Episode 14: Starting a Brick and Mortar in the Tech Age of Apps w/Emily Weisberg
Emily grew up in a small town in Wisconsin where she started writing recipes and drinking coffee at the ripe old age of 7. She started working in restaurants when she was 14 and has hardly stopped since. She learned Spanish, developed an interest in coffee, went to college, shopped at the farmer’s market a lot, ate at some amazing restaurants, lived in Peru for a while and eventually got married in Jerusalem where she and her husband lived. They came back to the U.S. with a toddler and an even stronger desire to build a diverse community around food. Enter: Moss Café. Emily, her husband Alex and their two little ones live in Riverdale and can probably be found at the café.
Sometimes Kosher food get’s a bad wrap. People critique kosher restaurants for being mediocre in taste or for being too high in cost. Emily Weisberg is looking to change those old ways of understanding Kosher restaurants and to open people’s eyes to the new and incredibly creative restaurants that are pushing the boundaries (and Emily is a self-professed boundary-pusher) of what it means to be a Kosher food establishment.
I like to provoke people to think about ways in which.. in their lives they could also be looking to expand their horizons and not feel like as a Kosher-keeping person or as an observant Jew on any level I have to be isolated… There is no reason that we can’t be a great restaurant. Kosher doesn’t mean limited in quality, to any means, Kosher means limiting ourselves according to Jewish law in terms of what kinds of foods we can mix together or where we can get ingredients from. But by no means does it mean we have to use ingredients, or use food that isn’t ethical, that isn’t sustainable, that isn’t healthy for us, that isn’t interesting or creative.
I also asked Emily about what it means to her to be a woman entrepreneur and what were some of the challenges that have come about as a result of being a woman in the entrepreneurial world.
I just don’t allow for people to look down on me or to see me as less capable, or less intelligent, or less entrepreneurial, less financially capable because I am a woman. Although certainly all of those things have been there… But when my daughter is playing with Legos… when the dad goes into work his boss is a woman, and when the mom goes into work – she is the boss! And so I thought to myself: Ok, if that is something that is normal for her, maybe we have made a stride here on some level.
For a book that Emily recommends be sure to check out:
“Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business” by Danny Meyer
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