June 16, 2023

Meet the Dads of Fortune Favors

Eric Rupert and his son Colson dressed warmly on a frozen lake for ice fishing

This Father's Day, we wanted to introduce you to some of our staff members and their beloved fathers. (Pictured here: owner and founder Eric Rupert and his son Colson, ice fishing on Lake Mendota; February, 2021.)

Sam, Fortune Favors co-owner and Director of Community

"I'm Sam, and this is my dad, Stephen. These pictures are from the last 40 years, the latest one from this weekend. We didn't get to see each other for the last 18 months, like many of you, and the reunion this past week was pretty emotional. My dad taught me to love food, and to love sharing it with people I care about. The work I do here at Nutkrack carries on the same spirit and joy I found with my dad at huge family dinners with his six siblings and our large extended family. Father's Day this year is extra meaningful for us, after such a long time apart, and we will be sharing some of our pecans with the people we love!" 

Michelle, Director of Social Media for Fortune Favors

"Hello! This is my dad, Jack Greenwood, in 1950 and with me in 1980. For a lot of us who don’t have our dads around any longer, Father’s Day is bittersweet, but I try to use this time of year to dwell on some sweet memories of my dad. I fondly recall late summer mornings during my high school years. He’d share a French-press pot of coffee and fresh croissants he had baked at dawn that day. My dad was a top-notch chef. He began this hobby late in life, after a long career as a car dealer. He taught himself to cook all the French classics, sauces, pâtés, soups, fresh pasta, how to bake, and he created truly spectacular meals for our family and friends. I didn’t always appreciate it when I was younger, and now I wish I’d gotten up earlier to learn how to bake with him."

"All this to say, if your dad is still around, appreciate his special talents and learn all you can from him. Also, I’m certain my dad would’ve loved Nutkrack. He would’ve made amazing pastries with those pecans!"

Jess, Fortune Favors Owner and Head of Operations

"Hello Fortune Favors Lovers! This week, I'm jazzed to tell you a little bit about my dad, Paul. Paulybear, as I like to call him, is an avid outdoorsman, spending much of his time hiking, backpacking, biking, grooming trails, and fishing. When he's not playing outside, he can usually be found traveling, tinkering, fixing stuff around the house, or spending time with the grandkids."

"Paul is retired these days, but had a long career as a financial planner for a bank in my hometown. I think all his financial lessons growing up helped prepare me to run Nutkrack's finances, and to make sure we can keep providing you all with tasty treats! As it turns out, saving for a rainy day, diversifying income, and not spending more than you earn are great ways to handle both business AND personal finances!"

"My dad has always had less of a "direct instruction" and more of a "lead by example" style. His commitment to volunteer work, even starting a men's homeless shelter and weekly shifts at the food pantry, modeled the ways in which we can extend ourselves to improve our community. His "work first, play later" ethos has also served me well, instilling a work ethic that I'm now trying to pass on to my own kids. That part's hard, but he made it seem easy. I am grateful for all of his hard work raising my brother and me and feel very lucky that he only lives a few miles away. He's ready to jump in and help whenever it's needed, and what else can a girl ask for? Love ya, Paulybear!"

Eric, Owner and Founder of Fortune Favors

"Richard Earl Rupert is my father. I think of him every day. He passed a couple of years ago, but is very much alive in my heart and clearly in my genetics. I ask for his guidance and aspire to be as strong and hard-working as I remember him being. He was kind and generous. He lived life on his own terms. He was a quarterback at Syracuse. He painted water towers dangling high above the ground. He traveled across Canada with his brother in search of homesteading. He met my mother at Mickey’s Dairy Bar in Madison, and less than a year later I was their first of three sons. Later on, he met the love of his life and spent the next 45 years with her. I’ve always loved how they loved one another."

"Well into my adulthood, I never planned on being a father. The day I met my wife of almost 30 years, I also met her daughter Kalie, who was two and a half at the time. We have always said that I was lucky enough to fall in love with two women. Kalie made me a dad. Our sons Kellen and Richard Colson rounded out what has proven to be the greatest gift, the greatest challenge, and greatest reward my life has ever known and likely will ever know."

"Any parent that says they are not making the parenting thing up as they go, well let’s just say I don’t believe them for a second. I have always deeply felt that as a chef of over 40 years, the single most important responsibility I had was to work hard to understand the miracle of the ingredients Mother Nature created, what they could become, and get them to the plate without effing them up. Now that I think of it, the same could be said for how I approach fatherhood. Except for the plate thing."

"I cherish looking at my kids and seeing their grandfather’s love in them. I wish all the fathers out there the happiest of Father’s Days."

Share something extraordinary with your dad this Father's Day. Shop Nutkrack's candied pecan gifts and make him smile.