Oregon State University Libraries and Press

Sarah Pederson Oral History Interview, October 20, 2016

Oregon State University
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00:00:25 - Early Life

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Partial Transcript: You were not born here in Oregon, correct?

Segment Synopsis: Pederson shares that she was born in Denver, CO but only lived there for six months. She tells that her parents were finishing up school in Colorado, and then quickly moved back to their small town in Wisconsin. She shares that her entire family all lived really close together, and describes them as a tight nit group. Pederson shares that she had five people in her immediate family, but over fifty in the surrounding area. Pederson describes growing up in Wisconsin as an isolating experience. She says she was surrounded by woods and not near any major cities. She shares that her favorite things to do there when she was little was to play with the neighborhood kids in the nearby lakes and rivers. Pederson shares that even though the winters were really cold, it did not stop people from enjoying the outdoors year round. She tells that she always enjoyed her time in Wisconsin, but from the time that she was around five she knew she was going to go to college and then leave. Pederson shares that not everyone of her peers wanted to leave the small town, however, she shares that about 20 or so of her friends from her small town live in Portland.

Keywords: Bikes; Children; Community; Denver; Family; Industry; Lakes; Manufactory; North Dakota; Pontoons; Portland; Rivers; Shawno; Sibilings; Small Town; Winter; Wisconsin

00:06:37 - Interests as a kid and teenager

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Partial Transcript: So, what did your parents do?

Segment Synopsis: Pederson shares that both of her parents had careers in the medical field. Her dad was a family practice physician, and her mom was a physical therapist in the local school district. Pederson describes that when she was young she was always fascinated with West Coast culture. She also shares that when she was in her teenager years she wanted to be a businesswomen who worked in a big city. Pederson shares that when she was little she wasn't sure what her passion was. She says that she liked people, social environments, and projects. She also shares that she had a pen pal that she connected with through the back of a magazine. Pederson shares that she always knew that there was more culture and different people outside of her town and she wanted to connect with that. Pederson says that the closest city to her was Green Bay, and when she was younger she thought that Green Bay was a huge city comparable in size to that of New York City even. She shares that she went to Madison a lot, and would occasionally go to Minneapolis or Chicago on school trips, so she knew that there was more of a world out there.

Keywords: Chicago; College; Doctor; Green Bay; Los Angeles; Madison; Minneapolis; Pen Pals; People; Physical Therapist; West Coast

00:12:43 - Going to College

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Partial Transcript: So, as your finishing thinking about next steps after high school, what did you do?

Segment Synopsis: Pederson desribes that she wanted to go to college, somewhere were people would not know her name or story. She wanted to find her own people without people already knowing everything about you already. She shares that she ended up going to school in Minneapolis. She says that she did not feel like a fish out of water, because culturally there were a lot of similarities to her life in Wisconsin, however, she would not describe it the same and says it was very different. She shares that she tried out a lot of different majors and then realized that it was not for her. She shares that she ended up doing an interdisciplinary, create your own major in order to still finish in four years. Pederson shared that she did her last year of school in LA as part of the National Student Exchange. She shares that in her college years she did feel anonymous, but she describes that she still had a close knit group of friends. Pederson says that she never had a desire to return to her hometown after college, however, she still loves her hometown and visits for almost two weeks every year. She shares that she feels very connected to the people in her hometown.

Keywords: Brothers; College; Economic differences; Family; Graphic Design; Journalism; Los Angeles; Majors; Minneapolis; National Student Exchange; Roomates; Sound; Spanish

00:20:05 - Culture in Minneapolis/Moving to Los Angeles

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Partial Transcript: What are things you remember about the culture of Minneapolis?

Segment Synopsis: Pederson shares that one of her major draws to Minneapolis was the music scene. She also shares that she met a lot of people that were members of sub-cultures that she had never been exposed to before. She shares that she loved meeting people of different backgrounds and ways that they lived. She shares that she lived in Minneapolis for three years, before she moved to Los Angeles. Pederson shares that she knows people from her college days that live in Portland now and are still her friends today. Pederson describes falling in love with the food scene in Minneapolis, she shares that her dorm had the best food on campus. She shares that she went to a lot of different restaurants and tried a lot of food from different cultures. She shares that she did her final year in Los Angeles because she always had a desire to live on the West Coast. She shares that she found an apartment right away, and worked full time while finishing up her last year of school. She says she worked for a record company in the PR field. She shares that she became less interested in music when she started to work in the industry.

