski Hut also partners with other businesses to sponsor educational clinics on-site at their location.

Staff Enjoy Giving Back

Ski Hut employs roughly 35 people; most of whom are cross-trained to handle a variety of tasks. And, many staff members have long tenures with the business. “We have five managers who have been here more than 25 years, and another half dozen employees who have been here more than 15 years,” Larson said.

Employees enjoy many aspects of their jobs at Ski Hut, but the Employee Stewardship Program is a special component. Staff are encouraged to devote a portion of their working hours to a local entity of their choice, and provide services such as coaching, bike maintenance, trail work maintenance, helping with fundraisers, and more.

Northland Paddle Alliance gives kayak demos/socials. Submitted photo.

“Staff can choose an organization they have a passion for,” Larson said. “Through this program, we get our staff out in the field to connect with our customers and help support the agency.”

For Larson herself, she has chosen to support women’s adventures. Through partnerships with Continental Ski & Bike, Duluth Cross Country Ski Club, and COGGS (The Cyclists of Gitchee Gumee Shores), Larson leads ladies’ biking and skiing treks every Thursday evening.

“We try to remove all barriers for these women,” Larson said. “We make it as non-intimidating as we can, we provide the education needed, and provide bikes for their use. These rides are also open to beginners.”

Youth Programming

As Ski Hut’s Event Outreach Coordinator, Larson handles marketing, community partnerships, education, and more. One of Larson’s main roles, however, is to help fundraise and create scholarships to make outdoor activities affordable for all.

“Kids’ programs are a big part of our focus,” she shared. “We help raise money to get the equipment or create scholarships for kids.”

For instance, the Ski with the Hut event is an annual fundraiser for Mont du Lac’s youth downhill ski racing team. This team serves youth ages 5-18.

Kids learn to ski programs. Submitted photo.

Bike rodeos, held at Congdon Park Elementary, Lester Park Elementary, and Myers-Wilkins Elementary, and sponsored by Ski Hut, help with fundraising and creating scholarships for youth biking activities. Ski Hut also makes an annual donation of a youth bike to help the cause.

Cheers to Chester is a collaboration with Bent Paddle Brewing and serves as a fundraiser for youth ski programs at Chester Bowl. To date, Cheers to Chester has donated over $70,000, a fact that would make Wes Neustel proud; Larson shared that Wes, Potter, and Dave Neustel all learned to ski at Chester Bowl.

And Ski Hut partners with DXC (Duluth Cross-Country Ski Club) and COGGS to put on a weeklong outdoor adventure camp, called the OAC Program: Outdoor Adventure Camp. Here, youth learn mountain biking, water safety, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and other skills.

Outdoor Adventure Kids Camp is fun for all. Submitted photo.

Recently, Ski Hut sponsored DAOA: Duluth Area Outdoor Alliance. “This is a collaboration of all non-profits serving the outdoors in Duluth,” Larson explained. “Through our stewardship program, Ski Hut has offered the support to build DAOA back up, and we’ve been able to have a huge impact thus far. It’s a really cool group of people making some big things happen in Duluth.”

Ski Hut is also a major sponsor of the Young Athletes Foundation, a Grandma’s Marathon program.


To enroll in a Ski Hut-hosted or Ski Hut-sponsored event, please visit their website skihut.com. There is a tab of events, where interested parties can view all available options and enroll.

Outdoor Adventure Camp. Submitted photo.

Scholarships are available, too, which can make the events free, or at least affordable, for all families. Please contact Ski Hut to learn more about scholarship opportunities.

Outdoor Options Abound

For Larson, who is originally from northern California, Duluth has become a much-loved, adopted hometown. “Previously, I lived near Lake Tahoe, so Alpine skiing was always my love,” she noted. “Getting outdoors, for me, is non-negotiable. I’m really thankful that Duluth is located in the landscape that it is. There are lots of options for Nordic skiing in our area.

Ski Hut sponsors women's rides. Submitted photo.

“For my family and me,” Larson added, “The biggest challenge is to decide whether we want to classic ski, sled, go cross-country skiing, et cetera. Part of the magic of what Duluth offers is a lot of options for the outdoors.”

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Motorhead Madness is Northland’s Biggest Indoor Custom Car Show

Motorhead Madness is Northland’s Biggest Indoor Custom Car Show

Arena view from the 2022 Motorhead Madness. Photo by Mike Busche

For over fifty years, Motorhead Madness (previously known as the World of Wheels) has been taking place the third weekend in March, featuring all varieties of cars including customs, street rods, trucks, cycles, race cars, rat rods, muscle cars and antique vehicles.

For car geeks, grease monkeys, and gearheads everywhere, Motorhead Madness is the place to be to enjoy the hard work and vehicles from like-minded car aficionados. It’s decidedly “car central” for people who love to talk with others about their cars.

Mike Momb's 1950 Chevy. Photo by Curt Lawson

In 2020, when the long-time owner Jack DeJoy, decided to sell the car show, business partners Mike Podgornik, Dean Broman and Mike Busche bought the show, now renamed Veit Automotive Foundation Motorhead Madness, presented by Hunt Electric.

In 2021, because of Covid, the new owners, sadly, were unable to hold the show. In 2022, they were thrilled to bring Motorhead Madness back, and it was better attended than ever, with over 6,000 people.

“The show was great last year! Bigger than we expected! Because of time off with Covid, many people had more time to work on their cars, bringing many cars in for last year’s show and now this, that people have not seen before,” said Busche.

Luke Merril's 1940 Chevrolet (2022 best of show winner). Photo by Mike Busche

Entertainment and Vendors

In addition to the cars and vehicles on display, show attendees can enjoy a variety of entertainment for all ages.

For the kids, there are Lake Superior Radio Control Car Club Races, toys, “make and take” models, Modelmania (competition for model builders, kids and adults), East and Proctor High Schools Robotics Clubs demonstrations and more.

