Today we’d like to introduce you to Christina Hanks and Jacob Fraijo.
Hi Christina and Jacob, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
We met in 2011 when we both got hired by our now mentors, Carolyn Nugent & Alen Ramos. We learned the fundamentals and built a foundation in the world of French Patisserie at Bottega Louie and Thomas Keller Restaurant Group before moving to San Francisco to work at Quince and Cotogna. A new door opened for us that involved amazing California produce, freshly milled flours, high-quality dairy and all the ingredients that can elevate the work we do and help support the local economy and makers. From here, we moved to New York to work under Tetsuya Yamaguchi at Robuchon and back to San Francisco, again, for an opportunity with Crenn Dining Group. After a few years with CDG, we found ourselves back home in Los Angeles as a result of the pandemic. We felt it was the perfect time to take everything we learned over the past decade and apply that knowledge into building a business for ourselves.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It has not been a smooth road, but a very gratifying and rewarding one. We’ve definitely faced struggles with the local government systems for setting up a small business. As with all growth, you can only be so ready. So there’s been some growing pains. The key for us is to stay focused on our goal and stay resilient and positive as things change that were unexpected.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Jacob and I specialize in French pastry and bread- with his focus being more on bread and viennoiserie, while I focus on more patisserie-styled items (cakes, tarts, cookies, etc.). With each of our focuses, we like to pay respect to the tradition and ideology of the French craftsmanship but apply it to our setting here in California. We source as many ingredients as we can within our region from artisans and producers that share the same mindset- local produce, dairy, eggs, flour, chocolate. We like to take these quality ingredients and manipulate them as little as possible so that they shine through with the end product.
Where do you see things going in the next 5-10 years?
We hope to see more food industry professionals breaking out from the big names they’ve been working under, so they can have a voice. They can make the food that they want to make, how they see fit. We both hope to see more small businesses thriving and we can, as a society, move away from this attachment to big chains. Overall, we feel that it is a positive shift. The more good people doing good work, the better for everybody!
- Instagram: pavebakery