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True Grit in San Diego

San Diego’s buzzing with an entrepreneurial excitement, becoming more and more of a business hub every day. From startups, to small companies, to corporations and even movements, this Golden State metropolis is ever-growing. As one of the top cities for entrepreneurs in the US, San Diego’s diversity and prime location foster a talent filled community with a wide range of skill sets. And here at MIHO Catering Co., we’re happy to be caught up right in the middle of it. With our collection of entrepreneurial, small business, and corporate clients, it’s our mission to fuel the minds that power the city and stimulate growth in our community. One fine example of how we do this is through our partnership with Gritty Movement.

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Gritty Movement, founded by two childhood friends with shared passions for leadership and empowering women in the workplace, is an organization focused on elevating women in business, and creating spaces for modern leaders to learn, share, and empower one another. Co-founders Sarah Panis and Jessica Miranda both have backgrounds working in male dominated industries and know firsthand the challenges that come with being a female leader. To combat limitations they faced, they started Gritty Movement and are using personal experience to advise women on workplace efficiency, personal development, and organizational strategy. In their own words their “joint calling to bolster women in not only leading, but leading well in a world where there is still such limited space for our voice, is what makes Gritty Movement the powerful beacon it is today.” Through workshops, consulting, holding retreats, etc. their organization is cultivating a community of confident, strong, and empowered women leaders in San Diego and afar.

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Among the many facets of Gritty Movement, is their annual Gritty Leadership Conference, which took place last June and may be their most exciting event yet. This experiential conference focuses on three pillars: energizing the passions of women leaders, enhancing management skills, and creating a space for like-minded women to collaborate. Stacked with credited speakers and sponsors, local vendors, and passionate attendees, this year’s conference left guests with the knowledge and tools needed to be successful in today’s business society. And we were lucky enough to have a front row seat to the excitement and brilliance of it all - while providing the brain fuel of course. Last year, our menu was limited to packaged lunches, but this year we expanded our offering to include breakfast items like our yogurt parfaits, fruit platters, and pastries as well as our all-day coffee and tea service – just a few of the prime menu items you can get through our Delivery service! (Was that a subtle enough plug?)

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In anticipation of our involvement with the event and the decision to feature Gritty on our blog, we actually got to sit down with Sarah Panis a week before the big day and talk about her inspiration for the movement and goals for Gritty’s future. And let me tell you, one hour with Sarah left us inspired and ready to get gritty.

Since she was young, Sarah proved herself a natural leader. From being the oldest of three siblings, to volleyball captain, and having a key role in her high school’s ASB program, assertiveness and leadership became major themes throughout her life.

After high school, Sarah migrated from the Bay Area to San Diego to pursue a degree in business administration and marketing from USD. Next came internships, and soon she found herself climbing the corporate ladder at a mortgage company, ultimately leading to a position as Chief Operations Officer. Throughout her journey, Sarah noticed several leadership qualities within the company she was unhappy with. She sought out conferences and workshops and soon realized the polarization of the different types of events she was attending. One being super professional with teachings she could learn from and adapt to her own leadership style, but lacking in passion and inclusion. And the other being super fun and inspiring, even Instagrammable, but that didn’t necessarily leave Sarah feeling like she learned how to be a better business woman. Through this realization, Sarah knew she wanted, and needed, to bridge the gap between these two groups. And thus, Gritty Movement was born!

So, why “Gritty?” is a question I’d wondered since encountering the event. Well, no one quite captures the meaning behind the word better than Sarah herself. When asked why this specific word was chosen to represent the movement, she answered,

I had been through so many highs and lows within that same company, watched the company grow, watched myself grow, and one thing that I realized really carried me through some of those rough times was grit. And to me grit isn’t just doing the same thing over and over again, it really is a combination of resilience - so, yeah like getting up when you fall down and making sure you keep trying at something - but also ingenuity. So, resilience and ingenuity, where you’re getting creative, trying new things, and trying to make yourself a better person, so that the next time a challenge like that comes around you’re always learning and always adaptive and kind of iterating on yourself. So, that’s why I’m so attracted to the word grit. And then secondly, because I felt like it wasn’t a very feminine word and wasn’t something closely associated with women and pretty things, and for me I wanted that juxtaposition of here’s this tough raw element and I’m going to make it fun and beautiful and attractive to our audience.

I know, your mind was just blown. And believe me, the passion and determination she spoke with was just as stimulating as her answer.

When the big day finally came, Sandbox Venue in Downtown was vibrating with entrepreneurs, creatives, and all types of bad ass business women. Produced by Modern Love Group, the inside layout was incredible with a one of a kind back drop by Backup Backdrops, balloon installations by Ashley Renuart, and a trendy lounge area with Folklore Rentals. To match the epic display were top of the line speakers split into two tracks, Entrepreneur and CEO. And from Tara Salinas’s lecture on “Disrupting Bias & Amplifying Yourself,” to a playful improv class with Kathleen Dudley, all methods of communication and effective leadership were touched on. In addition, there were panels featuring local business leaders like Geraldine Ridaura, founder + CEO of Holy Matcha, and co-founders of Kopari Beauty, Kiana Cabell and Gigi Goldman. So yeah, you could say there were some people there that know what they’re talking about.