One of the weekend’s fun events is the Miss Motorhead Contest sponsored by the Border Town Betties, featuring women in costumes from the 1940s, 50s and 60s. Contestants are judged on their hair/makeup/costumes, personalities, props and thoughtful responses to questions.

Other attractions include a Dragster Reaction Simulator, Hourly door prizes are ongoing over the weekend, hotel stays, tools, gift cards, and more.. One car will be pin-striped and another wrapped during the show.

Vendors will have memorabilia, car supplies, signs (metal and neon), tires, and more. For food, attendees can enjoy all the DECC concessions and other treats such as mini-doughnuts and honey-roasted nuts.

Generous Prizes

Entrants in the show are eligible for a variety of prizes, including the “Star of the North Award” prize of $500, open to all entries being shown for the first time in Duluth.

The Veit Automotive “Rising Star,” Best of Show, outstanding entry, and Best Paint, is open to exhibitors under 30, and Magnificent Seven to the seven favorite entries, along with awards for several different categories of vehicles.

“We wanted to make the show appealing to all ages,” said Busche. “So we started the Young Backyard Builders Program.”

For the Young Backyard Builders’ Program, participants must:

—be 18-27 years of age.

—have built a good portion of their car or truck.

—be a registered entry for the 2023 Motorhead Madness show and be present with their car or truck during the show to compete.

The winner will receive a full toolbox and $500

Giving Back to the Community

Check presentation to the Boys and Girls club after 2022 show.

According to Busche, “We also wanted to give back to the community with our shows. Last year, we gave $3,000 to the Boys and Girls’ Clubs (Superior Chapter). This year we chose the Wounded Warriors United-Minnesota as a worthy cause.”

Wounded Warriors Community Outreach logo. Submitted.

Some of the proceeds come from their sale of show merchandise, including their branded shirts and hats. Wounded Warriors will also have a booth at the show.

This year, the show will be held Saturday, March 18, from 10 am to 9 pm and Sunday, March 19, from 10 am to 5 pm at the DECC.

For more information on Motorhead Madness, visit motorheadmadnessmn.com

Tickets are available at the DECC Box Office the week of the show and online at decc.org


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Discover Lincoln Park’s 190º Coffee and Tea

Instagram @190coffeeandtea

Lincoln Park’s 190º Coffee and Tea - A Place to ‘Caffeinate, Collaborate, and Create'

Instagram photo by @190coffeeandtea

They like to say at 190º Coffee and Tea, ”Life isn’t perfect, but here your coffee (and tea) can be!” They opened in 2022 on the lower level of Lincoln Park’s Enger Lofts apartment building at 1832 W Superior St., Suite 103. The Enger Lofts building includes apartments, a hotel, and main-level shops, including the anchor of the small businesses, 190º.

According to the 190º website, “We work closely with every one of our roasting partners and tea blenders to make sure that what you're drinking has been sourced properly and crafted to, well, perfection. At 190°, we believe that coffee can and should be perfect, every time. That's why our baristas are constantly practicing, learning and growing, keeping up with the ever-shifting world of coffee.”

Explaining the shop’s name, Cafe Co-manager Reice Amundson, said, “190º is the perfect temperature for coffee in the roasting process.”

190º has eleven employees, with the shop open from 6 am to 7 pm daily. “We cater to many people throughout the day from business clientele to college students. Everyone can feel at home,” she said.

190º Coffee is the perfect place to unwind. Photo by Mia Sayler

Treats and Hot and Cold Beverages for Everyone

For those who love fresh sweet treats with their beverages, 190º  has a daily delicious offering of pastries from Duluth’s Best Bread: scones, croissants, Danish, “pop tarts,” and macaroons.

Customers also enjoy the daily deliveries of cookies, bars and spinach artichoke Danish from Positively Third Street Bakery.

For coffee lovers, their menu includes espresso, macchiato, cortado, cappuccino, latte, mocha, and Americanos. Their drip coffee includes batch-brewed coffee, cold brew and seasonal roasts. 190º’s coffees are locally roasted from Dream Cloud, Almanac, Underwood and Duluth Coffee Company.

Baristas Melissa Gross, Dylan Takkunen, and Sophie Carlson. Photo by Carol Reinert

Other drinks on the menu include chai, matcha latte, turmeric latte, Mike and Jen’s Hot Chocolate, frappe, tea mock-tails, lemonade, tea latte, and Lotus (plant-based energy drinks).

Their tea list features caffeinated tea blends, herbal teas, and traditional black, grey, and green, with all teas available iced or hot. Varied ingredients such as hibiscus, lemongrass, licorice root, honeybush, sunflowers and more give tea aficionados new options for flavor blends.

Their blends have creative names such as Misted Mountains, Ice Queen, Moose Knuckle, Dragon’s Breath, and, the most unusual, By the Rivers of Babylon I Sat Down and Wept.

An oat milk latte poured by one of our own lovely baristas. Photo by Mia Sayler.

Happy Hour (Monday through Thursday) is 4 pm to close with free drip coffee refills, 10% off the pastry case and $2.00 hot or iced tea.

190º Pop-ups, Merchandise, Swag and Shopping

Amundson explained, “We are working to be even more of a makers’ space where artists and creators can show and sell their wares. We have had ‘pop-up shops’ for jewelry and pottery makers, and more. Some of our employees have even been able to show some of their work.”

Grab a cozy hoodie or t-shirt to round out your 190º experience. Photo by Mia Sayler.

Artists can fill out an application at www.190coffeeandtea.com on the 190º site to showcase and sell their work

Onsite, customers can purchase packages of tea and coffee, as well as branded sweatshirts and t-shirts.

Enger Lofts’ visitors can also visit other main-level businesses with retail shops and mercantile for clothing, groceries, gifts and more, and then stop in to take a break at 190º.

