According to Minnesota’s last census, there are 29,773 veteran-owned small businesses spread across the state. When thinking of ways to thank former members of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps for their service, consider supporting a “vetrepreneur” this Veterans Day. Minnevangelist co-founder Andrew Parks rounded up a bunch you should know for Explore Minnesota. Among the highlights:
🇺🇸 Warrior Brewing Company, founded by Ben Gipson and Matt Caple, is the latest craft beer addition to Duluth’s bustling Lincoln Park neighborhood. The duo specialize in Belgian-style brews but occasionally host alcohol-free days with small groups of former soldiers and first responders looking to learn the fine art of malt, hops, water, and yeast.
🇺🇸 Another brewery of note, La Doña Cerveceria in Minneapolis, is the brainchild of Sergio Manancero, who served two tours in Afghanistan before opening Minnesota’s first Latino-influenced craft brewery. (Beer aged in mezcal barrels? Yes, please.)
🇺🇸 Beth Fynbos, an Oronoco-based Iraq War veteran and Shark Tank alum who passed on a $250,000 deal with Lori Greiner, still managed to make millions with her Busy Baby placemat and other inventive children’s products.
🇺🇸 Itasca Sports, the only camp store and bait shop in Itasca State Park, was started in 2005 by Navy veterans Sam and Caren Smith. Open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, it rents bikes, pontoons, paddleboats, canoes, and kayaks.
🇺🇸 Juvelyn and Saul Mellado’s Órale Mexican Eats is the second life of their far-too-short-lived Filipino-Mexican restaurant Mi Casa Su Casa. Anyone on active duty, or with a military background, is encouraged to swing by for a free burrito on Veterans Day.
🇺🇸 Though it’s only been open since 2019, Ashley and Dan Reller’s Vintage Escapes Winery in Kilkenny won three (!!) double-gold medals at the International Cold Climate Wine Competition earlier this year.
For more ways to support veteran-owned businesses, follow this link.