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Who Is NWS Anyway?

The Nightwood is a collaboration of women passionate about kicking the status quo to the curb. We are farmers, butchers, and creatives banding together to produce extraordinary experiences around food and wine. Meet each of us below and find out how we contribute to the team.   

 

Meet the magic makers

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Michelle battista // proprietress

Bringing people and ideas together has always been at the heart of what drives Michelle Battista. She built her reputation in the design and marketing world, then a fateful product consulting gig with renown chefs and restauranteurs ignited her love of food. In 2014 she co-opened an event space in NE Portland and a year later formed Stockpot Collective, a community of marketing + content experts in the world of food. Michelle knew the time was right to realize her dream of launching a new venture in food + design with an all woman group of creatives. She gathered her dream team of butcher, bakers, and magic-makers and The Nightwood was born!

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KATI REARDON // proprietress

Kati Reardon has always had a head for business and the heart of a creative. She honed her skills working for international retail brands like Banana Republic, Columbia, and Nike developing innovative products while getting her MBA. Thanks to her educator parents, Kati always knew the value of gathering around a table to share a meal and have thought provoking conversations.  Their open door policy at dinner meant there was always something interesting to discuss. Kati came to food through wellness and her favorite smell in the world is a health food store. Kati's dream for The Nightwood is to add to the conversation surrounding food in this town and to lift up the women striving to improve the way we gather and eat. 

 

 
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Leah scafe // director of experience

Leah Scafe – our favorite Canadian by way of Salmon Arm, B.C. – worked as director for farm-to-table events pioneer Outstanding in the Field, taking her on all kinds of food adventures across the U.S.  After 7 years, Leah arrived in Oregon to co-found Let Um Eat, a network of food producers, chefs, and food advocates. All of Leah’s skills as a planner and problem solver is a major part of the magic at The Nightwood. 

JANENE LARSON // business development

With 25 years of active brand marketing experience, Janene Larson has built a career promoting companies through intuitive product and brand marketing. Janene specializes in the business side of design and consumer culture. She has global consultative experience in marketing, footwear and apparel at Nike, Adidas and other major companies. Janene has a passion for elevating women and design across multiple industries.

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camas davis // butcher 

in 2009, Camas Davis, a magazine editor and food writer at the time, traveled to Gascony in southwest France to study the art of butchery and charcuterie. It was a life changing trip. When she returned, Camas founded the Portland Meat Collective, a one-of-a-kind meat school and culinary resource that has changed the way people think about their food. Camas takes the reins of culinary education at The Nightwood.

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rosemary stafford // floral ninja

Rosemary Stafford is a traveling floral and stylistic spatial designer. The Portland native kicked off her career at 18 years-old and hasn’t looked back. Having majored in Creative Writing at Pitzer College, Rose looks to design as visual storytelling. She launched her own company in 2008 and she partnered with Kara Gilbert of Vibrant Valley Farm in 2017 to learn the flower farming trade. Working with the powerhouse team of the Nightwood Society is a dream come true for Rose. 

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sarah schneider // kitchen queen

Sarah Schneider got her start in the kitchen as a teen. After finishing culinary school in Portland, Sarah worked in groundbreaking kitchens from San Francisco to New York City. She also traveled the world as a chef on a cruise ship. Sarah returned to Portland in 2015, when she took her place in the kitchen at Renata as sous chef and butcher. Sarah's creative energy makes us so excited to have her as our Kitchen Queen.

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JULES BANDY-SMITH // wine

Jules was born and raised on the southern coast of New Jersey, just a stone’s throw from the Atlantic Ocean. Early inspiration came in the form of soft-shell crabs, Jersey tomatoes, and family fishing trips. Jules attended The New England Culinary Institute in Burlington, Vermont where she trained as a chef and fueled her enthusiasm for food, wine, and hospitality. Jules found her way to the Willamette Valley and now serves as Director of Hospitality at Soter Vineyards. She's also unstoppable as our wine maven.

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Kara gibert // farmer

Kara was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. With a strong lineage of farmers and produce purveyors, it is no wonder that farming would be her path. In her undergraduate studies at University of Oregon, she was inspired through an urban farming course which led her to Europe and South America as a volunteer, WWOOFing on farms. She learned and worked with people growing food to gain an international perspective of food policies and the social justice that accompanies it. Vibrant Valley Farm was born out of a love of farming, food and empowering women.

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jane gauger // writer

Jane has always been a storyteller and has her secret childhood notebooks to prove it. She got her start in broadcast journalism as a television news producer and worked across the west coast. A move to Portland in was a much needed change and allowed her to work as a freelance writer, contributing content for online media in food, fashion, and design. She joins The Nightwood as Chief Storyteller and first to volunteer as food tester.

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cristina baez // 
 

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jess ford // artist

Growing up in the Metro Detroit area, Jessica has always pursued painting from a young age.  In 2013 she received her BFA from The University of Michigan School of Art & Design where she continued to focus on painting while also exploring a range of different mediums.  She then studied fashion at Central Saint Martins in London, UK, and since has evolved her work into a strong relationship between painting and and the concepts of body and space.  She is currently based out of Portland, OR working on a new series while always accepting commissioned orders.