Serving up authentic southern cuisine in the heart of California wine country

Meet The Co-Founders: Rachel

We’ve already introduced one half of the business, so today we’d like to tell you a little about the other half: Rachel.

Like Arthur, Rachel is a southerner through and through. She was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina, lived in Montgomery, Alabama for about 10 years as a kid, studied as an undergrad in Georgia, and went to law school in North Carolina.

Rachel has always had an active creative side, dabbling in drawing, painting, writing, and music ever since she was little. When she entered the somewhat dry world of legal academia, she realized she needed to find a creative outlet to help maintain her sanity. On a whim, she picked cake decorating, making cakes from box mixes and decorating them with colorful frosting designs. She quickly grew tired of the bland box mixes and was soon making cakes and cupcakes from scratch.

While her cake decorations were admittedly solidly mediocre, her baking was not. What started as a hobby grew into an obsession, and she would sometimes bake four kinds of cookies at a time to share with her classmates and regularly delivered pies to friends’ doorsteps. Baking soon spread to cooking, and she developed a special affinity for southern comfort food. This culinary prowess came as a surprise because Rachel hadn’t been exposed to cooking growing up.

Baking and cooking went well with another skill that Rachel had been honing since she was a teenager: hosting. She always loved getting people together, whether it was a back-to-school Hawaiian luau or a Valentine’s Day ladies-only poker tournament. She would distribute homemade paper invitations and prepare a themed menu of snacks and beverages. Favorite events include an Annual Halloween Preview & Arm Wrestling Competition, complete with inscribed trophies, and an annual semi-formal holiday wine and cheese party, which has only grown more elaborate over the years.

By the time she moved to New York City in 2008 to work as a litigation associate at a large law firm, one thing was very clear. Rachel loved food, loved people, and loved when she could put the two together.

Although Rachel was instantly at home living in the big city, working at the law firm wasn’t a perfect fit. She loved the intellectual challenge of the job, but she didn’t like the demanding schedule and the internal politics. She also wanted more room for creative expression.

The thought of quitting a comfortable job in a bad economy caused her some hesitation, but life made the decision for her when she was laid off in 2011 in the fourth round of mass layoffs at her law firm. By this time, her law school fantasy of opening a bakery was reborn, and she took a job at a small but busy bakery in New York’s Upper East Side. Working behind the counter at the bakery confirmed what she always suspected: selling delicious food was inspiring and fulfilling.

Moving to California was an unexpected twist that came after a mother/daughter trip to Napa and Sonoma in 2011. The bright sun and beautiful landscapes (not to mention the amazing wine) was irresistible, and in early 2012 she packed up her life in New York and drove across the country to California to start a business.

While putting plans together for a bakery, she realized how much better the experience would be if she had a business partner to share the ups and downs of entrepreneurship, particularly someone who shared her passion for food and offered a different set of skills. Her conversations with an old friend from New York City, Arthur, about selling fried chicken together started off in jest but quickly turned serious when they realized they shared a vision that is now Drums & Crumbs.

Rachel’s strengths include her legal background, knack for baking, eye for design, affinity for the written word, love of bringing people together, open mind, sweet smile and willingness to take a chance on something she believes in.

Categorised as: Background

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