FAIRFAX, Va. (WDVM) — The Mosaic District is a collage of businesses from all backgrounds and now, it’s welcoming a quick-service cafe called Poffy, featuring allergy-conscious treats.
Kevin Perez and Lilian Wanandy-Perez are the owners of this new spot expected to open memorial day weekend. Everything will be made from scratch, according to Lilian.
“They’re typically called dutch mini pancakes,” said Kevin. “Find them all around in the Netherlands. It’s something that was sort of Indonesian sort of adopted because of the Dutch influence in Indonesia. Lillian’s mom happened to make them at home, and loved them, we love them. She grew up with them.”
Kevin said the small interior of the store was perfect for the cozy feeling they wanted the shop to have.
The couple met in Northern Virginia and lived here for the past 20 years while raising a family. They noticed food allergies with their son when he was about one year old.
“When he was around five years old, he probably had the worst reaction where one sip of milk.,” said Lilian. “Brought him to the hospital to the ER with, and he’s bounced back with five epi-pens, went into ended up in ICU. So for us, it’s been like a mission”
She says it’s been a journey ever since to provide for others that may have faced food allergies like her kids.
“As they grow up to going to school [food had] to be separated, you know, kids asking what’s wrong mommy, why can I not have [food] like what everybody else have or if we go to ice cream stores [they would be like] ‘Oh I really want that,'” Lilian said.
Poffy is inspired by not just the Perez children but to family travels to places like Switzerland, Italy and Japan which inspired their street-food type cafe. The serving window at the front of the shop is supposed to resemble gelato stores in Italy.
“Northern Virginia since I met Kevin and connected with rest the last 20 plus years – it is our home, you know, it is my home,” said Lilian. “And that’s where, you know this vision come alive like because I wanted to make a home, you know, to connect with everybody.”
With a small retail space, the Perez’ bring big hearts to a collage of a community welcoming another piece.
“Our mission to where we would like to create this food inclusivity. I [can’t] tell you how grateful I am to get in touch by a mom that messaged us [saying], ‘Oh my god I haven’t taken my son to a restaurant, he’s six years old at all. I’m so looking for. So in tears.’ Because the one thing that as a parent that you are concerned about if it’s a food allergy is if there’s the food contamination,”
The top 7 food allergies Poffy will be focused on are:
- Tree Nuts
- Sesame and all seeds