Community Outlook:

“We love being a part of this community in Lincoln Park’s craft district,” said Amundson. “It is such a vibrant and colorful part of Duluth.”

“Being part of the business associations for both Enger Lofts and Lincoln Park also helps us to be connected to the building and the neighborhood. We enjoy our association with the other small businesses on the lower level of Enger Lofts and working together on events and promotion,” explained Carol Reinert, the other 190º Cafe Co-manager.

Shelves are always stocked with Zenith Tea Works and coffee roasted locally by Dreamcloud, Almanac, Underwood, and Duluth Coffee Company. Photo by Mia Sayler

On their website they note: “Community plays a large role in the coffee world, and we aim to do our part in helping our community grow and thrive by:
• Supporting local artists and giving them a place to showcase their work
• Standing behind our fellow Duluth coffee shops and working together to form a strong coffee culture in our city
• Offering discounts to our students, educators and fellow industry workers
• Teaming up with surrounding businesses to create fun community-building events”

190º is active in local events including Cold Front at Bayfront where they gave away gallons of coffee and cocoa. They plan seasonal events for Halloween, Valentine’s Day, Earth Day, Mother’s Day and more.

Catering is available for events, business gatherings and parties. Off-site catering can include hot or iced coffee, tea, spiced apple cider and hot chocolate. They will provide cups, cream, sugar and flavored syrup, as well as pastries. Online quotes are available.

It is also possible to rent out their space to host onsite events for classes, bridal showers and parties. The rental fee can be a flat rate for them to provide drinks for the guests, or the guests can pay as they order.

190º offers gift cards year-round for holidays, birthdays, congratulations, get well, etc. Cards may be purchased onsite or online.

Amundson added, “We invite people to give us a try. We think we are everything you are looking for in a coffee shop. We are a calm and peaceful spot to work, read and relax while enjoying a favorite beverage.”





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Meet the Regenolds - A Spirit Mountain Family

Meet the Regenolds - A Spirit Mountain Family

Jon and Tess Regenold with their six children Lilli (14); Jonah (12); Oliver (11); Amelia (8); Gretta (4); and Maisie (1 ½)

On any given day at Duluth’s Spirit Mountain, you’re likely to encounter one or more members of the Regenold family. While husband and wife Jon and Tess Regenold work as Directors of Resort Services, Marketing and Programming, they also have six children - ranging in age from toddler to teen - all of whom love to get out on the slopes.

“The kids are out daily,” Jon noted. “Everyone can ski, including our one-and-a-half-year-old, and most can snowboard, too.”

Neither Jon nor Tess is originally from Duluth. The lure of skiing and other outdoor activities drew them here. And a passion for the area has enticed them to stay.

Jon and Tess Regenold are Directors of Resort Services, Marketing and Programming. Photo Submitted.

Draw to Duluth

Tess is originally from Wadena, Minnesota, and Jon is from Minnetonka. Both grew up traveling to Duluth and the North Shore for ski trips with their families.

“I grew up skiing and came up to Spirit Mountain quite a bit,” Tess said. “And when it came to picking a college, I had always loved Duluth.”

As for Jon, he also got an early start on the slopes. “I began skiing at age 5,” he shared. “The draw of Duluth and the desire to be up the North Shore are what brought me here. UMD was the only school I applied for.”

Jon Regenold on the slopes of Spirit Mountain. Submitted photo.

The couple met while attending college at UMD, and were married in 2005. Today, the couple have six kids: Lilli (14); Jonah (12); Oliver (11); Amelia (8); Gretta (4); and Maisie (1 ½). They also have a cat named Mot, a dog named Willow, and five chickens.

The Regenolds live in the Duluth Heights neighborhood. In their off time, the family enjoys camping, hunting, biking, and, of course, skiing.

Spirit Mountain

Spirit Mountain originally opened as a recreation area in 1974; a focus that continues today.

In addition to skiing and snowboarding, Spirit offers snow tubing, camping, lift-served mountain biking, and an adventure park featuring a zip line and alpine coaster for summertime enjoyment. There are lessons and instructors available for beginners, and trails for all ability levels.

The Regenold children learned to ski not long after they learn to walk. Photo submitted.

“We really look at Spirit as a recreation area,” Jon explained. “Winter sports are the bread and butter, but we have many different uses. For instance, the Superior Hiking Trail, Duluth Traverse, and Duluth Cross City Snowmobile Trail all pass through the property. There are a wide variety of recreation options, including bird-watching, too.”

Spirit Mountain is a year-round recreation destination. The Regenold family loves every season at Spirit. Photo submitted.

For outdoor adventurers, Spirit provides 700 vertical feet of hills, with 175 acres of skiable terrain. There are 22 named runs, which vary in difficulty.

Spirit Mountain has 700 feet of hills and 22 named runs. Photo from Spirit Mtn Facebook page.

Additionally, Spirit is a great place to host an event. The on-site Skyline Chalet is a popular venue for weddings, celebrations of life, class reunions, corporate events, and other private gatherings. There is also dining available; the Grand Avenue Chalet’s Riverside Bar & Grill is open year-round for a meal or beverage, and the Moosehead Saloon and Mountaintop Café provide other seasonal options.

Spirit Mountain is also home to plenty of fun events throughout the year, including the Atmore Memorial Slalom Race; Bike Duluth Festival; Frosted Fatty; and an annual spring celebration called SMASH (Spirit Mountain Annual Spring Happening). Please visit Spirit Mountain’s website or Facebook page to learn more.

The Regenold children participate in the annual Bike Duluth Festival at Spirit Mountain. Submitted photo.

Regenold Tenure

The Regenolds have a lengthy tenure with Spirit Mountain, dating back to 2002. Jon first began working at Spirit as a ski instructor during college. Since then, he has worked on the snowmaking team, as a freestyle skiing coach, and on the terrain park crew. Today, his title is Director of Resort Services.

