When your husband comes home and says, “Honey, me and my friends are going to open a distillery,” you might not take it seriously that first night. Or that first week. Or the month that follows. But at some point in the first few dozen times it comes up, you start to realize, this idea hasn’t fizzled yet. It’s still going quite strongly. And by the way, they’ve started renting a warehouse. That’s when you know: your husband and his friends are going to open a distillery!
The wives of Copperwing have been there every step of the way, from the early days of “How can we legally do this?” and “How much is it going to cost?” to the later days of “How many tables will we need?” and “Which drinks should we serve?” The wives, first and foremost, have been a sounding board for ideas. And Oh My Goodness have there been a lot of ideas! Aside from talking things through with the guys, each of the women has taken a specific interest in Copperwing’s development.
Marie Idelkope found her passion for researching and creating mixers. Vermouth has been a favorite project of hers and she’s made at least half a dozen different versions of it. She also loves to develop and experiment with drink recipes. At the Distillery, Marie is always eager to lend a hand with whatever needs to be done whether it’s cleaning, painting, or sampling drinks. She helps with the online store and will be the one to send your T-shirt when you order one. Marie’s day job is a physical therapist.
Cristina Palmisano loves all things communication. An environmental educator by trade, she knows how to engage different audiences. She has taken over Copperwing’s social media accounts as well as the website, keeping it informative and fresh. Her goal is to grow the fan base as much as possible in the hours outside of work and child-rearing. Cristina also looks forward to event planning at Copperwing once the cocktail room is up and running.
Keppen Kettering has over a decade of experience providing commercial architectural/ interior design and document execution in a wide variety of project types for a few award-wining architectural firms in the Twin Cities area (currently at RoehrSchmitt Architecture). So when Copperwing was ready to start work on their manufacturing and cocktail rooms, it was a no-brainer to engage her in the process. She took the vision and the budget the team had for their space and made into something real. Specifically she did space planning, construction documentation, meeting with the city for permitting, furniture selections, color and materials selections, plus helping guide the team through the entire process and making sure they felt well taken care of. Not an easy task for an on-the-side gig (on top of working full-time and being the mother to an energetic toddler and at the time pregnant with a son!)
From the start, a high-performing, flexible space that spoke to the main values of the business was desired. Something smart, hard working, but not stuffy or pretentious. A place you could grab a drink before a special night out or stop in wearing your jeans and T-shirt after a busy day. The space itself is a fun mix of industrial functionality and sophisticated warm leather touches. Keppen’s favorite part is the color-changing LED lights that wash the sparkling stills behind the glass walls. It adds a real wow-factor to the space that highlights the heart of the business in a special way.
There’s no doubt Marie, Cristina, and Keppen will continue to be critically important to the success of Copperwing Distillery. Brian, Chris, and Kyle are lucky to be married to these talented and dedicated women.