dairy free nutmilk cheeses


Our Story


Punk Rawk Labs is owned and operated by three women: a scientist turned raw chef, a record store owner, and a nutritionist.

After a health crisis, founder, Alissa, had to change her diet. Her friend Heidi, a registered dietitian specializing in digestion, gave her advice on what to eat. Alissa took those suggestions to heart and became a living foods chef, graduating with the inaugural class of professional chefs from the Matthew Kenney Academy. While she continued recovering her health, she began developing products that she could eat that were not available on the market. Her favorite invention was a fermented nutmilk cheese that finally satiated her desire for dairy.

Alissa begun selling her healthy food creations and was scheduled to teach her first uncooking class at the co-op where Julie worked as a buyer. Julie had sold her record store and was interested in this new business. It turned out that Julie had similar dietary issues and they had a lot in common. Since Alissa was still on crutches, Julie offered to help. After a successful Kickstarter campaign the business expanded rapidly with requests from all over the country. At that point Alissa and Julie decided to officially become partners and they built out their state of the art cheese laboratory/wholesale kitchen.

As the business continued to expand they needed more help and came full circle bringing Heidi on board in 2013. We are excited to have a common vision and bring our talents together to help create healthy delicious food options for ourselves and everyone else!


The Owners

Alissa Barthel

The Chef


Alissa is a living cuisine chef who studied under Matthew Kenney and graduated from the Matthew Kenney Academy. With a background as a microbiologist and over twenty years of kitchen and restaurant experience, PRL began as her brainchild. Alissa wears many hats at PRL from IT/Tech guru, internet marketing and webpage designer, manager of food safety/compliance issues, cashflow/financial spreadsheets, investor reporting, and her most important role as kitchen manager.

Heidi Ochsner MS, RD

The Nutritionist


Heidi has a Masters in Nutrition and is a Registered Dietitian specializing in digestion. She also has 13 years of experience in the food service industry. Currently, Heidi is in charge of sales and vendor relations.


Julie Wellman

The Record Store Owner


Julie owned Hymie’s Vintage Records, bringing it back from closure in 1999. After selling the business in 2009 she became a buyer at the Seward Co-Op, one of Minneapolis fastest growing co-ops. At Punk Rawk Labs, Julie handles payroll, monthly financials, invoicing, shipping, inventory, office and bookkeeping duties.

Punk Rawk Labs’ mission is to astonish and inspire customers by creating delicious, healthy nutmilk cheese bringing gourmet dairy free choices into their lives. We envision a world where food options are diverse, delicious and healthy for our bodies, our communities and the planet.

Punk Rawk Labs, Inc.  2224 E 35th St.  Minneapolis, MN  55407