from the editor
From The Editor
Mental health needs a great deal of attention. It’s the final taboo and it needs to be faced and dealt with.
- Adam Ant
Bar Business Magazine
here was something different in the air at this year’s Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans. If you asked me for a tagline after attending the weeklong event, I’d have to say “change,” and it’s definitely being driven by the all-new leadership at the forefront of this event and the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation as a whole. The newly formed Tales of the Cocktail Foundation (TOTCF) is a non-profit organization that educates, advances, and supports the global hospitality industry and creates lasting impact in the host communities. It is headed by Neal Bodenheimer, Board of Directors Co-chair; Gary Solomon, Jr., Board of Directors Co-Chair; and Caroline Nabors Rosen, Executive Director. (Note: Read our interview with Gary Solomon, Jr. on barbizmag.com) With only about five months to plan and coordinate this year’s Tales, the TOTCF made sure that the event still had the parties, installations, tastings, and seminars it is known for alongside a new focus on mental and physical wellbeing. At Tales’ opening State of the Trade presentation, the TOTCF acknowledged that this is an industry that is hard on both minds and bodies, and they recognized the need to take care of the people who spend so much time taking care of others in their roles as hospitality professionals. Much of Tales was dedicated to delving into these topics—seminars on spirits and trends were held alongside sessions on diversity, bystander training, mental health, and sexual harassment and assault. The all-new Beyond the Bar track was
also launched. Held at the New Orleans Athletic Club, Beyond the Bar offered a series of free mental and physical wellbeing programs such as yoga classes, group runs, and sessions on everything from injuries to sleep to mindfulness. The series was capped off with a session that invited attendees to have an open, thoughtful discussion on mental health issues in the industry while figuring out a better way forward. The TOTCF also ensured the work around these important issues will continue through a series of grants. In total, $250,000 in funding was allocated to eleven organizations chosen by a Grants Advisory Committee. The grant recipients will strive to better the global spirits community through causes ranging from sustainability to diversity to health and wellness. For a full list of grant recipients, visit barbizmag.com. Our industry doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and there’s no doubt that the effects of the #MeToo movement and a greater awareness of mental health and suicide prevention have reached the hospitality industry. I applaud the TOTCF for tackling these topics head on and laying groundwork for real action and change to occur. If you’re looking to learn more about the new leadership or any the TOTCF’s initiatives, visit talesofthecocktail.org.
Ashley bray, Editor
August 2018 barbizmag.com