About Us

OUR MISSION

Why Are We Here?

To create a wholesale business that is a true partner to both our suppliers and customers, and is recognized as the State’s leader in selection, education and service.

OUR VISION

What Are We Collectively Trying to Achieve?

To be a positive influence on the Minnesota wine and spirit trade, and to have fun while doing it.

 

MAT GARRETSON – Owner/General Manager/Wine Specialist

Over the course of his 37-year career, Mat has served in a senior management and/or ownership position in every tier of the wine and spirit industry. He has owned/managed retail stores, wine bars, wineries, import companies and distilleries. Mat has made a career out of building new businesses and brands, or reviving established ones, but is perhaps best known as the Owner/Winemaker of Garretson Wine Company, and Founder of Hospice du Rhône. His efforts in these capacities earned him international recognition, including a cover story in Wine Spectator.

In 2008 Mat closed his winery, and moved to Minnesota where he was a senior manager at a large, full-book wholesaler. His original plan was to work at there for a few years and then launch his own wholesale operation. Mat was well on his way to doing just that when he was approached by his friend, David Perkins of High West Distillery. David offered Mat an opportunity too good to pass up: taking on all sales and marketing aspects of his fledgling distillery. Over the course of his time at High West, Mat built a distribution network, a national sales and marketing team, and was instrumental in the development of new products. The success enjoyed by High West is well-documented, and in October of 2016 the company was acquired by Constellation Brands.

Having concluded his time at High West, Mat was ready to focus his efforts on his original plan of creating Minnesota’s leading mid-sized wholesaler. His experience, knowledge and reputation within the industry makes him uniquely qualified to do so.

– The Négoce Sales Team –

 

JEFF ROGERS – Spirits Specialist

Jeff Rogers has spent his 23-year career dedicated to the bar industry.  With a strong focus on the guest experience, Jeff has applied his knowledge of cocktail technique, recipes, spirits and liqueurs, bar efficiency, and entertainment to over 86 bar and restaurant openings.  He has been involved with cocktail bars, lounges, flair bars, casual dining restaurants, nightclubs, sports bars, and everything in between.  These experiences have taken Jeff on a colorful journey, not only around the US, but around the world.  From Europe to the Caribbean and Mexico, he has visited countless distilleries to learn from the producers themselves.  With this all-encompassing background in bars and spirits, he is able to apply his experience and expertise to any bar or restaurant environment.  Taking a step out from behind the bar four years ago, Jeff stepped into the distribution world as an educator, which led him to his current position of Spirits Specialist with Négoce of Minnesota.

During his career, Jeff has competed in over 80 cocktail and flair competitions with much success all over the world.  As a founding member of the North Star Bartender’s Guild of Minnesota and active Vice President of the Minneapolis/St. Paul, United States Bartender’s Guild, he taps into his passion for education to “raise the bar” of the cocktail landscape in the Midwest. Recently became chairman of the National USBG Master Accreditation Committee, received his B.A.R. Ready Certificate from Beverage Alcohol Resource, Certified Spirits Specialist through Society of Wine Educators, and Spirits Professional and Advanced Bartender from the U.S.B.G.  He has been featured in multiple publications and various TV programs, including The Star Tribune, Vitamin, City Pages, Perk at Play, Fox Morning, Twin Cities Live, www.flairbar.com, www.eater.com, Mike’s Mix, and The Discovery Channel.  Jeff was born and raised in the Midwest and currently resides in South Minneapolis.

BRADY COTTON – Sales Representative / Metro

Brady Cotton comes to Négoce with extensive experience in the beverage industry, most of it in Minneapolis. His background includes both experience in retail and restaurant environments, marketing, management and distribution. What he enjoys most about the beverage industry is that it allows him to express his versatility across this ever-changing market.

Brady has spent the last 12 years living in Minneapolis, watching the food and beverage talent grow and inspire one another. He is grateful to be a part of a community that is built upon relationships and a culture that challenges him to be better than the day before.

MATT HOLMQUIST – Sales Representative / Metro

Matt has lived and worked in the Twin Cities for over a decade, but still calls the small town he grew up in of Northfield, Minnesota, home.  That is where he began his life in the world of restaurants, working at a small hotel bar, supporting him as he pursued a life as a musician.

While the music scene didn’t quite pan out, his career in hospitality did, as he has gone on to work in a vast variety of houses from a pub in London, England to finer dining locally, as a server, bartender, manager, buyer, and event coordinator.

Matt comes to Négoce with the understanding that one shoe does not fit all, and that the requirements for success can differ dramatically from one establishment to another, from one demographic to another.  He looks forward to cultivating relationships/partnerships built on a foundation of trust and understanding, and being a strong resource for all of his clients, and team.

Possessing the core value of life long learning, Matt has earned his B.S. degree in Business Administration from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, and is currently pursuing multiple certifications in wine, beer, and spirits.

CORY PLATO – Sales Representative / Metro

Cory entered the hospitality business directly out of high school. He comes to Negoce after spending time in fine dining, quick service, hotels, and startups. His passion for wine is  driven by an ever changing industry where knowledge is limitless. He has completed the Advanced level of the Wines and Spirits Education Trust and is pursuing the Diploma. Outside of work his interests are comedy, biking, watches, and food.

DAVE McNICHOLS – Sales Representative / Maple Grove to Moorhead

After a 28-year law enforcement career Dave decided to turn to his hobby of home brewing to inspire a second career.  Dave initially took a part time job as a liquor store clerk.  There he discovered that he had a passion for the industry, but had more to learn.  Dave started by becoming a certified beer server, then decided to upgrade his wine knowledge, resulting in his earning a Wine Professional certificate from St. Paul college.

Within two short years Dave was managing a newly-opened liquor store.  He found that his favorite tasks as manager were selecting and buying products for the store.  The reason is that the skills used in the buying process; learning, negotiating, finding win/win solutions and building lasting relationships are all skills honed during Dave’s law enforcement career.  Dave is excited to embark on a new adventure with Négoce, building relationships and finding win win solutions.

Away from work Dave enjoys traveling with his wife, especially by train.  He enjoys spending time with his two children, and his two grandchildren.

 

TARESA SAWH – Sales Representative / Metro

Taresa’s interest in wine started 14 years ago on a beautiful, sunny day in the Santa Ynez Valley. She and her then boyfriend (now husband) were just leaving their first winery tasting for the day, and as she clutched the winery map she grinned widely, exclaiming, “we should drink wine everyday!” This is the moment, time and place that wine first struck her heart. As both Taresa’s wine travel and knowledge expanded, her interest naturally evolved into a passion. After 10 years of work in the non-profit sector, and then starting her own business, Taresa took the plunge into the wine and spirits industry. Taresa arrives to Négoce after having worked four years as an on-premise sales rep with a local wholesale distributor.

When not peddling wine, Taresa’s favorite pastimes include anything that involves being in the wilderness or outdoors. Biking, running, hiking, camping, and simply chilling out on the deck are a few of her favorite pleasures. Taresa continues, “I also very much enjoy traveling, music (fun fact: I’m an unabashed bluegrass fan and wish to learn to play the banjo one day) going out to eat and spending time with my loved ones. Currently I reside in Minneapolis with my husband and two cats…and very soon our first dog.”