A couple pours it all into their dream
Great food, compassion, hard work, heart and soul with a dash of beauty . . . these are the ingredients for the life David and Jessenia Bober have built together and the Wimberley restaurant they created.
David, born and raised in the Bronx, was working as a contractor when he met Jess, a Dallas native pursuing an acting career in New York City. When they started a family and had their son, Joshua, they began to dream about their next phase.
Jess and David each brought to their relationship a passion for food that would ultimately culminate in the opening of their first business: Jobell Café & Bistro. David says his mom, whose portrait hangs next to a painting of his father in the restaurant, inspired his approach to food. “She wrote about culinary history and taught me to make delicious dishes using locally sourced, fresh foods,” he says. “We both played a role in broadening Jess’s horizons. She had always enjoyed cooking, and as she learned more, she blossomed into an amazing chef.”
The idea to open a restaurant had been germinating, and after their second child, Isabella, was born, they were ready to make their vision a reality. Their only question was where to put down roots. They’d spent time in the Texas Hill Country, and while driving around Wimberley during a family trip, they stumbled upon their dream home. “We moved down just before July 4, 2013,” David recalls. “It really felt like our Independence Day. It was such a feeling of happiness starting a new life in Texas.”
In a whirlwind year that Jess describes as “surreal, fun, and exciting,” the Bobers fortuitously found the building for their restaurant shortly after moving to the Hill Country. “We put so much of ourselves into it: renovating with our own hands and naming it after our kids. When we finally opened on September 18, 2014, it was almost like having a baby!” she says.
In the beginning, the whole family was there around the clock. Jess learned more about cooking techniques, collaborating with friend and Brazilian chef Apollo, while David learned about operating the business. Even the kids helped out. “Josh likes to greet people and serve, and Isabella’s turf is in the kitchen, eating everything, and telling people what to do!” explains Jess. In a proud moment for David, Josh recently told him, “When I grow up, I’d love to help you run the restaurant.”
David often pauses amidst the hustle and bustle of entrepreneurship to realize what they’ve achieved. “We pulled this off. It’s beautiful. We did what we dreamed,” he says. “We created a space for conviviality, and participate in the happiness of people escaping from stresses to enjoy good food and wine. And it’s all been based not on a marketing strategy but rather remaining true to our values and respect for food.” The carefully planned menu features delectable culinary creations using local suppliers’ fresh ingredients, and they cherish that connection to the community.
All through the challenges—the time, sweat, stress, and worry—David and Jess have remained driven and grateful. “I think the business flourishes if you carry this love that you have for doing something throughout your interactions with people,” says Jess. “David and I do this because we love not just each other, but we love people.”
For more information, visit JobellCafe.com.