About Us

The Dynamic Trio

A toast to future success and service to the community! 


Robert, Brett and Amberleigh  

See below for more info.

Robert Pinkley

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Managing Owner

Robert is a lifelong Washington resident. His family settled in the Yakima Valley in the 1800's and were one of the first families to plant apple and peach orchards. His grandfather built the first Yakima newspaper. Grapes and hops have been part of Robert's heritage and he has family ties with Washington hop agriculture, wineries and a vast variety of fruits and vegetables. Robert even sources his cured meats for the Leader Block kitchen from another family tie, the Batali side of the family.  The charcuterie plate features these delicious meats. 


Robert has a graduate degree in International Finance from the University of Pennsylvania and upon graduation worked in Washington DC for the Us Dept. of Commerce in the International Trade Administration. He also worked with Vanguard Exporting Co. exporting agricultural products from eastern Washington and recently opened Top Cellars of WA wine. In essence Robert has a real passion for fruit and has combined that with his life experiences, compelling him to lay the foundations of the Leader Block Wine Co. & Eatery. 


Leader Block derives its name from the original name of the building which housed a retailer or agricultural products, meat packer and a speakeasy pharmacy in the 1920's during the Prohibition Era. 


The Leader Block Wine Co. & Eatery believes that food, wine and hospitality help to build upon the human spirit. Please join us as we share in the spirit of the Leader Block and gather to rejoice over a glass of wine, a great meal and an adorning smile!

Brett Wiltse

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Co-Owner

Brett is a lifetime Whatcom County resident and entrepreneur who has over 25 years experience as a restaurant plumber. When Brett started on the Leader Block Wine Co. project, he fell in love with the concept and decided to shift his focus to co-ownership. Robert and Brett found similar goals and drive in the pursuit of providing a community location for locals and visitors alike to wine, dine and enjoy. 

Amberleigh Brownson

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Director of Operations

She is a lifetime restaurant professional, a trained sommelier and wine judge. Amberleigh jumps into every project with enthusiasm. She has a love for the industry and the people she helps and it shows in all she does. 


Staff

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Executive Chef Justin Oberg

Executive Chef Justin Oberg had worked up to Sous Chef of a steakhouse at merely 17 years of age. 


He got the travel bug and worked seasonally for over 50 chefs, some James Beard Award Winners and some Michelin Star earners in multi-cultural scenes on charter yachts and the mainland including Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, Colorado and California. 


He is excited to have planted his roots in the Pacific Northwest and bring his experience and talent to Whatcom County!  



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