Our team - the knowledge, humor, and passion- is what makes GYST a truly, great food business. We care deeply about what you are eating and drinking, as well as the farmers and producers from which your food and drink come from. We work together to create experiences and events that are welcoming and fun. If you are up for it, we’re happy to share stories and chat about fermentation for a little cultural and educational exchange.
Ky's interest in food and drink began at Bi-Rite Market in San Francisco, as well as an internship she had at Bi-Rite's non-profit, 18 Reasons, where she worked on a project in collaboration with StoryCorps. Before the opening of GYST, Ky was a researcher at the University of Chicago's Section of Family Planning directing the design of a digital-based health curricula using storytelling as a tool. She has an MA degree in Sexuality Studies from San Francisco State University and was awarded a Fulbright scholarship in Rio de Janeiro where she studied how gender inequality affects sexual and reproductive health. She is dedicated to connecting local and global food movements, women's equity in agriculture and the power of stories as nourishment. She is currently a board member of the Main Street Alliance.
Mel Guse moved to San Francisco for a career in Public Relations after graduating from the University of Kansas with a degree in Strategic Communications and Sociology. While working on the Beringer Vineyards Campaign “How To Get To Napa Valley,” she realized that she was in love with wine (although not white zinfandel). Following her passion for wine and food, Mel left her PR job to help open one of San Francisco’s trendiest pizzerias, Pizzeria Delfina, while completing her sommelier certification. After receiving her sommelier diploma through the International Sommelier Guild, Mel joined the wine and cheese department at Bi-Rite Market and was quickly promoted to Co-Wine Buyer. At Bi-Rite Market, Mel learned that her life’s work is to share the pleasures of wine and cheese with others while making them approachable and accessible.
Jill Mott, a sommelier and former instructor in Minnesota for the International Sommelier Guild (ISG), has worked in almost every facet of the wine world from distribution to assistant winemaking/viticulture research, writing and consulting. She is the founder of Jill Mott, a sommelier and former instructor in Minnesota for the International Sommelier Guild (ISG), has worked in almost every facet of the wine world from distribution to assistant winemaking/viticulture research, writing and consulting. She is the founder of Jill Mott Selections, an import/distribution project to bring in more natural and/or small-scale production wines into the U.S.
Jim Bovino's path has taken him through the arts, sustainable agriculture, and the championing of small-scale, local businesses and production models. He was a founding partner of Keepsake Cidery, the lead farmer at California Street Farm, a 1/2 acre urban farm in NE Minneapolis, and worked on a diversified blueberry farm on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. Jim has served as co-chair of the Land Access subcommittee for Homegrown Minneapolis. Before this, Jim was Managing Director of the Ritz Theater and co-Artistic Director of Flaneur Productions. At GYST, Jim is the Director of Fermentation, responsible for the production of house-made traditional pickles and kombucha, relationships with local growers, and provides strategic leadership for sustainability and local food movements.