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Talking Top Tens: Shae Whitney

Founder, DRAM Apothecary

03.16.15

Shae Whitney is the founder and owner of DRAM Apothecary located in Silver Plume, Colorado. She has a background in food science, botany, organic agriculture and hospitality and has integrated these skills to create a company that offers handcrafted bitters, teas and syrups made using plants she forages herself from the Colorado terrain. On occasional weekends her workshop is transformed into a casual, yet magical watering hole for locals and mountain day adventurers alike, and has swiftly gained national recognition. Shae is also the founder of Witch and Bitch, a series of classes which seek to teach women skills ranging from plant identification and tea blending to meat butchering and outdoor survival, while simultaneously creating a community for women of all walks to share their knowledge. Follow her work on Instagram.

And more with Shae Whitney…

Your greatest achievement:

Starting a company out of my tiny kitchen I shared with 4 roommates, on a bartender’s wage, and then being published in Food and Wine Magazine as one of America’s Best Food Artisans 2 years later. I couldn’t have done any of it if I hadn’t met Brady, my life partner and soul mate in the midst of it all, who fearlessly jumped in to support my DRAM dream.

What do you love most about your work?

The time I spend outside foraging for our ingredients, which is now called “work” and scheduled into my day. Being outdoors centers me, physically and spiritually and I’m so thankful it’s a full time part of my life now.

One piece of advice you would give your 18 year old self:

Most things aren’t permanent, especially the thing you’re freaking out about. Just work hard, work your ass off, be an honest person, and the good things will come flooding in when you’re ready.

Skincare product you can’t live without (and why):

Weleda Iris Hydrating Night Creme. Colorado air is notoriously dry and this stuff keeps my skin moisturized without breakouts. In the winter I use it as a day crème for extra protection. It’s biodynamic too and my man will even wear it.

Your go-to power outfit:

Anything simple and black, with big gold jewelry. I also never leave the house without a piece of my grandmother’s jewelry for good luck.

Your most recent culinary discovery and obsession:

Green smoothies in the Vitamix with fancy additions like Vitamineral Green and psyllium husks. I know that’s boring, but when you live on top of a mountain the opportunities for culinary discovery are pretty limited. I also have a serious Ramen obsession, especially from Domo in Denver.

Your last great read and why you enjoyed it:

The Dogstars. I’m a huge fan of apocalypse fiction and this story is based in Colorado, so it was double whammy of reading pleasure.

You decompress each day by:

...taking a bath with floral oils or salts or fancy things while watching something that makes me laugh, like Broad City or @Midnight.

Your favorite restaurant for brunch and your go-to order:

City O City in Denver and I always order their breakfast burrito smothered in gravy AND green chili. I worked here for years, and you’d think I’d be sick of it by now but if I have a day off I’ll drive the 40 minutes to Denver just for this burrito. 

A secret talent we should know about:

I make perfectly cooked eggs. PERFECT. Any way you’d like. I raised chickens for 8 years……