At IA’s new Minneapolis office, we caught up with Managing Director Cassandra Griep for a glimpse of authentic Minnesota culture revealed through a few key questions:
Q: Are you a Packers or Vikings fan?
A: In Minnesota, that’s not a question. We are a Viking state.
Q: What should we know about hotdish?
A: I prefer tater tots on top. If you haven’t had it, you’re missing out. It doesn’t quite rise to the status of a casserole, but Hotdish is a one-dish comfort food (protein, vegetables and starch) that can include anything you want to put into it. It’s part of Minnesota’s history, economical, and a favorite at home and all social events.
Q: What do you know about butter sculpture?
A: Not much, really. But the Minnesota State Fair, where it’s a big draw, is always a huge event. Some people take a week off for fair going. Last year, 36 percent of the state population attended! With the fairgrounds midway between St Paul and Minneapolis, it really brings people together, and it has something for everyone from arts, food (much of it on a stick), entertainment, new products, livestock, and more.
Q: Have you ever ridden an ice bike?
A: No, I’ve never even seen one, but I grew up in Ashby, a very small community known for its hunting and fishing on beautiful lakes. And, yes, I know how to ice fish and play cards in an ice house to pass the time. I do skate, of course. The best time for skating is before it snows, so that you don’t have to deal with the snow.
Q: How cold does it get in Ashby?
Well, it’s not cold all the time. Summers are warm, but in winter it can hit minus -30°F, so you’ll want a down jacket then. With a wind chill, rarely, it can hit -70°F.
Q: What about hockey?
Sure. It’s a big part of life here and really exciting.
Q: Anything else we should know about Minneapolis?
I love to promote Minneapolis! I think’s it a well-kept secret on so many levels. I’ll give you a few examples.
But enough said! This has been fun! I love being here and I am very excited to be part of the IA team, leading IA’s expansion and great design in Minneapolis!!