The Mojito Story.
Some things are planned and some happen by faith...
I’m Peggy Strauss and for those of you who don’t know me, I originated from Colombia. I come from a loving family with nine siblings and I am the youngest.
I’ve been a successful hair stylist for most of my life and own my own salon. One day, many years ago, my closest brother in age, Peter Strauss, called and asked me to come work for him. He needed help managing his small 8 table restaurant, Mojito Cafe in Seattle. At the time I was working in the best hair salon in the nation, Jane Juarez Salon.
The first thing I said was, "Peter you can’t afford me!" He replied enthusiastically, "I'm not hiring you Peggy, I’m asking you to be my partner”! I was so honored by his request and that he trusted his baby sister, I joined his team.
Mojito Cafe was Peter's dream.
He, along with his best friend, embarked on a journey of opening a genuinely traditional Latin Cuisine restaurant. By importing the best spices native to the region along with exotic spirits from different countries of South America, they created a successful culinary concept where all our friends and families gathered to eat and celebrate.
I often think of our children growing up in the restaurant - rolling napkins at the front tables, taking naps in the back of our jeeps, and sneaking Red Bulls from the soda machine. We all remember this as one of the best times in our lives! Regardless of the challenges that come with running a restaurant - long days, uncertainty, and sleepless nights, it truly was the best time ever!
The following year Peter pushed forward and opened a second location, a 48-table restaurant in downtown Seattle. I continued to help manage the restaurant until I moved to Hawaii in the pursuit of my own personal endeavors.
Not long after however, my brother was killed in a terrible car accident.
Peter was fun, loyal, funny, ambitious, and very resourceful. He taught me many things in life but what resonated most was his tenacity. He had two beacons in his life: never giving up on his dreams and always making sure he lived up to the “Strauss” name.
Growing up, our father used to tell us, "You can do whatever you put your mind to! You know why?"
"Why?" we would ask.
And he would respond, “Because you are a STRAUSS”!
I now have this amazing opportunity to honor my beloved brother, Peter Strauss, and keep his memory alive by starting the Hawaii chapter of Mojito Cafe.
But of course, this was not a singular effort - there are so many who made this possible.
My kids, Jessica Hofland and JJ Bieniek have been there every step of the way to support me in everything I do as single mom - which (so many of us know) is not easy.
My sister Inge McKeever and brother Jonny Strauss who flew to Hawaii to support us every step of the way.
And finally, my best friend and my business partner, Evelyn who is my rock and the reason we are here today. Along with her husband James and their children, Angel and Natalie who are our biggest fans. I wouldn’t want anyone else by my side. Together, we can accomplish anything.
So this is my invitation to you (if you are still reading this) ...
Come be part of our journey and enjoy a cultural culinary experience as we unfold our dream in honor of my fallen brother.
Owner & Operator of