Joke email turns into real-life hand modeling opportunity with Brooklyn Park distillery

As the owner of Skaalvenn Distillery in Brooklyn Park, Tyson Schnitker gets his fair share of emails.

"A lot of compliments on products, and a lot of questions... 'Hey do you distribute in this state?'" said Schnitker.

But one Saturday afternoon, a message popped up in his inbox that stopped him in his tracks.

"I said to my wife, 'Hey Mary, come read this email really quick!' and she read it and said, 'They can't be serious. It has got to be a joke,'" said Schnitker.

"To the successful people who have grown Skaalvenn," the message read in part, "I'm Minnesota born, and Minnesota raised and my hands show years and years of swinging axes and turning wrenches. If your fine company were to ever consider a hand model, I'd ask you to consider me."

The email was signed Duel Frye. Yes, that's his real name and yes, he actually worked as a railroad mechanic for years.

Frye explained the whole thing started as a joke to make his then-girlfriend, now fiancée, laugh. To his surprise, Schnitker actually called him back.

"I told him, 'Hey I appreciate the email. Unfortunately, we don't have the budget or current need for a hand model' and he started chuckling a little bit, and that's when I knew he had the same humor that we have," said Schnitker.

They decided to make the joke a reality and scheduled a photo shoot. Schnitker even snapped a few engagement photos for Frye and his fiancée.

The photos of Frye are now on Skaalvenn's social media pages and will soon adorn the walls of their cocktail lounge.

"It just blows my mind that this all happened. It was completely unexpected. I'm just very grateful," said Frye.

This random email has blossomed into much more than just hand-modeling photos, too. Frye and his fiancée invited Schnitker and his wife to their wedding this summer.

In a world of not-so-nice things on social media, Schnitker is grateful these photos bring a smile to people's faces.

"You can't make this up. It just happened," said Schnitker, "I think it was serendipitous that it went to us, the distillery that was actually going to run with it."