We had the good fortune of connecting with Leslie Rubiner and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Leslie, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
When I moved to the US two years ago, I had no plans for my professional life. I was leaving my speech therapy career for the unknown. This deep change pushed me to have another perspective on what I wanted for my life. I worked at a lot of different places and for many different people and at this point I was feeling limited in my creativity. I was ready to create and build something according to my values, my vision, my personality. It was time for me to empower my life. I love cooking and have always liked to make crepes. I had this idea of a creperie for months before I found this place for rent. Perfect location, perfect size for a first restaurant! When I became more serious about starting my own little creperie, everything lined up and suddenly I was shot out in the incredible adventure.
What should our readers know about your business?
Cafe Crepe is an authentic french creperie also serving gourmet espresso drinks. What sets us appart is that we are the very first and only creperie in Big Bear Lake and everything is fresh made. One of the factors of Cafe Crepe’s success is that I include my own values in the business: quality, service and environmentalism. We work with Down Dog Coffee (@downdogcoffee) and value our partnership with them as their coffee is excellent, faire trade and organic. During the process of creating the business, there was lot of hard times, tears, sweat, sleep deprivation. And what help me overcome this challenges was the love and support from my close ones and knowing that hard work was going to pay off. I hope I can inspire others to dare believe in them self and their creativity. What I have learnt is that we can gain knowledge and confidence by expanding our comfort zone which means venturing into the risk zone. Moving to the US and starting a business pushed me far away from my comfort zone. I had no experience in running a restaurant, my english level was not that good and I invested all my savings. That was scary. But it led me to success and even if I lost energy, money or time at some point, what I gained in confidence and knowledge has no price.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would start with a bike ride around the lake or in our beautiful mountains. Then I would take them rock climbing in the Holcomb Valley, treat them with my crepes and coffee. And then, I would top it of with dinner at Masala Craft in the village. If they are coming during the winter, of curse I would take them snowboarding at our resort (Bear and Summit).
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
In the first place, I would like to thank my husband who is the reason that I am here now. I would never have thought of moving from France to the US if I hadn’t fallen in love with him. He always supports my ideas and projects with love and kindness and has been very involved in the creation of my business. I thank him for always believing in me. I would also like to thank my sister in law Zina Rubiner who made the beautiful artwork on the creperie’s side wall (@bgirl_phenx). And then of course I would like to thank all of my friends and family who where there since the creation of the creperie as well as all the people who helps me to make this project come to life such as; my landlord, the city of Big Bear, all of our patrons, and our amazing staff.