Morning Person of the Day: Jessica Sanchez
Meet Jessica Sanchez, Owner/Chef at LOBA, Host of Zagat’s first show “FoodWays,” and CreativeMornings/Miami attendee.
What is your first and/or most meaningful CreativeMornings experience?
May 2014 was my first CreativeMornings event. Camila Ramos was the speaker and I have always been intrigued by her evident talent, passion and discipline she has in speciality coffee/culture. She’s a role model for everyone, born in Cuba but bred in Miami. The event itself led me to meet many people in my industry that I hadn’t met before and a lot of great minds who all enjoy community while hearing inspiring stories. I was thrilled that CM made its way to Miami, Malik is the perfect host for our city.
Describe the work that you do and the impact you’re trying to make.
I have always been fascinated by new ideas. The world of Narnia, as a kid, blew my mind. It had inspired me to always believe in my imagination. After 5 years working in the corporate world, I was ready to trust in myself and began building what was on my mind and in my heart. There will never be one project or one set career for me. I am an entrepreneur, I love pushing boundaries and exploring ideas. Most importantly, I seek personal growth and social connections with every project I am involved in.
Currently, some of the projects I am involved in are; LOBA Restaurant is my first restaurant creation. I own and cook at the restaurant. We specialize in comfort food and have the best brunch in Miami. I am so proud of this project, it is such a wild ride but living it is so much sweeter than dreaming it. I host Zagat’s first show called ‘FoodWays’. The show is about revealing the power, history and connection behind food. In 10 episodes, we witness how chefs/restaurateurs cook their stories around the country and share them with family, friends and even strangers like me. This series is extremely special and it’s incredulous that I can be a part of it. Zagat just renewed our show for a second season, so we are thrilled and very excited for what’s to come!
What is the impact I’m trying to make?
My purpose in life has always been to continually and consistently show love and grow as I learn. That is my truth. There is a quote from ‘The Smiths’ that I love “it takes strength to be gentle and kind.” There is a power to that. There’s meaning to that. Anything is possible when love and community is involved. That is the message I want to help spread and impact, in everything I do.
In your work and life experiences, what have you learned about people?
Through my experiences, I have learned that people want to be noticed, appreciated, understood and loved in the most innocent of ways with the motive of building a strong sense of community. Through our show “FoodWays”, the act of cooking is an action of love. I have always said that and that is why I have a restaurant. I don’t need to speak your language to show you kindness. We can demonstrate love is so many ways and people resonate and feel it when it’s coming from a true place.
Describe a time when you noticed the impact of connecting or belonging to a community.
I opened LOBA in 2014 with no culinary credentials in the restaurant field. At the time, the entrepreneurial food scene was just beginning. A community of culture and similarity through food. I remember 6 months into my opening, a group of young business owners came in to dine and I knew who they all were… I couldn’t believe they were dining at my restaurant. Those are my celebrities. Risk takers and cultivating culture through their own passions. The Miami Food Community is small but strong, the large scale of it is belonging to something bigger than a physical space.
Describe a project that you started and failed.
While I was a financial analyst at a private bank, I came up with an online business idea in 2007 called HelloMrs.com. It was an online service to expedite/digitalize the entire process for newlywed women who wanted to change their last name. I also did a spin off service called GoodbyeMrs.com, knowing that the reality of divorce is unfortunate but a possibility, it was another niche, and most people do not know that it is the same tedious process to change your name back. I designed the websites and got someone from India to code the website for me. It was my proudest entrepreneurial accomplishment because it was my first but why it failed was not in the creation of it, it was in the execution. No one knew about my idea. I didn’t have any money for marketing and thought that word of mouth was going to be sufficient for the rise of the project. So I gave up. Shortly after, 2 companies entered the market and instantly sold over 2 million dollars in less than a year. Needless to say, I learned so much from that experience and am still proud of that idea.
Tell us something about yourself that we can’t find on Google.
I invest most of my savings in real estate and focus on student housing. I’ve also have been playing basketball since I was 6 years old. My friends call me Jessatron on the court :)
Photo credit for Jessica: Jason Henry.