Other complimentary perks available were B12 energy shots from The Hydration Room, hard kombucha from JuneShine, and fire cupping, acupuncture, and energy therapy services by Saffron & Sage… Are you purchasing your ticket for next year yet?

But besides all the goodies like the swag bags and happy hour, (did I forget to mention those?) the most inspiring part of the day, and real reason why you should put this event on your bucket list, was seeing a diverse collection of women connecting, collaborating, and empowering each other. After Mara Lecoco, entrepreneur and brand and community director for Fishbowl gave her keynote speech “Finding Career Fulfillment Out of Work,” the crowd was asked to share a business idea with the group. One woman stood up and bravely spoke about how she’s always had a vision of writing a book, but was too scared to bring herself to it. She started to cry as she stood in front of 200 plus women and expressed her fears and desires. The response from the crowd is something I’ll never forget. Everyone was supportive and ready to connect her with the people and tools she needed to succeed, other guests were given confidence to express ideas of their own, and the room was buzzing with an energy I’d never experienced before. As Sarah said in the interview,

All the swag and with the way we set up the venue - all of that is great, but it is secondary to what our mission is, to connect people who are in leadership positions. There are so many people in San Diego who have gone through your exact challenges and there’s so many people in San Diego that you can learn from. And so, the biggest opportunity for me is to go there and make the most out of your experience. Don’t just attend and watch and hangout with the same person, but really get after it and meet new people. Ask people real questions about some of the challenges they’re going through and try and use that one day to leverage connections for yourself, because I guarantee there are so many other people there looking for that same thing. And for me, I know how hard it is to meet somebody at an event and actually follow through, but it’s not just the speakers who have insights, it’s the attendees too.

So, what’s next for Gritty? Sarah mentioned plans to expand the movement and bring the conference to other cities. She also talked about how one of her and Jessica’s goals is to incorporate more voices into the Gritty narrative and expand the platform to include more women, incorporate more guest writers, and feature more people on social media. And a major plus, they’ve chosen to start by making all audio files from this past Gritty Leadership Conference available on their website! This way anyone who missed out on the event or is interested in the lectures has access to them. Those files will be available in the next few weeks, so be sure to keep an eye out! In the meantime, we’ve included a link to the Gritty Movement website below, so you can get ready for next year’s event!   

We hope you enjoyed today’s post and appreciate you taking the time to read! Feel free to leave any comments or questions below, and as always #staygritty!

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Photos by Jackie Wonders.

Written by Rosemary Blesio.

MIHO Gives Thanks

We would be honored to join your Thanksgiving table this year with our Holiday Menu.

We know you already have a lot on your plate around the holidays, so we are proud to share our Organic Turkey Dinner Package that will have you looking like a hero and allow you to spend more quality time with friends and family. And if you still want to prepare your own turkey or just your favorite dish, then call us for some extra appetizers, sides and desserts to lighten your load in the kitchen. And as always with MIHO, It’s all hand made with the best possible ingredients.

Creating experiences beyond the ordinary is our passion and that goes beyond our love for food. It’s all in the details - so this year we teamed up with The Hostess Haven for all your table top needs - from plates to flatware to glassware to linens so that you can be the perfect host and hostess! And for the floral game who better than Siren Floral Co. to make your Thanksgiving table look like it came straight from the turkey gods.

You can order directly from them and pick it all up along with your food order at our headquarters in Kearny Mesa on Wednesday, November 21st, the day before Thanksgiving.

Your fun, easy and tasty Thanksgiving starts here!

We Deliver!

Our delivery program is off and running and we couldn't be more excited about it - mainly because we're doing it like it's never been done before. Each dish is hand made from scratch with only the best ingredients. We actually deliver it ourselves! We don't use any third-party delivery services in order to ensure that your food, service and overall experience always meets ours and your high standards. And we deliver order big and small, social or corporate, we do it all! Click here to check out our current seasonal menu.

Food Truck Wedding Pioneers

Catering with our originally named “gastrotruck” is one of our favorite styles of service for weddings. It reminds us of our mobile food truck beginnings spreading responsibly-sourced, hand-made street food to the masses. Eventually we started offering food truck catering for company parties, weddings and pretty much any celebration where people craved our delicious food. Our goal has always been to create memorable experiences that bring people together. And it was the joy of those early experiences that inspired us to become bona fide caterers! We’ve catered more than 1,000 weddings and we’re up for some more.

(images by Gantes.Co)

Luce Loft in downtown San Diego.

Luce Loft in downtown San Diego.

