Meet Jess Ihrke

Forager has an exciting addition to its already bustling business. While the restaurant and brewery have been hosting special events and parties since opening over one year ago, they are bringing a new focus to events by hiring experienced caterer and all-around lover of party planning, Jess Ihrke.

Jess has over eight years of experience in catering for small to large scale events and nearly a lifetime spent in the restaurant business. Coming from a large family herself, Jess is very accustomed to feeding people in groups. She enthusiastically proclaims, “I know how to throw a party!” Taking the concept of Forager to its next level is what gets Jess the most excited. “There is so much reward in taking food that you’ve grown in a garden to cooking and serving it up to a customer.” The farm-to-table movement has captured her imagination and she loves working with the people at Forager who all have the same mindset about food and cooking. As the sign says above the kitchen window, “Everything Made from Scratch,” Jess says she is not the kind of chef who gets excited about cooking something from a box or bag. Her take on food is experimental and she prefers food to be as local and organic as possible.

Jess started her connection to Forager as a customer, so she has been able to watch it grow into something so adored by the community. She also has first-hand knowledge of the things needed to bring the business into its next stage of growth.

Forager’s growth includes The Pantry, a new space for events that can accommodate larger groups than previously possible. The room also doubles as storage for rustic wood barrels that are home to a variety of unique barrel-aged beers. It is in this room where Jess plans on upping Forager’s game by catering swanky appetizer parties, large multi-course dinners and even starting a box lunch service for local businesses. Her ideas for events include food and beer pairing dinners, cooking demos and certainly a more personalized approach to planning private events. The Pantry holds a maximum of 70 people for sit-down parties and has full audio-visual capabilities available. To inquire about booking a private party in the space, please complete the form at

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