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The 2014 United States Barista Championship season is almost ready to kick off, beginning with the Big Central Barista Competition – October 25th-27th in Minneapolis. This event is being hosted at Uppercut Boxing Gym by Wilbur Curtis Co. and Cafe Imports, and will draw competition baristas from more than a dozen states, stretching from Wisconsin to Texas.

The hosts at BCRBC are going all out to show off the best of what Minneapolis has to offer, with a number of cool local businesses exhibiting at the event space. One such business is Forage Modern Workshop, a very cool furniture and home goods store that happens to share a half-wall with Parka, a modern Minneapolis diner from the folks at Dogwood Coffee. We sat down digitally with Rebekah Cook of Forage to talk a bit about her shop and their plans for BCRBC.

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Can you tell us a bit about your place?

Forage is located in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis, 4023 East Lake Street. We turned an old carpenter’s union hall into a industrial space, which hosts our modern furniture and home goods store. Forage Modern Workshop offers a curated collection of both new and vintage modern furnishings, as well as provides a place for local designers to show case their work.

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Tell us a bit about your ethos.

We want people to think twice about their stuff- where it came from, who made it, how it expresses their values and tells their stories and we want to take the pressure off buying furniture and home goods. I like to describe our inventory as a genuine reflection of Midwest Modern – practical, meaningful, but cool enough to impress all of our friends. Think of it like this – your home probably has something you invested in or saved to buy – like a couch or dining set, then we have a piece your friend made in art school, a rug from your grandma. We work really hard so that our store gives off the vibe that you’ve walked into your friend’s house, and you instantly want to stay awhile.

How’d you get hooked up with the Big Central barista competition?

First and foremost, we are all coffee lovers. Like a really well made cappuccino makes us cry. Secondly, we are lucky enough to share a space with Parka, which is the brain child of Dogwood Coffee Company. Greg Hoyt and Dan Anderson, along with Noah from Cafe Imports approached us about having a presence at the Barista Competition. Which we are really excited about. If anyone wants to practice their drinks – we’ll happily be taste testers all weekend long!

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Have you ever seen a barista competition?

My husband worked in coffee for a long time – trained by Vita Coffee in Portland, Oregon and worked at Kopplin’s Coffee Company for a long time. He also helped open Parka. On top of that, I watched a live recording of our really close friend, Andrew Milstead, of Milstead and Co. compete in the competition a few years back. So the coffee world has definitely been a part of my life for a long time. I’ve been to several barista throw downs, but this will be my first barista competition.

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Can people find you online?

Yes! We sell a large majority of our inventory online –

You can also follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook: ForageModern_MN

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Photos in this feature by Gabe Dunn for