Subjects: Culture; Food; Friends; Los Angeles; Minneapolis; Music; Portland; Prince; Restaurants; Sub-cultures

00:29:52 - Life in LA/Move to Portland

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Partial Transcript: I guess thinking about image and the value that you placed on connecting with people?

Segment Synopsis: Pederson says that Los Angeles was almost everything she expected it to be. She shares that she felt comfortable in the city, however, she shares that she found it harder to connect to the people. She shares that she felt a disconnect from some people because of how incredible intelligent they were. She shares that a lot of her friends that she made were not deep connections. She says that she finally ended up deciding to move because she wanted to connect with people about having more of a community. Pederson shares that she moved to Portland a month after she decided she needed to move. Before choosing Portland she shares that she debated between a lot of different cities through the United States. She shared that she had a job in college that allowed her to travel a lot and had a good idea about different places. She shares that she got hired by a PR agency in Portland before she moved here, and ended up working for Microsoft.

Keywords: Austin; Balitmore; Connections; Friends; Los Angeles; Microsoft; People; Portland; Savanna; car culture; coffee shop; community; sterotypes

00:39:39 - First Impressions in Portland

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Partial Transcript: What are those mental slivers, those things you remember from your first year in Portland?

Segment Synopsis: Pederson describes some of her early memories of living in Portland. She shares that she loved the weather, she was afraid that it was going to be really cold here but was surprised when it was not. She says that she was expecting a lot more rain than there was, and she also remembers thinking that everything was really cheap here. She describes Portland as quiet and comments that Portland lacked a vibrant night scene. She shares that she quickly learned about beer and food in the Portland scene. She and her friend explored a lot of the restaurants and really taught themselves about the food scene.

Keywords: Beer; Culture; Food; Inexpensive; Quiet; Rain; Weather

00:41:33 - Starting work in the food industry

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Partial Transcript: Where you at that point developing an interest in beer and artisanal craft?

Segment Synopsis: Pederson shares that she has always eaten healthy and carried about what she put into her body. She shares that it wasn't until she moved to Portland where she finally started to care about the quality of ingredients. She shares that she had a friend who was starting her own food business that she quit he corporate job to go work for. She said she just did not vibe with working in PR and in a corporate business. She shares that once she started working in the culinary world she drifted toward beer culture. She joined the American Brewers Guild and learned how to brew, and joined the brewing world of Portland. She shares that she worked under a few different brewers at various breweries around town. She tells about the different people and brewers that became part of her circle during her time learning to brew.

Keywords: American Brewers Guild; Beer; Beer influences; Business; Culinary world; Food; Hawthorne; Healthy; Mircosoft; Pix Patisserie; Quality; Saraveza; Williams

00:51:01 - Developing skills and connections in the beer world.

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Partial Transcript: Did it feel like a community that your naturally clicked with?

Segment Synopsis: Pederson describes that she has always felt connected with the Oregon beer community. She says the only time she experienced any backlash was when she was initially opening up her restaurant and a few people had commented that she was never going to "make it" in the industry. She shares that she never felt like there was a lot of competition in the industry like there is now. Peterson talks about how the Portland food scene is rooted in high quality ingredients and the farm to table movement. Peterson talks about how she also developed her cooking skills while she was learning more about beer, however, she would never describe herself as a chef.

Keywords: Beer community; Brewers Guild; Competition; Farm to table; Restaurant; Saraveza; The Oregonian; Urban farmers; Wine; cooking; farmer's market; hops; water

00:57:38 - Starting Saraveza

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Partial Transcript: So what made you want to start this place?

