Midwest Nest Magazine

Midwest Nest Magazine

Culture, Entertaining, Home Design, Fargo, Interior Design, DIY

Category: Business

Setting a Higher Standard

[ A&B Window Cleaning, Fargo ] Story by Tracy Nicholson / Portrait photography by J. Alan Paul Photography, additional project photos provided by A&M Window Cleaning and Essentia Health When…

[ A&B Window Cleaning, Fargo ]

Story by Tracy Nicholson / Portrait photography by J. Alan Paul Photography, additional project photos provided by A&M Window Cleaning and Essentia Health


When we say A&B Window Cleaning works with some of the biggest businesses in town, we mean it, literally. Scan your eye across the horizon and you’ll see plenty of commercial buildings scraping the sky. Ever wonder who’s fearless enough to tackle the window cleaning? This month, Midwest Nest is proud to introduce you to the A&B Window Cleaning team, a family-owned business that takes pride in scaling some of the area’s most vertically-challenging homes and businesses.

Elevating the Family Business

From its first day in 1997, A&B Window Cleaning has relied on the integrity of one hard-working couple; Barb and Tony Hampson. With a borrowed truck and a handful of basic cleaning tools, the two started from the ground up and set their sights higher with every passing year.

Two years ago, after the Hampsons retired, their children Amy Johnson and AJ Hampson stepped in to take over the business, carrying on their family tradition of hard work, integrity and innovation. Tito Santoya joined the close-knit team nearly five years ago and Corey Janes has been with them for the past eight months. Each team member is properly trained and capable of handling any aspect of their job. Whether it’s a bone-chilling 20 below or sweltering 95 degrees, you can bet they’ll be there with a smile.


Residential: Speedy & Streamlined

While they’re well known for technique and quality, A&B Window Cleaning is also known for speed. When it comes to the typical residential property, they take a streamlined and skilled approach, spending mere minutes at each property. Working as a team, they can properly manage cleanings on anywhere from 8 to 15 houses a day. “Some companies will send one guy and he’ll be there all day, whereas we’ll bring a team; we get in and get out, so people can move on and enjoy their day,” said Amy Johnson. A&B does both interior and exterior windows, making sure to get every inch, from the sills to the screens.

Reaching the Unreachable: Windows, Lighting & Bulbs

Construction is booming, and while modern design is leaning toward architectural lighting and window placements, the homeowner is often ill-prepared to manage the upkeep. To reach windows and lighting 20 to 30 feet high, A&B relies on a lift to safely navigate the cleanings and will even change out lightbulbs. This is a sought-after service that cleaning companies can’t typically offer.

“A lot of people, especially in really nice homes, rightfully get nervous when you bring a 20-foot ladder inside, especially around family heirlooms, pianos and furnishings. We go above and beyond to respect and protect their homes and family; our number one goal is to bring high quality and high safety to their residence,” said AJ Hampson. 


Commercial: Scaling the Skylines

If you’re a fan of extreme sports, the team at A&B does not disappoint. They are often seen rappelling down the side of our region’s tallest buildings. Rest assured, they carry the highest OSHA standard and high-rise training with aerial platform certifications; they even have their own OSHA consultant. For some of the more vertically challenging windows, the team relies on a Bosun chair and a rolling outrigger beam that sits on the roof. This is a portable system so it can be moved side to side as they work.   


Architectural Endeavors: Essentia Health


One of the architectural obstacles that their team has adapted to, is the interior spiral within Essentia’s 32nd Avenue hospital. “We knew no one in the area had the capability to do it, so we custom-built a rig that would allow us to descend down the spiral,” explained AJ Hampson. “We do a lot of things like this throughout the area and finding solutions for each business or home is what makes us so unique.” 

“Architecture is either our friend or nemesis,” said AJ Hampson. “With the new Sanford and the Essentia hospitals, these architects are pushing boundaries. Thankfully, we’ve been able to be involved in the architectural process of these buildings for OSHA standards; we teamed up to at least point them in the right direction. We’re very involved in our community as far as builders and contractors, and that sets us apart in our craft.” 

Superheroes by Day
Last month, the A&B Window Cleaning team transformed into superheroes and descended from the top of the new Sanford Medical Center in South Fargo. Afterward, they paid a visit to patients at Sanford Children’s Hospital. “It really tugs at the heartstrings,” said Amy Johnson. “We take great pride in being involved with this and we feel it is such a great event that lifts the spirits of so many. Any way we can come together for good, we are always in!”

The Pursuit of Perfection
For some commercial buildings and residential properties, they might be able to keep their feet on the ground, but their skills and strength are still put to the test. “When you have 30-foot poles in the air, it takes a completely different technique than just working with 10-foot windows in front of you,” said AJ Hampson.
In their nearly 23-years in business, the family has come to realize that easier doesn’t mean better. “We see many companies using water-fed poles because it’s easy, but we still rely on the old-school techniques; there’s a little extra elbow grease, but we can get a much higher quality clean,” said AJ Hampson. While the company has evolved its services and technique over the years, there’s one sentiment that remains the same; take the time to do the job right. “We want our clients to remember us for the quality of our work and know that we will always go the extra mile,” said AJ Hampson.

One Strong Family
Like all families who work together, the Hampsons have their trying days, but they’re always outnumbered by the good ones. “We get busy and it can get stressful, but we talk it out at the end of the day and it’s all good,” laughed Barb Hampson. “Tony taught everyone well; do a good job and have fun doing it.” 

“Half of us are military and we’re all into fitness; Corey, Amy and I, have all competed in bodybuilding competitions. We take care of ourselves which helps us offer trade services at the highest level possible,” said AJ Hampson. “At the end of the day, we could easily hire 10 more employees, but we’re a close-knit team, so I know I can count on everyone to get the job done properly, respectfully, and the customer’s always going to be happy.”

For more information, contact:
A&B Window Cleaning, LLC.
528 13th Street Northeast, West Fargo
701.261.0494 
aandbwindowcleaning.comaj@aandbwindowcleaning.comamy@aandbwindowcleaning.com

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Next Stop: Brewhalla’s Open Doors

[Midland Door Solutions & the Transformation of Drekker Brewing Company]Story by Jenessa McAllister / Photography by J. Alan Paul Photography, with additional images by Ironclad Marketing Conversations buzz and beer…

[Midland Door Solutions & the Transformation of Drekker Brewing Company]

Story by Jenessa McAllister / Photography by J. Alan Paul Photography, with additional images by Ironclad Marketing

Conversations buzz and beer flows from the tap. In the distance, a train roars past. The train’s presence is subtle and fleeting, but not lacking significance. After all, the building that’s now home to a brewery and taproom spent its early years as a locomotive maintenance facility. Brewhalla is one of Fargo’s finest breweries, and it’s located in a building that’s older than the state itself. Named in honor of their Scandinavian heritage, the team at Drekker Brewing Company opened Brewhalla, its second location, in September 2018. With features heavily influenced by the building’s history and an entrance flanked with sizeable picturesque custom doors, the structure now appears breathtaking and effortless, but the road getting there was anything but.
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From Trains to Beer

The Northern Pacific Railway Company (NPRC) built the 11,700-square-foot building that houses Brewhalla in 1883. It was primarily a foundry and repair building for railcars and locomotives, and later served as a storage and warehouse facility. When Kevin Bartram of MBA Architects purchased the abandoned building, he had a vision in mind. “Kevin always knew he wanted to make this his home and live in the north end of the building,” said Darin Montplaisir, one of Drekker’s four co-founders. “He had envisioned a brewery in the other half of the building, so he approached us and we jumped on the opportunity.”

With one Drekker location already established in downtown Fargo, a second location less than a mile away was a no-brainer. “We were running out of space downtown,” Montplaisir said. “It was perfect timing. And we had always thought that building would make an awesome brewery. Everything about it is so unique, and we knew we wanted to move in.”

Out with the Old, in with the… Old

Keeping the natural, original elements was one of the key goals of MBA Architects and the Drekker team when they started design in the summer of 2017. Brewhalla’s structure is built with masonry load-bearing walls and a timber wood-framed roof structure. Besides adding necessary structural reinforcements, most of the wood and brick in the building is original. “We were surprised by how much the engineers let us keep,” Montplaisir said. “It was important to us to keep the building as close to original as possible. We love that about it.”

Part of the restoration process was finding new uses for old elements of the building. Some of the original nuts and bolts were used in installing the new wood pieces, and the taproom tables are made from extra wood from the building. Outside, a repurposed footing now serves as a bench beside the fire pit. Even the skylights, which line the roof of the building, have an old purpose: they served as smoke shoots for the train exhaust. Old train tracks that were discovered below layers of concrete will be used in a future fixture in the taproom.

“People ask us, ‘How’d you get it to look like that?’ about a lot of things,” Montplaisir said. “And they can’t believe it when we tell them that’s the original.” Authenticity played a key role in the restoration of Brewhalla. That’s why, when it came to the building’s doors, MBA Architects knew exactly who to call.

A Trio of Showstopping Entrances

In its early days, trains entered the maintenance building through one of the three large doors along the east side of the building. The openings are now fitted with three custom-designed doors that each serves a different purpose. 

The middle door is a standard customer entrance door. The doors on either side of the patron entrance required a fully custom solution and were designed and installed by Midland Door Solutions. The West Fargo-based company specializes in custom hydraulic and bi-fold doors. In addition to architecture and design, they create and install doors for the aviation, industrial and agricultural industries. Customized solutions are Midland’s specialty, so Brewhalla was a perfect fit for their next undertaking. 

