Born in Bethpage, New York, Diane’s love affair with the Bloody Mary began at a very young age. On warm summer weekends, her family would gather at “Pop-Pop’s” house for a traditional “back yard clambake.” Pop-Pop, as he was affectionately called, captivated everyone with his enchanting childhood stories while he simultaneously executed the feast for the day.
Packed with east coast favorites, the family feasted on Cherrystone clams, fresh corn on the cob and the famous “Nathan’s” hot dogs. The beverage of choice was the savory Bloody Marys for the adults, and chocolate Yoohoo’s for the kids. It was here that Diane had her first sip of that spicy Bloody Mary and that was it. Intrigued by the sweetness of the tomato, the heat from the spices and that perfect touch of citrus – in Diane’s words …Yoohoo’s were no more. From then on, at each family gathering, she would ask, “Hey Pop, may I please have some of that spicy tomato juice!”
Today, Diane and her husband, celebrity Chef Michael Mina, currently live in the quiet country side of West Marin. It is here Diane quickly discovered a deep love for gardening.
After two years of living in the country and learning all things involving large garden growing, Diane named her back-yard oasis, “Bella Mina Gardens.” This is where she found peace, passion and the inspiration to plant goodness for her family. With the tomato being the primary plant, Diane started experimenting with all her garden ingredients which instinctively developed into a delicious tomato juice filled with wellness.
With garden tomatoes in one hand, and herbaceous herbs in the other, Diane immediately turned “Bella Mina Gardens” into her testing grounds to create a Bloody Mary mix for her and her husband’s restaurants. One herb in particular that stole her heart was the herb of “Lovage.” Impressed by its bright green leaves, pungent celery like flavor and therapeutic qualities, Diane began infusing the tomato and the lovage to create a marriage of wellness.
In August 2014, Diane and Michael, who are both huge 49er fans, partnered up with the San Francisco 49ers to open Bourbon Steak and Pub and a one-of-a-kind tailgate experience for all season ticket holders called “Michael Mina Tailgate.” Not only did this new partnership set the bar in Chef Mina’s culinary myriad, this is where “Diane’s Bloody Mary” was unveiled. Serving over 400 of her signature Bloody Marys at each home game, it was the 9am must have for the 49er Faithfuls.
With her garden tomatoes possessing a high juice yield and bright notes, the forgotten herb of lovage, her passion and love for the iconic Bloody Mary, and 30 years in hospitality, it naturally set the stage for creating her own mix. In June of 2017, Diane Mina collaborated with premier retailer Williams Sonoma and together they launched “Diane’s Bloody Mary” to the market place.
Starting mid-June 2018, “Diane’s Bloody Mary Bar & Brunch” will launch in the “Mina Test Kitchen” space located in the San Francisco Marina. A first of its kind, “Diane’s Bloody Mary Bar” will showcase both of her signature blends (The Original & Dirty Diane’s Jalapeno Mixer) which “drink beautifully” with all spirits to attract Bloody Mary lovers across the globe! Diane’s Bloody Mary Bar will also serve a “home style brunch” service and have a mini retail market filled with Diane’s signature blends, brand apparel and garden goods.