Dandelion Cafe owner Sarah Lieberman came to Houston to begin a job in the oil industry after she attended The University of the Arts Industrial Design program in Philadelphia.
After realizing she did not want a desk job for the rest of her life, Lieberman said she thought back to her childhood in a family that owned a pizza restaurant and the time she worked at a coffee shop in college. She ultimately decided she wanted to start her own cafe.
“From the time I was 12, I was working in the industry, so hospitality is in my blood,” Lieberman said. “Since I had grown up running around a restaurant and talking to customers all the time, I couldn’t just be in an office.”
With the help of a professional mentoring program called SCORE and mentor Jerry Hoffman, Lieberman found the Bellaire location to start Dandelion Cafe, which began as a coffee shop, in August 2016.
After the community urged her to have more breakfast and brunch food options, Lieberman began expanding the cafe’s menu and hired more kitchen staff, including her now-boyfriend and Dandelion Cafe’s head chef, JC Ricks, who said the quality of Dandelion Cafe’s food sets them apart.
“The amount of in-house, scratch items that we make is pretty phenomenal for how big we are,” Ricks said. “I would say about 90% of the stuff we have is either made in-house or we get it from local vendors.”
Along with breakfast favorites like buttermilk pancakes, French toast and biscuits and gravy, the cafe also offers paninis, salads and specialty dishes every weekend.
Though high-quality and locally sourced food and coffee is important, Lieberman said hospitality plays an equally important role and said her favorite reviews are those that compliment the staff.
“Our hospitality is something that’s really important to me,” Lieberman said. “I hire plenty of people who don’t even have industry experience but who have great personalities and are very friendly.”
5405 Bellaire Blvd., Bellaire
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 7 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. 8 a.m.-3 p.m.