Tell us about Red Oak Café and its background.
The dream started with my recipes combined with the inspiration received after losing one of my children, my 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, my 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.
What was the inspiration behind starting the restaurant?
Most definitely, the inspiration is family and love, along with strength and being able to give back. For Justin to continue to make a difference in lives even today.
What makes your business unique?
Although we are in the restaurant business, and we feed people with good food, at Red Oak Café, we are a big family and love to have you be a part of our family. We will love on you, pray for you, listen to you...whatever it is you need that day, we would love to be able to provide that. The love, inspiration, and southern hospitality that Red Oak Café embodies are what we believe makes us unique and different than any place to just fill your belly...we like to feed souls , too!
When you walk into the women's restroom, you can't help but notice the sticky notes all over the walls. What is the story behind that?
It was the idea of one our waitresses who one day wrote an inspirational quote on a yellow sticky note and stuck it on the wall. She asked if she could leave a couple notepads and pens for others to do the same. The idea took off and now the walls are covered with quotes and uplifting messages from all our customers.
Why did you choose to have a business in League City?
I absolutely love the small town, community feel of League City. They have welcomed us with open arms and allowed us to become part of their community. They love us, and we love to give that back!
What do you love most about League City?
The sense of community that we believe Red Oak represents wouldn't be possible without League City and the surrounding communities. We LOVE that they include us in their day!
How has League City impacted you and your business?
When Harvey happened, we sent out a "call" to anyone with a boat that could get us from our home to Red Oak Café. That call was answered mightily! We got to Red Oak Café and sent out another "call" to anyone who wanted to help feed first responders. The community responded with around 75 residents that just wanted to help in any way possible. That's what impacts me and my business...neighbors helping neighbors. We had the honor of sending out around 1,000 meals that day. The sense of community is unmatchable!
If you could describe League City in one word, what would it be?
Describe your perfect day in League City.
Every day on my drive into work, I pray. I pray that somehow I have the opportunity to make a difference in SOMEONE's life that day. That God uses me in the perfect way that day at Red Oak. So, professionally, my perfect day would be that I was able to love on someone who just needed a hug and a prayer and an ear. I am hopeful and am looking for some way to make a small difference to someone that day!