(RestaurantNews.com) Since its inception more than 25 years ago, Rustika Café and Bakery has been serving the Houston community its Jewish-Mexican fusion favorites. Beyond being known for “Houston’s best cakes,” guests visit the family-owned and operated concept for one key attribute that its employees and recipes exude – authenticity.
Before the award-winning brand planted its roots in Texas, Rustika’s recipes were first brought to life by Chef Francis Reznick. Renowned Pastry Chef Reznick grew up in Mexico City and experienced her first memories of baking from spending time in the kitchen with her nanny. Having the opportunity to travel around the world at a very young age, Reznick was exposed to many different cultures that have influenced the recipes she uses to this day in her café and bakery.
After meeting her husband Leonardo, Reznick left Mexico and moved to Boston for her husband’s education. As a mom to her first child in a new city, she decided to take her love for baking to the next level. She enrolled herself in the highly acclaimed Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, where she learned classic fundamentals of cooking and baking, history and influences of the world’s greatest cuisines, techniques for mastering common and exotic ingredients, and more. After their time in Boston, the Reznick’s moved back to Mexico to grow their family. In 1994, the family of five moved to Houston to expand their opportunities, but after the Mexican peso devaluated, the duo found themselves without a secure job and with limited English. With her back against the wall in an unknown city, Chef Reznick founded Rustika.
When Rustika was born, the bakery started in commercial wholesale, going door to door selling cakes to restaurants such as Carrabba’s, Goode Company, Taste of Texas and Landry’s, as well as hotels and casinos. Consumers resonated with Reznick’s magnetic personality as she marketed the bakery simply by word of mouth. But after 9/11, Rustika found itself pivoting to retail and opened its first brick-and-mortar bakery in 2001. Chef Reznick had experience cooking with her family from a young age, so she made the decision to expand Rustika’s menu and offer breakfast and lunch items in addition to its renowned desserts, pastries and cakes. Rustika developed its breakfast and lunch menus to include dishes inspired by the family’s culture, featuring items such as the Challah French Toast and Cheese Blintzes.
With its European-Jewish background, the café and bakery serves recipes originating from Austria, Spain, France and Russia, with cultural inspirations from a variety of classic Latin, American and European dishes. Rustika prides itself in offering scratch-made dishes using only the freshest ingredients. The recipes the Reznick’s use have been passed down from generations and are produced in-house featuring only the highest quality ingredients. From the hand-cracked eggs to the hand-mixed salad dressings, Rustika knows each ingredient that goes into its products, providing customers with real, clean, preservative-free food and all-natural desserts.
Family is everything
As a family-owned and operated business, all of the Reznick’s bring unique skills that drive the brand’s success. Chef Reznick’s three children worked in the café and bakery growing up and learned about Rustika’s recipes and operations as they went. It wasn’t something that was passed down to their family, rather something they built on their own. Chef Reznick’s son Marco Reznick serves as chief executive officer alongside his sister Justinne Whichard who serves as the culinary director. Chef Reznick’s grandchildren also contribute to Rustika’s success.
Staying true to your roots while you grow
Once they decided to franchise and spread Rustika’s authentic food and pastries further across Houston, the family knew they wanted to stay closely involved with their franchisees. The brand’s loyal customers fell in love with the Reznick family before they fell in love with the food, so they strive to keep their family involved at their other locations. Of course, the family can’t be present at every location, so they look at their franchisees as owner operators. They work closely together with open communication, listening to ideas and supporting their franchisees however possible. When working with franchisees, Rustika seeks individuals that care about the brand’s family-owned aspect and commit to living up to the Reznick’s standards of creating decadent and beautiful food and desserts while never compromising on flavor or quality of ingredients.
The Houston-based café and bakery honors the deep relationships it has built with its guests since serving the community for over two decades. Rustika’s loyal fans keep coming back because the brand’s genuine baking from homemade recipes can’t be replicated anywhere else. As Rustika prepares for franchise growth in 2022, family and community remain at the heart of the brand’s core values. Authenticity will always be the defining piece that makes Rustika’s guest experience whole.
Rustika is currently offering franchise development opportunities throughout the U.S. For more information, please call Kat Davidson at 678-485-8413 or email [email protected]. For more information on Rustika Café & Bakery, visit www.RustikaCafe.com.
About Rustika Café and Bakery
Founded by Pastry Chef Francis Reznick in 1994, Rustika Café and Bakery is a family-owned and operated establishment with five locations throughout the Houston area. Rustika Café and Bakery’s vision is simple: use only the highest-quality ingredients while putting an international flair to each dish. Born in Mexico from Jewish-European descent, Chef Reznick sources ingredients and recipes from across the globe. Everything on Rustika Café and Bakery’s menu, from chilaquiles and empanadas to gourmet cookies and cakes, are scratch-made, in-house daily using only the best all-natural, preservative-free ingredients. Rustika Café and Bakery ships its famous cakes and empanadas nationwide with Goldbelly – straight from Houston to your doorstep. Rustika Café & Bakery offers franchise development opportunities across the U.S. For more information, visit www.RustikaCafe.com.