We had the good fortune of connecting with Vanessa Fernandez Favreau and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Vanessa, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I believe that the most difficult part was to start from the scratch in a new country with all of the changes that came with it, including the language, also keeping in mind that the hardships in our born-country forced us to physically detach ourselves from out home, our family, our friends but we decided to start a new life taking all the bad things as an impulse to rebuild our lives.

What should our readers know about your business?
My journey began when my husband Cesar and I got married and decided to start traveling around the world as backpackers, taking some time to breathe and get away from the bad situation in Venezuela. During those years our minds expanded so much, we learned about food, traditions, cultures and the most important, we met people very different to us. The thing is… Once you start traveling you can’t stop by yourself, so one day, my cousin and partner-in-crime Ivan called us and said “Guys you need to stop, let’s do something together, what about pizza?” And maybe it was the destiny but we received his call while eating at our favorite pizza place in Italy, so the idea sounded like something written in the stars. I am very passionate about every single thing I do, so after we took the decision of get that project together, I began to study to become a professional baker and prepared myself for almost a year and at the same time were working to get our investment visa and our restaurant ready. We had a tight budget, so we made almost everything by ourselves from the biggest to the smallest details, we bought the equipments in auctions, fixing and rebuilding most of them. And here we are, a year and a half later… Our brand is well recognized because our product, service and atmosphere, we made our dough and sauce from the scratch with our own formulas, long fermentation process and really healthy ingredients. We work with overnight proofing and it’s fascinating, it is actually one of the many things that makes our pizza as special as it is: Less yeast, more flavor and bubbles (those are “extra points” when you are a baker). Our service is the other thing that set us apart from others, you see, for us the studio is our home, so every client is like a friend who’s coming to eat with us, we know our regular clients names, what they like and that creates a very nice atmosphere. Our studio is also an open space for different art expressions. Before Covid we used to have “Rehearsal sessions” on Tuesdays; musicians from many cultures met and without knowing each other they would jam and play music together, just like magic! We hope to have it back by 2021.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love scenic cycling routes, from Midtown to Downtown and then to the Bayou Park. Couple hours at The Menil Collection and after that a picnic at the Menil Park. Cafeza on Mondays, The Gypsy Poet is a MUST for “Rehearsal Sessions” on Tuesdays or even any other day to share with friends, and Dinner at Poscol on Thursday. Also a long walk on Hermann Park and Rice University for a good time and a breath of fresh air.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My husband Cesar encouraged me to take this big turn in my life. Even though I am a journalist and used to work on international projects, I always enjoyed cooking. When he realized how much I enjoyed it, he started over-emphasizing the dishes; he would try the food and hug me or kiss me as well as raving about the dish (to this day he still does). He repeatedly told me that he felt selfish not sharing my cooking with the world and that he would love to see other people enjoy the dishes I prepare, LOL. He always makes me laugh about it but honestly I’m very shy, and that’s what encouraged me to take cooking classes and prepare my dishes for other people.

Website: www.thegypsypoet.us
Instagram: thegypsypoetstudio
Yelp: The Gypsy Poet

Image Credits
@eugene_drake (The Drakes)

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