We had the good fortune of connecting with Justine Ferrara and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Justine, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
I think work/life balance is a state we are all continually searching for. I’ve found that it is a practice or a state of mind, not a place. The more in tune I am with my priorities, be it personally or professionally tells me a lot about if I’m practicing that balancing act or not. It’s different for every person and business, too. At the end of the day, only you know if you’ve done work to the best of your ability. Sometimes when that balance feels out of sync, that’s when it’s a good idea to check in to discover where too much might be too much, or perhaps where to step up your game a bit and push harder. Being an entrepreneur, you really have a long & wide runway, so setting up boundaries and goals becomes important in keeping yourself on track. You have to develop ways of holding yourself accountable and also, understand how to celebrate milestones. As we constantly change and grow, we have to continually shift and adapt to what balance looks like personally and professionally. When you do what you have to do, you are able to do what you want to do. If you understand what is important to you, make that a priority — and the rest of it all falls into place.
What should our readers know about your business?
Dream Factory Pasta is a fresh hand cut pasta, ravioli, & sauce company. We offer a unique selection of fresh, handmade pasta in various flavors & shapes. From local spinach pasta, organic pea pasta, lemon-pepper, harissa and so many others. We make in-house from scratch fresh ricotta cheese for our raviolis which makes them mouthwateringly delicious. We get to have a bit of fun with the raviolis depending on what’s in season. We always have your classic cheese, or spinach & ricotta, but some of the ones we look forward to every year are the Spring Sweet Pea Ravioli & of course, the fall Local Corn & Ricotta Ravioli. We make a classic San Marzano Tomato sauce & a fresh vegan pesto. The pesto is truly a beautiful sauce that we are usually sold out of at the end of every market. We offer weekly San Diego delivery and are at the La Jolla Open Aire Farmer’s Market every other week. Selling fresh pasta is one of the best jobs you can have. It is 100% a labor of love that goes into what we sell. We believe that good food brings people together. A really good pasta dish is one of those ‘instant happy feeling’ memories. Knowing you’re playing a part in feeding your customers families and loved ones delicious food is the ultimate driver for us. Seeing our customers come back week after week is the best benchmark we use to know we’re doing our job right. Looking back, when I first started Dream Factory, I laugh because it’s almost funny how much I didn’t know. That’s one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned. Even if you do everything in your power to research, plan, and try to prepare for literally everything you could possibly think of that could happen – when starting a business, the best is that you continually get to relearn everything you thought you knew, every day. I sincerely believe in building a strong foundation in order to grow, and that can take time. I’ve learned a lot of words that start with “P”. Perseverance, persistence perseverance, (because its worth saying twice), patience and practice. I continually wake up with the attitude, “I get to do…” instead of “I have to do…” and that completely reframes my whole day. I’m really excited to see what’s next for this business. There are endless possibilities, so we’re riding the wave and watching what happens organically. For now, we’ll be in the kitchen rolling out pasta sheets, stirring sauces and poppin’ tents at the markets.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
You have to break someone into San Diego with a burrito & a beach day. I would head up to Rico’s in Encinitas, grab a Justin Burrito (whole wheat, single wrapped) and pick a spot on D St. Beach. Grab some foam boards because everyone who comes to California wants to pretend they’re a surfer. We all know you can’t beat the local beer scene in San Diego. Regal Beagle or Regal Seagull are great locals spots with an awesome brew list. Pizza Port in OB always has a great tap list, and if you go on a Wednesday afternoon you can hit the farmer’s market. Bottle Craft in Liberty Station is also a great stop to take visitors. Everyone needs to start their day with an awesome cup of coffee. Would go to the original Birdrock Coffee in Birdrock, grab a cup & then wander over to Windandsea Beach. Continue up to La Jolla cove to hang out with the seals & the pelicans. If you have a pizza craving, definitely would go to Tribute Pizza in North Park and literally order anything off the menu – it will be guaranteed delicious. I think lastly, would walk through Little Italy, grab some sandwiches at Mona Lisa’s, stop at Vino Carta to grab some wine (literally, the best wine shop in San Diego) and have a sunset picnic at Sunset Cliffs. Little bit of everything.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Shoutout to the San Diego Farmer’s Markets. Hands down, everyone involved. From the market managers & teams who do amazing work in organizing and coordinating over 20+ local farmer’s markets each week. The farmer’s market community is truly one of the most incredible marketplaces in our own backyard. The brilliant vendors who work tirelessly and have some of the most delicious, unique and genuine products you can find. I started in the farmer’s markets and without such an amazingly welcoming and supportive group of people, I don’t know where I’d be. It’s an honor to keep coming back and be a part of the market community. Last and certainly not least, none of this would be possible without the unwavering support of the customers. The customers who come out week after week, who make it a priority to shop local and support their community. Our customers at the farmer’s market are truly some of the most loyal, kind-hearted, beautiful, and sincere people I’ve ever met. It’s honestly the best part of the job. The San Diego Farmer’s markets are truly such special communities to be a part of & I’m so sincerely grateful to everyone involved in the San Diego Farmer’s Market’s in making them what they are.
Linkedin: Dream Factory Industries
Other: La Jolla Open Aire Farmer’s Market – https://lajollamarket.com/