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Meet Kim Oravetz of Red Oak Cafe in League City

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kim Oravetz.

The story of Red Oak Café is at the bottom of every menu that is handed out at Red Oak Café. As it states initially, “The story can be summed up with a single statement…A dream of one woman, delivered through the efforts of her entire family, together, creating a special dining experience that captures the personality of a lost and beloved son.”

The dream started with Friendswood resident Kim Oravetz, and her very popular recipes combined with the inspiration received after losing one of her children, her first born and beloved, Justin, on December 5, 2007.

Justin was an imposing figure standing 6’4″ tall and was a “man’s man”, but after a few minutes in the presence of Justin, you quickly realized he had the heart and personality of an angel (a really big teddy bear). Justin never met a stranger, loved being around people and had a passion for serving others. After losing Justin, the Oravetz family planted a special tree in his honor…a Red Oak tree. To our family, the Red Oak represents a strong and powerful tree that provides a special place to reflect on Justin’s life. This tree, his tree, has become the focal point of the Oravetz backyard and is now the foundation of Red Oak Café. At the center of the Red Oak Café logo, and the focal point inside the restaurant, the Red Oak serves as our daily reminder of Justin and what he stood for. Red Oak Café is a unique meeting place where everyone is welcomed and no one is a stranger…just the way Justin would have wanted it.

Red Oak Café has become a popular meeting place, even a place of healing, as customers frequently ask for Kim, to share their own stories of loss.

Kim is a wife, a mother of four boys, and a grandmother to three sweet grandbabies. Her family is the cornerstone of her being, the thing that continues to motivate her. Red Oak Café has become her ministry, giving her access to hurting people, but also, just welcoming people into her own little space.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road to opening Red Oak, was definitely NOT a smooth road. It was born out of adversity, so it began because of an incredibly bumpy road.

Fortunately, Kim retained many of her customers from a previous Tea Room that she had closed due to a serious workplace injury, coupled with a great location, amazing friends and family members, the opportunity to build this from scratch, and also with her faith, Red Oak opened its doors with great success, and the success has maintained.

We have been blessed with an incredible staff, each one taking ownership of Red Oak Café and believing in its success.

Red Oak Cafe – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Red Oak Café stands apart from other cafes in the area because it is more than just a café, it is an experience. From the welcoming staff, to the owner table visits, customers return time and time again, just because they know they will be remembered (if not the first return, very soon after!), they know they will be welcomed and loved on. We have a scripture on the wall that sets the tone of Red Oak Café, Isaiah 61:3, “They will be called Oaks of Righteousness” that has ministered to many people.

As far as the cuisine, we are known for our home cooking. It’s similar to sitting at home and getting the food you crave. We are quickly becoming known for our breakfast, specifically our sweet-cream pancakes and locally roasted coffee. For lunch diners, we offer sandwiches, paninis and wraps, made with quality meats and cheeses, fresh made salads and soups made from scratch. We also have a hot items menu, featuring homemade pot pies, jambalaya and beef stew. We are known for our banana pudding at lunch, and most people who try it say that it is their favorite, hands down!

As a company, I am incredibly proud of our staff, and the fact that we really have brought community together! One of my favorite parts of my day is when I see the customers at one table get up and go talk to their neighbors that are sitting just a few tables over!

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
The proudest moment of my career is two-fold. Initially, it is when I am able to minister to hurting people. When I am able to turn a loss into a celebration. However, if I had to pick a moment in time that highlighted my career, I would probably say the mentions and interviews that have happened in the last three months. We have been named one of the “Top Five Breakfast Gems in the Bay Area” by the Houston Press, one of the “21 Excellent Brunch Spots in the Houston Suburbs” by the Houston Chronicle, featured on “Cooking with Cleverley” on Fox 26, and also enjoyed a spot on ABC-13, as they loved our post-it notes in our bathrooms that spread positivity throughout the community. These things are amazing confirmations of our place in the community, and I love it!

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Getting in touch: VoyageHouston is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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