MBA worked with Midland to create a truly beautiful set of oversized doors. They each measure 12 feet wide by 16 feet tall and weigh 2,300 pounds. After several discussions between the architect and structural engineer, the team at Midland proposed a design to MBA and Drekker. They mirrored the pattern and elements of the main entrance door. Heavy, dark lines contrast the windowpanes and pop against the light brick building.

“Unique applications like this allow us to showcase our creativity,” said Jason Myrvik, Midland Door Solutions general manager. “We were excited to take on a local project and work with the customer to create the look and feel they were striving for.” MBA Architects’ team had seen photos of other Midland custom doors and knew they’d be a good fit for the unique situation. “We performed historical research and found drawings of similar doors in other NPRC buildings,” said James Monson, architect at MBA Architects. “However, we wanted the benefits of modern technologies.”

“The goal was to mimic the contour of the arches on the openings and custom windows in the middle arch,” Myrvik said. “So we ensured our glass followed the curvature of the arch. We utilized aluminum grids embedded in the glass to create the same look as the mullions in the windows. This helped create a cohesive look for all three sections.”

The southern door is a vertical bi-fold door that serves as a shipping and receiving entrance. It’s made with heavy-gauge steel tubing and has a fully automated operating system. The doors open and close quietly in seconds, a critical necessity when the doors are used throughout the day while customers are present. Forklifts bring loads of supplies, beer and trash through the doors upwards of 10 times per hour.

The door on the north side of the building is also a vertical bi-fold but operates manually with a pin and latch system. The handles inside the doors make it easy for one person to manually open them. The north side of Brewhalla features a patio area with outdoor seating and a parking area for food trucks, which makes the large opening ideal. “We plan on having the door open during warm summer nights,” Montplaisir said. “Being able to walk back and forth from the firepit to the bar will be convenient when the weather is nice.” Alternatively, both doors have a weathertight seal to help to combat the cold North Dakota winter weather. 


A Truly Custom Solution

When it comes to working with the structure of an old building, symmetry is never guaranteed. The settling and shifting of a building over time posed challenges for the contractors installing new pieces into an old building. “They had a hard time framing everything in here,” Montplaisir said. “We have a big cooler in the back that doesn’t sit up against the wall. The bottom of the cooler is 10 inches away from the wall and the top of the cooler is touching the wall. Everything in the building is a little crooked.”

The arches for the door aren’t symmetric, either, meaning the team at Midland had to precisely measure each door to ensure the perfect fit. Because the building is constructed out of uneven brick, the team had to laser measure the arches incrementally across the opening. They then had to lay out the measurements in modeling software, average out the dimensions and create symmetric-looking doors.

“Not only were the walls not perfectly straight, but we were attaching large heavy doors to the structure,” Myrvik said. “The building wasn’t built for the weight of these doors. The wall was angled in and not structurally capable to handle the doors. The structural engineer designed support columns that ran from the floor to the roof truss. We then anchored our frame to the supports.” After measuring and manufacturing the doors, delivery and installation took only a couple of days. Each of the two doors took a team of two men and roughly 16 hours to install. From there, they tested the mechanical components and performed operational tests on the doors. 

Equally eye-catching and conventional

When people enter the parking lot of Brewhalla, their awe is visible. “They get out of their cars and you can see them say ‘wow,’” Montplaisir said. “That’s one of our continuing goals: to keep people saying ‘wow.’” And they do. Customers are able to enjoy their beer and conversation, looking around the taproom with wide eyes. And while they won’t be interrupted by the sounds of opening and closing delivery doors, they may occasionally hear a passing train.

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About Midland Door Solutions

Midland Door Solutions is a full-service door manufacturer that designs, builds and installs custom bi-fold and hydraulic doors for agriculture, aviation and commercial buildings, and custom designed doors for architectural plans for home and commercial uses. For nearly 25 years, it has provided customers with durable, high-quality doors and unparalleled customer service. Midland Door Solutions is a sister company to Midland Garage Door Manufacturing Company, West Fargo, North Dakota, a garage door manufacturer that has been delivering garage door solutions to homeowners since 1975. 

For more information, contact:
Midland Door Solutions
1021 7th Street N.E., West Fargo
1.800.921.7008
info@midlanddoorsolutions.com
midlanddoorsolutions.com

Drekker Brewing Company
1666 1st Avenue North, Fargo
701.532.0506
drekkerbrewing.com

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A Very Vintage Christmas

Story by Tracy Nicholson with The White House Co. Photography by The White House Co. When winter’s in the air and tinsel’s on the town, it’s time to spruce up…

Story by Tracy Nicholson with The White House Co.
Photography by The White House Co.

When winter’s in the air and tinsel’s on the town, it’s time to spruce up your tree and everything else around. Ask Santa for a little help and wait till Christmas day…or take your sleigh downtown now, and see what The White House Co. elves have on display. With an eclectic mix of vintage and modern goodies, these holiday collages will inspire hot cocoa and fuzzy footies. Katie Schiltz, Samantha Klinkhammer and Amanda Rydell – they’re the brains behind the design, so if you want to replicate their wintry scenes, they said, “It’s more than fine.” Go ahead, deck the kitchen, family room and hall, and don’t forget…find festive presents for all!

Ho ho ho, Santa baby! An easy way to add red into your Christmas décor without going overboard. Just looking at this jolly little fella can put a smile on anyone’s face. Popular vintage styles like this retro Santa can be found inside The White House Co.

Not a creature was stirring not even a mouse. Not every bulb has to be shiny and bright.  Add these little creatures to your décor for a playful setting that everyone is sure to fall in love with.

“At Christmas, all roads lead to home.” – Marjorie Holmes.
Cozy, winter scene paint by numbers is a sure way to add that wintry touch without bringing the snow inside. It’s an easy way to mix your vintage collection in with your modern-day ornaments.

Conversation starters…whimsical décor outside of the norm creates a focal point leaving your guests with something to talk about. Who doesn’t need an eye ornament for their Christmas tree?

Tinsel, shiny lights, bottle brush trees, darling little deer and chubby rosy-cheeked Santas…oh my! These are a few of our favorite things.

Ornaments plus more ornaments…you can never have too many. Every ornament holds a story and memory, creating that family tradition where everyone has their favorites to hang on the tree. Mixing vintage and modern, you can never go wrong. {$2-$12 at The White House Co.}

From butterflies to shiny bulbs, anything can serve as a decoration for the tree. Being creative and thinking outside the box is one of our favorite secrets for designing the perfect tree.

Garland plays the role of a rug and creates the whole theme of the tree. Layers are the key and don’t be afraid to mix and match. After all, Christmas comes but once a year. Go big or go home, we say!

Merry Junking!

xo The White House Girls
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For more information, contact:
The White House Co. | Shop + Vintage Rentals
701.552.9881
thewhitehouseco.com

Retail Location:

14 Roberts Street North, Fargo |  Open Thursday – Saturday 10 A.M – 6 P.M.

Warehouse Location:
910 Main Ave, Fargo | Open by Appointment

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Cookies & Cocktails [Chef Judd Eskildsen, Proof Artisan Distillers]

Story by Tracy Nicholson Photography by Micah J. Zimmerman Meet Chef Judd Eskildsen of Downtown Fargo’s Proof Artisan Distillers. Just beyond his kitchen, you’ll find an array of nationally-awarded vodka,…

Story by Tracy Nicholson
Photography by Micah J. Zimmerman

Meet Chef Judd Eskildsen of Downtown Fargo’s Proof Artisan Distillers. Just beyond his kitchen, you’ll find an array of nationally-awarded vodka, gin and whiskey; proudly-produced from North Dakota agricultural products, and distilled daily. Those who visit Proof – The Tasting Room, would be remiss to overlook his spirited pairings. With a wide range of seasonal flavors, gracing fresh seafood, beef, pork and chicken, Eskildsen knows how to spin native ingredients with extraordinary flavors. This is a hands-on, foodie experience with spiked seasonings, distilled from scratch – only a few feet from the kitchen.

Pairing Cookies + Cocktails
Asking this master of meat to bake a holiday treat may have seemed like a stretch, but we promise, you’ll love his bacon, chocolate and peanut butter cup cookies. If that’s not enough, he served up one of his specialty entrees and taught us how to concoct a tasty Tipsy Mocha. This is one holiday menu that will bring the Christmas cheer, one perfectly-aged barrel at a time.

From the Chef: Judd Eskildsen
“I absolutely love cookies, but they have to be soft. Since I was asked to share a family cookie recipe or one of my favorites, I mixed it up a bit. I love chocolate chip cookies, but there are a million recipes for them. I also really love my Grandma Arlos’ molasses cookies, but I’m a chef, so I went ahead and created an over the top, one of a kind cookie – because it’s not every day that you get your picture taken for a magazine!”

