For being a breakfast burrito town, Los Angeles sure has fallen hard for the breakfast taco lately. Much of that love is due directly to HomeState, the AM Los Feliz option from Texas expat Briana Valdez. She’s the one-woman show responsible for creating one of the city’s biggest breakfast hits — they are expanding into Highland Park, after all, and have big growth plans down the line — but Valdez is also the first to tell you about the incredible team she has around her, every day.
That team is almost entirely female, including all but one person in management, much of the front of house staff, and the hardworking women who control the kitchen. “I don’t think I’ve gone out of my way,” Valdez says of her female-led company, “It was really organic. I didn’t really realize it was an all-female management team until one day I looked around and thought ‘Wait a minute, we haven’t hired a male in a while.’”
You don’t hear that often in the restaurant world, but for Valdez and her crew the decision, however purposeful, to remain female-focused has become something of a staple of the place. “I think it does lend itself to a warm, welcoming, more nurturing environment. Little things like purse hooks, little details that make people understand that this is a female-designed restaurant.”
The results speak for themselves, particularly on busy, sunny weekends when a line forms down the block for breakfast tacos. HomeState has found a culture that works for them, and a staff that buys into owner Briana Valdez’s personal restaurant philosophy. It’s working for everyone involved.