Anne Shadle, co-owner/general manager at the Mayan Cafe, won the entrepreneurial category of the
Today’s Woman Way to Go Woman!

Anne Shadle opened and co-owns the Mayan Cafe with her brother-in-law Bruce Ucan. Since 2007, she has helped run the dining room, beverage program, marketing, human resources, and finances, all without previous experience in a restaurant environment — and she strives to make it different than the norm.

What are some obstacles you have overcome?
“I started this business with no restaurant experience or business experience in general. I was very young and had literally everything to learn.

I first had to learn how to run a dining room — how to create an intimate atmosphere that is casual and approachable while not being fussy. I had to learn how to train my staff to integrate seamlessly into the dining room. I found servers who were knowledgeable and professional and stable. It took a while to learn how to identify that type of person. I also had to learn how to read P&L statements, create budgets, and understand trends of revenue.

Fortunately, Bruce, my business partner, knew exactly how to run the kitchen and had already created a brand and a following, so I had some time to learn all the pieces of the business that I needed to. It took the first five years before I felt solid in all the things I was responsible for.”