Chocolate, Bacon & Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
1 – lb. bacon (chopped) – cooked until done, but not extra crispy
2 – c. flour
3⁄4 – c. cocoa powder
1⁄2 – tsp. baking soda
1⁄2 – c. softened butter
1 – c. brown sugar
1⁄4 – c. white sugar
3 – eggs
1 – tsp vanilla
14 oz. package mini peanut butter cups
1⁄2 – c. semisweet chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder and baking soda.
-Add butter, brown sugar and white sugar to a stand mixer, and mix with wire whip.
-Add eggs and vanilla to mixer and mix until smooth.
-Slowly add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl, and mix until a dough is formed.
-Switch to the paddle attachment, and slowly add peanut butter cups and bacon.
– Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes -Scoop dough and place on a greased cookie sheet, using a 1.25 oz scoop (#40).
Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack immediately.
Note: Cookies will not appear to be fully done, but they will continue cooking during the cool-down.
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The Tipsy Mocha1⁄2 oz. 2 Docks Vodka
1⁄2 oz. 2 Docks Cream Liqueur
1 oz. 2 Docks Coffee Liqueur
6 oz. hot Cocoa or Warm Chocolate Milk

Add all ingredients to a coffee mug, top with whipped cream and garnish as needed. I used crushed, chocolate mint-covered pretzels from Costco.

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The Tasting Room Menu
Eskildsen’s seasonally-changing menu is an eclectic mix of comfort food, elevated bar food and fine dining. His emphasis features fan favorites; from smoked and braised briskets to Southwest, steaks, sliders, authentic Italian pasta sauces and artisan burgers. Throw in his Chicken Wings Confit from the Shareables menu, ask him to pair it with the perfect cocktail, and you’ll likely knock out every possible craving.Chef Judd Eskildsen creates a bi-weekly Chef’s Feature dish that gives him the opportunity to get creative. A recent Chef’s Feature, the Manhattan Filet with Langostino Lobster, Vermouth Sauce, Aged Gouda Potato Rosti with Sautéed Asparagus, was paired with The Chef’s Shifter.“I like the idea of ‘elevated bar food’ when it comes to appetizers,” said Eskildsen. “We all love a great dish like the Steak with Langostino Lobster and Vermouth Sauce, but who doesn’t like chicken wings? You really can’t beat a damn good sandwich either, and if you don’t like tacos, we probably shouldn’t be friends anymore. I’m usually very humble about my food, but I have a hard time believing that there is a better chicken wing than mine. There may be better sauces out there, but not a better wing. I haven’t found a decent way to dip a wing, so that led to the creation of Buffalo & Bleu…why not mix it in right away, and skip the dipping part?”

Local Favorites in the Tasting Room

BBQ Beef Burnt Ends – Hickory smoked brisket with crispy onion and honey mustard aioli
Chicken Wings Confit – BBQ, Buffalo & Bleu, or Sambal Chili
Tacos – Braised beef, Mojo pork, Salsa verde chicken, BBQ pork

“I’m very confident in my BBQ abilities because of the amount of time I’ve spent working on them. Any time you see my name and BBQ, I highly urge you to be a part of it.”
Chef Judd (Justin) Eskildsen, Proof Artisan Distillers
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Chef’s Shifter

1⁄2 oz. Glen Fargo American Malt Whiskey 1⁄2 oz Minions Old Tom Gin
1⁄2 oz. Sweet Vermouth
1⁄4 oz. Grand Marnier
1⁄4 oz. Maraschino Liqueur

Stir over ice for 30 seconds and strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube and an orange peel garnish._______________________________________

Crooked Stocking Stuffers

Gift the host, stuff the stocking or brighten up your holiday party with Proof’s newest spirit, Crooked Furrow Bourbon Whiskey. Swing by their downtown distillery and create your own two or three-pack gift box with their hand-crafted collection including: 2DOCKS Vodka, 2DOCKS FirebyProof Cinnamon Whiskey, 2DOCKS Coffee and 2DOCKS Cream Liqueur, MINIONS Gin, MINIONS BARRELED RESERVE Gin, MINIONS OLD TOM Gin, MINIONS Vän Skap Aquavit, Glen Fargo – American Malt Whiskey or CROOKED FURROW Bourbon, and Harvest Blend-Blended Bourbon. You can also find their products at nearly 600 liquor stores, bars and restaurants throughout North Dakota and Minnesota.

Proof’s new Crooked Furrow Bourbon Whiskey was distilled and barreled three years ago. It has finally reached the age they’d been patiently waiting for. “The one thing about whiskey is, whiskey is not good until it is good, and there’s really no in between,” said Joel Kath, Proof’s founder and distiller. “Our initial limited release will expand to bar and liquor store shelves by January. However, we are not releasing all of the barrels at three-years; otherwise, we would never get any six, 10 or 15-year-old whiskey.”

One Batch at a Time

Kath takes pride in using locally sourced ingredients; North Dakota-grown corn and barley as well as oak barrels from Minnesota. “Our whiskey production is “one batch, one barrel” – and we patiently monitor it until it’s ready,” said Kath. “We’ve won over 20 national awards across our entire line of spirits and just made the cover of the premier trade journal for North America Distillers. One of four selected this year, out of 1,800 craft distilleries – right here in Fargo. We are all about the passion of the spirit; crafting quality spirits from local products. You can find our products at your favorite bar, restaurant and liquor store.”

Interested in a tour of the distillery? Kath suggests stopping in during happy hour on Wednesdays and Thursdays or calling ahead to schedule a group tour. If you’re interested in attending a seminar or special pairing dinner, follow them on social media for upcoming dates.

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Meet the Chef: Judd (Justin) Eskildsen
Eskildsen was born and raised in Moorhead, Minn., and has been the Executive Chef at Proof Artisan Distillers since 2015. Although he has no formal training, he started young in his mom’s kitchen and has worked in restaurants since he was 15-years-old. Once having plans to go to culinary school, he instead took on an eight-year career as a welder. With nights and weekend off, Eskildsen used his spare time to pursue his long-time passion, eventually purchasing a smoker which dove him deeper into the art of BBQ.Realizing he needed to pursue his true passion further, Eskildsen headed back to the kitchen, working in some of the best restaurants in Fargo-Moorhead. In the summer of 2015, he was asked to create a cocktail party-style dinner featuring Proof’s products. His debut, as a chef who could master pairings, would become the catalyst for a new career in the kitchen of Proof’s Fargo distillery. Many would agree that Eskildsen’s culinary career has been aged to perfection.

For more information, contact:
Proof Artisan Distillers, LLC
Judd Eskildsen, Executive Chef

315 North 5th Street #100, Fargo

218.979.1010
Judd@proofdistillers.com

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Take a Tour! [Dietrich Homes]

Photography courtesy of Tara Swanson, Hatch Realty If you missed out on our One-Year Anniversary Party and Design Challenge at this West Fargo dream home, here’s your chance to tour…

Photography courtesy of Tara Swanson, Hatch Realty

If you missed out on our One-Year Anniversary Party and Design Challenge at this West Fargo dream home, here’s your chance to tour the beautiful Inspired model home by Dietrich Homes. With a floor plan providing party perfection, vaulted ceilings, and a 180-degree scenic view of the pond, this model had guests feeling right at home. Since it’s difficult to see the finer details through the crowd, we decided to share a peek inside…but this time, without the guests.

Dietrich Homes – Inspired Model Stats:
6 bedrooms, 3.5 baths
3 fireplaces
5,951 square feet

Main Floor Masterpiece

This family home is currently on the market and features over 5,951 square feet including quarter-sawn white oak hardwood floors, a main floor master suite with vaulted ceiling, office, four-season sunroom with fireplace, vaulted two-story great room, and a gourmet kitchen. Just off of the family foyer with built-in benches and command center, you’ll find a large laundry with built-in craft storage cabinetry and pull-out drying racks. Head upstairs to find the loft and three spacious bedrooms with a split bath.

Inside this stunning kitchen with custom walnut island and Silestone countertops, you’ll find a professional-grade 48” Wolf range top, drawer microwave, steam and convection wall ovens, and 60” Sub-Zero refrigerator/freezer.

The master suite’s spa-inspired bath features a custom tile shower, freestanding soaking tub, makeup table, and his and hers vanities.

Lower Level Lovely
The lower walkout level is specifically designed for entertaining with ease. The space features a theater room with 110″ screen and full audio/media package, pool table, custom bar, family room, lounge and covered patio with stamped concrete and full landscape design. The custom pub-style bar features Silestone countertops, stone accent wall, sink, drawer microwave and an under-counter wine and beverage refrigerator with ice maker. Just beyond the entertainment mecca, the lower level features two spacious bedrooms with walk-in closets, a split bath and convenient garage access. As if you could possibly want for more, the house is equipped with a 7-Zone whole-home Sonos Audio system, four Sonos Playbars and one Sonos Sub.

