Women’s History Month Spotlight: Tessa Velazquez of A Baked Joint and La Betty

Thursday March 25, 2021

MVT CID’s celebration of Women’s History Month continues with a series of spotlight articles on the leading ladies of MVT! This week’s feature: Tessa Velazquez of A Baked Joint and La Betty. Read her story in this MVT Women’s History Month spotlight:


MVT CID: What was your first job in the restaurant industry? How did you get to where you are today?

Tessa: My first job was at Baked&Wired back when I was 9 years old. My parents had just opened the shop and it was all hands-on deck (plus, I was eager to get in the kitchen with my mom as much as I could!) I would measure out cookie dough and hand-form all of our cakecup wrappers.

MVT CID: Why do you think that your industry could benefit by having more female leaders?

Tessa: Masculine leadership is considered to be hot-tempered and controlling, whereas feminine leadership is more empathetic and reasonable. #MeToo has started to tear down toxic masculine leadership – finally leaving room for more feminine leadership. With this type of leadership, I find that you can actually gain the respect and trust of your team – compared to using traditional industry fear tactics, which ultimately leads to general unhappiness, unhealthy lifestyles, and quicker burnout. In order to keep a solid team, you want every person to be happy and healthy. Plus, we all spend so much time together they should feel like your family. It’s exciting to see more female leaders in the restaurant industry and I’m looking forward to seeing more feminine leadership arise!

MVT CID: What is your advice to women looking to make it in the business?

Tessa: ­­Trust your intuitions. Too often I see women try to “make it” by thinking they need to act like their male role models in order to get there. But you only need to be yourself and people will fully respect that. You are intelligent, hard-working, creative, and worthy.

MVT CID: If you weren’t in the restaurant business, what would you be doing?

Tessa: I cannot think of my life without food being part of it! But if I had all the money in the world, I would travel around world eating croissants in France, tortillas in Mexico, and gelato in Italy.

MVT CID: What’s your favorite part about Life in MVT?

Tessa: The people!


A Baked Joint is located at 430 K Street NW. They are open Monday & Tuesday from 7:30am-2pm, Wednesday-Friday from 7:30am-8:30pm, and Saturday & Sunday from 8am-8:30pm.

La Betty is located at 420 K Street NW. They are open Tuesday-Saturday from 5-9pm.


Lama Hamoudi of Chez Lily

Chef P’Boom of Baan Siam

Mariah Barnes of Orangetheory Fitness