Tiffany MacIsaac Mixes with Regarding Her


We’ve known Tiffany MacIssac since the day she landed in DC. Before she opened her famous Buttercream Bakeshop, Tiffany was born and raised on Maui, Hawaii, She moved to New York City at the age of 18 and attended the culinary arts program at the Institute of Culinary Education. After working at a number of top rated restaurants Tiffany was later awarded the title of pastry chef at the Michelin star restaurants CRU followed by another Michelin-starred property, Allen and Delancey. When she and her husband, Chef Kyle Bailey, moved to DC to open the award winning Birch & Barley, The accolades came in! Tiffany opened and operated Buttercream Bakeshop for 9 years beginning and went on to win the RAMMY for Pastry Chef of the Year (ahem, for a second time in 2018).  And yes, she did recently close Buttercream’s doors — much to the dismay of so many in the this city (and so many of us at TheListAreYouOnIt). But! Tiffany’s passion for the hospitality community lives on. She sits on the board and is an active member for the RAMW, Educated Eats and Regarding Her.


Who better to celebrate Women’s History Month and all the Regarding Her activations with? One of our favorite bad-ass boss babes — Tiffany MacIssac.


Owning Buttercream Bakeshop for nearly nine years was truly a dream come true. I believe most small business owners in the hospitality industry would agree that a majority of days are filled with a roller coaster of experiences that leave you feeling proud, frustrated, excited, motivated, disappointed, inspired, and everything in between. It's truly a rainbow of emotions, with the main one being an immense sense of pride. The connection with staff, customers, and community is unparalleled. We became ingrained in our clients' daily lives and fondest memories, celebrating their highs and consoling them through lows. Watching our team grow, whether within hospitality or venturing into new paths, was a blessing beyond measure.


So, why close after nine years of joy? Business ownership, especially in the restaurant industry, is a complex journey not for the faint of heart. The margins have always been slim, but they have never been slimmer than they are at the moment. Cost of goods is up. Labor is up. Rent has never been higher. No one wants to talk about crime impacting business, but it does. Operating a successful business became harder and less enjoyable. For me, the latter was becoming an issue, so I decided after nine glorious years, Id end on a high note while I was still in love with the job and give something else I was passionate about a go.


I decided to take a position with Regarding Her so I could spend my time helping other women entrepreneurs and leaders in the food and hospitality industry find success and thrive. Regarding Her is a nonprofit dedicated to empowering women in the food and beverage space, born during the pandemic in Los Angeles. It was founded by a group of women leaders in the LA food scene who began meeting on Zoom to offer support and advice to each other during an extremely difficult time. They realized many other small business owners were struggling with the same issues and more. From this, Regarding Her was born. As you can imagine, the membership count grew quickly, filling with women from across the Greater LA area looking for advice and support from experienced business owners willing to offer it.


In DC, we had organically initiated a similar cohort of women, meeting frequently by Zoom to help each other through issues – attempting to navigate closures, PPP loans, employee retention credit, vaccinations, unemployment… The list goes on and on. While times were stressful, the support was such a welcome relief. When Mary Sue Milliken, a member of the founding group, reached out to invite DC to be the second chapter of Regarding Her, we jumped at the chance to join. Two years later, we have over 1,000 members across both chapters! Im still amazed at how despite being 2,600 miles apart, our communities saw a similar absence in support and worked together to fill the need so succinctly. The resilience of the women involved and ability to focus on maintaining their own businesses while helping others do the same was inspiring.

As stability returned, we realized our members needed more than pandemic-related aid. Despite comprising 56% of industry positions, women held only 30% of management roles and owned a mere 33% of independent restaurants. Regarding Her strives to change that narrative, providing a safe space for women to seek assistance, aiming for a balanced industry where women thrive. Through free educational workshops, monthly Share and Solvecalls to discuss individual member issues and update the group on important legislative changes, and ongoing mentorships, we are empowering women in our industry with a clearer path to success and an all tides rise together” mentality.


I recently appeared on Foodie and the Beast with other Regarding Her members, discussing upcoming events in March for Womens History Month. Patrice Cleary, owner of Purple Patch, reflected on opening her business a decade ago without support. Regarding Her was built to address precisely that issue – providing women the support, community, and confidence needed to take that leap of faith. I believe betting on oneself is the best wager, and our industry needs more women to embrace that belief.


Do I miss owning a bakery? I miss it a little every day. Will I do it again? Most likely. After all, its THE BEST industry in the world, and you cant convince me otherwise – Ill die on that hill! But for now, Regarding Her allows me to contribute to the success of many women-owned businesses when they need it most, and that's an honor beyond compare. With exciting plans ahead for DC and nationwide, I invite you to support Regarding Her and women-owned businesses whenever you can.