Special thanks to Clay and Suzy Dietrich and the team at Dietrich Homes for allowing us to celebrate in his beautiful model home.
Find the Finishes
Builder – Dietrich Homes
Floorplan design – Dietrich Homes – Inspired, with Melissa Meyer, CAD Designer
Interior Design – Heather Sagvold, Dietrich Homes Inspired Design Consultant
Cabinets – Ira’s Custom Cabinets
Granite – Spaulding Stone
Appliances – Rigels
Audio – Media Master
Wood flooring – Kensok’s Hardwood FloorsFloorcoverings – Carpet World
Fireplace – Hebron Brick
Light fixtures – Valley Lights
Closets – JL Shelving
Siding – Lemke Home Improvements
Masonry – Brick Stone Masonry
Windows & materials – Crane Johnson
Garage door – EZ Open Garage Door
Mirrors & shower doors – Frontier Glass
Landscaping – A&L Landscaping

 

To take a tour, contact:
The Erik Hatch Team, Hatch Realty
Erik Hatch, REALTOR®
4215 31st Ave. South, Fargo
erik@hatchrealtyfm.com
701-369-4849

For more information, contact:
Dietrich Homes
701-364-2781
info@dietrichhomes.com
dietrichhomes.com
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The Pines by Grain Designs [ Countdown to Wedding #1 ]

Words by Tracy Nicholson Photography by M. Schleif Photography, renderings by Grain Designs, Transparent venue image by Exposure Creative Group In our last story introducing The Pines, we captured the…

Words by Tracy Nicholson
Photography by M. Schleif Photography, renderings by Grain Designs, Transparent venue image by Exposure Creative Group


In our last story introducing The Pines, we captured the guys of Grain Designs swinging golf clubs on a grassy plot of land, slated for their new venue, just South of Fargo. This month, we revisited the crew and instead found them swinging hammers on a framed-in, concrete foundation. By mid-September, 17 acres of rural beauty will be transformed into The Pines, the area’s newest wedding and event venue, unlike anything you can imagine. The clock is officially ticking and this countdown ends with an “I do”.


With their very first wedding booked for September 15, the guys of Grain Designs are hard at work finalizing the construction for The Pines and finishing the remodel of the adjacent home on the property. Fittingly, the first couple to get hitched at The Pines will be Grain Design’s own, Pat Bresnahan and his fiancé, Nicolette Berge.

Wrapping up Construction
“We are focused on getting the venue wedding-ready before that date, but we know we will still have a few construction projects to finish afterward,” said Bresnahan. “The things that won’t be done for our own wedding will most likely be aesthetic projects. We have another wedding booked for the end of October, so, without question, we will have any remaining work wrapped up by mid-October. The most exciting part right now is actually seeing the building start to come together and being able to see how grand the space is. It’s one thing to talk about how it’s going to be 35 feet to the peak, but then you stand in there and it’s just amazing to experience.”

Inside The Pines
The Pines is designed to be almost 9,000 square-feet and will accommodate 350 plus for a seated dinner. The interior is slated for a clean and classic white with black detailing and rustic, reclaimed wood elements. Design elements will include exposed beams, white reclaimed wood paneling, farmhouse windows and exposed concrete floors. Within the venue, they will offer a prep kitchen for the caterers provided by Chef’s Table Catering, full bar set-up, outdoor patio and private men and women’s restrooms. The venue will be equipped for year-round use and have capabilities to accommodate outdoor ceremonies, with ample space to move indoors in inclement weather. There will also be designated areas for outdoor wedding ceremonies and a patio for cocktail hour with an on-site bar and yard games.”On the Grain Designs side, we are in the process of building sliding barn doors and 60 tables for the venue right now,” said Bresnahan. “One of the unique challenges for us was building actual farmhouse tables, but with foldable or collapsible legs.”

____________________________
Nicolette + Pat
As the first wedding at The Pines, both Berge and Bresnahan have delved into the project, offering their talents to nearly every aspect. The couple has been living in the property’s home for the past few months, taking on the bulk of the redecorating and renovations, while in the midst of planning their nuptials. Berge, who is already an event planner by day, has lent her talents to give tours of the property and venue every Thursday night. She has also managed the redecorating and new finishes that have gone into the house renovations. Since the house sits adjacent to where the venue is being built, this on-site bridal retreat has been prepped and primed for wedded bliss.

 

Welcome Home to The Pines
If you book a wedding or event at The Pines, the on-site home with in-ground pool is one amenity you don’t want to miss. Inside the home, the wedding party will be welcomed to relax, hang out by the backyard, in-ground pool and prepare for their big day. As part of the wedding package, couples can choose to rent the house for the day or for the weekend. “With the weekend wedding package, the families will be able to host the groom’s dinner on Friday, ceremony on Saturday, then the gift opening and brunch on Sunday,” explained Blain Mikkonen of Grain Designs.

 

Retreat Remodel
Starting on the exterior, the Grain Designs team updated the outdated features and painted the home a farmhouse blue by Magnolia. The in-ground pool, decks and patios have been spruced up and more landscaping and signage is about to go in. “We already moved three pine trees into the center corridor near the house. This area will have retaining wall blocks, floral and landscaped areas to create a setting or backdrop for pictures,” said Grant Koenig of Grain Designs.”Before” photo:

Moving inside the home, Berge tapped into her own design skills and played off of the farmhouse vibe they’d already envisioned for the venue’s space. “I wanted to do a farmhouse style without screaming farmhouse – so more of a modern farmhouse with a simple, bohemian look,” explained Berge.
“I found a lot of the decor pieces at Moorhead Antique Mall and of course there are pieces from Grain Designs like the farmhouse dining table and centerpiece candle block. I also purchased pillows like the blush peach one in the family room from my friend at Olove Design; they are available at Etsy.com.”Over the course of three days, Berge and Grain Designs collaborated with Brushed Interiors to complete the main floor’s master bath renovation. Making use of the existing textured wall covering, Brushed Interiors gave the retro design a fresh look with a light and bright tone before she moved on to refinish the outdated oak cabinetry in a cool grey tone.

Giving the older home modern appeal, Grain Designs custom-designed a beautiful wall mirror and vanity top, then installed updated lighting, plumbing fixtures, trim and sleek new flooring. “Ashley Bakkegard of Brushed Interiors did a great job with the main floor bathroom paint and cabinetry refinish. Nicolette and I, along with some of our friends, helped paint throughout the home,” said Bresnahan.

Pat, Nicolette & friends helped with interior painting. Brushed Interiors did all bathroom painting

Just around the corner…
Just beyond the newly updated main-floor bath, the master bedroom and spare bedroom are nearly completed and will be featured in our final showing in October’s issue. The kitchen, which only needed minimal updates to its cherry wood facade, will be getting simple cosmetic upgrades like new lighting and decor.

Bridal Party Bliss
Right now, the upstairs has two bedrooms and a full bath, but this is the area that will soon have the most dramatic transformation. This will be a private bridal suite to accommodate the bride and her party. The downstairs will also be undergoing a change, turning the large space into sleeping quarters with a game room and a man cave for the groom and his party. “There is a separate entrance to the downstairs, so the groom and groomsmen will be able to come and go without seeing the bridal party. A lot of this renovation will take place this coming winter and hopefully, be ready by spring,” said Bresnahan.

Find the Finishes:
Interior wall paint & bathroom paint finishes – Brushed Interiors

Home decor – Nicolette Berge
Exterior paint – Hirshfield’s Vermont Slate (Similar to Magnolia Signature)
Vintage accessories & furniture – Moorhead Antique Mall
Dining table and candle block – Grain Designs
Bathroom paint and cabinetry refinish – Brushed Interiors

________________

Booking the Big Day
Berge will continue to offer personal tours of The Pines every Thursday for brides and grooms who want to ponder the property. “We’ve had a lot of interest from companies regarding corporate events, but peak wedding season for 2019 and even 2020 are filling much quicker than we anticipated. We’ve had a healthy mix of both Friday and Saturday events, but Saturdays are definitely the more popular choice,” said Berge.”So far, everyone is doing the day package which includes being able to make use of the house from 8:00 a.m. on their wedding day to the start of their reception. For my own wedding, I’m having the hairstylist come to the house where the bridal party will be. I think there’s appeal in having everyone come to you instead of having your bridal party go from place to place on your wedding day. That can really eliminate a lot of unnecessary stress.”

 

Catered Cuisine
Chef’s Table Catering is The Pines exclusive caterer and they’re also helping to get the kitchen properly equipped. “If someone requests a different caterer, they can certainly do that; they would just have to pay an ‘outsider caterer fee’ to use the space and equipment for that event,” said Koenig.

Collaborate & Design
“We are working with Taylor Belk of Epic Homes to complete The Pines building. We’re also working with Rhet Fiskness of Rhet Architecture – he executed the construction documents for the official, stamped drawings. Then Grant and I created the 3-D model based on Rhet’s floor plan and completed the renderings,” said Mikkonen.

“Trever Hill Design is helping us with all of the interior finishes and fixtures. We’re really trying to accent the bathrooms. They’re going to be really unique – something that people haven’t seen yet,” said Koenig. “We’re doing huge 2×4-foot tiles on the wall and long, farmhouse-style sinks. We’re also building a permanent bar in the venue. Having the White House Co. stage for Pat and Nicolette’s wedding will be great – I think their style and aesthetic really fits the venue and vibe, so I’m sure we’ll be working with them a lot.”

Setting the Outdoor Scene
When it comes to outdoor weddings, The Pines’ 17 acres offers endless possibilities. “When I give tours, I tell brides about the different options that what we have in mind; but the great thing is, we can do whatever you want – this is your day and this is an experience, it doesn’t have to be a cookie cutter version of a wedding,” said Berge. “We are planning to use that opening in the grain bins as a sort of aisle for our wedding. Guests will walk through the Grain Designs barn doors in between the grain bins and they will enter an outdoor living room scene staged by White House Co. with an outdoor rug, chandelier, lamps and vintage sofas. Back behind the bins between the field and trees is such a beautiful area for the ceremony and it’s really protected well from the wind.”

“An on-site pergola will be available for all brides to use, however, they’ll have the option to have Grain Designs build them a custom pergola, which after the wedding can be broken down into a queen size bed headboard,” explained Berge. “That’s one of our à la carte options along with a few other options like the wood and metal monogram signs, that guests can sign instead of a traditional guestbook.”

