March 2013

Sake Departures II - Miwa Is Moving On!

Posted by Beau Timken in 2013, March, Newsletter
True Sake Yes, you are correct! I just did a Sake Departures for Lynette who went to work at the SPCA. And now for Miwa! No they didn't time it that way, it just happened.

That's right folks! It's the end an era! (Well not the "end" end, because Miwa will always have the keys to True Sake and she will always be part of the family.) But yes, after nine years she has decided to finally act on all of those ideas that have been swimming through her brain. Miwa is boldly stepping into the great "known" which is still the un-known because she is not quite sure if her projects will keep her local or take her back to Japan. But the point is she is leaving the day-to-day operations of selling sake to our wonderful customers - something I know she is going to miss.

So in the last two months I have lost my "sake daughter" and "sake wife." (Yes to this day people still think that Miwa and I are married and that Lynette was our daughter.) But what a ride it has been. I owe so much to her for all that she has done for me personally as a friend and for the energy and "face" that she brought to True Sake. It's been an amazing experience watching her sake development. (Even her name Miwa was an ancient name for sake, bet ya didn't know that!)

When you are with a person professionally for almost a quarter of your life you see it all - the highs the lows and the in-betweens! And it's all been very rewarding for me to share each of those with Miwa. She is a super person, and I cannot wait to promote and support her new endeavor.

As I am typing this there is a highlight reel going through my mind of all of the funny and exciting moments in our True Sake adventures from Sake Day to Miwa marrying one of our customers (Now that is customer service), from after-hour in-house tastings to corporate events with insane customers, from sake dinners to product tasting with reps, from events with sake brewers to Sake Jams. It has been a great ride filled with far more smiles than tears. And the best part is that we helped each other through very dramatic and sad portions of our lives.

Miwa has told me that she doesn't want to write a lot about her individual experiences, but will reach out to certain customers who have really made her time at True Sake more dynamic. So other than me saying thank you for everything, you always have a home in True Sake, and best of luck with your endeavors herewith is Miwa in her own words:

Hello & Good-Bye

My time at True Sake has been a special time for me. I have had the privilege of selling many of you your first bottle of sake, and over the years, watching the transformation from sake curious to sake lover. I will miss seeing many of the "regulars" who come in to try something new. I met so many really great and special folks over the years that I never would have otherwise met, if not for this magic brew.

Through sake I was able to return to my roots and really learn about my culture, which I kind of strayed from, and to meet the very special people who are dedicated to keeping this tradition called "Nihonshu" alive and well. It is very rewarding for me that I was able to, in some small way, contribute to this great tradition and to share the love and the stories of this magical beverage with all of you. I thank you. And very importantly, I met my husband David through our mutual love of sake-for this Beau, I owe you big time.

Wonderful people and wonderful sake: I will always hold a special place in my heart for True Sake. Although the decision has not been easy, I feel like my path has run its course here, and it is time for change. I am excited at the prospect of doing some new projects and creating some new opportunities for myself. For now, I am staying in San Francisco and will be organizing two upcoming events, which I would like to share with you.

The first one is a small tasting event for sake that has not been released -not even in Japan. This will be held on the first Sunday in April. The second is "The Nigori Birthday." This is an important event because at one time nigori was illegal in Japan. Last year, over dinner in Tokyo with my very good friend Mariko-san, I learned about the events that led to the legalization of nigori at the Tsukinokatsura Brewery (Masuda Tokube Shoten). This happened on April 13th, 1966. This is one of the special sake stories, and I would like to give a special thank you to Mariko Iida of Japan Prestige Sake International (N.Y.) for naming this day and researching the actual date. This is a significant day in recent sake history, and we all have Mariko-san to thank for it!

(To find out more, please feel free to contact me at info @

I would like to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for supporting me at True Sake for all these years. My departure means a new beginning, not an end.

Lastly, I would like to thank Beau-san for being my partner, confidant, and friend. It has been a great run, and I've really enjoyed it. Thanks for being there for me. It means a lot.

I hope this doesn't make anyone sad. I will be at the store till the end of March. So, if you have time please swing by and say hi. After that the store will be in the capable hands of Beau and his staff.

Arigato and see you around!


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