2 min read

The Woman Behind the MAC's Food and Drink: Aimee Murphy

The Woman Behind the MAC's Food and Drink: Aimee Murphy

Aimee and I covered a lot of very interesting topics during our rambling 30-minute interview–from wellness to ethnic roots–but the most important question I asked was this:

JK: “As someone who has consumed a lot of wine over the years working in the industry, do you have a good cure for a hangover?”

AM: “Yes, grease therapy all the way. I go to Elsas and get a big fat burger and fries. And then I consume as many liquids as I can to rehydrate.”

Aimee is Bay-area born and bred, as Silicon Valley began to take shape. The irony of having access to one of the first computer labs in a school is that she was and still is technologically challenged.

When she didn’t want to take the LSAT after college like many of her peers, she fell into the restaurant industry. Luckily, it happened to be the right place at the right time for a job to turn into a passion.  Aimee learned the ropes of restaurant management at the five-star Restaurant LuLu in San Francisco. Working with the esteemed wine importer Kermit Lynch, she was introduced to all the right people for her career to take off.

Her passion for wine continued to grow so she went to Sonoma County to get her hands dirty and learn the process of making wine. Aimee took as many classes as possible at UC-Davis  and through a winemaker internship at Testarossa Winery, she recalls having the best time of her life just doing the grunt work.

She came to Milwaukee in 2008 with her then partner Phil Blidou to open Thief Wine Shop. “We didn’t know much about this city before we moved, but found that Wisconsinites are the most loyal people in the world,” says Aimee.  “If they  see you working hard and that you believe in something, they will support you.”

Thief’s most lucrative and Aimee’s most personally fulfilling year as a business owner was 2020, when the shop was closed due to the pandemic. Aimee reached out to her regular customers to take phone orders and recalled those moments of connection running cases of wine out to their car while wearing a mask.

In April, Aimee joined the MAC in April as the Director of Food and Beverage. To this very important role at the club, she brings her varied experiences and commitment to hospitality.

As far as what MAC members can expect in terms of new offerings, she’s looking forward to leaning into the farm to table culture that is so prevalent here in Wisconsin and teaching people about the natural wine movement. She predicts that even the bigger winemakers will start putting more of an emphasis on sustainability and will get on board with the more holistic process of winemaking.

Aimee has embraced all things ‘Sconnie from Charlie Berens and cheese curds to Packers and fishing. She admits, “I felt something immediately about Milwaukee when I arrived. I now consider it home just as much as the Bay area.” But she still hates the snow more than anything and thinks it's strange how people need to be outdoors all the time in the summer.

My last, very important question was this:

JK: What’s your drink of choice and your favorite Milwaukee restaurant?

AM: “Anything sparking, especially sparkling rose. Favorite restaurants are definitely: Braise, Bavette, and Amilinda.

click here to download the membership guide

Meet Our Director of Membership Development: Steph Skrade

Meet Our Director of Membership Development: Steph Skrade

Likely, the first smiling face you encounter at the MAC is Stephanie (Steph) Skrade.

Read More
Milwaukee Athletic Club: Unleashing Potential–MAC Roundtables Ignite Collaboration and Growth

Milwaukee Athletic Club: Unleashing Potential–MAC Roundtables Ignite Collaboration and Growth

The Milwaukee Athletic Club’s roundtable sessions stand as a testament to the vibrant community spirit and the pursuit of professional excellence....

Read More
Milwaukee Athletic Club Members Share Their Experiences

Milwaukee Athletic Club Members Share Their Experiences

There is something for everyone at the new MAC, but don’t take our word for it. While it has long been known for its athletics and amenities, the...

Read More