From Turf to Surf UND Football’s Graham DeVore creates on-the-water food delivery business.

UND Football defensive end Graham DeVore (left) and his friend, Dylan Dierking, deliver food via Jet Ski on White Bear Lake (Minnesota) as part of their new business venture. Courtesy: Paul Dols Press Publications

Like all of us, UND football defensive end Graham DeVore’s life was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The marketing major, however, turned alteration into innovation.

This summer, DeVore and his high school friend Dylan Dierking started a business on White Bear Lake (Minn.) in which customers buy food from a lakefront restaurant. Then, “Foodski” picks it up and delivers to your boat or dock via Jet Ski.

“(Dierking) has a dock there, and we had got some food and were sitting there and came up with the idea,” DeVore said. “We just said this would be kind of cool and something to do. We looked into it a bit and in a couple of days said, ‘let’s give it a shot.’ What’s the harm? It’s a good experience, and we can make a little money.”

The company motto is “You buy – we fly.”

DeVore and Dierking are Mahtomedi High School graduates and now are studying marketing and entrepreneurship at their respective universities. DeVore planned to get an internship in Grand Forks this summer but the coronavirus pandemic altered his plans.

So, the duo has found another way to gain on-the-job experience. Creating a business plan, getting the necessary permits from the White Bear Lake Conservation District, and a crash course in insurance needs have taught them more than they bargained for.

As an added bonus, Foodski has been met with positive reception.

“Super positive and supportive,” DeVore said. “People say it’s such a good idea and concept. We’ve even been getting job applications. People want to work for us, which is cool. ... (But) for now, we prefer to keep it to us.”

The 6-foot-4, 255-pound junior-to-be grew up going to the lake. His family owned a cabin near Brainerd, Minn.

“It’s just fun being on the water,” he said.

DeVore is back in Grand Forks now to prepare for UND’s 2020 football season, but he’s hopeful the business can continue in future summers.

“I think it’d be cool to push it forward and see how far we can go,” DeVore said. “I’m not really able to help run it now with football. I’m helping in other ways, but on the water it’s just my friend Dylan. It’d be cool to see where we can take it."

DeVore is expected to begin the 2020 season as the starting defensive end for the Fighting Hawks. ///

By Alec Stocker Johnson, ’17