“I run the rental department, facilities, and am a part of events and programming,” he noted. “I also handle aspects of guest services and have had a role in development, such as being a part of the expansion of the mountain bike park.”

Tess began as a ski instructor, too; about a year after Jon started. Over the years, she has worked at the front desk, helped with snow sports programming, and coaching youth camps before entering management. Today, her title is Director of Marketing and Programming.

“Although Jon and I have different titles and responsibilities, a lot of our ‘stuff’ intertwines,” Tess shared. “As far as marketing, I take pride in being able to represent Spirit Mountain to the community. I handle programming, such as school outreach and day-to-day lessons. And we both help with summer camp programming.”

In addition to the Regenolds, Spirit Mountain employs roughly 250-300 people during the winter. Year-round, that number hovers around 35-40.

“Tess and I are part of a team here at Spirit,” Jon said. “[As Directors] we play a role in what Spirit does, but it takes a full team to do what we do.”

Great Choice for Locals and Tourists

Spirit Mountain has plenty to offer for local residents and tourists alike. “It’s a blast to be able to speak to people from other areas,” Jon said. “They realize that our runs are long and we have plenty of varied terrains.

“And our view is unmatched. The urban and wilderness views at Spirit Mountain are so amazing. We overlook the St. Louis River Basin, and the moon rises in the winter can be spectacular.

Watching the moon rise over Spirit Mountain. Photo from Spirit Mtn Facebook page.

“I also feel so privileged to tell employees what we offer here,” he added. “Most, if not all, people who work here are here because of their passion for the sport. We create an atmosphere that is fun and encourages the continuation of the sport.”

Permanent Duluthians

For the Regenolds, their passion for Duluth – and Spirit Mountain - has enticed them to stay and plant roots here. The couple has found Duluth to be a wonderful place to live, work, play, and raise their growing family.

“One of the massive draws of Duluth is the absolute nearness of the wilderness,” Jon shared. “But it’s interesting how Spirit has played such a big role in keeping us here in Duluth.”

“These jobs and this industry … they aren’t the typical 9-5 type of job,” Tess added. “We get to spend time together as a family. It’s just everyday life. But I think the most rewarding thing for me is the excitement and ability to help people make memories and build their skills.”

The Regenolds have biked and skied in many locations over the years. But, in their minds, nothing compares to Duluth.

“We’ve traveled to a lot of places,” Tess said. “And we always come back and realize how special it is here.”

For more information, please visit spiritmt.com.

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Chester Bowl brings the community together

Year-Round Family Fun
Duluth’s Chester Bowl Belongs to Everyone

Chester Bowl, a 117-acre park, is an oasis of fun, entertainment, sports, and play in the middle of the city of Duluth. Their vision statement is “To promote sustainable, quality programs for all Chester Bowl Park users in a healthy and safe environment.”

Executive Director Dave Schaeffer is responsible for fundraising, grant writing, partnerships with similar organizations and PR/Marketing. Before starting with Chester Bowl in 2014, he worked for the Great Lakes Aquarium and Mentor Duluth.

“My wife, daughter and I live just at the edge of the park. I feel lucky to be able to walk to work. No matter the time of the year, the park is always busy,” said Schaeffer. “Chester Bowl belongs to all of us.”

Sam Luoma, Chester Bowl’s Program Director, born and raised in Duluth, recalls coming to Chester Bowl to snowboard when he was in high school. He started at Chester Bowl as a volunteer, joined the Board of Directors in 2008, and came on as Program Director in 2014.

“The Park can be enjoyed on so many different levels—for its beautiful waterfalls, trails, playground, ski hills, year-round activities and so much more,” Luoma said.

Chester Bowl ski facilities are geared toward families. Photo by Loll Designs.

With their three full-time employees and over 60 part-time employees over the year for various programs, they seek to promote healthy living through a wide variety of outdoor recreational activities. Providing year-round programming and events for people of all ages, they are “creating a true community of park users in a peaceful, respectful environment.”

According to their website, “The Chester Bowl Improvement Club (Chester Bowl) began in 1980 and established as a State of Minnesota non-profit 501(c)(3) in 1982 to support programming for the thousands of users of the park.”

Approximately 10,000 people take advantage of Chester Park every year to play softball and soccer, hike or ski its cross-country trails, walk their dogs, enjoy a picnic by its creek, use its playground equipment, or dry land train (for skiing, but without snow).

Winter Central

Best known for its alpine hill and its youth downhill ski program, with a double chair lift and a 175-foot drop, Chester Bowl is able to handle up to 960 skiers and snowboarders per hour.

“I love seeing parents learning to ski themselves and to see them enjoying time together at Chester Bowl with their kids,” said Schaeffer.

Other fun winter activities include free small group lessons, Freestyle Fridays and an Alpine Race Series. With a season or day pass, children and adults receive a chair-lift pass, and take part in lessons or other ski programs.

Many kids learn to ski at Chester Bowl. Photo by Jeremy Kershaw.

Pass options include day passes for children and adults, Minnesota 4th grader passes, and partner organization passes from Spirit Mountain, Mont du Lac, Giants Ridge, Lutsen, Mount Ashwabay, or Mount Ski Gull that give participants lift tickets at Chester Bowl.

Season passes for this current season were: Individual Season Pass- $80 (plus $100 volunteer deposit & tax); Family of 2 Season Pass- $160 (plus $100 volunteer deposit & tax); Family 3+ Season Pass- $200 (plus $100 volunteer deposit & tax)

Each family paying a volunteer deposit of $100 are then responsible to complete 6 or 12 volunteer hours (depending on the amount of equipment rented). By completing their volunteer hours and returning their rental gear, individuals or families get their deposit back and are eligible to be among the first to get signed up for equipment fittings before the next year’s season.

Chester Bowl’s equipment rental model is to rent gear out for the entire season, with renters able to use the equipment at Chester Bowl, as well as at any other hills.

