FOGWOOD AND FIG
A BRIEF Q/A WITH OWNER DIANA BEZANSKI
You and Jeff had pretty cool jobs before you took on this endeavor, what were you doing before opening Fogwood and Fig?
Jeff worked with an iconic fashion/celebrity photographer, Bruce Weber, for the last 15 years as his photo assistant. He worked on incredible photoshoots, traveled and met some very cool people. Jeff’s got a lot of great stories to share but will keep it under his cowboy hat for now. I too have a fashion background, but then started a lifestyle photography business photographing portraits, weddings and fashion week in NYC. Eventually, photographing food and creating recipes took my life in a new direction.
Opening a small business is a huge risk, what factors help make the decision easier?
We had a lot of support from family, friends and the community. We also, had a ton of faith that what we were offering was special. Gratefully, we developed a good following that grew from participating in our local farmer’s market for the last 3 seasons. But most exciting is that plant based cuisine is coming to the forefront and opening a café seemed like good timing.
I am sure Port Jervis wasn't your only consideration for location, why/how did you land on Front Street?
Jeff and I bought a home in Milford almost 15 years ago and visited antique stores in Port Jervis, so we were quite familiar with the area, though not as familiar as the locals. We initially wanted to open a café in Milford since that’s where we participated in our local farmer’s market and where our base began, but we didn’t find the right location nor the esthetic of what I wanted our café to be. Fortunately, we found a great location in Port, with wonderful landlords, that fit perfectly with the vision I had in mind, and the timing was perfect. With all the excitement and good vibes in Port Jervis, we couldn’t be happier
There is such a stigma around the word vegan, explain your approach to food?
Well, we don’t use the word vegan when describing our food and we never have. Labeling leaves people out or turns people off, and that does no one any good. We decided long ago to create and craft food that everyone can enjoy - celebrating the beauty of vegetables in clever ways in the form of comfort food . We are about making delicious food… period! It just so happens to be vegan.
Your engagement with social media has been a huge success, how has that help drive people to Fogwood and Fig?
Social media has been long hard work, but I think having beautiful photos of our food creates a visual that people want to experience. The images do not exaggerate and the food a dining person orders will almost always look like the pretty image they saw online. Food beautifully presented makes our customers happy and excited, and when it’s delicious too – that’s a win win.
24 Front st
Port Jervis, New York 12771