Teresa Velazquez of A Baked Joint & Mama Lee of Mandu Named “Game-Changing Restaurant Matriarchs” by Washingtonian
Thursday March 17, 2022
MVT’s very own Teresa Velazquez of A Baked Joint [430 K Street NW] and Mama Lee of Mandu [453 K Street NW] were recently featured in the Washingtonian article, “Meet DC’s Game-Changing Restaurant Matriarchs.” From the article:
Washingtonian: What was your first job in the hospitality industry?
Teresa: I came from a family where if you wanted something, you had to work for it. At 16 I worked at Taco Bell in a small town outside Columbus, Ohio. It was back when we had to go in and fry the tortillas, season the meat, and shred the cheese. It was very different.
Washingtonian: What’s the key to working well with your family?
Mama Lee: Brutal honesty and communication. My son, Danny [Lee], and I opened Mandu in 2006. The first year was tough because we had never worked that closely together in such a pressure-filled environment. We were both too afraid to criticize each other and held it in, which caused each of us to eventually explode. We had a serious discussion one day about the future of our business and, more importantly, our relationship. Ever since then, we have openly communicated everything, which really helped us get to where we are now. It’s funny, but opening a restaurant together brought us closer, when most people say the opposite.
Read the article to learn more about these and other restaurant industry matriarchs and congratulations to Teresa and Mama Lee for this terrific recognition!