Scholarship Program

For those families who cannot afford season passes and rentals, partial or full scholarships are available. Every request is approved. Chester Bowl’s goal is never to let a family’s financial situation interfere with their ability to ski or snowboard.

Over 100 families each year are able to participate because of the scholarships, and about 15 percent of the program fees are covered by those scholarships. Scholarship funds are raised through Fall Fest gate donations, other events, fundraisers, personal and business donations, and grants.

Last winter, Chester Bowl awarded $32,500 in winter scholarships to over 100 different families, and they awarded $18,550 in summer camp scholarships.

Volunteers Make the Difference

“We are so lucky to have so many volunteers who give thousands of hours all year to help us to run our programs and to maintain the park. Whether it is selling concessions, doing hill cleanup, or helping to run one of our programs, our volunteers, including our Board members, are here to help,” said Schaeffer.

Summer Days at Chester

Things at Chester Bowl are hopping year-round, not just in the busy winter season. During the summer months, they operate the Chester Bowl Day Camp. Their unofficial motto is that “we promise to return your child tired, happy and dirty.”

With a daily capacity of 84 campers, nearly 200 different children ages 6-12 attended at least one of their programming days last summer.

Camp runs Mondays through Thursdays for 10 weeks of summer. Families can sign up for whatever number of weeks works for them and can choose from campsites of Lower Chester, Middle Chester, and Upper Chester.

The day camp takes advantage of the park’s natural environment, while also sponsoring field trips to locations such as other City and State Parks and the Duluth Public Library.

Another summer favorite is the Chester Creek Concert Series, in partnership with the City of Duluth. Offering free Tuesday night concerts with a lineup of popular musicians and a food truck onsite at Chester Bowl, people can enjoy seeing friends and neighbors and sharing beautiful summer evenings.

Tuesday's summer concert series fills the park with music, laughter, food and neighborhood bonding. Photo submitted.

Fall Festival

The Fall Festival organized by Chester Bowl is tremendously popular, with over 130 vendor booths. Festival goers enjoy the live music, food, fresh produce  and locally-made crafts.

In 2022, with their 37th annual Fall Festival, they raised almost $9,000 for their scholarship fund.

Thousands attend the annual fall festival at Chester Bowl. Photo by Dave Schaeffer. 

Fall Camp

Chester Bowl is offering Fall Camp over MEA break again in 2023. Following the same model as summer camp, Fall Camp is based on a philosophy of nature play, positive social interaction with peers, teen mentors, and adult staff, and immersion in nature.

Camp is open to children who are at least 6 years old OR are currently enrolled in kindergarten, up to 7th grade. Full and partial scholarships are also available for the Fall Camp.

Party at the Chalet

The Thom Storm Chalet at Chester Bowl Park is a great location for birthday parties, graduation parties, small weddings and other group activities. The basic rental rate is $75 for the first hour and $25 per additional hour. Non-profits looking for a space for meetings or retreats can also use the Chalet for $15 per hour.

The main Chalet space seats up to about 50 comfortably, with the most common seating configuration using the three long folding picnic tables The space also includes a small kitchen prep area (fridge, freezer, sink, microwave, and counters, but no stove or oven).

Peace in the Park”

Chester Bowl is founded on their “Peace in the Park” guidelines based on the guiding principle “that everyone has the right to participate in our programs in a safe, peaceful, caring environment where each person is respected. We believe in resolving conflicts without yelling or fighting and being a place where everyone can feel comfortable and safe . . . We expect the people in our programs to welcome each other, watch out for each other and demonstrate caring towards each other.”

Parents Speak

One Chester Bowl parent said, “There are so many wonderful stories to share about Chester Bowl, but they all boil down to one thing: community. Everybody is friends at Chester Bowl, everyone’s a winner at Chester Bowl, and everyone looks out for each other at Chester Bowl. Chester Bowl, and programs like it, strengthen our community and our relationships with one another.”

Aaron R., another parent, stated, “I love so much about Chester, and I'm so grateful for the place, the staff, the people, and the work of the CBIC. I don't know how else to say it, but it is so huge in my heart. If you ever want to watch me get teary, get me started on the kind of community I see there and feel a part of whenever I'm there. I've never seen anything like it, and wish every kid in the world had the chance to grow up in a place like this.”

For more information, call (218) 724-9832 or visit their website at chesterbowl.org

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Elevate Your Story with Story North Productions

Kevin Jacobsen

Elevate Your Story with Story North Productions

Between parenting, business, and life, husband and wife duo Kevin Jacobsen and Annie Harala spend the majority of their time together. But they wouldn’t have it any other way. Together, the couple owns Story North Productions, a Duluth-based, full-service video production company.

Kevin Jacobsen and Annie Harala are co-owners of Story North Productions.

Each spouse brings a unique and vital set of skills to the business. Jacobsen, a former news anchor and news director, provides a keen creative eye, along with most of the technical skills required, including editing, filming, and writing scripts. Harala, meanwhile, has a lengthy background in PR, with significant experience in community organizing.

Melding their talents into creating a video production business simply made sense. “My career, all along, has included helping people feel connected to communities; connected to one another,” Harala said. “And then I met Kevin in 2013, and we really connected over storytelling.”

Jacobsen is always on the hunt for meaningful connections, too. “As a former news anchor, I try to always be attuned to what’s happening,” Jacobsen added. “Storytelling is all around us.”

In marriage, as well as in their work, Jacobsen and Harala rely on one another to fill in what the other lacks. “Having Annie provide an - almost outside set of eyeballs - before I send a video to a client is great,” Jacobsen noted, before adding with a chuckle, “Typically, she’s always right.”


Many locals will recognize Jacobsen as a former news anchor and news director for local news affiliate KBJR. But many people don’t know his interesting life story.

“My parents are from Denmark and moved to the United States in 1982,” he shared. “I’m an only child. I grew up outside of New York City, in the Hudson Valley area.”

