Ky is producer/co-owner of GYST. Ky's interest in food and drink began at Bi-Rite Market in San Francisco, where she also had the opportunity to work with StoryCorps and Bi-Rite's 18 Reasons non-profit community cooking school. Before opening GYST, Ky was a researcher at the University of Chicago, directing the design of a digital-based health curricula using storytelling as a tool. She has a Master's degree from San Francisco State University and was awarded a Fulbright scholarship in Rio de Janeiro, where she studied gender inequality. She is currently partnering with researchers at the University of Minnesota to study the microbiome of both vegetables and humans, as well as the Wayzata Public School system to build their Culinary Arts program. 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 serving as a board member of the Main Street Alliance, a small business advocacy group of socially responsible business leaders.
Mel Guse studied Strategic Communications and Sociology at the University of Kansas. After graduating, she moved out to San Francisco and began her career in consumer public relations, working mostly with tech companies such as Sony and Google. At one point she had the opportunity to work on the Beringer Vineyards Campaign “How To Get To Napa Valley,” and realized that she was in love with wine (although not white zinfandel). She left her PR job and was given the opportunity to help open one of San Francisco’s trendiest pizzerias, Pizzeria Delfina, while completing her sommelier certification through the International Sommelier Guild. After receiving her sommelier diploma, Mel landed a job working in the wine and cheese department at Bi-Rite Market. She quickly learned that her life’s work is to share the pleasures of wine and cheese with others, while making them approachable and accessible. Mel became the co-wine buyer for Bi-Rite where she developed a highly educated palate, with special interests in natural and biodynamic wine.