How is it that philosophy and hospitality blend so beautifully together?
Our case in point, the lovely Mikha Diaz. The proprietress of Two Sisters Bar and Books in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley previously taught philosophy in Manhattan, NY. After a philosophical conversation with her on the topic of hospitality, it’s clear she values its deeper subtleties—the underlying truths that many seem to overlook.
Her diploma in Culinary Management and service background paired with this deeper understanding of hospitality, is what makes her such an inspirational force in the Bay Area restaurant and bar scene. Her unique design aesthetic, wildly creative menu offerings and focus on sustainability create alluring, irresistible spaces… the kind of places where you feel so warmly welcome you just want to settle in for hours!
We asked Mikha a few questions about her hospitality philosophy, and why she has taken such care in shaping a culture of authentic hospitality at Two Sisters.
Q: What do you love most about hospitality life?
A: I an deeply energized by the act of giving. Creating a space that fuels my team members’ creativity and that provides a forum for self expression, and for the development of a professional community goes hand in hand for me with creating a space that provides a respite for our guests—and fills them with a sense of well-being and the knowledge that someone truly cares.
Q: Why have you invested so much love in your staff and management? Paid sick days, advanced scheduling and self-empowerment programs… these aren’t common practices in the restaurant industry.
A: First, it is good business. A stable team creates consistency in product and service, which is one of the benchmarks of loving, hospitable service. Second, care for our guests and for our shared environment, which is the reason I am in this industry to begin with, cannot be developed or shown unless the people who are doing the care-giving are themselves cared for.
Q: Have you found investing in sustainability to be rewarding? Have your guests been appreciative of your efforts?
A: The short answer is yes. On the whole, it does not work for me if we make a profit at someone else’s expense. In this case, abuse of the world in which we live is an expense that diminishes my own sense of a job well done, and is simply unacceptable. It is not the way I can do business. I believe our guests appreciate that we are working as part of a large effort to produce without abuse of the world we must all share.
Q: Why were you compelled to join the Kynder Collective?
A: Louree’s vision of hospitality as a shared endeavour rings so true with me. And the resource of a hospitality site that allows me to highlight the caring and careful professionals who make it possible for my business to thrive is very meaningful to me, and a unique find in our world!
We’re honored to partner with Mikha, to promote a shift in consciousness in the hospitality industry, and to share her new adventures. In fact, new projects abound for Mikha and her team. This fall, Mikha and Two Sisters Chef Alana O’Neal will open Les Arceaux, a French café and wine bar in Downtown Berkeley, CA. Les Arceaux will highlight fresh, local and organic produce and their “visions of culinary creation and heartfelt hospitality.”
Lucky for us, her passion knows no bounds. She’s also in the planning process for a cocktail bar with Two Sisters’ Bar Manager, Kathryn Kulczyk and Brandon Cardinelli. Slated for 2018, the East Bay has much to look forward to!
And while you’re waiting for Les Arceaux, you don’t want to miss a visit to Two Sisters for sublime cocktails like The Lawn Flamingo (diplomatico anjeo rum, pink guava, white miso, lemon/lime, agave and bitters). Enjoy black chanterelle and beluga lentil ragout with roasted asparagus and pecorino polenta… whilst philosophizing with friends in their cozy vintage European atmosphere… a perfectly blissful, intoxicating end to a perfect day in San Francisco.
STAY TUNED we'll be doing a COCKTAILS FOR TWO GIVEAWAY! San Francisco Bay Area entrants only for this giveaway, so if you're not in the SF Bay Area in the next two weeks, tag a friend who is!