We had the good fortune of connecting with Dina Samson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dina, the decisions we make often shape our story in profound ways. What was one of the most difficult decisions you’ve had to make?
When I decided to leave my career in finance, I took off my “golden handcuffs” with no safety net. That was the scariest time for me but funny enough it ended up being the best decision I ever made. Two years after that decision, I became an entrepreneur/business owner and opened my first restaurant with my now-husband Chef Steve Samson. Two years after that I was blessed with boy/girl twins. Two years after that we opened our second and third restaurants. Now I tell everyone who is at a crossroads and is scared to try something different, If you aren’t happy in your life, then you have nothing to lose to try something else.”
What should our readers know about your business?
We had always run our businesses with more heart than mind. After we opened Rossoblu, we had to take a step back and re-evaluate what would work with our 100-person team at Rossoblu vs. what had been working at Sotto with our 35=person team. We figured out that with more people, we really needed a North Star for everyone. After six months of being open at Rossoblu, our partner, Hans Luttmann suggested we define our Core Values. This was the best thing we ever did for our business. With this set of Core Values, we could make decisions easier. Even though companies say they have them, I think it’s important to write them down and talk about them with their teams frequently. I’m most proud of our Core Values of Compassion, Integrity, Work Ethic, Excellence, Passion for Rossoblu, Can-Do Attitude.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Eating Of course, I would have to take them to my own restaurants but then I would want to take them to Bavel, Kato, Butcher’s Daughter, All Day Baby
Vinovore Wine Shop
Wine Rock Shop in Joshua Tree
Self Realization Fellowship in Pacific Palisades
Joshua Tree Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to acknowledge my fellow co-founders of Regarding Her, a non-profit devoted to the advancement and empowerment of women restaurateurs.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, they provided me with emotional support, professional advice, inspirational words, and a safe community to discuss all aspects of being a female entrepreneur in the hospitality industry. With them, I actually believe we can change the industry so women can finally have parity in our industry.
Magdalena Wieselowski Ed Anderson Andrea D’Agosto Wonho Frank Lee