Segment Synopsis: Pederson describes that when she worked in a brewery that beer was her path, however, she did not want to make the beer herself. Pederson describes that the restaurant industry was familiar to her and after helping her friend start a restaurant a few years back she knew she could go out on her own and start one. She shares that she has worked in the restaurant business from the time she was a teenager so she had a pretty good grasp on how it works. Pederson shares some of her influences for her restaurant and says she draws on a lot of Wisconsin themes. She shares how she would go to flea markets to find vintage memorable and beer related items to decorate her new bar and became known at flea markets as the "beer girl". She shares that her basement was completely full of just random items that she was going to fill her bar with.

Keywords: Beer; Belmont Station; Cold; Eugene; Flea Market; Food; Grain; Making Beer; Minneapolis; Restaurant; Saraveza; Wisconsin; influences

01:06:45 - Opening Saraveza

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Partial Transcript: Talk about the early opening?

Segment Synopsis: Pederson shares that she had an idea for theme and style, and that theme was always beer. She said she took inspiration from her Uncle's basement. She shares that there is lot of Midwest influences in her bar as well. She says that she wanted her staff to be knowledgeable at the beer, and instead of just serving it to people, they were curating it. She shares that she chose the location in the Humboldt neighborhood of Portland mainly because there was nothing really there already. She tells that she also wanted to serve food at her bar, and just have good food, good beer, and great hospitality. Pederson shares that she doesn't really have work-life balance and that she puts almost all of her energy into the bar. She tells that she wanted to open up her business before she had children, because she knew she would not be able to put as much energy into her businesses as it needed. She shares that it can be a challenge when deciding what beers to bring in, because there are so many good beers out there it becomes a challenge.

Keywords: Beer; Beer Selection; Bottleshop; Change; Childen; Community; Competition; Cozy; Early business; Food Service; Humbolt; Knowledgeable; Location; Midwest; Neighboorhood; Opening; Sales; Saraveza; Sours; Stouts; Theme; Work-life balance

01:15:19 - Work-Life Balance

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Partial Transcript: So, five years ago is that when you had your first child?

Segment Synopsis: Pederson shares that she had her first child six years ago. She shares that she looks at her business as her first baby, and her actual child as her second baby, however, her second baby was way harder. She shares that running a business seems easy when compared to raising a child. She says that it forces her to have some sort of work-life balance and has pushed her to be more of just the owner and the boss, instead of being the day-to-day manager. Pederson talks about the changes that have came about sense she opened up. She shares that they are not the only bottle shop around any more and shares there is a lot of competition between bottle shops and grocery stores. Pederson tells that Portland has become a major destination for beer tourism, which requires her staff to be a lot more knowledgeable about all the different types of beer they have.

Keywords: Children; Fear; Owner; Work-life balance; beer tourism; bottleshop; changes; competition; connections; grocery stores; hops; knowledge; relevancy

01:20:56 - Favorite thing about owning a bar

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Partial Transcript: How do you continue to be intentionally about connecting with community, people, and customers, since you've became a business owner?

Segment Synopsis: Pederson shares that she gets socially drained easily because she talks with people all day at work, so she is less social than she used to be. She shares that she had kids now too, so she goes out less and less. She shares that she is proud of the fact that she became a space for Green Bay Packers fans in Portland area to come and cheer for them. She loves being that niche bar in town were she can provide Wisconsin culture in Portland.

Keywords: Children; Football; Green Bay Packers; Pride; Private; Social; Wisconsin

01:24:13 - Being a women in beer industry

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Partial Transcript: What was something that you thought that I would ask or thought that you would say that you didn't get the chance to answer or ask?

Segment Synopsis: Pederson describes what it is like to be a women working in the beer industry. She shares that she wants to be a positive influence for others in the business, she shares that she wants to keep her eyes open for people who may need help in the industry and be a role-model or mentor for them. She tells that as a women bar owner, it helps make her space more open to everyone of every background. Pederson shares some of her thoughts on being a parent to a daughter and some of the challenges that it presents.

Keywords: Community; Daughter; Gender; Leadership; Options; Pregnancy; Role-model; The Love of Beer; Women in Beer; attention