Developer and Managing Partner
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Craig came to Minnesota in 1998, on what he thought would be a short visit. He has lived here ever since. Most of Craig’s vocational life has been spent in the field of addiction counseling and intervention. (This makes his affinity for an old brewery site all the more surprising!)
He didn’t plan to pursue real estate development as a career, but somehow, as Craig became part of the city around him and got to know his neighbors in the West 7th Street community, he started seeing individual buildings as opportunities for vibrancy.
Craig discovered a love of integrating his holistic and collaborative worldview with the challenge of sparking inclusive neighborhood development. Craig has the gift of forging relationships and connections, as well as seeing raw spaces and envisioning possibilities.
After refurbishing and leasing other cool old buildings in the West 7th Street neighborhood, Craig watched as the Keg House was unearthed during the Schmidt Artist Lofts development and the dream of the Keg and Case West 7th Market was born. Craig has deftly navigated the complex process of bringing this project to fruition, which has included working in tandem with the City of St. Paul, garnering approvals from both the Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office and the National Park Service, and enlisting an exemplary team to do so.
He looks forward to spending time at the Market with his wife Tracy and their five children, Asher, Kylee, Hanna, Clara, and Micah.
Co-developer and Managing Partner
The values of hard work and hospitality were instilled Dean Perlman at an early age. When Dean was 12 years old, he successfully lobbied the neighborhood Chinese restaurant for a prep cook position. This experience laid the groundwork for a career in the hospitality industry.
He ultimately went on to create his own successful business by keeping hard work and hospitality as his driving principals.
In 2015 when his business was acquired by a publicly traded corporation out of Houston, Texas, the lifelong Twin Citian agreed to join forces with longtime friend Craig Cohen to help create the Keg and Case market.
Why? “My dream job of finally becoming a greeter could actually come true!” he says. He’s not kidding. Dean takes any chance to give enthusiastic tours of the Keg and Case development. At the end of the day what’s most important to him is bringing people joy, whether that’s in the form of an ice cream cone, a great cup of coffee, a libation or dinner, Dean looks forward to seeing happy moments unfold.
Dean doesn’t only view himself as a greeter to the community. Equally important to him is offering that same sense of hospitality and support to the tenants and vendors, ensuring they too have the best possible experience at Keg and Case.
“Why do I love the hospitality industry so much? It offers up the chance to make someone’s day better. We are all in this together and when it’s done right a place such as Keg and Case will bring people joy for decades to come.”
Meet Scott Schuler, serial entrepreneur. Scott’s diverse career experience has tee’d him up nicely for this project — delivery service, music management and production, product design and wholesale sales, corporate branding and fulfillment, and lots of hospitality. He’s been a partner in many bar/restaurant endeavors, has a great love of hospitality and events, and is currently a partner in Morrissey’s Irish Pub. Scott is equally right- and left-brained, and his work at Keg and Case lights up his whole cranium. “Keg and Case is one big art project, and a tremendous business undertaking, and I enjoy both roles,” he says. “The creativity in helping to design and curate such an amazing project, along with being involved with all aspects of operations, balances and nurtures both sides equally.” In the moments he is not working hard, he’s most likely enjoying Lake Superior’s North shore.
Director of Operations
Phil Gagne, whose desk is an old brewery door, has done about every Schmidt Brewery-related job imaginable since he began working as a brewer on Oct. 31, 1979. As he worked his way up from brewer to head brewmaster, he saw changes — changes in brewing capacity, changes in brewery techniques and changes in ownership. When the brewery closed at 1 p.m. on June 24, 2002, Phil went home and filed for unemployment. The next day he received a call from the brewery’s safety director and chief engineer. “The cans were still on the lines,” Phil says. He to put together a skeleton crew to run out the 33,000 barrels of beer that was still in fermentation tanks, aging tanks, prefinished tanks and finishing tanks. It took six months. Flash forward a few years, and Phil’s an institution — the go-to guy for all things Schmidt. His Keg and Case colleagues jokingly call him a relic; his friends at the neighboring Schmidt Artists Lofts call him their historian. Since 1979, his story has been the story of the brewery. And he’s made it his business to know everything about the place. “For me to be able to do something like this is the cherry on top of the whipped cream,” he says.
In his newest role, he will continue to be a go-to guy for anyone involved in the project…or anyone that wants to hear a really good story.
Elizabeth Turan is a gem of a human being and a maker of gems for human beings. Her background is in food, hospitality and real estate, but in 2013 she started making natural stone jewelry and selling it at the Minneapolis Farmers Market. She fell in love with the culture and camaraderie of the market, and soon she was working on the market’s management team. In her new role at Keg and Case, Elizabeth has the opportunity to combine all of her past experiences and passions for the benefit of a community she loves. “Keg and Case is a tremendously creative endeavor—as well as a support network for small businesses, growers and families,” she says. “Tenants are forward-thinking and creative- all of them are at the top of their game. I love seeing this community come together!” Elizabeth is the wind beneath our wings, seamlessly making hundreds of things happen on a daily basis. Like we said, a gem!
The Keg and Case had Michelle at hello. Well, actually at, “Wait a minute, you’re opening a one-of-a-kind food market that hosts all kinds of cool events year-round?” This food lover and events coordinator extraordinaire began her career in hospitality more than 25 years ago. Since then she’s been involved in every aspect of the food and beverage industry. As a catering manager for Wolfgang Puck, she oversaw large high-profile events at the Walker Art Center where she coordinated food and beverage in multiple spaces. As the director of food and beverage for Kimpton Hotel Group, Michelle was responsible for all aspects of food and beverage in the hotel. Creative. Hard-working. A relationship-builder. Michelle puts her own special magic in every event she touches. One thing to note: as a west coast transplant you’ll never get her to pick Twizzlers over Red Vine. Other than that, she’s all in.
Communications and Media Relations
Mary is the founder of Field Guide Inc., a communications consultancy grounded in the idea of “Making Good Better.” As a St. Paul resident, Mary is is over the moon about being able to support and collaborate with the diverse small businesses that make up the Keg and Case market.