We had the good fortune of connecting with Christina Hanks & Jacob Fraijo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christina Hanks & Jacob Fraijo, how do you think about risk?
There’s a lot of risk taking in our lives and career choices in the food industry. Every time we take a new opportunity, we consider the risk but realize that if there’s no risk involved, there probably isn’t an opportunity for personal growth. When we take a new step, we are generally leaving a position or restaurant or city that we’ve grown accustomed to or comfortable with. Returning home to Los Angeles, after not working or living here for over 6 years, and starting a small business during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic is probably one of the bigger risks that we have taken.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
We feel like our work is set apart from others because of the style of pastry that we choose to make as well as how we source our ingredients to use. Our focus is on French inspired pastry, seen through a California lens. For us that means that we’re sourcing as local of ingredients as possible and working sustainably- shopping from farmers markets, directly sourcing fruit from local farmers, raw honey from beekeepers and fresh heirloom whole grain flours from millers to give guests the most flavorful, nutritional and fresh pastry, bread and cakes possible. We focus on quality and simplicity with our menu offerings so that these special ingredients can shine through. We are enamored by traditional French pastry items that have a history and story, so we like to make our California versions of those things.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Our perfect LA week is filled with food and outdoor activities: On a weekday, we would plan with a bike ride down the boardwalk from the edge of Venice to Will Rodgers beach, hang out, and ride back to Venice. Get salads and a brownie from Gjusta and eat on their patio or a turkey sandwich from Gjelina Take Away.
A half day hike in the Santa Monica mountains for great views.
Leo’s Tacos on Eagle Rock Blvd for our favorite carne asada tacos with avocado salsa verde.
In Glendale, Zhengyalov Hatz for a delicious herb filled flat bread and Mini Kabob for lunch and a walk through the Museum of Neon Art.
More tacos at El Chato & Tire Shop Taqueria.
Sunday morning at Hollywood Farmers Market for ripe fruit and delicious pupusas.
A sunny hike through Angeles Forest and to Brown Mountain from JPL in Altadena.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
We want to dedicate our shoutout to a few people that have given us unwavering support us since day 1: Momma Hanks, Carolyn Nugent, Alen Ramos and Tetsuya Yamaguchi. We’ve built a strong foundation of skills, learning from all of them- more than just in the kitchen.