Founder & CEO, Dear Mama Coffee
Works in Hospitality/Food & Beverage
Can advise in Building a brand; Growing your customer base; Hiring, managing, & maintaining employees; Securing capital; Partnerships; Increasing sales; Communicating with stakeholders; Negotiating contracts; MarketingMentor Session Calendar
Zachary Sharaga, a native New Yorker from the Bronx, leads an ownership and management team with strong local roots. Zachary has more than 16 years in the hospitality and beverage industry with operating and management experience in New York City and Los Angeles. Zachary also brings experience in manufacturing, importing, distributing and retailing.
Zachary began his career in hospitality in 2004 when he opened Louis 649 -- a bar in Alphabet City. Louis 649 quickly became one of Manhattan’s premier jazz and cocktail venues and ended up ranking in the Top 10 Best Bars by celebrated publication Zagat for ten straight years. Known for nightly entertainment featuring prominent jazz musicians from around the world, a world-class craft spirits and cocktail program, and a weekly educational platform for the beverage industry and enthusiasts, Louis 649 attracted a loyal following from around the world for 10 years.
In late 2014, Zachary partnered with Greg Boehm (Cocktail Kingdom) and Nico de Soto (Experimental Cocktail Club) to open a spice-focused cocktail bar called Mace. Mace is now considered one of the top cocktail bars in the world. In the first three years of operation, Mace was ranked #28, #38 and #44 in the World’s 50 Best Bars by Drinks International and was nominated for Best Cocktail Menu in the World at the Spirited Awards at the industry leading conference Tales Of The Cocktail.
After years of planning, Zachary launched Dear Mama in Manhattan's East Harlem in July of 2016, a 1500 square foot all-day cafe. The brand aims to raise the bar on hospitality and quality in coffee shops and cafes. Dear Mama prides itself on the quality of ingredients and techniques throughout the food and beverage industry.
In November of 2017, Columbia University approached Dear Mama to be the anchor food and beverage tenant at their new Manhattanville Campus. “Dear Mama serves as a gathering spot for the local community to nourish the heart, soul and belly,” says Sharaga. “Along with a full food menu, coffee and specialty drinks, it is a platform for people to converge and inspire one another, discuss the issues of the day, admire local art and share music. The large space in Manhattanville will allow for a wide variety of events, including listening parties for local artists introducing new albums, fundraisers for causes important to the community, open mic nights for musicians and poets, book readings and much more.” Dear Mama Manhattanville opened in March 2019.