When Chef Tim McDiarmid’s son Tappen (he’s named for her home in British Columbia) was born, the single mom knew she needed to quit the late nights and long hours of working in New York City restaurants, and find a way to balance work and motherhood. She ended up in San Antonio and opened a catering company, Tim the Girl, that allowed her the flexibility to choose her own hours, and even take Tappen along if needed.
For six years, Tim the Girl developed a reputation for fresh, vibrant food, artfully styled. McDiarmid leads culinary trips to Italy each summer through Italian Fix, a major source of inspiration. Over time, she developed a small team, but mostly did the work herself, keeping an eye on every detail. Clients wanted more, though. After experimenting with food delivery services (at that time unheard of), McDiarmid opened her first retail outpost, The Good Kind Cafe, in the new Bottling Department food hall at the Pearl in 2017.
Growth came quickly after that. In 2019, she opened a second Good Kind location, along with Ivy Hall, an eclectic venue space in San Antonio’s Southtown district. Now running four distinct businesses, McDiarmid knew she had to scale up – not just in terms of staff and resources, but her own business and management skills. She applied to the 2019 Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Program (WEL), offered by the James Beard Foundation, and was chosen earlier this summer as one of only 20 Fellows.
McDiarmid underwent a lengthy application and interview process to be chosen, and is one of only two fellows from Texas. Targeted to women chefs/owners of one restaurant or food business looking to expand and grow, the WEL curriculum addresses advanced business and finance concerns related to entrepreneurship and expansion and provides gender-specific training and leadership development. An emphasis on work-life balance and other cultural issues also will be part of the program.
The WEL fellowship kicks off in October with a five-day entrepreneurship and leadership training program, developed with Babson College, a private business school that has focused on entrepreneurship since its 1919 founding. Events, meetings, and webinars are then held throughout the year in order to grow the network of women leaders across the country.
McDiarmid is no stranger to the James Beard Foundation, having been chosen alongside host Chef John Brand of the Hotel Emma, Chef Steve McHugh of Cured, and five national chefs to participate in the James Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef Tour last fall at the Hotel Emma.
“I commend her strength and determination to present healthy and fun food for our city,” Brand said of McDiarmid. “She has an amazing palate for taste and presentation with a highly respected work ethic within the community. I’m thankful to count her as a friend and colleague.”