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Inspiring Conversations with Joaquin Ortiz of Jealous Fork

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joaquin Ortiz.

Hi Joaquin, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
Our story begins in 2007 when Henrik decided to move to Miami from Norway to pursue his Master’s Degree in Telecommunications. He met Joaquin through mutual friends during this time. Over the course of the next eight years their friendship grew as they bonded over sports and planning “guys trips” all over the world. During their travels, they’d look up “best breakfast” or “best pancakes” in each city they’d visit. Without knowing it, they were doing years of pancake research all over the world. Back home in Miami, Joaquin was honing his skills in the hospitality field. He graduated from Johnson & Wales University with degrees in Culinary Arts and Business Hospitality Management and continued to train under Michelin star and James Beard award-winning chefs. In 2016 Joaquin and Henrik decided to give working together a try and opened up Tea & Poets, a live performance venue, tea and coffee house and shopping market in South Miami. After four years and the tremendous success of Tea & Poets, Joaquin and Henrik decided to team up again to bring their innovation, creativity and nostalgic love for breakfast to the world of pancakes. Jealous Fork was born out of Joaquin and Henrik’s passion for cooking, traveling, eating and having fun. They’d get together on their days off and cook pancakes at home and post the photos on their personal Instagram pages. As the photos went up, so did the comments and likes. People wrote things like, “Oh my God, those pancakes look amazing,” “Come to my house and cook pancakes for me,” or “When are you hosting a breakfast party?”

As the popularity of their pancakes grew, they had the light bulb idea: “What about opening up a pancake restaurant?!” They spent the next three months working on the perfect pancake batter. Hours and hours went into breaking down pancakes to an exact science. Joaquin and Henrik have more documented recipe variations than they know what to do with! After all that hard work, they settled on a final product.

The Jealous Fork pancake is a delicious hybrid of a pancake and a biscuit. Once they had the pancake finalized, they spent the next four months perfecting each individual dish and recipe on their menu. In the midst of the recipe testing one day, Henrik was searching the internet and came across a listing of a food truck for sale in the Miami area. So, Joaquin and Henrik decided on transitioning their pancake restaurant idea into a food truck concept. In October of 2019, Jealous Fork went live and the first artisan pancake food truck in the country, maybe even the world, was born.

There is something special and nostalgic about pancakes. Just about all of us have some childhood memory where we were cooking pancakes. We hope that in some way, eating Jealous Fork pancakes takes you back to that special memory.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Just like most businesses we were challenged in 2020. We had to pivot and adapt, change our business model and find new ways to bring in revenue. Looking back on 2020, not only did we survive but we flourished! We grew 340% and we are also projecting another record year in 2021.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Jealous Fork?
There is no doubt that we have outgrown our food truck in only two short years. Now we look to the future and that future is Jealous Fork The Restaurant. We are currently raising capital and projecting to open a brick and mortar in the second or third quarter of 2022.

What makes you happy?
The growth of Jealous Fork has been unreal! When we set out to revolutionize pancakes, we never thought so many people would have come out and quickly as they did. It was and still is a very “Field of Dreams” moment… If you build it, they will come…

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Jealous Fork

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