“We also are working on building fire pits and new walking paths through the trees with a procession area where the bride and party can walk through the house and down the stairs leading to the ceremony. We’ll have two designated, outdoor spots where ceremonies can take place, but wherever people want to get married on the property, we can try to accommodate,” said Berge.


_________________________________________

Sneak Peek from the Designer: Trever Hill
To get an advanced peek into their collaboration with Trever Hill Design, we asked Hill to share a few of the finishes and fixtures you’ll soon find at The Pines.

“When Grain Designs asked me to be the designer on the project, I was so honored. I look up to them as being cutting-edge and always on trend,” said Hill. “I needed to execute their vision, but I also wanted to put a spin on the average venue space; doing our best to not use the same lighting and design elements as other venues. The Pines has a refined farmhouse feel that everyone will feel at home with.”

“The men’s bathroom, for example, will have a large format tile that has an appearance of steel. Above that tile, will be a woven grasscloth wallpaper. The sink that was chosen for both bathrooms is by Kohler, and we loved that the base can be custom painted to your liking,” explained Hill. “In the men’s restrooms, we are painting the base black with a textured black brick behind the main vanity. In the women’s we are painting the base of the sink a beautiful, blush pink with large format tile in a Calcutta marble look and a metallic wallcovering with a mirrored effect.””When you walk into the entryway of the venue you’ll be greeted with a beautiful, black chain chandelier hanging over a marble tabletop with a black iron base. Off in the distance will be a custom pergola connecting the front entryway to the main hall,” said Hill.

 

“The accent chairs from Eco Chic Home, table and chain chandelier are all for the entryway,” said Hill. “We chose a long vanity light for the men’s bathroom along with the sconces. To keep the refined, farmhouse feel, I found the shaded sconces with black, matte finish to go in the main hall with the diamond shaped chandelier with rope accent. The classic white chairs are for outdoor weddings and the walnut cross back chairs were chosen for the interior.”

_______________________________________

Follow the Progress
“We’ve had really good success in booking the venue while under construction, so having it fully completed soon, will make a huge impact,” said Koenig. “With the success of The Pines, we’re not going to stop upgrading, renovating and building, so what it is now, could be drastically different in the future. We have a much bigger vision for what the whole property can become.”To make sure Midwest Nest readers get the scoop on The Pines first, we will be covering each step of their progress from the final reveal of wedding number one next month, to phase two where they will be transforming the on-site grain bins into guest lodging. The Pines might be slated for a venue now, but it will soon be a local destination with an extraordinary lodging experience that will attract adventure seekers everywhere.


For more information, contact: 

The Pines

701.850.6064

sales@thepinesvenue.com

ThePinesVenue.com

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Back to School [ Growing Kids Preschool & Childcare ]

Words by Tracy Nicholson Photography by M. Schleif Photography After 25 years in the business, Growing Kids Preschool & Childcare of Fargo needed more room to grow. Finding a great,…

Words by Tracy Nicholson
Photography by M. Schleif Photography


After 25 years in the business, Growing Kids Preschool & Childcare of Fargo needed more room to grow. Finding a great, central location with plenty of square footage, CEO Kim Kelley and her staff, packed up the playground and headed down the road to a new building near the Multiband Tower. To transform the space, which was once occupied by cubicles and offices, Kelley used her personal passion for design to create an open concept, in a nurturing atmosphere. See inside Kelley’s vision for a brighter future, with opportunities to learn and play, around every corner.

 

Growing Kids, Growing Spaces
As a place designed to nurture growth, Growing Kids has become a trendsetter. Kelley’s future vision called for less confined spaces and more room to expand their offerings. Gathering her own creative ideas and concepts, Kelley recruited the help of a friend, Terry Stroh of T.L. Stroh Architects to redefine the layout. It wasn’t long before their new space became a vibrant environment, with a focus on gathering, learning…and fun.


Learning…Room by Room
With six specific areas from infants to toddler and school-age groups, each room’s entrance has a color-coordinated number on the door, reinforcing colors, shapes, numbers and letters as the children transition through the rooms. For a fun feature at their feet, Kelley used custom-ordered carpet tiles to create coordinating color arrows for each room. Throughout the rooms, kids have their run of seven miniature playhouses and an array of fabric tents ready for fun.

This wing is specially designed for ages three through school-age. “This space is ideal for early childhood development. It checks every box for creating successful learners, creative minds and confident children,” said Kelley. “That is a dream for most educators.”


Infants have their own entrance as well as an indoor and outdoor play area, complete with a turf base and white picket fence. This wing is designed to cater solely to infants six weeks to two-years-old.


Happy Gatherings
When they moved into the new building, the large communal area’s high walls were completely grey, so adding a crisp, white coat of paint with a hand-painted navy pinstripe brightened up the expanse. “We have over 20,000 square feet to work with, so I wanted a big open space where the kids could come out and be together, instead of just being confined to their rooms,” said Kelley. “This is also where they have snacks and eat lunch together.”

Before lunch and snacks are served, the kids happily head to the wash and drink station, which is one of the features that Stroh helped Kelley design. With simple wall decals and white subway tile, this space encourages and makes cleanliness fun.

Designing a Brighter Future
Even though Kim Kelley’s first priority is always the children she cares for, her passion for design shines through in the everyday environment she creates for them. Outside of Growing Kids, Kelley has managed the builds and remodels of two houses and four cabins over the years.


“I had collected ideas from magazines and traveling of what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted clean lines and I tried to keep our decor simple – with childcare and fire codes, it limits what we can put on the walls. We stuck with mainly primary colors and clean lines that really seem to create a soothing environment for the kids,” said Kelley. “By putting the numbers, colors and words on the walls, it was a way for the kids to learn as they go about their day. I also started collecting street signs at the flea markets in Detroit Lakes and the Fargo Antiques & Repurposed Market, so you’ll see those near the entrance with working street lights around the building. We love how open this building is, with the high ceilings and large windows for bringing in natural light.”


To create an inviting entrance for both wings, Kelley worked with Dakota Construction to help her build their wood and corrugated metal entrance signs using letters from Hobby Lobby. The corrugated metal was a design feature that was then carried through to the restroom design. The wood benches were custom-built by a local craftsman, then painted by Kelley.

Playground Paradise
Dakota Playground took on the task of transporting the large playground equipment over to the new site. Her husband, Brad Kelley, constructed a wood border with recycled tire mulch under the playground. To complete the playground’s design, Kelley recruited Mike Nicholson of Custom Landscaping to build up the area around the playground and make a foundation, with the end goal of creating an artificial turf running track. “Every day, the kids grab their sunscreen and spend hours out here playing on the equipment and racing around the track – they love it,” said Kelley.


The most recent addition to their expansive outdoor space is the new backyard playhouse. The interior of the playhouse is already underway with the shiplap going up and a porch being built within the month. “We have so much outdoor space here, so we wanted the kids to be able to really use all of the spaces, inside and outside,” said Kelley. “We’re also planning the build of a basketball court off to the side that we hope will be completed soon.”

 

“We believe in the power of play. This space gives the children the room to develop, play, giggle and be a kid while they are learning. That is exactly the vision we had for Growing Kids.”
Kayla Cichos, Director – Growing Kids Preschool & Childcare

 

For the Kelleys, caring for children seems to run in the family. While Brad Kelley takes on the majority of his wife’s design projects for the children, their daughter, Hannah, recently graduated from Bethel University in St. Paul, Minn., obtaining her degree in early childhood education. After graduation, she has since moved back to work full-time at Growing Kids, alongside her mom.

“When the kids come here, they always feel safe and know that they’ll have a great learning experience. It’s a fun environment where they have a lot of room to play!”

Hannah Kelley

In the Future:
What we haven’t shown is the additional 6,000 square feet in the upstairs loft. Right now, part of the space is being used for on-site dance lessons offered to children during their daily schedules. This fall, they will begin offering piano lessons on their upstairs grand piano. With an idea to utilize the rest of the space, Kelley is working on a plan to create a miniature city with individual buildings for the children to play in – think post office, bank, school, grocery store and everything in between.

About Growing Kids:
Kim Kelley and her staff typically care for around 120 children with 56 preschoolers in the fall. Both Kelley and her director, Kayla Cichos are on site every day. Cichos manages all of the day-to-day tasks like parent communication, enrollment, accountability for all of the different age groups, staffing and overall organization. Shannon Rubertus, assistant director, handles direction of the infant and toddler wing, “Baby & Co.”

“Because we offer care to all ages, many of the kids have been enrolled since they were young infants and continue into their school-age years,” said Kelley. “We love that many of the kids get to grow up here alongside their siblings. We hope the memories they build here, last a lifetime.”

