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The Sargetakis Family

Joe and Paula Sargetakis – Frog Bench Farms
Joe_and_Paula_Photo
Joe has been involved with the wine business since 2000 when he and his wife, Paula, invested in Parallel Wines. In 2004 he took the business manager job at the winery and spent 2003 to 2007 harvests in Napa working harvest and processing under the winemaker for Parallel, Philippe Melka (Food and Wine Magazine, Winemaker of the Year 2005). He also was cellar intern for 5 other wineries being made at Fantesca Winery at the same time. He and Paula have been collecting for their cellar since 1984 and have made numerous wines for their own consumption for 6 years. He is currently Distribution Manager for Parallel Wines and Co-Owner of Frog Bench Farms, an urban garden and greenhouse growing exclusively for the farm-to table restaurants in Salt Lake City.

Pauline has grown up working in the Wine industry with Parallel Wines. Working on Crush, Harvest and on the sales side. She developed a passion for wine that grew. In 2012 Pauline started working with a local wine brokerage Vine Lore. Vine Lore represents 90 different vineyards and importers from around the world. Pauline specializes in educating the restaurants in Utah about how to create the best list for their company and educate their staff on wine. During the last couple of years she has studied to receive her CSW from the Society of Wine Educators and WSET (Wine Spirits Education Trust) level 2. These wine education entities give the necessary background information to understand the history, current trends and business practices in the international Wine Industry. Pauline is dedicated to educating her community about the wine industry.

About Frog Bench Farms

To have reached the benchmark of urban farm owner and operator of Frog Bench Farms has taken many years, possibly even generations, of various careers, education opportunities, travels and conversations all coming together at just the right time in just the right place.

We are a new company, just finishing our third summer growing season, unique to the Salt Lake Valley area.  You won’t be able to find anything like it anywhere in northern Utah.  We have accomplished a lot since April of 2011 and have very big plans for our future.  We are a sustainable, organic urban farm specializing in local, heirloom, unique, vegetables for local restaurants.  Some of our current unique features are the year-round 2800 square foot greenhouse, the microgreen growing facility, kitchen area and our LEED Silver certification.  We farm 1½ acres which consists of a vineyard, fruit and nut trees/shrubs, vegetables in the row planting areas and chickens.  The greenhouse is being used for growing different vegetables and herbs year round.  We also have cold frames which include 16 different bins for year round season extending growth with expansion in the plans for next winter.

We work closely with several local restaurants in the Salt Lake valley that believe strongly in supporting locally grown food for their customers.  We enjoy this collaboration as it gives us the opportunity and exposure to items we might not have every grown.  We get to explore and experiment with so many different tastes and textures and work with those to complement and enhance the more familiar items found on a menu.  As well as the Chefs introducing us to new/different products we get to introduce new items that we hope will spur their imaginations onward.

Growing, harvesting, preparing the plants from the garden for family and friends to enjoy is one of life’s greatest pleasures.  We have always enjoyed the nutrition, science, creation and artistry that can occur in a kitchen, as well as the love of playing in the dirt.  Paula would garden with her mom and Grandmother when she was little and always loved helping them – or anyone that would let her for that matter – prepare and cook what had been grown.  Paula’s Great Grandmother had an amazing home garden in downtown Salt Lake City, by Liberty Park and a farm out in the Cottonwood area of Salt Lake City, which she fed her entire family from all year long.

We have had the opportunity to help in the planning and planting of a vineyard, harvest, processing and blending of grapes to wine, to the completion of sales of finished product over the last 15 years – let alone many, many more years of tasting.

Experiential education is very important to us and is a part of all we do; we are excited to be a part of Park City Culinary Institute.

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