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We are thrilled to introduce to you the talented duo behind Wax Paper, Peter and Lauren Lemos! They have such an amazing energy to them and radiate of laughter and kindness. Known for their specialty and specifically crafted sandwiches, we went to visit Peter and Lauren to watch and learn from Frog Town's sandwich masters. The idea of naming their sandwiches after NPR hosts was inspired by an episode from Curb Your Enthusiasm (one of our favorite shows!) where Larry David gets a sandwich named after him at his favorite local deli. We had an amazing time hanging out, talking about 90s, and getting to know the two individually and as partners. We're so grateful for their presence in the community and honored to call them our friends! Meet Peter & Lauren!
Tell us a bit about Wax Paper
Peter: I'm Peter, and I am half owner and Chief Sandwich Officer of Wax Paper.
Lauren: Haha, I'm Lauren, the other half owner and Chief Friendliness Officer, and wife of Peter!
What are you favorite things about the 90s?
Peter: My favorite things about the 90s would definitely be The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Home Improvement, and the music.
Lauren: Scrunchies, Lisa Frank, and *NSYNC.
Running a small (but definitely growing) business together, how do you guys balance life & work?
Peter: Because the shop means so much to us, and working every day behind the counter six days a week for the last two years, we don't have much of a life/work balance, but we try to take small getaways now and then. Lately we've been trying to set some boundaries between the two.
Lauren: Yeah, we try to ask each other (let's say if we're out to dinner) "Can I bring up work?" It helps create a line and just lets us enjoy any small amount of free time we have. But mostly, we are always thinking & talking about work; But we love what do so really are still able to have fun! Our support system of family & friends is so strong that we make time for fun---even if we are exhausted! It's all part of the dream, we are grateful to be busy, and you only get out what you put into small business ownership!
What would your customers be surprised to learn about you guys?
Peter: When our Dads were 21, they both served on the same Naval ship together, at the same time, but never knew each other! Small world!
Lauren: We have three matching tattoos together! And Peter has an In-N-Out Double Double tattooed on his leg, with my name on it! Hah!
If you could make a sandwich for anyone, who would it be?
Peter: Abraham Lincoln or James Beard (for whom I'd make a sweet onion sandwich with soft butter & black pepper-which was his favorite)!
Lauren: Whoopi Goldberg!
What, so far, has been the best part about starting Wax Paper? What makes you excited to go to work every day?
Peter: Going to work with Lauren and being able to make a living doing something we are passionate about.
Lauren: Absolutely getting to work beside Peter. I have so much respect for him and his work ethic. Our regular customers and friends are what get me excited to come to work. We truly have the best customers in the entire world, and it's been a joy of my life getting to know them all!
Who was the first and last person/band you saw in concert?
Peter: First: Santana & Last: Metallica
Lauren: First: No Doubt & Last: Metallica
What are your favorite places/dishes around LA?
Peter: L&E Oyster Bar is the best restaurant in Los Angeles. Their veggie sides are my favorite! Houston's and R&D kitchen deserve an honorable mention too. The Hillstone group kills it.
Lauren: Always L&E (they are family to us), and almost every Saturday you will find us at Taix in Echo Park! Their Escargot is world class!
What ingredient do people need to add to their sandwich to make it next level?
Peter: Approach them with the four flavors: Sweet, Salty, Sour, Bitter: Make sure they're all represented! Next would be textural contrast-this applies to all food, not just sandwiches!
Lauren: Believe it or not: Salt & Pepper go a long way and really kick your sandwiches up! Most people forget to add them when making a sandwich at home. At Wax Paper, Peter has designed each sandwich to need nothing extra, and the secret to enjoying our sandwiches is removing nothing ! Layering a sandwich is key as well!
Thank you Peter & Lauren! To find your favorite sandwich, click here.
Photos by Marielle Chua