Remember in the old TV show “Cheers,” when Norm came in the door, and everyone would yell, “Norm!” because they were excited to see him? Imagine that sense of community, except this time, you are the one walking in the door of The Main House, and you yell, “Boniane!” because you are excited to see Ms. Boniane, Ford’s beloved hostess.
That is the scene that plays out countless times Thursday and Friday afternoons during Cookies and Cocktails at The Main House, Henry and Clara Ford’s former mansion.
Boniane has been at Ford for 16 years and has served in just about every capacity in the Food & Beverage Department, but by far, her favorite position is as hostess to members and guests at Cookies and Cocktails.
After starting as a bartender, Boniane was promoted to bar manager and was in charge of inventory and ordering and ensuring smooth operations in the department. She has also been involved in planning and executing countless events at Ford, including our annual Homecoming Weekend and weddings.
These days, Boniane has cut back on her hours, but since she loves the employees and members, she continues to work at Cookies and Cocktails. She especially loves her happy hour crowd; although service technically goes until 6:30 p.m., she says, “I usually serve until about 8 o’clock, because everyone is having such a good time.”
Boniane was born and raised in Savannah and has lived the majority of her life in the area. Not surprisingly, in this coastal area, boating is one of her favorite hobbies. “I love to sail, but mostly now I just enjoy motor boating,” she explains.
Boniane is no stranger to adventure. About 25 years ago, she and five other women rented a 60-foot sailboat and sailed around the Caribbean—by themselves, without a captain. She also used to sky dive and scuba dive, but now her hobbies are a bit tamer, and she counts gardening and reading among her favorites.
Another favorite activity of Boniane’s is travel—she has been to Hawaii, Ireland, France, England, and the Caribbean, to name a few, and she can’t wait to get out again, once COVID-related travel restrictions are lifted. Although she has traveled the world, she always loves coming home to the South.
“I really enjoy meeting prospects and telling them about Savannah because I was raised here,” she says. Whenever I refer people to the downtown historical area, I always tell them to look up, because some of the prettiest architecture is up high.”
Of all the adventure and good times Boniane has had, nothing is more important or fulfilling to her as the time she spends with her family, which includes two children and their spouses, five grandchildren, and eight great grandchildren.
Boniane is a true southern lady with a heart for service and a kind word for all. She truly is a Ford treasure.