Dean Phillips


Penny’s Coffee




From his time as an executive at his family’s Phillips Distilling empire, where he modernized and upscaled the product line, to his time as chairman of Talenti Gelato (sold to Unilever after accumulating 5 percent of the U.S. ice cream market from scratch) to his distinctive new coffeehouse/lunch emporia Penny’s, Dean Phillips seems to have a knack for where the marketplace’s sensibility and desires reside. Philanthropic and cause-oriented, Phillips agreed to take on Republican U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen from the DFL side with a pragmatic but empathetic agenda. The DFL son of privilege-turned-entrepreneur and potential public servant could set the right moderate tone for a very purple district.