Today’s Entrepreneurial Spotlight shines on Aniece Meinhold co-owner of the recurring pop-up Vietnamese restaurant, Phuc Yea!, The Federal Food, Drink and Provisions in Miami and the newly opened Acme Bakery & Coffee in Midtown. Meinhold and her partners Cesar Zapata and Alejandro Ortiz have formally created the Pious Pig Restaurant Group as the company name for their current and future food and beverage concepts. Pre-entrepreneur, Meinhold honed her management skills in some of Miami’s finest establishments, the Ritz Carlton, the Four Seasons, Fratelli Lyon and the now closed, Mosaico and Salero. As Meinhold’s cache brims with experience, skill, and know-how she leads the beverage and marketing division of her own company, the Pious Pig Restaurant Group. I present this week’s Entrepreneur in the Spotlight, Aniece Meinhold.
South Florida Food and Wine: For those not familiar with The Federal and Acme Bakery tell us a bit about your restaurants.
Aniece Meinhold: The Federal is our version of a modern American tavern – classic Americana with a twist, sort of gastropubby. Really great grub, pristine ingredients, fantastic wine and beer, lots of personality, really good service, approachable prices. Acme Bakery & Coffee is an artisanal bakery and café in the Biscayne/Mid-town/Design-District area of Miami. We pride ourselves on baking and serving fresh artisan breads, pastries, cakes, and tarts daily.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is the one thing you love the most about your job?
Aniece Meinhold: I love meeting people! I get the unique pleasure of hosting my own personal dinner party every night and have the opportunity to create experiences for many people. It’s an honor to have people at The Federal, connect with them and develop a relationship with them.
South Florida Food and Wine: Who is the one person you most would like to have dinner with at The Federal? And why?
Aniece Meinhold: Ferran Adria… My first kitchen job was in an avant garde Spanish restaurant with a chef who worked under him for quite some time. This was the first time I truly learned about respecting ingredients, technique, etc. It was a time in my life that solidified my perspective on food, set the course for my career and my relationship with food and wine.
South Florida Food and Wine: It’s your last day on earth, what would your final meal be?
Aniece Meinhold: It would be a bowl of beef pho loaded with tripe & tendons, chilies & hoisin. My mom’s spring rolls, bo bia rolls (chinese sausage & dried shrimp), coconut tapioca
South Florida Food and Wine: What was the last restaurant you ate at other than your own?
Aniece Meinhold: Edge steak house in the Four Seasons.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is the most challenging thing about being an entrepreneur?
Aniece Meinhold: Every day is something new; you just need to be prepared with a plan b for every situation imaginable. Being thick skinned and adaptable is a pre-req.
South Florida Food and Wine: It’s your day off, what do you do for fun?
Aniece Meinhold: I don’t really take much time off these days. But I make it a point to take some daily me time.
I love cycling…I ride about 100 miles a week when the weather is in my favor. Me time = cycling.
South Florida Food and Wine: The restaurant business is not an easy business, what motivates you to be bigger, better, stronger?
Aniece Meinhold: I’m not sure exactly what drives me. I just know that I wake up everyday with a pit in my stomach that forces me to excel and push my team and peers forward. How can we do yesterday better today? It’s something I can’t explain.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is the one piece of advice you would offer entrepreneurs starting out today?
Aniece Meinhold: Be ready to jump off that bridge. Once you do there is no going back – you’re going to work hard and long hours. Create a team that complements you and one that you enjoy being around because you’re better as a whole than on your own. It’s always about the we and never the me.
The Federal Food, Drink & Provisions 5132 Biscayne Boulevard Miami, (305) 758-9559
Acme Bakery & Coffee 3451 NE 1st Avenue #103, Miami, (786) 507-5799
Love the South Florida food scene? Check out our newly published book (Globe Pequot Press, $14.95), Food Lovers’ Guide to Miami & Fort Lauderdale