Mashia Baldwin - Co Founder
Mashia got her start working for companies like Ian Schrager (now known as the Morgans Hotel Group) opening the Redwood Room in San Francisco in 2001. In 2003, she transferred to L.A.'s Skybar at the Mondrian Hotel where she was head bartender for nearly eight years. After bartending for over a decade Mashia was ready to transfer into management, and found a home at the world-renowned SoHo House West Hollywood as assistant beverage manager, alongside Chris Ojeda. There she helped transform the way a large company like Soho House made cocktails, and instilled consistency in all their properties around the world. The program that Mashia and Ojeda created was called “House Tonic” where all bartenders were trained in the same fashion — whether it be in London, Berlin or Los Angeles — to craft the perfect, well-balanced cocktail. After almost a year at SoHo House Mashia was offered an opportunity to take over the beverage program at IDG's W Hollywood Hotel. In this high volume establishment Mashia was in charge of creating cocktails for two bars, beverage and inventory control, training all staff in the art of creating classic cocktails with elegance and grace.
While working at The W, Mashia maintained her relationship with the SoHo House and in December 2009 she was asked to return to the company as beverage manager of their New York property. Before Mashia moved to NYC, she was invited to attend a bar summit in London, England, where beverage directors from around the world participated in a think tank over seven days to devise a premium beverage program that could be taught at any property, for any skill level.
Once returned to NYC, Mashia plunged headfirst into her new role as beverage director at the SoHo House New York where she was head of five different bars and revenue centers within the property. She was instrumental in redesigning the roof top bar for the summer months, assisted in a total renovation of the sixth floor (where the club bar, pantry bar and restaurant resided), and trained staff on all new methods and techniques for the nascent beverage program. Mashia created new seasonal cocktail menus, fresh juice and syrup programs, monthly “House Tonic” membership events, and a punch program that served house-made tableside punches for large parties.
After nine months at SoHo House NYC Mashia returned to her role as beverage manager for the Morgans Hotel Group, at NYC's Mondrian SoHo. There she developed a bespoke, seasonal cocktail menu, trained all bar staff in the art of craft cocktails, was in charge of all inventory for two bars, and inspired staff through her training to create their own recipes. A few of Mashia’s Mondrian staff have gone on to land jobs as brand ambassadors for high-end liquor companies, compete in different liquor competitions throughout NYC, and evolve into management positions themselves.
In 2011 she left the Mondrian SoHo to work for Midtown upstart Lexington Brass, owned by EMM Group. Mashia accepted a bartending position that quickly evolved into becoming head bartender. Mashia took on the task of reformatting the bar, training bar staff on crafting cocktails, working closely with upper management on creating new cocktail menus, and provided spirits training classes for both floor and bar staff. In addition, she trained the barbacks to ensure they were well-prepared in their role as support staff to each bartender. Mashia also works closely with management ordering and problem solving thus running a well-oiled machine at Lexington Brass — the key for obtaining repeat business and increasing beverage revenue.
Scott Scaffidi - Co Founder
Scott began his career in hospitality in his teens for Marriott Hotels International in Boston, Massachusetts. He continued working his way up in the company while pursuing his Bachelors degree from Nazareth College in Rochester, NY. After completing his degree Scott moved with Marriott to New York City where he quickly realized an interest in food and beverage. He made his first move into restaurants by hosting at Lombardi's pizzeria in Little Italy and from there, over the course of many years, was fortunate to be a part of numerous restaurants including Alma Grill, BR Guest, PJ Clarkes Group, and Vesta. In these establishments he found himself performing numerous roles including hosting, serving, bartending, training, shift managing, and more.
Scott was instrumental in opening two restaurants in New York City; for the opening of Venturo Osteria he trained the entire bar staff as well as devised the opening cocktail menu. Venturo Osteria is now listed on Michelin's bib gourmand list of restaurants in New York City, and because of his success Scott was profiled in Edible Queens magazine on cocktails with bitter profiles. Scott also assisted in opening Lexington Brass for the EMM group in midtown east Manhattan where he still bartends today opposite Mashia Baldwin. Scott and Mashia met in 2011 at Lexington Brass and formed a fast friendship. That friendship, and a passion for the bar business, led them to create Behind The Wood in 2013.