Nikki & Jose
For owners Nikki Grant and Jose Arevalos, it wasn’t exactly love at first sight, but they would soon find out that they had much more in common than a strong work ethic.
Nikki worked in the catering events and restaurant industry for many years in Washington DC and San Francisco. Working for well-known Chefs and firms, she developed a knack for details, both aesthetically and logistically. She doesn’t take no for an answer and works as hard as she plays.
After culinary school, Jose started his career as a line cook in Chicago working his way up to Executive Chef and opened 5 restaurants with Lettuce Entertain You including running one of their largest and busiest restaurants. His passion is in the handmade details of the culinary arts, with a particular love and talent for making homemade pasta.
They met in Chicago and worked together at a demanding and fast paced restaurant group. Her first impression: another rude chef with a chip on his shoulder. His: another snobby event planner who thinks she knows everything. They both worked hard and gained a mutual respect for one another, but after a year, Nikki moved back to DC to open a restaurant for the same group. Jose was sent down a few months later to help with the opening on the culinary side. After many late nights of working, they finally had a chance to hang out and never stopped hanging out.
Nikki always wanted to start her own business but didn’t know how or what until she met Jose. With their combined talents, experience and love of all things food, it was clear it needed to be a restaurant. He was the most talented chef she had ever met, and surprisingly humble. The opportunity to purchase Woodstock Cafe came up and they jumped at it...well, it took a year. They quit their corporate jobs after 15 plus years, sold their house in the city, and moved to the country. They’ve overcome many obstacles, both personal and professional to get to this point, but haven’t stopped to look back! They know they are exactly where they are supposed to be in exactly the place they are meant to be!