Jacobsen initially became interested in journalism in his youth. “There was a giant blizzard in New York in 1996,” he explained. “There was no school, and I was home for the day. I was watching the news and kept flipping back and forth to the Weather Channel. I kind of fell in love with it.”

Later, Jacobsen took a video production and filmmaking course in middle school and eventually created a local TV news magazine. At age 15, he landed an internship with a local TV news station, Regional News Network, and was hired part-time at age 16. His first big break was to interview NBC meteorologist Al Roker and create a news story about Roker’s new book.

Jacobsen attended Lyndon State College in Vermont, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism. He moved to Duluth in 2008, when he was hired at KBJR. There, he worked as an anchor from 2008 – 2016 and was later promoted to news director of CBS3 and KBJR. He served in this role from 2017 to 2021.

Today, Jacobsen maintains dual citizenship between the U.S. and Denmark. “When other kids went to Disneyland, I went to Denmark,” he said. “It’s always been a destination throughout my life.” The couple even enjoyed a belated honeymoon in the country in 2016.

Harala was born and raised right here in Duluth, the daughter of a single, schoolteacher mother. She and her brother were raised near Chester Bowl, and Harala graduated from Duluth Central High School. She later attended St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minnesota, and earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations, with a minor in English.

After moving back to Duluth in 2008, her career took some interesting zigs and zags. “I worked for the Duluth Y, running their AmeriCorps program and managing grants,” she explained. “Then, I worked for the Community Health Board, where I managed grants to support health equity in rural communities. I served on the Duluth School Board from 2018 – 2021, and I worked for Northland Constructors from 2018 – 2021.”

Most recently, Harala was elected to serve as the First District Commissioner for the St. Louis County Board, taking the place of long-time commissioner Frank Jewell, upon his retirement. Her term is scheduled to run through 2025.

Story North Productions

A mutual love of storytelling and making connections led to the creation of Story North Productions, which opened in June 2021. Together, the couple creates corporate overview videos, TV commercials, tourism content, brand stories, and testimonials for their clients.

From their website:

“Story North Productions is a Duluth, Minnesota-based full-service video production company serving Minnesota, Wisconsin and beyond. More than just great video, we are storytelling experts driven by passion, creativity and helping our partners succeed. From concept to the final edit, we specialize in video content that engages and inspires audiences and gets results. The content we produce can be seen on television, websites, social media, and in board rooms.”

Right now, Harala and Jacobsen are the company’s only regular, full-time employees. However, they recently hired their second part-time production assistant (pulled from the Upper Midwest Film Office’s talent pool), and also utilize a variety of part-time independent contractors to create video content. Harala shared that they are pleased to be the only woman-owned video business in the region.

Story North utilizes a variety of types of equipment to do its work. This includes cameras, drones, teleprompters, and a variety of audio and lighting options.

Story North serves mostly businesses, including corporations and non-profits. A few of their well-known local clients include the DECC, Northwoods Children’s Services, Northland Constructors, First Witness Child Advocacy Center, Safe Haven Shelter and Resource Center, Lake Superior College, and Kern and Kompany.


While most of their projects take place in our region, they will also travel. The couple has visited places like Akron, Ohio; Atlanta, Georgia; and the Twin Cities for projects.

Since opening, Story North has been in high demand. Thus far, the business has completed about 150 projects, with many more in various stages of development.

Destination Duluth

Interestingly, one of the first organizations to help Jacobsen promote his work was Destination Duluth. “Kevin started honing his craft through Destination Duluth with his sunrise pictures, and I watched him just ignite with excitement,” Harala said.

Since that time, he has connected and continues to engage with, a variety of other Destination Duluth photographers and videographers. In 2022, Kevin’s photos and videos featured on Destination Duluth’s Facebook and Instagram pages had over 200,000 views.

Exciting News

Story North Productions has been a successful endeavor thus far. It recently pivoted from a home-based, virtual business to having a dedicated office. Today, Story North can be found on the 7th floor of the Dewitt-Seitz Marketplace building, located in Canal Park.

Jacobsen and Harala also shared that they are excited to roll out a brand-new initiative: their Video FAQ Toolkit. “Usually, corporate FAQs are in text format, but we are helping companies create them in video format,” Jacobsen explained. “This will really help boost their marketing.”


In addition to their professional endeavors, both Harala and Jacobsen have served on a variety of local Boards over the years.

The couple also recently celebrated expanding their family: they went from zero to four children in a matter of months. They now have custody of two teenagers and are fostering to adopt two young children. “We have quite a unique family,” Harala noted.

The couple also have a mixed-breed dog, Rory, and a cat named Misse, which is Danish for “kitty.” The family lives in Duluth’s hillside neighborhood.

In their spare time, the couple loves to spend time together and as a family. “We love time by Lake Superior – throwing rocks, and just being tourists in our own backyard,” Harala said.

They enjoy attending a variety of local events, including Bentleyville, Duluth-Superior Pride, Juneteenth, and more. A perfect evening would include watching ships in the harbor from the vantage point of the Boat Club’s outdoor patio; preferably with a delicious cocktail in hand.

Small Business Pride

Jacobsen and Harala have much to be proud of with their new business, which they have built from the ground up. “I’m most proud of our grit,” Harala said. “It wasn’t easy to jump in, but it’s led to some really great stories being told. And I’m really proud that we can do this together.”

“I’m so proud of the work we do,” Jacobsen added. “And, the fact that our clients refer us to others via word of mouth. The work speaks for itself, and we really enjoy helping businesses tell their stories.”

Ultimately, Story North has some concrete goals in mind. “We want to continue building strong relationships with our clients and telling stories that are compelling and unique,” Harala said. “And maybe we’ll even create a documentary or two someday.”

