Jessica Ventouras – BUSINESS
Business: Be Raw, Boom Juice
High School: Lake Highlands High School
College: Cooper Institute
Community Involvement: I’m part of the local Dallas vegan community, the Greek Dallas community, and Armstrong elementary volunteer.
Since 2013, Jessica Ventouras has brought refreshing health-focused trends to the Dallas area. Some say you can thank her for Dallasites sipping on rose water and turmeric milk. Her innovative approach to food has landed the mother of three on the Food Network’s Guy’s Grocery Games – her second run will be Aug. 8. A staple in Dallas’ vegan community, the Boom Juice founder, and her husband, Davio, were behind saving Be Raw, the city’s only raw restaurants in 2016. Beyond food and reality television, Ventouras is a proud Armstrong Elementary School volunteer. She’s also served as a grant writer for an anti-poverty think tank helping feed people and prevent food waste in landfills.
What is the best advice you received when beginning your career? I’m very fortunate to know three leaders in the Dallas restaurant scene, their advice is gold:
Gene: don’t work with your spouse, if you do, try to remember you’re on the same team
Shannon: trust your gut and “to Hell with” (PG version of what he said) everyone else
Dick: everyone is stealing.
What is your business philosophy? It can be better. Forever tweak and improve.
What inspires you? The curiosity of human nature, seeing others’ courage and conviction. People working for the greater good, to create a brighter future and progress humanity in the optimum direction. I want to make my kids proud, growing up I knew kids who were always proud of their parents, and never like “ugh, mom! Go away!” And I want to be that parent. The desire to be my best self, having used food to treat an autoimmune disease, as well as cure chronic migraines, that’s become my main medium for experimentation. In travels, I’ll find tips and tricks locals use for ailments or just better health and implement those in my own life, which then carries on into my businesses.
If you could tell 16-year-old you anything, what would you say? You are an awesome woman in the making, you can do it all, but it’s okay to get help, stand on the shoulders of giants!
What is your proudest career accomplishment? We met celiac Australians at a cafe in Greece this summer, who had tried my juice bar in the first few months of it opening in the Dallas Farmers Market (they were in line for Pecan Lodge)!! They remembered the name and me behind the counter baby wearing my 2nd son, they said it changed their life, it was then the first green juice they’d ever had and now they drink green juices regularly.
What did you learn from your best boss or mentor? To choose an easy life. I’m a fighter, sometimes I get lost in the struggle trying to force something, which can be such a waste of energy. When things work, they really work, call it serendipity, luck, whatever, when it’s meant to be it flows easy. That doesn’t mean you won’t work your butt off, but it will be productive work!
What was your first summer job? I started my own babysitting service, complete with magnetic business cards and all, that I made and gave out to everyone with kids at the church (St. James Episcopal). Business went well, I was always booked, and sometimes had to refer friends!
What do you love about your community? The small town feel within a big city. The way the people pull together to create a community. There are always public events going on, I think it’s really important for raising kids, to see and feel that sense of togetherness.
Where is the best place for a business power lunch in Park Cities or Preston Hollow? All of my power lunches are at Be Raw. There’s WiFi, the vibes are good, food fantastic, and you feel empowered and strong. After, you feel fueled and ready to take on the world vs ready for a nap. Being celiac it’s also stressing free for me, being 100% GF.
What is your fondest Park Cities or Preston Hollow memory? The community is amazing, like a town within a city. (The celebrations are so fun, even as a tween my aunt and uncle would have a train going up and down their street to celebrate my little cousin’s birthday.)
Where will we find you enjoying your hard-earned time off? The south of France rosé en main et la mer pres de moi.
What do you want your last meal to be? Delicious and lively with all my favorite people.
What is your favorite color? Black, red, and leopard print
What fictional world or place would you like to visit? Wonderland – but not the Tim Burton version, or maybe Narnia!
If you could be on a reality TV show, which one would you choose? American Ninja – because to even make it ON to the show I’d be in some sort of superhuman physical state of awesome.
What would your superpower be? The power to heal!!! I attempt it with my product lines and the restaurant, but you can’t force feed people, there are emotional connections to food, and what’s not always the best for us may soothe the soul on a level, and some issues are beyond food.