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Friday, October 1, 2021

Southie Spotlights: Rachel Lazar, Chef of Cannonball Cafe


“I want that [local] Joe to walk through the door...‘Joe how’s your family, is your wife doing all right? Do you want your regular… are you going to have a bagel today?” Rachel Lazar, owner of Cannonball Cafe, explains her vision for the new cafe.

Opening this fall on Dorchester Ave, Cannonball Cafe aims to be your newest go-to coffee shop. Escape to a warm and welcoming atmosphere, with plenty of bold and exciting flavors and treats. From quick pre-workout fuel to Rachel’s famous chocolate chip cookies, you’ll always have something new to try.

Baking unique and delicious items has always been one of Rachel’s passions. Rachel worked at Salem State University managing one of its main dining halls, and ultimately found her place working at a family-owned gourmet food market in Marblehead, Massachusetts. Everything at Shubie’s Marketplace is made in-house from scratch and with love. She created gourmet sandwiches and worked in the high volume kitchen creating prepared foods as well as specials. She loved taking on all the high-end catering from charcuterie boards to tuna tartare bites. She even dabbled in taking on her own baking projects while she was there, never shying away from a challenge or a chance to make someone's day. She was able to become a part of such a tight-knit and supportive community, and fell in love with that aspect of the business.

Prior to her time at Salem State and Shubie’s, Rachel shared her talents and knowledge working at  summer camps. At Camps Kenwood and Evergreen in New Hampshire, Rachel created a cooking program where she was able to educate and empower children through her love of food and hands-on cooking. The following summer, Rachel embarked on her journey at Camp Tevya sleep-away camp in New Hampshire where she led a team of international staff, managed all meals and back of house operation.

“I always say if I could just cook and make people happy, I would be so fulfilled, I wouldn’t need anything else in my life,” Rachel goes on to describe her time at Camp Tevya, whether it was feeding the entire staff, creating healthy meals for the campers, or experiencing the culture, she found her time at both camps were rewarding and unique perspectives on different aspects of the culinary world.

Prior to her time in New Hampshire, Rachel lived in Israel for a year, where she spent 40 hours of community service a week, cooking up 1,800 community meals a day.

“I learned the culture, I learned the food, I learned everything. It came full circle. Cooking’s always been something that really interested me,” Rachel said. 

She started cooking when she was young, alongside her dad. Chicken piccata was their go-to meal to create together. When initially applying for college, it was a tough decision for Rachel: graphic design, or culinary arts? After venturing down the graphic design path and studying at Franklin Pierce, she realized graphic design wasn’t her true calling.  

In Israel Rachel was able to reconnect with her love and passion for food as she worked as part of the kitchen staff on the kibbutz. This was where she decided to take the next step and apply to Johnson and Wales University.

After receiving her acceptance letter and returning to the states, Rachel attended JWU, where she expanded her zest for culinary arts and made great connections with chefs. “Once you know that you want something, the drive to do it is very clear,” Rachel explains.

Rachel’s inviting and outgoing personality has been poured into Cannonball Cafe. She hopes to make her cafe an inclusive addition to the neighborhood for working professionals, gym-goers, and families alike. She can’t wait to share her unique perspective and delectable gifts with the South Boston community one creation at a time.

Learn more about Cannonball Cafe’s Grand Opening and upcoming events this fall! 

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