About Us

Our Story

Seward Makes is located in the vibrant Seward neighborhood in Minneapolis. The business a unique blend of commercial kitchen and retail storefront, offering a one of a kind opportunity to local food makers to create and sell their products in one location.

Seward Makes is driven by a passion for local business, quality jobs, building community, and strengthening the local food system. Seward Makes welcomes seasoned makers and new producers alike to share kitchen space in a supportive and high standard environment.

Commercial kitchen, retail space and soft serve ice cream form the foundation of Seward Makes. It’s a place where entrepreneurs thrive and grow, families shop and gather and community is made stronger. Learn more about Our Kitchen and The Market.

Our Founders

Seward Makes is founded by entrepreneurs Iman Mefleh and Joe Silberschmidt. Iman and Joe own and operate You Betcha Kimchi, which is housed at Seward Makes. Iman and Joe are thrilled to be operating both businesses in the neighborhood they call home, collaborating with and mentoring other food entrepreneurs. They formerly ran Growing Lots Urban Farm in Seward where they grew organic produce to feed 75 families each summer.

Iman and Joe will bring their wealth of experience and passion for local business, sustainability, quality jobs, and building and celebrating our community. Residents of Seward since 2015, they live there now with their two young sons.

Suzanne Weinstein, former owner of Coastal Seafoods,  is the behind the scenes force who made the vision possible. She’s far more than a landlord, bringing decades of experience as a community-minded, successful businesswoman and philanthropist.

Our Team

Iman Mefleh

CEO/Kitchen manager

With a wealth of experience and training in food and agriculture, Iman maintains a high standard of food safety and general operations for the shared kitchen. She helps guide tenant businesses through training and formal consultation and keeps them informed of opportunities. She directs all facets of Seward Makes and Seward Soft Serve as its Chief Executive Officer, or more often “Boss Lady”.

Heidi Skoog

Artistic Director

Heidi brings her keen sense of design and color and years of experience in small business. Like the colors, design of the space, window displays, and staff uniforms? That’s Heidi. She also guides flavor development and concepts for ice cream, and is our main ice cream chef de cuisine.

Ben Solberg

Ice Cream Director

Former owner of Froz Broz, Ben brings his meticulous skill in creating the highest caliber ice cream to our soft serve shop. He guides our team in perfecting our recipe and coming up with new and unique flavors.

Clara Wicklund

Retail Manager

With experience in operations and communications, and a love of growing and cooking food, Clara keeps the gears turning and leads our super duper front-of-house team.

Seward Makes is not possible without the community of support that formed us and continues to help us build. The following people deserve recognition:

Ellie Rose – Naming the business

Linnea Maas – Logo design and colorways

Connor Klausig and Molly Horton– Website building

Mary Jacobs – Website and Design work

Zoe Thiel – Small Business Team at the City of Minneapolis

Renee Spillum – Seward ReDesign staff, advising, funding, underwriting

Brigid Higgins – Seward ReDesign staff, design work, grant facilitation

Mara O’Neill – Loan Officer at Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers

Jaylana Peters – Loan Officer at Women Venture

Brad Shamp – General Contractor at Carlson Lavine

Gaelle Berg, Mary Silberschmidt, Sharon Hilberer, John Collier, Antoine Mefleh –  childcare team

Seward Makes Mission

  • Provide a space for existing food businesses to grow in a community environment. 
  • Provide visibility and sales for Seward Makes’ tenant food businesses.
  • Teach and abide by a high standard of food safety and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) so all tenants can manage the inherent risks of making food.
  • Create jobs and teach workplace skills, particularly for neighborhood youth, while paying a fair wage.
  • To be a neighborhood cornerstone, providing neighbors with access to new and locally made foods, as well as a friendly environment for all ages. 

Seward Soft Serve Grand Opening May 2020!

Until then, visit our monthly pop-up sales and other special events.

Stay in Touch

Tune in to hear about Seward Makes upcoming Pop-Up Markets & other news.