Anne (Knipe) Spaeth, ’93, ’98, never considered herself an expert in the kitchen.
But a five-year stint in Europe expanded her palate and opened her eyes to what food can do to build a community and culture.
While in London, Anne regularly visited public markets, a setting where neighbors gathered and developed relationships around food. Customers knew their foods’ origins and producers and that resonated with Anne.
After moving back to the Minneapolis area, she used her experience abroad and her UND degrees to open The Lynhall, a multiservice restaurant business offering cooking classes, specialty cakes, afternoon teas, and a filming studio. In the public restaurant or private dining rooms, customers are invited to grab a seat at one of its long tables and enjoy the European flavor in every bite.
Anne had built a law career but moving to Europe for her husband’s job posed challenges to continue. Instead, she focused on raising her boys and experiencing what Europe had to offer… including its food. After moving back to Minneapolis, Anne jumped back into legal work, but the dream of starting her own restaurant took over. “Before long, we had a building, a brand and all the right people in place to open The Lynhall in June 2017.”
Edina, a Minneapolis suburb, brings in a predominately female crowd to The Lynhall – especially with its afternoon teas on weekends – while a more eclectic crowd frequents the Uptown Minneapolis location. Professional gatherings, family celebrations and even UND reunions fill up The Lynhall private event calendar. The Linney Studio is booked by startups, network television shows and even families who want to film grandma making her secret recipe.
Enjoy Afternoon Tea at the Lynhall
Anne’s staff of 56 have become her second family. She’s trained five children from one family. She’s mourned with an employee who lost a child to ALS. She’s celebrated a baker’s transition to a dream job in Oregon. And when Anne goes through her own doubts and trials, her team gets her back on her feet.
If you’re not willing to do some deep, introspective work, you might as well just close your doors because you have to continue to grow.
Anne has learned to stay out of the kitchen to allow her staff creative freedom. But as a restaurant owner, Anne applies her economics and law degrees through circumstances like COVID-19, HIPAA privacy law, unemployment, and daily decision-making.
Anne fondly remembers Sanders 1907 Restaurant (now Sky’s Fine Dining & Cloud 9 Lounge) and what it meant to the city of Grand Forks. “Kim Holmes created such a beautiful, welcoming space with those gorgeous rosemaled benches and booths. He found a way to come alongside the community and bring in food on a level that I don’t think a lot of us understood even at the time.”
“These last two years have shown us how important it is to reflect on your own mental health, your own physical health, your own self-care. If you’re not willing to do some deep, introspective work, you might as well just close your doors because you have to continue to grow."