In many ways Emma Koehler was the mother of Pearl brewery—ushering it through the trying times of Prohibition and beyond. As we reflect on this past year and the resilience we’ve witnessed, the roles mothers play loom large. Pearl is a community of small businesses chock-full of mothers and daughters and for this year’s Mother’s Day, we want to highlight some of our special moms (and moms to be). Their stories are important and powerful and they are a huge reason why Pearl is what it is. A special shout out to the moms at Pearl and beyond, especially after this intense year.
For Nancy and Rachael, advocating for our local food ecosystem is a family affair. Nancy has been the face of Pearl’s Farmers Market for over five years and her daughter Rachael has been right there beside her. In the wake of COVID-19, they immediately got into action—hustling to create a channel that supported our local food producers and building an avenue for the community to have access to fresh foods during an intense period of food insecurity. This mother/daughter team brings immense passion and humor to their work at Pearl. And they exemplify the power of instilling a love of food and community in the next generation.
Nilgün & Ayşe | Niche at Pearl
Like Mother, Like Daughter
Nilgün began her Niche brand of clothing back in 1996. From the beginning it has been designed and made right here in San Antonio. Nilgün’s daughter Ayşe is the Creative Director for the brand and together they represent the best and brightest–using their platform to elevate independent brands. Nilgün’s talents aren’t limited to clothing design (or being a mom), she also has a green thumb and excels at the Japanese art of kokedama, a planting technique that uses soil and moss wrapped with twine to create sculptural hanging plants. Join them both on Saturday, May 8 between 1 and 3 p.m. for a demonstration and meet them in person.
Two minutes with Chef Nicola and you can feel her power and passion. A military veteran, Culinary Institute of America graduate, and mother to Champion (and in a couple months a baby girl!), Chef Nicola is a force. The circumstances under which she opened Mi Roti are impressive. She did this while successfully managing her Jerk Shack concept on the west side of town; while acclimating to being a new mom; AND while navigating a pandemic that ravaged the hospitality industry. She’s unstoppable and powerfully illustrates what so many mothers do—just about everything.
Farming is not for the faint of heart, but Sarah of Talking Tree Farm embraces the challenge with the same grace and confidence she does with motherhood. She hails from San Antonio and spent time overseas before returning in 2015 with her French husband to embark on a quest: share knowledge and practice of sustainable agriculture. Their small family farm in Schertz is big on ideas and poised to transform our relationship with food and the earth. Watching Sarah and her growing family has been a true joy for the Pearl team. This last year has been unbelievably difficult, but seeing Sarah at our weekend markets with her littles (Leo, 3 and Juliette, 4 months) is a reminder that life can thrive and be beautiful even during trying times. Thank you Sarah for sharing your family with us.
Denise & Eric | Pearl
Mother of Us All
Denise is the mother to Pearl’s marketing department; she is its rudder and our North star. And like all good mothers, she makes you feel like you are her favorite. Denise’s son Eric is a Culinary Institute graduate and the Chef d’Parti at Brasserie Mon Chou Chou. We captured the two of them outside Pearl’s newest restaurant and we can feel the love and joy. Eric, thanks for sharing your mom with us! She makes us all better people.
Marla’s grandmother began Adelante boutique back in 1975—forty six years ago. The boutique has been handed down through the generations and Marla is its current steward and has navigated it through the rocky waters of COVID-19. At a recent photoshoot, Marla shared this portrait of her grandmother and we captured this image. We think her grandmother would be pretty darn proud.
Belle has been an essential member of the Bottling Dept. team since its inception nearly four years ago. Belle helped us weather the COVID-19 storm (and her mom sewed everyone masks in the early days of the pandemic). Belle showed up as a true partner—putting in positive energy and time working at Farmers Market curbside when the chaos of the pandemic was still new. Being a working mom is hard and we hope to show you as much support as you’ve shown us during this last year. Congrats on your new chapter and we can’t wait to meet your little one.