One on One: Kristen Hall and Sarah Mason

One on One August 2016

Memories. We spend our life creating them one experience at a time. We remember the sound of a certain melody, the taste of a flavorful dish. That’s why Kristen Hall and Sarah Mason believe that the Birmingham community deserves the best when it comes to two essential ingredients for a memorable experience: music and food. Here’s a taste of what you’ll find in their full conversation online.

Meet baker extraordinaire Kristen Hall

Kristen Hall makes sure to instill her baking passion in her daughters. Fittingly, they became known as “baking bandits” because they would ring neighbors’ doorbells to deliver treats. Her baking business steadily expanded from there. “I was always really into seasonal baking, farmers’ markets, and pop-up shops,” says Hall. “I was ready to have a home.” Hall and business partner Victor King recently opened a European café and coffee shop with a focus on seasonal fare, Feast & Forest, on 24th Street North downtown.

Meet music-maven Sarah Mason

Picking out song melodies was engrained in Mason’s life growing up in Kansas City. After marrying Will in 2007 and settling in Birmingham, the couple’s passion for music propelled them to share their talent with the local community. In 2013, they opened their first Mason Music studio in Cahaba Heights. Today, the couple owns three music studios with plans to open a fourth.

What kind of response have you seen to your business?

Mason: People really like the connection they have with the teacher. We wanted to have a place in the community where children come that wasn’t centered around sports.

Hall: I have seen lines out the door. People really have fallen in love with brunch. It’s funny, we thought we would start with a quiet café and have ended up with this busy restaurant. People love to hang out there.

What else is on your plate?

Mason: We are entering the nonprofit sector by launching the Mason Music Foundation with a mission to bring free music lessons to children in low-income families and children with special needs. We really want a place where the parents and children can come hang out together. I’m also starting my own band with a new album set to be released soon.

Hall: I also own The Nest in Avondale, an event space designed for small to medium-sized gatherings.

Any parting words?

Hall: A meal is like a time stamp. For me, it’s all about creating memories and a sense of place.

Mason: Being in a smaller city, you are able to build relationships and collaborate with other people in your field. There lot of other places you can’t do that. •

Photography by Beau Gustafson



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