FLAT IRON CARPACCIO : thinly sliced with caramelized cambazola, sesame glazed asparagus & fresh herb salad on rye crostini

FLAT IRON CARPACCIO : thinly sliced with caramelized cambazola, sesame glazed asparagus & fresh herb salad on rye crostini

FISH & CHIP CONE : cornmeal crusted local white fish, pommes gaufrettes, meyer lemon & tarragon remoulade

FISH & CHIP CONE : cornmeal crusted local white fish, pommes gaufrettes, meyer lemon & tarragon remoulade

Grass Fed Burger & Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sammy

Grass Fed Burger & Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sammy

Wild Caught Halibut Sando

Wild Caught Halibut Sando

The gastrotruck sitting pretty outside of Luce Loft.

The gastrotruck sitting pretty outside of Luce Loft.

Just married...

Just married...

Late night snack of Carne Asada Fries.

Late night snack of Carne Asada Fries.

Tacos, Tequila & Mezcal

Who doesn’t love a good sunny San Diego backyard taco cart party?! The Gold Leaf venue down at One Bunk in Barrio Logan was the perfect backdrop to show off our taco catering skills! We worked with some amazing vendors who curated the event to blend the urban setting with the “Tequila vs. Mezcal” theme.

Barçon Cocktail Co.  paired up mezcal and tequila cocktails.

Barçon Cocktail Co. paired up mezcal and tequila cocktails.

The NACHO BAR always gets the party going. Grab some chips, load them with slow braised barbacoa, pickled fresno chiles, salsa, guacamole and some home made queso!

The NACHO BAR always gets the party going. Grab some chips, load them with slow braised barbacoa, pickled fresno chiles, salsa, guacamole and some home made queso!

PURPLE POTATO FLAUTAS

PURPLE POTATO FLAUTAS

OCTOPUS TOSTADITA with sliced mango and pickled red onion

OCTOPUS TOSTADITA with sliced mango and pickled red onion

TACO CART catering in the works!

TACO CART catering in the works!

Working together with our vendor friends to bring you the best San Diego taco cart catering!  Layered Vintage, Pow Wow Design Studio, Barçon Cocktail Co., The Hostess Haven, Luna Wild, One Bunk in Barrio Logan, Jackie Wonders Photography, The Roc Shop, Rebecca Eichten.

Working together with our vendor friends to bring you the best San Diego taco cart catering!

Layered Vintage, Pow Wow Design Studio, Barçon Cocktail Co., The Hostess Haven, Luna Wild, One Bunk in Barrio Logan, Jackie Wonders Photography, The Roc Shop, Rebecca Eichten.

Wedding Catering in San Diego & Beyond

We love to travel for work - it keeps things fun and interesting, ya know?! Palm Springs has been a much desired destination and this beautiful estate, La Chureya, has been extra special to us over the years. We absolutely love it when our clients share the same passion for food as we do. Whether it’s re-creating dishes from their childhood days, from their first date or their favorite restaurant, we love making culinary dreams come true.

This wedding was full of delicious bites, refreshing cocktails for those hot Palm Springs days and the nicest group of people.

(images by Luke & Mallory)

The RAW BAR with our house made taro chips, flatbreads and fresh seafood are a must on a hot day.

The RAW BAR with our house made taro chips, flatbreads and fresh seafood are a must on a hot day.

MUSHROOM ARANCINI - a classic.

MUSHROOM ARANCINI - a classic.

CRISPY THAI CHILE DRUMETTE tossed in roasted garlic & sesame

CRISPY THAI CHILE DRUMETTE tossed in roasted garlic & sesame

Our MEAT & CHEESE CONE is a bouquet of cured meats & artisan cheeses paired with a skewer of house made pickle & olives.

Our MEAT & CHEESE CONE is a bouquet of cured meats & artisan cheeses paired with a skewer of house made pickle & olives.

CRACKED CUCUMBER : vodka, muddled cucumber, St. Germaine and a crack of fresh black pepper.

CRACKED CUCUMBER : vodka, muddled cucumber, St. Germaine and a crack of fresh black pepper.

The guys over at  Barçon  burned a plank of wood to smoke each glass and then mix a SMOKEY OLD FASHIONED for the groom and his pals.

The guys over at Barçon burned a plank of wood to smoke each glass and then mix a SMOKEY OLD FASHIONED for the groom and his pals.

ROASTED SALMON with pho broth, pickled wild mushrooms, shaved radish & arbol chile oil  SWISS CHARD & GOAT CHEESE RAVIOLI with wild mushroom ragu, garlic confit, arugula, grated pecorinoand a beurre noisette  GRILLED NEW YORK STRIP STEAK with a miso mustard jus, sauteed yu choy cabbage herb salad & truffle parmesan mashed potatoes

ROASTED SALMON with pho broth, pickled wild mushrooms, shaved radish & arbol chile oil

SWISS CHARD & GOAT CHEESE RAVIOLI with wild mushroom ragu, garlic confit, arugula, grated pecorinoand a beurre noisette

GRILLED NEW YORK STRIP STEAK with a miso mustard jus, sauteed yu choy cabbage herb salad & truffle parmesan mashed potatoes

Wedding cake is so much more fun this way, right?!

Wedding cake is so much more fun this way, right?!