Find the Finishes:
Architect – T.L. Stroh
Stripe painting – Chuck Gingerich, Final Finish
Wood signs – Dakota Construction
Vinyl lettering – Lisa Palmer, Dabblin ‘n Design
Custom carpet tiles – Carpet World
Outdoor turf prep & install – Mike Nicholson, Josh Kellar – Custom Landscaping
Stuffed animal heads & wall art – Target, Hobby Lobby
Miniature playhouses – Costco, Sam’s Club
Rugs – Ikea
Miniature Adirondack chairs, Teepees, exterior turf – Sam’s Club
Street Signs – Fargo Antiques & Repurposed Market, Shady Hollow Flea Market
Melamine cabinetry and cubby stations – R.L.Engebretson
For more information, contact:
Growing Kids Preschool & Childcare
Kim Kelley, CEO  |   Kayla Cichos, Director
4324 20th Avenue South, Fargo
701.356.8210
growingkidsfargo@gmail.com
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Hub41 [ Cornering Lake & City ]

Words by Tracy Nicholson Photography by Scott Amundson The beachside strip of West Lake Drive in Detroit Lakes, Minn., is easily one of the summer’s hottest lakeside destinations. It’s home…

Words by Tracy Nicholson
Photography by Scott Amundson

The beachside strip of West Lake Drive in Detroit Lakes, Minn., is easily one of the summer’s hottest lakeside destinations. It’s home to Lakeshirts, Lakeside Tavern & Brewery, Zorbaz, The Pavilion and a slew of beach bums ready to relax and bury their toes in the sand. Last summer, the strip got a little hotter with the opening of Hub41, a new restaurant designed by Chris Hawley Architects and owners Gretchen and Nate Hunter. See how this team created the perfect beach bum hang out with a stunning rooftop view and eclectic surf and turf menu.

Taking advantage of an old water park site that had been sitting vacant, owners Gretchen and Nate Hunter, set their sights on creating a new concept in beach dining. Just a stone’s throw away from their other property, the Fairfield Inn & Suites, this corner spot on the strip would provide a beach bum experience worth the drive. Wanting a casual beach vibe and killer lake views, the two recruited the help of Fargo’s Chris Hawley Architects to design their vision, and Detroit Lakes contractor, Josh Lessman, to build it.

Creating a Concept

When the Hunters built the nearby hotel, Fairfield Inn & Suites, they left a pad site that was originally intended for a single-story building. “The only stipulation was that it had to be 3,800 square feet on one level. We actually went back to the county and asked if we could split it into two – that would put us at 1,800 square feet on each level,” said architect Chris Hawley. “We just saw that on the first level, you can kind of see the lake, but mainly the view is of parking and boats. If we added a second level, guests would be able to take in the entire view of Detroit Lakes. In this project, the design had to more about the view than the building.”

For Chris Hawley Architects, their design process started with a little outside inspiration.  “We looked at ideas from a restaurant in Minnetonka that they liked – there were also a few residential projects that they thought were funky and pretty cool,” said Hawley. “I think the one thing they wanted was to differentiate themselves by not having the classic cabin forms you’d expect. They didn’t want the cutesy cottage feel – they wanted it to be more contemporary and edgy and just have a little more fun with it in terms of design”

“Really the whole project was about creating the perfect rooftop patio,” explained Hawley. “So, when you look at it, the design’s success is determined by having as many people sit outside as possible. This is a year-round restaurant, but like all lake restaurants, their whole livelihood is based on three months of having access to the exterior.”

Hot Curb Appeal

On the exterior, a sleek, contemporary design, bold pops of mod color and a tiki bar-type patio are bound to lure you in. But, look a little closer and you’ll see an ancient Japanese technique. The black siding is all charred wood, also known as shou sugi ban. “The owners actually did the charring. The beautiful thing about it is that once you char it, it has natural weather, rot and UV resistance, so you basically don’t have to touch it again. Bugs don’t like it and creatures don’t like to live in it.”

To fabricate the exterior signage using steel and exposed bolts, Chris Hawley Architects employed a hefty foundation to ensure stability for the massive, backlit logo.

Creating Calm

Like many larger lakes, the wind can take a toll on anything near the shoreline. With a rooftop patio plan in place, the team needed to ensure that guests would get a calm dining experience versus being literally blown away. “Rooftop patios are great, but if you’re getting drilled by the wind, nobody is going to enjoy it. To solve this, we used black glass as a windbreaker about five-feet in the air. When you’re sitting up there, you feel pretty tucked in and it gives you a nice little break from the wind,” said Hawley.

Inside Hub41 

Creating the perfect destination for beachgoers meant designing a bar and dining experience that would be fun, creative and non-fussy – a place where flip-flops and beach towels would be welcomed attire.

Guests will find a crisp white palette with details like black plywood with cedar strips, industrial plumbing pipe, exposed I-beams, a corner fireplace, a contemporary twist on sliding barn doors and birch bench seating. “The details are pretty fun, they did some really great workmanship and yet it’s not fussy, it’s simple and creative,” said Hawley. “Josh Lessman did all of the construction on this project – he did a really great job, especially considering it was a very fast-track kind of project – we started in Nov and it was open by May of last year.”

“This is obviously a fun strip down in Detroit Lakes and a building like nothing else on the beach.”
Chris Hawley, Chris Hawley Architects

Embracing the Outdoors

To bring the outside in, the design playfully utilizes the exterior siding elements and cedar slat detailing. Both levels feature an overhead garage door making the exterior and interior a unified space. “The cool thing is that no matter where you’re sitting in the bar, you’re looking at the lake,” said Hawley. “Instead of your back turned to the water and the bartender looking out, it’s the opposite. This is obviously a fun strip down in Detroit Lakes and a building like nothing else on the beach.”

“The one thing about doing an overhead door is that you can’t do anything overhead, so you have really limited storage in that area. The cedar slat details were one of the solutions to get as much storage as we can in a space that is occupied by an overhead door,” said Hawley. “The exterior siding became storage shelving for the bottles, glasses and other bar items.”

If you’d rather grab a booth, the dining areas offer plenty of natural light and interesting design details to create a true beachside experience. “This is just a really durable design and a little wear and tear will only give it more character. The blue material panel is all technically, exterior siding, but we’re using it in a pretty economical way,” said Hawley.
“In other areas, the same siding that we painted blue, we just painted black and screwed on the batton. I think of it like the rainscreen is the black panel, but then the wood is kind of the armor. This project is a very economical approach to design. It really takes common materials and uses them in a very creative way, but not breaking the budget.”

On the Menu:

If you think the design is creative, just wait until you experience their menu featuring weekend breakfast, lunch and dinner. “They have really good food, with kind of a funky menu – I’d say it’s a modern interpretation of a surf and turf,” said Hawley. For a taste of what Hub41 offers lunch and dinner guests, starters include the falafel, California sushi rolls, sweet potato nachos, Cajun shrimp bucket, Scotch eggs and lobster fries. Dinner will definitely delight with eclectic entrees like the shrimp po’ boy, muffuletta, chicken and waffles along with gnocchi mac and cheese, fish and chips and bangers and mash.

Find the Finishes:

Architecture & Interior Finishes  – Chris Hawley Architects

Project Manager – Wayne Schommer, Chris Hawley Architects

Contractor – Josh Lessman, Ledgestone, Inc.

For more information, contact:

Hub 41

104 West Lake Drive, Detroit Lakes

218.844.8488

info@hub41.com

hub41.com

 

Chris Hawley Architects

2534 University Dr #3, Fargo

701.478.4600

info@chrishawleyarchitects.com

chrishawleyarchitects.com

 

Ledgestone, Inc.

421 West Main Suite 104, Detroit Lakes

218.849.6140

Josh.Lessman@LedgestoneInc.com

ledgestoneinc.com

 

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Down Home [ A Space to Embrace]

Words by Tracy Nicholson Event Photography by Darren Gibbins Photography, Transformation photos by Chris Welsand We recently crossed paths with a non-profit by the name of Down Home and couldn’t…

Words by Tracy Nicholson
Event Photography by Darren Gibbins Photography, Transformation photos by Chris Welsand


We recently crossed paths with a non-profit by the name of Down Home and couldn’t wait to meet with the founders, Jenessa and Jacob Fillipi to find out more. Follow them on social media and you’ll see why; there’s a steady stream of videos and photos showing them transforming vacant apartments and homes into warm, loving environments – all in a two-three hour time span. The difference is that they are not designers, home flippers or remodelers; and they’re certainly not getting paid for it. The Fillipis are simply a caring family working hard to help transition the homeless into homes. Going beyond the basic necessities, their fully decorated spaces have become the catalyst for a better life. Creating a new space to embrace would mean giving the gift of hope and a fresh start to those with limited resources. Last month, we were invited to join them at their first “Hoedown for Homes” fundraiser at The Yard, a gorgeous down-home setting on the Red River in South Moorhead.

Down Home: Their Story
Before we kick up our boots at The Yard, we need to introduce you to the people behind the cause, Jenessa and Jacob Fillipi. Their 16-year marriage has been blessed with many things, including four children, rewarding careers and a growing need to give back. As an elementary school counselor, Jenessa Fillipi had noticed a gap in the lives and transitions of the underprivileged and homeless, and she knew something had to be done. She would go on to combine her experience as a counselor and a love for interior decorating with her husband’s handyman skills. Sharing these gifts would mean providing a sought-after service to our community members in need.

“Jake and I started seeing a similar gap in both of our professions – the gap being that families and children were transitioning from place to place. When they actually do settle in, they don’t have enough money to purchase mattresses, pillows, bedding…really all of the things that so many of us take for granted,” said Jenessa Fillipi.

Prompted to find a solution, last September – Jenessa, Jake and their children quickly began brainstorming and realized a divine vision as Down Home came to life. Their name would come courtesy of a song by the band, Alabama, ‘Down home, where they know you by name and treat you like family.’ “This lyric rings true to our mission of empowerment and dedication to building a stronger community,” said Jenessa Fillipi. “It was evident there was a need, and now there’s a solution.”

