Nikki Berglund has been around the wine and food business her entire life, but had never experienced anything quite like the last several months. She spoke with Ladyboss about being an assertive woman in North Dakota, finding nourishment in unexpected places, and putting people over profit.
Can you tell us a little bit about what you do?
How did you get involved in the food and wine industry?
I lived in Denver, CO for many years. Once I graduated college I took an interest in wine and became a wine sales rep for Southern Wine & Spirits. I was in that business for about 5 or 6 years before I decided to move back to my hometown in order to be closer to my family. Before I became a wine rep, my only real jobs had always been in bars and restaurants. My passion for good food goes way back.
The restaurant industry has been hit so hard over the last few months. How have you been able to push through?
I have always considered myself pretty scrappy and am not easily deterred by adversity. There is something almost exhilarating about being thrown into the worst conditions and then figuring out how to get yourself and those around you out of them. Don’t get me wrong though, it has been VERY stressful. I meditate and try and exercise, but most importantly I keep my priorities straight. My son, husband, family, friends, and employees are my number one concern always. The money and business thing has to take a backseat, because at the end of the day, keeping the people I love alive through this is all that really matters. I will admit to a bit more wine and trashy novel reading to get me through though as well!
What do you think women need right now?
I think that women need to be better to each other and also start taking stronger stands especially around here. North Dakota nice is what is expected of us and unfortunately the dark side of that is when you are a woman who is assertive, you come across as a swear word that starts with a “b” even if the conversation is completely warranted. I have developed a pretty thick skin over the years since I have chosen professions that are very male dominated. Also, women really need to start showing up better for human rights in general, rather than just voting how their husbands vote, or with no sense of what other people besides their own demographic might be going through. As caregivers we need to fight for all humans, not just those that tick certain boxes for us.
What does nourishment mean to you?
I derive nourishment from quality things. That can be anything from quality time, to a delicious bottle of wine, to the best damn steak I have ever had, usually cooked by my husband. To me it is anything that makes me extra grateful for my life and I try really hard to find things to be grateful for daily.
How can we better nourish ourselves?
I think that although “self care” has become somewhat of an elitist buzzword, it really is important now more than ever. Also it doesn’t have to mean anything expensive. Self care to me is taking a little time to just be by myself, which happens very seldom these days just due to everything happening. Taking a walk, listening to podcasts, eating good food, playing a video game with my kid, drinking a nice bottle of wine with my husband, these things also nourish me and keep me grounded. Also, a good therapist! This is something I take very seriously!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve heard recently?
“So often in life, things that you regard as an impediment turn out to be great, good fortune.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ok, obviously I didn’t hear this out of her mouth, but have been reading so much about RBG since she left us. She is such an inspiration to me and so many women I know. I think this quote is so timely given everything that is happening right now between COVID-19 and the election. What gets me by is truly believing in the Universe’s plan, and knowing that with hardship comes great strength and oftentimes bigger and better things.