Culinary Women and Coffee: Meet Katie Hajjar, General Manager, Parcel 32

Katie's Note: Though increasing, you'll still find few women in the role of Restaurant General Manager. Katie Hajjar's career trajectory is impressive - to say she's worked hard is an understatement. With her role as GM at Parcel 32, she leads a talented team (have you read the reviews?) and we're proud King Bean is served in such a well-run organization. Katie also volunteers many hours in her free time with the Les Dames d'Escoffier, an invitation-only philanthropic organization that gives back to women in the culinary industry. 

  1. Tell us about yourself / your business & career / your involvement in the food and beverage industry.

I grew up in the small town of Salisbury, MA. When I was just 13 years old, I started my career at an all-female-owned seafood restaurant right on the beach. I knew shortly after my first summer working there that I had found my calling. After later graduating from Johnson & Wales University of Providence, RI with degrees in Sales & Marketing and Hospitality Management, I set off to work for Clipper Cruise Lines. Once I moved back to land, I worked in a kitchen, on a remote island, served and bartended in Key West and eventually got into management. When I made the move to Charleston, I joined Maverick Southern Kitchens under some wonderful mentors for a decade before starting my career with Patrick Properties Hospitality Group. As the General Manager of Parcel 32, I assisted PPHG in bringing Parcel 32 to life.

  1. What do you love most about what you do?

The opportunity to grow and develop young professionals, making people happy, and creating great memories with food, drinks, atmosphere, and genuine hospitality.

  1. How does coffee play a part in your day? Can you tell us about your coffee ritual?

For me, coffee means comfort! I grew up drinking my Sittoo’s (grandmother’s) strong, hot coffee made on the percolator. As a seven year old sitting at the dinner table, I felt so fancy with that little bit of coffee in my cup! Now fast forward a few years to today. Each day when I get home from work, I grind and brew KB coffee and stick it in the fridge so I can wake up to delicious iced coffee every morning.

  1. What types of coffee do you like to drink? 

Lattes and plain old normal roast, Sullivan’s Blend is my jam

  1. Do you take your coffee with cream, sugar, both or black?

Hot = black

Iced = almond milk + sweetener

  1. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Be true to yourself.

  1. What’s the favorite part of your work day?

The beginning. This is when you really set yourself up for success and tackle the hard stuff right off the bat, knowing your day is only going to get better.

  1. What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to your vocation? How do you overcome that?

For awhile, being a woman was the biggest challenge. I’d be at a table and often had guests ask to speak to the manager, thinking I was the hostess, and even having phone calls for the GM, MR. Hajjar… my first name is KATIE!

  1. What advice would you give to a young woman interested in a culinary career?

Do it! Be strong, passionate, and always true to yourself. This business is amazing, and Charleston has an amazing community that quickly becomes your family.

10.  Finish this line for us: All things are possible with coffee and...

     A positive attitude.

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    Welcome to the King Bean blog!

    Coffee, Y’all shares everything we love about coffee in the South. Based in Charleston and the surrounding lowcountry, we showcase our fantastic culinary scene, our thriving King Bean community and of course, talk about all things coffee! We hope you enjoy it.

    Katie Weinberger

    King Bean Creative Director

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