“We want to keep our business on the smaller side, but we want to get better at what we do,” Jacobsen added. “Mostly, we want to continue to be a good partner from beginning to end.”

To learn more, please visit storynorthproductions.com.

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Radisson's iconic revolving restaurant gets a 1960's makeover. 

Corbyn Jenkins

Apostle Supper Club
Cuisine with 360° Duluth Views

The best view of Duluth's harbor and hillside has made the Radisson's restaurant a Duluth destination for over 50 years. Photo by Corbyn Jenkins

At the Apostle Supper Club, perched at the very top of Duluth’s Radisson hotel, it’s tough to say which is the bigger star of the show: the food or the views.

Featuring menu items like cheese fondue, chicken fried lobster, fillet mignon, beer steamed mussels and good old-fashioned fish fry, the Apostle describes its menu as “A place where classic dishes are deconstructed and reimagined with a sense of comfort and adventure.”

And, the views are simply extraordinary. The entire restaurant rotates 360 degrees, providing stunning views of Duluth’s harbor and hillside.

The Apostle is intended to look like a late 1960’s era, Palm Springs supper club. “It’s a mid-century modern restaurant, based off a Palm Springs supper club. The Radisson was built in the 1970, and we wanted to embrace that architecture,” co-owner Brian Ingram explained. The restaurant is painted in bright, vibrant colors – mangoes and blues – and every piece of furniture was custom-made for the space.

The restaurant decor is similar to when the Radisson opened in 1970. Photo by Corbyn Jenkins

“The restaurant sits on a giant, rotating floor,” explained Brian. “It’s kind of like a mechanical lazy Susan. We can speed it up or slow it down, but one full rotation takes about an hour.”

Ingram co-owns the Apostle – which opened in January 2022 - with his wife, Sarah Ingram. There are actually a total of eight establishments, mostly in the Twin Cities metro area, all under the umbrella of “Purpose Restaurants.” (More on this entity later).

While Brian is the owner of Purpose Restaurants, Sarah is the founder/president of another of the couple’s initiatives, Give Hope MN, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Purpose Restaurants donates 3% of total sales to Give Hope MN to help address food insecurity.

For the Ingrams, giving back to the communities they serve is a big part of what they do.


Duluth’s Apostle Supper Club serves breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner.

False Eyedoll Tiki Lounge is on the first floor and is open from 4-10 pm most days, offering dinner and late-night snacks.

The Apostle’s cuisine is on the finer side, featuring items like steaks, seafood, and lamb. “We like to do a modern take on traditional supper club food,” Brian shared.

The Apostle Supper Club offers fine dining in a stunning Duluth setting. Photo by Corbyn Jenkins.

“A lot of supper clubs would have lobster; we just do lobster in a fun way. We serve chicken fried lobster that is hand-breaded lobster tail with tempura batter, served with melted chive butter and Hollandaise sauce. It’s food people are familiar with; just served in a unique way.”

False Eyedoll, Brian shared, offers “More approachable food – burgers, chicken wings, things like that.” Both establishments offer a variety of beer, wine, and unique cocktails to suit every palate.


Sarah Ingram is a lifelong Minnesotan who grew up in Dayton. Brian grew up in Alaska. Both husband and wife enjoy shared passions for the culinary arts, along with helping the less fortunate.

Brian and Sarah Ingram, owners of the Apostle Supper Club. Photo by Corbyn Jenkins

Brian got his start at his aunt and uncle’s establishment, Flip’s Flyin’ Coffee Shop, located in Homer, Alaska. “I grew up cooking for family and friends and it became my passion,” he explained. He earned a culinary certification from the Anchorage Career Center while still in high school.

From there, Brian moved to San Francisco, where he worked for Skates on the Bay – a restaurant known for its fresh seafood. He later worked as a chef for many well-known companies, including MGM Resorts, Brinker International (owner of Chili’s, Maggiano’s Little Italy, and others), and helped open restaurants in places like Paris and Singapore.

Sarah attended culinary school for a time, and also earned a cosmetology degree. In addition to her work with Purpose Restaurants and Give Hope MN, she also does hair and makeup for weddings and other special events. She is passionate about helping others; and in particular, men and women who are victims of sex trafficking.

The couple met in 2012 when they were both working at New Bohemia – a craft beer and sausage bar - in northeast Minneapolis. The Ingrams currently live in St. Paul.

Purpose Restaurants

In 2019, Brian Ingram started Purpose Restaurants. On their website, the Ingrams share, “Because we believe everything good starts with a meal, we founded Purpose Restaurants, and our non-profit organization, Give Hope MN. The mission of Give Hope MN is to bring the community together to provide support and serve those in need.” As noted, Give Hope MN donates 3% of total sales to address food insecurity.

Today, just three short years later, Purpose Restaurants includes eight establishments:

  • Hope Breakfast Bar - in St. Paul and St. Louis Park
  • The Gnome Craft Pub in St. Paul
  • Hope Express at Gillette Children’s Hospital
  • Apostle Supper Club - in St. Paul and Duluth
  • False Eyedoll Tiki Lounge - in Duluth (on the first floor of the Radisson) and St. Paul.

A few other Purpose establishments are being planned right now, with more details to be announced soon.

Personal Interests

As noted, the Ingrams currently live in St. Paul. But one of their goals is to purchase a home in Duluth. “We keep talking about moving to Duluth,” Brian said. “We both love skiing and we have a boat.”

The couple are also adventurous “foodie travelers.” Their adventures have included many international locales. And Brian visits Turkey about every 90 days, where he volunteers at the Gospel Culture Café. Together, the Ingrams have a blended family, which includes son Ethan (20), daughter Maya (19), son Banks (2), and two cats, Frenchie and Rizzo.

The Ingrams are both passionate about giving back. Sarah remains deeply committed to helping victims of sex trafficking. And Brian serves on the Board of Directors for the Children’s Hospital Association.

