Vacations to Miami and Columbia University MBA led Simone Mayer toward a career that extends from the best restaurants in the world to home kitchens in Miami Shores and Coconut Grove. “My family lived down here and every time I would come to visit, I would walk on Lincoln Road,” said Mayer, who was born in South Africa. “I just knew that there were lots of opportunities to have a high-end, hip store.”
So she opened a high-end, hip store on Lincoln Road in the late ’90s called real.life.basic. It had a 2,000-square-foot kitchen where up-and-coming chefs like Michael Schwartz, Michelle Bernstein and Lorena Garcia came to host cooking classes (and, later, film TV pilots). Professional chefs who shopped at real.life.basic lamented to Mayer the lack of design-minded, durable plates, bowls and other products available at wholesale. “We had so many people coming from hotels and restaurants that were opening in South Beach, saying, ‘You guys should really do something for the industry because there’s really nothing,’” Mayer said. “So we did.”
Read the rest in Miami Indulge magazine.