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Alyssa Mikiko DiPasqule - Owner of Boston's first sake bar, The Koji Club

Updated: Jun 16

How many years have you been in the business? Tell us briefly about your background and your current position today.

15 Years! I own Boston's First Sake Bar

Did you have a particular “aha!” moment that propelled you into wine?

After one of my first nights hosting at my first job in hospitality, I drank a little sake and could not believe how refreshing, light and smooth it was. It was so unlike all other sake I had tried before. I was hooked.

What is the most rewarding part of what you do?

Guiding folks through that same "aha" moment ending with a glass that they love that and sharing why they may love it. This provides instant satisfaction but also will allow guests to feel more empowered to order sake anytime.

What do you do to create wellness balance in your life? Any particular activity, practices, etc that are meaningful to you?

My wellness practices are: meditating daily (using the Balance app... sometimes more than once a day), lifting heavy 2x a week, prioritizing sleep (as many hours as my body needs), no meetings on Fridays and unlimited ice cream.

What changes do you hope to see in the wine industry in the next five years?

I have never felt particularly welcome in the world of wine. My hope is to see a more inclusive and accessible wine world through more diverse storytelling/storytellers.

What does equality in the wine industry look like to you?

Equity in wine is accessible education.

How do you feel you’re contributing to creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive wine industry?

Our mission is to create a safe space to celebrate, learn about and drink good sake. Our values are celebration, education and access. Every decision we make touches all of our values.

What advice would you give to someone starting their career in the same sector of the wine industry as you?

Choose your professional values wisely. Be sure they make your heart sing. Match your actions to them.

Name some people who inspire you in the wine industry and please explain why.

Monica Samuels, VP of Sake and Spirits for Kome Collective... she can move mountains in her sleep. No one has done more for the sake industry than her and she does it with style and grace. My absolute hero.
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