The Down Home Mission
“Our mission is to provide furnishings and décor for families transitioning from homelessness into permanent housing,” said Jenessa Fillipi. “Our deeper purpose is to turn an empty space into a place to embrace, breath and feel safe. With this help, we want to empower families to dream big, succeed and be involved in the community; this is one step we can do to help break the cycle of homelessness. We aspire to empower lives one home at a time.”

“Our mission is to provide furnishings and décor for families transitioning from homelessness into permanent housing. Our deeper purpose is to turn an empty space into a place to embrace, breath and feel safe.”
Jenessa Fillipi, Founder – Down Home

Hoedown for Homes Event
At Down Home’s September 13th fundraising event at The Yard, located in rural Moorhead on the Red River, attendees kicked up their boots enjoying the likes of emcee Daron Selvig.  Guests enjoyed an array of down-home delicacies, a video presentation created by Tyson Kuznia of Creative Social Marketing, yard games by the Fargo Invaders, cocktails, craft beer served by Crooked Pint catering, live and silent auctions, and of course a little country music – courtesy of Nathan Kaiser of Harmon Entertainment.

Cliff Enns donated his venue, The Yard, while Troy and Brook Skjerseth donated their tent, tables and chairs which transpired into a gorgeous space for an unforgettable Hoedown.

“The Hoedown is really to launch us into the next stage of Down Home,” said volunteer and board member, Jill Waslaski. “Jenessa and Jake have a wonderful vision. It’s very organized and specific; they need a full-time person running Down Home and they have plans for a mentorship program already in place. They’ve got God on their side and what they’ve been able to do in the last year is amazing.”

These days, monetary donations are just as important as furnishings and decor. As their outreach and programs expand, their team is also expanding. The demands are high and hiring full time employees are inevitable to coordinate their programs and move-ins. Coordinating the Hoedown event at The Yard was one step forward to further spread the message of their work and reach their fundraising goals.

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The First Gift
Down Home was officially established in November of 2017 and started with just Jenessa and Jacob Fillipi, Jenessa’s mom, Charlene Kuznia, and her brother, Tyson Kuznia. The team would get the honor of serving their first family just before the new year, purchasing most of the needed items with their own funds and gathering furnishings from their personal homes to help transition the family from a shelter into a home. “It was December 23rd, and I think it was the best Christmas present we could have given ourselves,” said Kuznia. “The recipient and her son were in tears which put all of us in tears; they were so humbled and so appreciative. At that point, we realized this was something we needed to keep moving on.”

Their first project began as a smaller side project they initially thought would be confined to their family. With an outpouring of support from those around them, their small family project didn’t take long to grow wings. Since then, they have acquired countless volunteers and donations throughout the community, allowing them to serve 11 other families. By the end of this year, they’re on track to serve upwards of 20 families and expand their offerings.

Gathering Good
Today, Down Home has a team of seven board members and 17 committee members and active volunteers. With each project, they garner more interest with new volunteers coming from churches, shelters, friends, family, corporations like Microsoft and organizations like the Fargo Invaders, all looking to give back to the community.

“I would have never imagined back in October of last year how the community would come together. I look at the fabulous furniture, decor, donations, the amazing volunteers that we currently have, and it’s very evident that this is more than just Jake and myself, this is a community coming together to serve those that need that additional help,” said Jenessa Fillipi. “Really, the sky’s the limit; there are so many miracles that we’ve seen along the way that I know we would have missed, had we not taken that step forward in trusting this Down Home process that the Lord really has us on.”

Stocking the Shelves
From their very first install to their 11th, a lot has changed for Down Home. They no longer work out of their own garages and basements; they’ve found an official home base in North Fargo, just off of 19th Avenue. This is where their team gathers, donations are collected and inventory is stocked, organized and ready for giving. High-quality furniture donations have been plentiful, but as their non-profit grows, so will their demand.

“Something that you don’t need anymore might mean absolutely everything to another family,” said volunteer marketing and development director, Chris Welsand. In the last one we did, everything they owned could fit inside one apartment closet. They came in with literally the clothes on their back and maybe a couple of bags.”

The Down Home Process
To find Down Home’s recipients, the team is connected with a number of homeless shelter agencies across the community. “If they see a family that they feel is ready to get back to the community, they will refer them to us and we connect and meet with the family. We get to know them and ask them about their likes and dislikes,” explained Kuznia.

The day of the move-in and reveal, coordination of items take place in the warehouse, and a U-Haul is rented for the day. The Down Home team has learned to streamline their process by placing items into labeled boxes for each room so volunteers can easily grab a box and get to work. Loading of items takes about 30 minutes and within two hours, the team can completely transform an empty space into a comfortable home to embrace.


The Transformation
“The homes we’re furnishing are homes that are just barely affordable for someone coming out of the shelter. When we first see the space, it can be frustrating,” explained volunteer and board member, Jill Waslaski. “For one recipient, she was bringing a newborn baby home to this space and it made us all upset to see how much needed to be done to the building; but it was the middle of winter and it’s what they could afford. By the time the team was done, we were shocked at how well it came together.”

“It had turned into this amazing and cozy place and each of the kids had their own space to sleep, designed just for them,” added Kuznia. “It was an amazing transformation.””Down Home is intentional in the decor and furnishings that go into each empty space,” said Jenessa Fillipi. “We put elements in every home that promote family time, self-worth and speak to our mission of empowerment. We incorporate inspirational quotes, a cross, soft pillows, blankets, games, books and devotionals into each home. It’s so important to surround each client we serve with positive messages and purposeful pieces.”

After the Move-In & Reveal

Part of the Down Home process is to follow up with the families they’ve served through their Pay it Forward plan. This gives them a chance to donate additional items or gather valuable feedback on how to improve their services and furniture selections, making sure each family has what they need to thrive.

This month, Down Home plans to begin phase two; their Empower Up program. “It’s an opportunity for us to reach a larger group of people and it would benefit not only those who have experienced homelessness, but also those who are at risk for homelessness, but still currently live in a home,” said Jenessa Fillipi.

To be part of the Empower Up program, recipients will still need a referral, but they will have the opportunity to participate in four weeks of empowerment training which is provided by Upstream growth consultants. After completing training at Down Home’s office, the team will work with the recipient in finding out what additional pieces they need for their home. The program is currently full, but a waiting list has been started for the spring session. Find out how you can sponsor a recipient by going to the Empower Up link on their site.
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“Thanks so much for everything! My home is super comfortable (for myself and newborn). I catch myself reading the quotes on the wall. It really works and helps me out.”

Denisa O., Down Home recipient

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Ready to Donate?
Monetary donations are a high priority right now as Down Home’s demands are continually growing, as is the demand for more storage space. The team encourages sponsorship opportunities for businesses, families and church groups to provide volunteers and to be a part of the move-in process, regardless of ability or skill level. If you’d rather donate furnishings, before you make your haul, check out their current list of needs. Right now, the team is searching for the following high-quality items:

New mattresses (queen and twin), queen and twin headboards, metal bunk beds, small TV stands, end tables, matching lamps, inspirational quotes and decor.

A Humble Home
“What we provide for the families isn’t possible without the entire community coming together and donating their furniture, time, their inspirational quotes, picture frames and everything else,” said Jenessa Fillipi. “Jake and I feel very humbled that the Lord really placed Down Home on our hearts and yet, it’s the entire community that he’s calling to be a part of it in different ways.”

For more information, contact:
Down Home
Jenessa & Jacob Fillipi
2102 12th Street North, Fargo
701.212.9783
info@down-home.org

Chris Welsand / Marketing & Development
612.747.9202
development@down-home.org

Search their Site: down-home.org
Find them on Facebook: downhome.org
View their video: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1aV268aQOFJnOYUOjV925OYYCGLolEMfb/view?usp=drive_web

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Dakota Vines Vineyard & Winery

Words by Tracy Nicholson / Photography by M.Schleif Photography With life-long careers devoted to education, Deb and Bob Grosz have been planting the seed to pursue a passion outside of…

Words by Tracy Nicholson / Photography by M.Schleif Photography

With life-long careers devoted to education, Deb and Bob Grosz have been planting the seed to pursue a passion outside of the classroom. After 14 years of studying the art of winemaking, their dream would finally become reality in a soybean field near Colfax, North Dakota. On June 15, the Groszes gathered their 5,780 bottles of wine and opened the doors to Dakota Vines Vineyard and Winery. With Crooked Lane Farm neighboring their vineyard from across the river, they may have just created Fargo-Moorhead’s newest day-trip destination.

In their nearly 33 years of marriage, Bob and Deb Grosz had spent much of their lives consumed with the activities of three children and busy careers. Now, empty-nesters, they’ve refocused their spare time and energy into a longtime passion for winemaking. “We are thrilled that our kids and family have been so supportive,” said Deb Grosz. “Our son in L.A. and youngest son from Minneapolis came down for the opening while our oldest daughter who lives in Fargo has been out here helping us. A big reason why we’re doing this is that they were so active and we were so busy when they were younger – it all just comes to a halt when the kids are moved out, it’s a huge change.”

“Some people buy a sports car and we just took a hobby and turned it into a business,” laughed Bob Grosz.

Turn at the Wine Barrel
Just off of I-29 near rural Colfax, you can’t miss Dakota Vine’s cedar wine barrel sign. Built by Bob Grosz and his friend, Todd Johnson, the two created an inviting backdrop for the custom metal logo by Red River Metal Art.

