Our Stories

We believe in investing in and developing our staff members in every way possible. We also believe in creating a healthy, safe, predictable work environment where they enjoy coming each day and are encouraged to grow and do their best. Here are just a few stories from folks who have worked with us over the years. We asked them what it’s meant to work with us, what they’ve learned over the years and what they would share with someone who was applying for a new position with us. In the summer of 2023, we won one of Business First’s awards for Best Places to Work in Louisville. We believe this is a strong testament to the environment we have created for our team!

Alberto Sotelo

Dishwasher – Server assistant – Server – Food prep – Pantry cook – General manager of Mayan Street Food

“In the time that I worked at Mayan Cafe, I came to know that the culture of the whole company plays a big part in the turnover of a place/restaurant you work in. Working at Mayan [Cafe and Street Food] meant everything to me. It really is a huge part of who I am and what I value. It molded me into someone different, in the best way, than I would’ve been had I not worked there. I think getting along with others and being a team was a big lesson that I will take with me. If I knew a person applying to Mayan, I would tell them to bring a positive attitude. You get back what you put into your work. A person truly has the ability to influence others around them.”

Claire Bridges

Server – Front of house manager – Director of catering department

“While working at the Mayan Cafe, I have not only learned the daily ins and outs of both the restaurant and catering industries, but I’ve also learned how to run a business. Owners Anne and Bruce provide steadfast leadership and I’ve been able to apply their historical knowledge in sales & marketing, smart & educated decision making, and organizational systems into the catering department as it has grown. Working at the Mayan Cafe has been an honor. It’s given me a compassionate and caring work environment for the last 8 years. I am constantly surprised by the different aspects of my job that I thoroughly enjoy. The friendships I’ve made and coworkers I’ve had the privilege of working with are some of the most special relationships to me. Building a community through respect and communication is the key to it all! These are foundational expectations set for all employees at the Mayan Cafe so I strive to bring that sense of community with me in the relationships I build and the work we do throughout the city. For an applicant I would say you’d be surprised how many folks work for both front and back of house positions interchangeably. Ask questions, be present, take it in. You wonder how you happened upon this magical place and you likely won’t want to leave anytime soon.”

Michael Hanak

Server assistant, Server, Beverage director, Part-time front of house manager

“Through the various positions I’ve worked at Mayan Cafe, I’ve learned to trust in my own instincts and abilities on the job as well as also how to accept responsibility when it has been presented to me. Mayan has easily been the best job I’ve ever had. Being able to work in such a supportive environment and forge lifelong friendships has made an indelible impact on my life that I will always be able to look back on and appreciate. I’ve learned that jobs can and do exist where the management and employees share a common goal, treat each other as equals, and build lasting bonds between one another. I would tell someone applying to Mayan that if they want to work at a restaurant with a tight-knit group of coworkers and management that cares for and respects them and their community, then they could not pick a better place of employment in this city.”

Ashlee Northington

Pantry cook, Grill cook, Saute cook, Sous chef

“I learned while working at Mayan that being treated as family and having people that truly care about you as an employee does exist. This is all while also learning how important building relationships with customers, coworkers and farmers can be. I discovered the importance of supporting locally sourced products within the community and creating and maintaining those relationships as well. I value Mayan for the atmosphere, culture and mentoring that comes with being accepted into the Mayan family. Anne & Bruce are great mentors. They give you room to grow and to express yourself. They don’t micromanage; they simply guide you in the right direction and give you the necessary tools you need. I loved that about working under them. It helped me as a person to truly get in touch with my inner passion for cooking and it made me stronger. The one lesson I will forever carry with me is that there is no such thing as perfect. There is no book, or rules when it comes to life. You are the creator of your life’s vision. I would tell a person that applied to Mayan that they care about their employees and that the atmosphere and culture are phenomenal! You would be treated as if you were family. I love my Mayan Family.”

“I Love My Mayan Family”