I called Dan the morning of our shoot when call time was approaching. His response: “That’s today?”
He showed up about 10 minutes later on a bicycle, a little wet from the rain and a little winded.
Dan was soft-spoken and friendly as he led us on a tour of Granite Gear, Two Harbors’ granite shoreline, and his new bike/coffee shop (Spokengear / Cedar Coffee Company / Cedaero), where he gave us free coffee and offered us lunch (unfortunately, we had to take a rain check because we had another shoot to get to).
Dan is an entrepreneur but doesn’t seem too interested in the money. In fact, he could have opened Spokengear on Highway 61 but chose to be off the beaten path, chose not to have a drive-thru window. He wants this place to be more than a quick cup of coffee. He wants people to come inside and connect.
We think he also likes that his shop backs up to the wilderness. After all, that’s where his journey began.
“We want people to go into the wilderness, recharge themselves, get away from some of the hectic things of our modern age and just embrace the wilderness,” Cruikshank said. “The trees. The cedars. The smell. Everything. Campfires.”