One of San Antonio’s most historic landmark communities is paying homage to its prominent women all of March in celebration of Women’s History Month, with an additional unveiling of a new mural by a local female artist.
Women comprise half of Pearl’s leadership team, and a majority of women in the company are in management positions. A majority of the establishments at Pearl are also led, owned, or founded by women.
“This month, we are taking a moment to reflect on and recognize the leaders, artists, business owners and chefs who are actively making an impact not only at Pearl but across the city of San Antonio through their skills, crafts and future forward visions,” Pearl CEO Mesha Millsap shared in a press release.
Local artist Martha Martinez-Flores’ artwork will be featured at Pearl all month. Her latest piece is a three-dimensional “Strong Mujer” mural created in collaboration with students in the Young Women’s Leadership Academy (YWLA) National Art Honor Society. The mural highlights the power of all women in the local community.
“This year’s mural celebrates the strength and bravery of women at the heart of our San Antonio community, who make us who we are: grandmothers, mothers, daughters, sisters, friends, colleagues, teachers, doctors, caregivers and more,” shared Martinez-Flores. “Collaborating with younger generations of students at YWLA and sharing their artistic voice only makes this message more powerful.”
A list of the prominent women leaders at Pearl's many restaurants and businesses include:
- Adelante – Marla Ross, owner (since September 2010)
- Bakery Lorraine – Anne Ng, James Beard Award Semifinalist for Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker, executive pastry chef and owner (since October 2014)
- Best Quality Daughter – Jennifer Hwa Dobbertin, James Beard Award Semifinalist for Emerging Chef, chef and owner (since November 2020)
- Chilaquil – Susana Aguirre, co-owner with husband Orlando Aguirre (since September 2021)
- Dos Carolinas – Caroline Matthews, owner (since September 2012)
- Feliz Modern – Ginger Diaz, co-owner with husband Mario Diaz (since November 2019)
- Hiatus Spa – Sheila Garrison, managing partner and co-founder (since May 2017)
- LeeLee – Leigh Landreth, owner and tastemaker (since September 2012)
- Mi Roti – James Beard Award Semifinalist for Best Chef, Texas, and owner Nicola Blaque (since March 2020)
- Niche – Ayse Derman, owner and creative director (since April 2014)
- Rancho Diaz – Ginger Diaz, co-owner with husband Mario Diaz (since August 2021)
- The Tiny Finch – Karen Lee Zachry, new owner (since February 2023)
- The Twig Book Shop – Frances Douglas, owner (since May 2013)
Pearl’s long history of women leadership goes back to the early 1900’s when Emma Koehler, the namesake of the Hotel Emma, decided to take over her husband’s brewery after his death in 1914. Koehler was an innovative, powerful woman who kept the business running during Prohibition by resourcefully shifting gears into dry cleaning and auto repair, while also making “near beer,” fountain drinks, and ice cream.
Millsap admires Koehler’s incredible show of strength during “a time that could have destroyed the business.”
“Over 100 years later, we are still in awe of her and honor her memory by continuing her legacy of resilience and innovation,” she added.
More information about Pearl can be found at atpearl.com.