On the Grow
Starting with an at-home winemaking kit, Bob Grosz became enthralled with all aspects of the science and process behind the wine. “We had some grapes that were frozen, some from Washington and some from California and we continued to work with that,” said Bob Grosz. “Then, we met Rodney Hogen at Red Trail Vineyard in Buffalo and I started working with him. The only thing I asked was that I get to take some of the grapes with me after I’d help him prune or harvest. About three years ago, we decided this was something we wanted to pursue, so I’ve been working on earning a degree in Enology, or winemaking. It’s a two-year associates degree through the VESTA program (vesta-usa.org) with classes offered through various universities and all of them require some type of a practicum. I’ve been in wineries across Minnesota and Wisconsin, along with lab work in Cleveland. We decided that if this is what we wanted to do, we had better be good at it before we take that next step.”

True North Dakota Wines
Since their vines are newly planted and won’t produce for three years, the couple has been sourcing their grapes from other vineyards and the University of Minnesota. “We will only offer wines from grapes that can be grown right here in North Dakota,” said Deb Grosz. “You won’t find a Cabernet, Merlot or Chardonnay here because those grapes don’t grow in this climate. So, even though we could have used any grape we wanted this time, we still wanted our wines to reflect what can actually be produced in North Dakota.”

“For our licensing, by year five we have to be using 50% North Dakota product, but our goal is to get there much faster. Our hope is that more local vineyards will open and start growing so that we can buy more local product,” said Bob Grosz.

Tasting Room
To kick off their opening summer, Dakota Vines is offering two spectacular reds, two whites and three fruit wines in apple, pear and plum varietals. For those who prefer their hops over grapes, the tasting room will also feature locally-made craft beers from Fargo Brewing Company and other local breweries.

In the tasting room, the Groszes offer guests small glimpses of their personal life, infusing the space with rustic and schoolhouse elements in cozy, country surroundings. “With both of us being educators, we thought school chairs were appropriate,” said Deb Grosz. “We found the barn door and school chairs at Habitat Restore. We just wanted to pull it all together and make it reflect our life.”

Bob Grosz designed and drew-up the entire winery, working closely with Wahpeton, N.D., contractor, Matt Kinneberg. Kinneberg was able to repurpose the Grosz’s old fence boards to create the focal point above the fireplace and the beams in the ceiling.

“It’s so much fun to be at this point now – we had this in our imagination and now to see it is amazing,” said Deb Grosz. “My step-dad, Duane Radeck, actually built the bar and wine storage for us. We wanted the traditional wine x’s. He and my mom, Carolyn, have been very helpful and they didn’t miss a single work session for bottling.”

ND Wine Time!
Wine tasting options consist of five samples for $5.00, by the glass or by the bottle. Prices range from $17.99 to $18.99 per bottle. With names reflective of their North Dakota heritage, guests will find wines like Roughrider, Prairie Sky, Mighty Bison, Lake Agassiz, County Road and Peace Garden.

Labeled on the barn door are descriptions of each wine and the grape variety or fruit, such as Marquette, Frontenac, La Crescent and Brianna. These grapes have been harvested from the University of Minnesota’s program as well as independent breeders.

Tasty Pairings
This summer, Dakota Vines will be offering small plates with crackers and cheeses for anyone touring or tasting. “We do have a very small commercial kitchen in the back, so as we expand and go into year two, we have a few ideas to create special dinner nights, possibly once a week on Saturday nights,” said Deb Grosz.

The Wine Wall
Near the fireplace, the Groszes have created their own “Wine Wall”, featuring and showing support for other local wineries and cider houses who have offered valuable advice throughout their winemaking journey. “It was amazing to me when we let the other wineries know that we wanted to do this, they were all in,” said Deb Grosz. “They were so excited and said, please do it. It hasn’t been a competitive scenario, really just a collaboration. I know there are people in this community who still don’t know there are any wineries in North Dakota. Hopefully, they see this wall and want to take a road trip.”

“We visited quite a few local wineries as well as an array of wineries in Napa, but locally, our friends at 4e and Red Trail Vineyards have been so supportive and helpful,” said Deb Grosz. “They’ve also given their time. We’ve had so many people out here helping us bottle; crews of seven to eight people for six days in a row. All we had to do was ask, and keep feeding them, and they just kept coming to help.”

“It’s like our friends at 4e Winery in Mapleton said, ‘When you have a winery, you don’t need a gym membership,'” laughed Bob Grosz.

“Someone actually said to us, ‘Not only do we want you to do this, but we want you to do it well,'” said Deb Grosz. “That really spoke to me. He explained that if our wine is the only North Dakota wine that someone has tried, it has to be good. We don’t want anyone thinking that North Dakota can’t produce good wine – so, it’s really important that all of our local wineries do well.”

The Gallery
Just beyond the tasting room, the space overlooking the river is penned “The Gallery”. The rentable room is designed to accommodate up to 40 people for nearly any type of gathering.

The Gallery’s crisp, white walls feature an array of patchwork quilt art by local artists and watercolor art by Barbara Benda Nagle and Bev Benda. “Years ago, Barbara was our daughter’s fifth-grade teacher, so we asked her if she would like to be our first art show,” said Deb Grosz. Throughout the summer, the couple plan to rotate in new artists’ work so guests will have a unique experience with each visit.

Patio
Outside of the gallery, the Groszes have designed a small patio where guests can enjoy a dose of country life, river views and wildflowers. In future plans, the Groszes are working to design a small gazebo or pavilion-like structure closer to the river, where guests can enjoy live music or relax with a glass of wine.

Across the River and Through the Woods…
Just across the river, Mary Jo Schmid and Brent Larson, owners of Crooked Lane Farm, have a beautiful event and wedding venue with a 1940s barn. “Mary Jo and I were in grad school together at UND and our kids were in theatre activities together, so we’ve known them for a long time and asked them if they’d ever want to part with some land. They have been super helpful and really saw this as a good companion business for their own,” said Deb Grosz. “We feel the same way about them; we can work with brides and grooms for their wine and we’ll be setting up a table to sell wine at their concerts that they host every other Thursday, all summer. This year, our time and effort will be focused on the tasting room and the concerts at Crooked Lane Farm.”

Open for Tastings & Tours!
Dakota Vines is now open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Labor Day weekend. Guests can tour the tasting room, gallery and production room with Letina tanks.

Once the snow flies, make sure to check their Facebook page and website for updates on special dates for holiday shopping events and exclusive dining nights. “For the holidays, we have discussed partnering with Crooked Lane Farm to do a sleigh ride which would bring guests back to our tasting room for a mulled wine and provide a place to warm up and enjoy the season,” said Deb Grosz. “With river right outside our door, it’s really beautiful here in the winter.” Next summer, you can expect Dakota Vines to open their tasting room as early as Memorial weekend.

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Get to Know: Bob Grosz – Vineyard and Winery Manager, Winemaker
Bob Grosz has over 25 years of experience in public school education as a teacher, principal and associate superintendent. He has been the Associate Superintendent for the Fargo Public Schools for the past 10 years and has been an adjunct professor at North Dakota State University for the past five years, teaching classes to master’s level students. Bob Grosz has a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of North Dakota and is currently working on a degree in Enology (winemaking).

Get to Know: Deb Grosz – Sales and Tasting Room Manager
Deb Grosz began her career in 1989 as a 4th-grade teacher and has a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of North Dakota. She spent ten years in various elementary and middle school classrooms prior to her current role at Concordia College as the Director of Field Experiences where she teaches children’s literature and various seminars to pre-service teachers.
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Hit the road for a North Dakota Tasting Tour!

4e Winery
3766 156th Avenue S.E., Mapleton, N.D.
701.936.9693
4ewinery.com
Red Trail Vineyard
3510 142nd Avenue S.E., Buffalo, N.D.
701.238.3337
redtrailvineyards.comMaple River Winery (Open year-round)
628 Front Street, Casselton, N.D.
701.347.5900
mapleriverwinery.comRookery Rock Winery (New!)
3660 147th Avenue S.E., Wheatland, N.D.
701.280.2470

Point of View Winery
8413 19th Avenue N.W., Burlington, N.D.
701.839.5505
povwinery.com

Wild Grape Winery and Kesselring Vineyards (Vineyard tours by appointment)
5720 160th Avenue S.E., Kindred, N.D.
612.741.5691
kesselringvineyard.wordpress.comPrairie Rose Meadery
3101 39th Street S., Fargo, N.D.
701.356.7706
prairierosemeadery.comDakota Sun Gardens Winery
955 73rd Avenue N.E., Carrington, N.D.
701.674.3623
dakotasungardenswinery.com

Bear Creek Winery
8800 South 25th Street, Fargo, N.D.
701.261.3171
bearcreeknd.com

Prairiewood Winery
12443 68th Street S.E., Lisbon, N.D.
701.683.5886

Cottonwood Cider House
14481 25th Street S.E., Ayr, N.D.
701.866.9913
cottonwoodciderhouse.com

Wild Terra Cider & Brewing
6 – 12th Street North, Fargo, N.D.
701.639.6273
wildterraciderandbrewing.com

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For more information, contact:
Dakota Vines Vineyard and Winery
17355 County Road 4, Colfax, N.D. (I-29 toward Abercrombie – exit 37)
(Open for tastings and tours through mid-September)
701.553.8807
dakotavineswinery@gmail.com
dakotavines.com
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