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Women of Pearl

Mesha Millsap
CEO of Pearl

Chef Jennifer Hwa Dobbertin
Chef/Owner of Best Quality Daughter and James Beard Award Semifinalist for Emerging Chef

“Thank you. I have one specific woman who was my mentor in college and was the reason I wanted to get into social work before I got into restaurants. Her name is Sara, and she showed me what it meant to be a truly good human. We still visit each other, and I would tell her thank you for always being a light. She is the embodiment of kindness. 

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Chef Nicola Blaque
Chef/Owner of Freight Fried Chicken and James Beard Award Semifinalist for Best Chef (also owns The Jerk Shack).

My personal mission currently is to spread Caribbean food and help more women become entrepreneurs. My daughter is 2 years old and I want her to be able to see a ton of women like her mom as she grows up.”

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Karen Lee Zachry
Owner of The Tiny Finch

“I’ve always believed in trying to make my world bigger – to meet new people, to travel to new places, to learn about different times and ways of doing things. I love being able to bring luxury goods from my adventures into our shop and tell the stories of the makers to our clients. In doing so, I believe we help make their worlds a little bigger, too.”

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Janet Holiday
President/CEO of CE Group

My mission is to live a full, long, and healthy life – mind, body, and soul. I bring this into work through a positive and grateful mindset; physical movement and expression and doing the things that fuel me and set my soul on fire. Many folks ask at my age why I am still working. Again, I say how lucky I am to be so fulfilled. 

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April Gross
Managing Director of Culinary Institute of America San Antonio Campus

To the incredible women who shared this journey with me, a heartfelt Thank You. You may not have known at the time, but your presence and support were instrumental in shaping my path. The time we spent together laid the foundation for my success, and I’m forever grateful for your encouragement and unwavering belief in me. You never discouraged me or held me back from becoming the chef I dreamed of being.”

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Michelle Allen
Founder and Owner of Mother Culture

“To every single woman who worked for me, especially in the early years, thank you for helping me learn. It wasn’t always easy working for a new entrepreneur, but your support during those formative years grew the company. The women who especially shine in this area have been my wonderful kitchen managers. You heard it all, lived it all, and had my back when I could not see. Thank you!  

To my beloved Grandmother, thank you for giving me the wings to fly. I love you from the bottom of my heart!”

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vJennifer Redwolf
Assistant Store Manager, Ten Thousand Villages

“I can always count on my mother to give me sound advice. She doesn’t sugarcoat much so I know I’m getting the truth when we talk about my career and my future. I can appreciate that from her and use any advice she may give me whether it’s tough to hear or not.”

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The following businesses are also woman-owned and run at Pearl: 

Adelante – Owner Marla Ross has been at Pearl since September 2010.

Bakery Lorraine – Anne Ng, James Beard Award Semifinalist for Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker, Executive Pastry Chef and Owner has been at Pearl since October 2014.

Chilaquil – Susana Aguirrei is Co-Owner with husband Orlando Aguirre and they have been at Pearl’s Food Hall at Bottling Department since September 2021. 

Dos Carolinas – Owner Caroline Matthews has been at Pearl since September 2012. 

Hiatus Spa – Managing Partner and Co-Founder Sheila Garrison has been at Pearl since May 2017. 

LeeLee – Leigh Landreth, Owner and Tastemaker, has been at Pearl since September 2012. 

Niche – Owner and Creative Director Ayse Derman has been at Pearl since April 2014.

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