We had the good fortune of connecting with Dan Sundstrom and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dan, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
We [Dan and Joann] have always wanted to own our own business and have always had a passion for the hospitality industry.
After a camping trip where a buddy of ours introduced us to some home-brew he had made, I [Dan] immediately fell in love. As soon as I got home I jumped right into learning how to home-brew. This hobby soon became a passion and my son Jesse began to take an interest in the process alongside me. As we got better at home-brewing, we started entering in competitions and received some recognition for our brews.
Our family began dreaming up owning a brewery. It started as a far-off dream that was more of a conversation piece than anything. As we continued to win competitions, we began to think we might really be able to pull this off. Then, one day, we said if we win one more competition, let’s go for it. We did, and the rest is history.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My career can be summed up in the phrase “ jack of all trades”. My mind is diverse and scattered as can possibly be! In college I studied to be an architect with a minor in marine biology. I also had a love of photography. As fate would have it, I got a job at a camera store which was a friend of my grandparents and I quickly moved into running the darkroom. I loved having control of the creative process and persued a career in the photographic field. I worked in commercial photography for over 20 years working with celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Linda Rondstat, Dolly Parton,Fleetwood Mac and many others. It was a cutthroat world and I knew when it was time to leave. Having quite a lot of experience in stage construction and repair on the fly, plus a love of woodworking, I took a job as a facilities director. I did this for 15 years. I gained experience in all trades from electrical to plumbing, network IT systems and general construction.
As a third career, and after 10 years of home brewing experience, I decided to open a brewery! We built literally everything! From the bar and bartops to the tables. All the electrical for the brewery, Plumbing, networks, framing,signage…we did it all
All my previous careers played into the outcome. I don’t think Ten Mile would be a reality without the experience I had gained over the previous 35 years. I’ve learned that being a “jack of all trade and master of none” is a valuable lesson. While I can do many things extremely well, there are things that professionals can do much quicker and cheaper! It’s just hard to pay someone else when you say to yourself “ I can do that”!
What I want the world to know is that Ten Mile is born of ingenuity and passion. Hard work and love for our community. We put our own blood sweat and tears into our products and I think it shows in the quality. Our beers are already (after 3 years) multiple award winners at state and nation levels and I think it shows our passion for our craft and our desire to make the finest product we possibly can.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Our family has alway been a “foodie” type family. Any visit would evolve around the best places to eat! For the best view in the city and amazing food, , I’d head to the Fuego at the Maya resort. Great drinks and Mexican food!! Personal other favorites are Robert Earl’’s BBQ for the best ribs and brisket in town! HiroNori Craft Ramen in Bixby is the bomb! And I Luv Sushi for the best sushi in town!
A visit to Hilltop park is required for stunning 360 views of the South Bay to , DTLA and south OC. Then a stop by the best beer bars, 4th Horseman, Dutches Brewhouse and Bottlecraft to get a taste of the best The south land has to offer. Of course we’ hit the best of local breweries too, Ambitious Ales, Beachwood Brewing, Long Beach Beer Lab and Liberation. And of course Ten Mile Brewing!!!
A fun night cap is the Blind Donkey in underground LB , great for rare whiskey and a lively atmosphere.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
So many people have gone into the process of making this dream come true. First and foremost to my [Dan’s] parents, David and LaHoma Sundstrom who made this dream possible.
Then to each member of this family, for each of them have contributed to this business in extraordinary ways and sacrificed much in order for this to happen.
And to each of our friends and patrons who continue to come support Ten Mile one pint at a time!