We had the good fortune of connecting with Michele Hamilton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michele, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Black people are so under represented in hospitality, Black women especially. I wanna highlight how essential we’ve always been in this industry. Our unique palate, skills, & style of service creates such diversity. The thought was; an amazing story is great, to walk the walk though is not only inspiring, but impressive.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Every mixologist is different. Our memories & perception of taste are never fully the same. If there was one thing that I could say sets me apart, it would be the way I incorporate spices & use of infusion. I hate using more than 5 or 6 ingredients in a cocktail, that’s too much. I’m still going to give you a plethora of flavor, I’ve just grown fond of condensing them. Every satisfied guest is a proud moment for me. As much as this is about cocktails, is as much as this is about people. I’ve only gotten to where I am by not just talent, but the connections I’ve made with the talented people that came before me. Nothing worth having is ever easy, & your will is habitually tested. When Covid hit & shut the industry down, I had A LOT of time & pressure to pursue another career path. I tried to find other jobs that would be fulfilling & sustainable, but couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I thought about the long shifts, time away from family, body aches, rude guests, bad tips, every negative i could because at times its a thankless place. The conclusion i came to was this is it for me. The cons could never outweigh the joy my soul feels creating cocktails, atmosphere, memories & experiences with people. I’m still learning & have a long way to go, but there’s an African proverb that sums up what I know, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Finding your tribe is imperative. Working with like-minded individuals is mandatory. Learning, practicing, networking, research & development is crucial. None of these things you can do alone!! Set short & long term goals, accept criticism, & go with your gut.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Monday – Monkey’s Tail for steak night Tuesday – Pistoleros for taco Tuesday Wednesday – Braeswood Farmers Market Thursday – All the museums Friday – Perry’s for lunch, & Listen to Marium Echo at Alley Kat that night Get drinks & food at Anvil, Julep, Jake’s, AKA, Lola’s (lol), Backstreet, Eunice, Mikki’s, Nancy’s, Lucille’s, and The Breakfast Klub. There’s more, but those are my go tos. Check out the waterwall, galleria, food truck park, stroll down ‘Trose, visit the breweries, and go to Sam’s Boat at some point over the weekend so we can spot Macaroni Tony. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I could never dedicate this shout-out to just one person. What inspires & keeps me motivated are the people who believe in me. The ones that claimed success over my career before i ever dreamed of it. I know yall know, but you’ll never truly understand how full of love my heart is for yall.