Tom Buck, the co-owner, was born and raised in New York, on Long Island. He joined the Marines and finished his enlistment at Camp Pendleton. He stayed in California and met Jeannie at a dog park in Los Angeles. She is from Chicago and had been working in L.A. for a few years. As with many people seeking a quieter life, they looked north.
Jeannie Gilgenberg-Buck, co-owner and Tom’s wife, is a television editor, and one of her shows was Top Chef. She began paying close attention to what the contestants were doing, learning about flavors and texture and dreaming of doing it herself “one day.” The couple also owns a bar in Los Angeles, so they have experience with taking care of customers.
A search of several months brought them eventually to Central Oregon. They were looking for a peaceful mountain town to settle in with their three dogs and had a vague hankering to open a wine and tapas bar. Jeannie’s best friend lives in Bend, so we “saved the best for last”. Upon discovering that Cork Cellars was for sale, that hankering suddenly became a reality and a win-win for the seller and new owners.