What did you learn in 2012 that you will carry forth with you into 2013?
“With the ongoing development of Red Rooster Harlem, the opening of Ginny’s Supper Club and American Table Cafe and Bar by Marcus Samuelsson, several projects in Sweden, and the launch of my memoir, Yes, Chef. With this, I learnt a lot about managing growth.
“We partnered with illy on their MonoArabia line. We launched the MonoArabia line at SF Chefs in San Francisco, with a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony. It was a great platform to debut the product because it made sense given my Ethiopian heritage, while, from a marketing point of view, was dynamic and unique and put the coffee and the partnership in front of a lot of consumers and media.
“As we grow, our company’s culture and our partners’ culture need to be similar. We need to speak the same language as potential clients and share the same value system. I look to see if there is an attractive cultural or socially conscious aspect to the partnership when making the decision. And if they aren’t willing to compromise and learn our company culture then we shouldn’t do the project.
“In 2013, I want to see if we can incorporate these lessons in another year of rapid growth. Additionally, I want to continue to listen to our staff and customers, whether that is in-person, email or social media. I want to figure out what new ways I can learn from their communication and find new ways of communicating! We have The Nook opening soon inside of Red Rooster, and it was our customers and our staff that have driven that idea so I am excited to see how that turns out.”