Today we’d like to introduce you to Shauna Der.
Hi Shauna, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I am a child of immigrants and like many immigrants, my parents and paternal grandparents found their way into the restaurant business. My grandfather delivered meals to elderly Chinese in senior facilities by request of their families. They often missed the food of their homelands. My grandmother worked in the grandest dim sum house in Chinatown. And my father managed many of the big Chinese restaurants in Los Angeles and Hollywood. He was there when people started moving to the San Gabriel Valley where I live now. I will always remember his last restaurant Casa de Oriente fondly. He wanted to give it a Spanish name to be more inclusive (it was on the border of Alhambra and El Sereno).
I went to USC for print journalism much to my mother’s dismay. She asked why didn’t I go into broadcast and be like Connie Chung. My mother had a lot of foresight and perhaps I should have listened. I eventually received my degree in Public Relations. I then spent over 20 years working in public radio. Sadly during the pandemic, live shows and events were canceled and I was laid off.
I started a blog about dining and nightlife over a dozen years ago called The Minty. I mostly covered Los Angeles but I also wrote about every place I visited. I do love to travel. Eventually, I became known for cocktails and spirits. I completed courses on pre-Prohibition style mixology and passed with distinction WSET (Wine Spirits Education Trust) Level 2 in spirits.
With my experience in non-profit, marketing and social media, I’m working on a number of projects while still writing my blog. I recently worked with Inspire Artistic Minds, a non-profit dedicated to helping hospitality workers achieve their artistic goals. IAM gives out grants to help pay for education and experiences that further their creative dreams.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I wouldn’t be alone to say the pandemic has changed all our lives. Besides being laid off, I’ve seen a lot of challenges these last couple of years. My father passed away a few years after I graduated from college and then my mother passed away last year after a difficult journey with cancer.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
The Minty started off as a blog and has grown to be so much more. I have judged spirits and cocktail competitions. I have hosted talks for restaurants. I have traveled to faraway places like Armenia and Chile while attending local US cocktail weeks. Now I’m launching Bar Minty Media as a marketing company specializing in events and social media. I know Los Angeles. I know restaurants. I know cocktails. And bridging all these elements has been a fun journey.
Before we go, is there anything else you can share with us?
My friends have been trying for years to get me to write a book about well, just about anything. Some topics include Dating in Los Angeles, Weird Uber Rides, S@#$ Strangers Say to Me… And maybe I will one day write that book because this storyteller loves telling stories.
- Website: theminty.com
- Instagram: @theminty
- Twitter: @theminty
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheMintymintz
Headshot: Tammy Vega All others: Shauna Der