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News and noteworthy new hires

Danny McGleno, rear, and Mike Mitchelson, left

After the closing of Saint Agnes Baking Co., Danny “Klecko” McGleno, Mike Mitchelson and office manager Dana Ferguson, along with several bakers joined Grandma’s Bakery in White Bear Lake. McGleno, the former CEO of Saint Agnes, is Grandma’s executive baking director and Mitchelson will be operations manager. Saint Agnes, a mainstay in the fresh-bread baking category, closed its doors suddenly late last year. McGleno and Mitchelson stayed on to close out accounts and ensure vendors were paid, before moving on.



Ryan Companies US, North Region promoted Tony Barranco to senior vice president of real estate development.  Barranco has been a central player in a number of high-profile projects in the region such as Downtown East, Vintage on Selby and recently leading the Sons of Norway project in Uptown, Minneapolis. In his expanded role, Barranco will lead a multi-disciplined team of developers focused on the execution of mixed-use and corporate office projects in the North region.


Tony Barranco

Stickney Hill Dairy, a producer of goat milk products for commercial, food service and retail market segments, was accepted into the Specialty Food Association.

The association represents producers with proven quality products. To become a member involves going through an extensive application process.


The numbers have been tallied and the Hilton Minneapolis came out on top in the annual Kick Hunger Challenge, partnering with E & J Gallo, to donate the equivalent of 34,572 meals to Second Harvest Heartland. It was the largest single contribution of any Minnesota participant in this year’s challenge. During the Kick Hunger Challenge, which ran from Aug. 1, 2017 through Feb. 5, 2018, several hundred participating businesses and organizations throughout the state accumulated donations through sales of E & J Gallo wines and spirits. For every bottle of wine sold, four meals were donated, and for every bottle of spirits sold, six meals were donated. 


Peace Coffee CEO Lee Wallace partnered with local entrepreneur Kent Pilakowski to purchase the company from The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP). Since its inception in 1996, Peace Coffee has been on a mission to make great coffee that supports the livelihoods of all involved from farm to cup, and protects the environment in which it's produced. Additionally, the company recently became one of the first certified B Corporations in the state of Minnesota. B Corporations meet the highest standards of verified overall social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability, and aspire to use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. 


Chef Donald Gonzalez took over the top toque role at Sea Change, the upscale restaurant at the Guthrie Theater. “I’m excited to become part of a restaurant with such an incredible history, but make no mistake, this is the beginning of a new chapter,” Gonzalez said. “I’m planning to introduce some of the biggest changes this restaurant has ever seen. I really see the sea as a metaphor for the menu, and a means of connecting cultures, cuisines and communities. The rivers and oceans connect us all.” 


Obit: Entrepreneur and restaurateur Linda Rae Young died March 28 at the age of 69. 

Coffee Talk

After closing the acquisition of Golden Valley-based Buffalo Wild Wings in February, parent company Arby’s Restaurant Group announced at the end of March that it will be laying off 132 employees, according to the Business Journal. The newly formed company, Inspire Brands, will be headquartered in Atlanta, with a regional support center in the Twin Cities. R Taco, formerly Rusty Tacos, which was owned by Buffalo Wild Wings, was part of the acquisition. 


It’s not even spring outside and already we have Minnesota State Fair news: Texas Steak Out is expanding at the Minnesota State Fair Grounds to open a flight-themed restaurant in the former Pet Center space, which will also become a second location for the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild, Minnesota Public Radio reports. Other changes  include  the closing of the dining hall that had been
operated by the Order of the Eastern Star’s Robbinsdale chapter for years.


Luke Shimp, owner and president of two restaurant brands, Red Cow and Red Rabbit, is opening a new catering and event center in Northeast Minneapolis in 2019. Currently in the early stages of negotiation with the city of Minneapolis, Shimp's project is located at 201 Lowry Ave NE, and will include a multi-level event space and rooftop patio. Shimp currently has five restaurants in Minneapolis and St. Paul, with no plans to add a Red Cow or Red Rabbit to the Northeast project.


In keeping with the revolutionary idea of announcing news, as “one if by land, two if by sea”: The Fish Guys has launched a new division that will expand the company’s footprint into land-based protein. Named, Market House Meats, the meat division will leverage The Fish Guys' existing supply channels and customer relationships to help deliver high-quality beef, pork and chicken to more than 300 area restaurants and foodservice operators. The new Market House Meats division will have its own dedicated sales team and be led by John Gibson, who has more than 25 years of experience in all aspects of the meat industry, including as a supplier and partner of high-quality proteins to foodservice operations. 

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