We had the good fortune of connecting with Frankie Thaheld and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Frankie, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
We wanted to bring the world of unique craft cocktails into the event environment. They had only existed in specialty bars and restaurants in 2010, and most hotels’ top shelf bar programs were with the same mixers and bartenders, just an improved spirit selection. We thought we could change the existing paradigm on cocktail service and with it take on the challenges of creating a new business.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I personally started out working in corporate restaurant structures, always somehow being involved with the training programs. I enjoy educating and learning. While I bartended for many years, my true interest in the art and craft of mixology started in 2006. While working at George’s California Modern in La Jolla, CA, I made a trip to New York City to explore the speak easy scene. What most impressed me was the very beginning of introducing produce into prohibition era mixology. It was kind of unheard of at the time as everyone was so focused on recreating the past with care. I struck out on a mission to find and work with the freshest and most unique produce to create unprecedented combinations into a drinking palate. When Snake Oil was founded, it was founded on a similar principle. Natural flavor and color options to excite and entice the senses. The farm to glass movement had begun. As with any business, there are mistakes made and successes to be celebrated. We were fortunate to have a consulting background which catapulted our brand in the early years and we started with such offsite events as working at Chefdance during the Sundance music festival in Utah. These first few high publicity events helped us work our way naturally into the high end event world. It has been hard to learn to trust others with the same fine touches we provided as a small dedicated team to a staff that could eventually handle 800 events annually. You must let go to progress, but you can never lose site of your principle mission. Proper training and faith have proven our allies over the years.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The Convoy Dining District – Asian cuisine from many cultures in one area Julian – Great little mountain town with apple orchards, wonderful hiking and great cafes Tijuana and Valle Guadalupe – nothing like these two Northern Baja Cities for dining, dancing and wine tasting The Casbah – Best little music venue in the city Coronado Beach – Beautiful long sandy beach with a picturesque historic hotel and gentle surf Caffe Bassam – A favorite spot for a coffee, tea or port wine and genuine conversation Balboa Park – Perfect place for strolls and people watching
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Jim Rich, Trey Foshee, Jay Kuehner