For Kismet’s Sara Kramer, Relationships Are Everything
Produced by The Infatuation with
Over the last year, Kismet’s Sara Kramer had countless moments where she considered jumping ship. Kismet’s fresh take on Mediterranean cuisine has earned it both national and local acclaim - but by the end of March, with dine-in service shuttered for the foreseeable future, Kismet started selling market essentials, like toilet paper, rice, and produce, in a bid to keep the restaurant afloat. In June, Kramer and her business partner, Sarah Hymanson, were forced to close their Grand Central Market stall, Kismet Falafel. Originally named Madcapra, it was the first restaurant the pair, who met while cooking in New York, had opened.
“If nothing else, it’s shown me that we all are so capable of resilience,” Kramer says. Across the industry, the pandemic has forced chefs and restaurant owners to reckon with what a restaurant fundamentally is and who it serves. For Kramer and Hymanson, however, the abrupt paradigm shift has also been a source of inspiration.“It’s been a challenge, but we’ve gotten through it with the support of our community and our team,” Kramer says of the pandemic, which has also set larger changes in motion for Kismet and its sibling concept, Kismet Rotisserie.
Kramer and Hymanson see the pandemic as an opportunity to redefine industry-wide standards and expectations in all arenas, from higher wages for workers to more accountability among those with power, money, and influence to promote equity and inclusion efforts. LA, in particular, is a great place to work toward a better reality for everyone, Kramer adds. In a city with organizations like RE:Her and No Us Without You, which provides food and groceries to undocumented restaurant workers, there are plenty of opportunities for teams like Kismet’s to find a lane in which to make an impact.
For Kramer, however, what she’s most proud of is her long-standing relationships with Kismet’s staff, including Hymanson - she credits those relationships, as well as her ties to other women in the industry, for Kismet’s success. “The two Saras,” as former Gourmet editor Ruth Reichl once called them, are inseparable in both real life and work. “Sarah is a huge presence in my life, and I’m grateful every second of every day for her,” Kramer says. “Relationships are everything.”
DoorDash believes that supporting and advancing women-owned businesses is an ongoing effort that demands action. Action we can take with our product, voice, and resources, including the partners we choose. DoorDash is proud to partner with RE:Her, a local LA nonprofit created by women-owned restaurants, that is committed to advancing women in the restaurant industry through mentorship, resources, and small business grants.