Together, the couple, through Give Hope MN, fed people through the COVID-19 pandemic at their Hope Breakfast Bar. They also set up a small grocery store and community kitchen in the Twin Cities to help address food insecurity.


Looking ahead, the Ingrams are excited to plant deeper roots in Duluth. “We want to get embedded in the community, and would like to find our niche, having students learning the culinary craft from us,” Brian said. “We also want to work with teens battling homelessness.

“Another thing we want to look into is how we can get more intentional with buying local ingredients and learning more about local farmer’s markets,” he added.

The couple loves Duluth; for Brian, it reminds him of home. “Seeing all the people converge on Duluth and the waterway reminds me of Homer, Alaska,” Brian said. Our favorite parts of Duluth are just walking downtown and people-watching.”


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2022 Contributing Photographers Honored

Matthew Moses

The 3rd Annual Celebration of Photographers was held at the Great Lakes Aquarium.

Photos By Matthew Moses

In a humid, dimly-lit setting, amongst ducks, fish, snakes, and many other species of cool critters who thrive in these conditions, Destination Duluth honored and recognized its beloved content creators with its 3rd annual Celebration of Photographers. The event took place Monday, January 16th, 2023, at Duluth’s Great Lakes Aquarium.

Great Lakes Aquarium St Louis River room.

The program was designed to honor and award 80 of the 300 featured photographers in 2022 who achieved more than 100,000 views of their images.

Photographers with 100k to 1 million received an award certificate folder that included a Duluth/Lake Superior sticker created by SJ Nielsen.

Lake Superior/Duluth sticker by SJ Nielsen was given to photographers achieving 100k-1m views.

Photographers who had over a million views of their images were given “Top Photographer” awards including the last of Nielsen’s Duluth Alphabet print.

Artist SJ Nielsen holds her best-selling Duluth Alphabet, which was retired at the end of 2022. Top photographers were given the last remaining prints. Learn more about Nielsen here.

In attendance were Destination Duluth’s photographers, staff, and Board of Directors, along with their guests. Destination Duluth’s sustaining partners were also well-represented at the event.

Jay Walker, the Aquarium’s Executive Director, kicked off the evening by welcoming guests with opening remarks. Walker also had the privilege of drawing a guest ticket for the evening’s first door prize – a long-sleeved Aquarium t-shirt and free passes to the aquarium.

Jay Walker, Executive Director of the Great Lakes Aquarium welcomes guests.

Several other prizes were given out through the evening, too, with the grand prize being a stay at the South Pier Inn.

Purpose and Vision

Throughout the course of the evening, the event successfully honored DD photographers, while also providing a refresher on DD’s purpose and vision.

“Our purpose is to educate and inspire people about the quality of place of Duluth, thereby shaping the city and region’s positive growth,” noted DD Managing Director, Jerry Thoreson, who stressed the organization’s mission of inspiring people to #befromDuluth.

Referring to DD’s content creators and the photos they enthusiastically share, Thoreson added, “A picture is worth 1,000 people, and they are coming here – in droves.”

Thoreson also reiterated DD’s core values, which include intentionality, positivity, and genuineness.

The evening was led by Jerry Thoreson, Managing Director of Destination Duluth.

Event Details

Before the celebration even began, photographers were given a unique opportunity to nab some highly unique content for their portfolios; the Aquarium opened its doors early for guests who wanted to participate in an optional “photomeet.” For two hours, guests were allowed to roam freely around the Aquarium, exploring and snapping photos of the exhibits.

A social hour was provided from 5:30 – 6:00 pm, followed by a delicious Italian dinner catered by Valentini’s, a staple in the Northland since 1934. The night concluded with the evening’s formal program, held in the Aquarium’s St. Louis River Space.

Award-Winning Photographers

David Schauer received Top Photographer honors with over 4 million views of his work which centers on ships that sail the Great Lakes.

Sandi Larson who captures images of her daily hikes is the founder and director of Hike Duluth.

Local physician Stephanie Irwin earned Top Photographer ranking with 1.3 million views of her photos.

Adam Bjornberg, who moved to Duluth during the pandemic has quickly become a Top Photographer.

New to DD in 2022, Brian T Johnson lives in the cities, comes to the North Shore often to capture its beauty.

Best-selling author of the book "The Twenty-Ninth Day", Alex Messenger is also a skilled photographer.

Special Guests

As noted, a variety of guests were in attendance, including over 100 photographers and DD’s Board of Directors. With some recent personnel changes, the Board now consists of member and DD co-founder, Branden Robinson, along with Beau Walsh; Dennis O’Hara; Jane Pederson Jandl; and Thoreson.

Additionally, several of DD’s sustaining partners were represented and thanked, including:

  • Great Lakes Aquarium
  • Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra
  • Lake Superior Railroad Museum
  • Grandma’s Marathon
  • Duluth Playhouse
  • Lake Superior Zoo
  • North Shore Explorer MN
  • North Shore Scenic Railroad
  • Visit Duluth
  • North Shore Explorer MN
  • DECC


Throughout the evening, Thoreson provided some striking 2022 statistics.

  • 246,000 followers on the DD Facebook and Instagram pages
  • 6,000 posts featured over 300 photographers
  • A record-shattering 91 MILLION views of DD content (an average of 250k a day)
  • An additional 7 million impressions were recorded by Visit Duluth from shared DD content


Co-founder Branden Robinson shared the results from the recently completed survey of DD followers. Of the 579 respondents:

  • 80% live outside of the 50-mile region of Duluth
  • 63% of those who have visited stated DD was influential in their decision to visit Duluth
  • 21% of those who have relocated to the region stated DD influenced their decision.


While statistics are great, the true purpose of the event was to honor and thank DD’s dedicated photographers, who wake up incredibly early, stay up late, and put themselves in some pretty precarious positions to capture the perfect shot.

These artists capture the quality of place offered to those who choose to #befromDuluth.


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