Nordic can be a less intimidating way to see winter as just another season where we all get to play outside. I think the Turpin event you all host is such a wonderful way to get to give Nordic a try, without any barriers, and just have some fun.– ALI COHANE, Persephone Owner
What first inspired you to try Nordic skiing?
When I was a kid in the suburbs of Chicago, I lived across the street from a golf course. There’s not much to do in the winter there, and thirty years ago we used to actually get a lot of snow. So, once I outgrew sledding down the tiny hills, I decided to try cross country. It was a great way to get outside in a place where people typically hunker down for a long winter.
What is your greatest achievement as a Nordic skier?
My expectations are not very high with my current crazy life. I consider getting out there an achievement in itself! This year I am going to try to get my 5-year-old daughter to give it a try, and if it ends without tears, THAT will be my biggest achievement to date.
What is your greatest contribution to the sport of Nordic skiing?
Supplying delicious hot chocolate to the amazing Nordic warriors of our community. Does that count?
What advice would you offer to someone who is just starting Nordic skiing?
Head to the mountains and pack a lunch, maybe from Persephone. 😉 There was no better way to fall in love with the sport. You get a little exercise, usually an unbeatable view, and a beautiful quiet moment in the snow where you can sit and appreciate this incredible place we live.
What inspired you and Persephone to become a gold sponsor of JHNordic.com and the Nordic Alliance?
I think Nordic is such a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors in the winter here. Many of my employees are not skiers. Either they never learned, or they just moved here. Nordic can be a less intimidating way to see winter as just another season where we all get to play outside.
I think the Turpin event you all host is such a wonderful way to get to give Nordic a try. It allows anyone to enjoy Nordic without any barriers. And it’s just a great way to have some fun. Plus, Turpin is where I first skied in the Tetons and it’s truly magical. My staff was thrilled about the day and many joined in the fun. Plus, Nancy Leon and I are fangirls of each other. Love seeing her and her posse at Persephone after a good ski!
When did you discover your love of food and to what do you attribute the success of your three cafes?
My whole life I have been working with food and in restaurants – the day I turned thirteen, I remember running to my town hall to excitedly get my workers permit so I could scoop ice cream. Throughout my teens and twenties, it was always just a way to earn money, but along the way, it grew into more than that.
Owning restaurants allows me to create a memorable experience, that combines my love of aesthetics, cuisine, people, and environment. Hospitality encompasses all these things, and I think I luckily stumbled upon a career that allows me to incorporate many elements of passion into my life.
And when it comes to my success, I would be nowhere without my husband Kevin-the-baker-all-good-things-maker’s amazing bakery (because let’s face it, people come for the goodies!), and the team of truly extraordinary people that believe in my vision and are in the cafes every day bringing it to life.