Renowned chef and culinary explorer Anthony Bourdain once asked a simple question: “What nicer thing can you do for somebody than make them breakfast?” For Jennifer and Omer Horev, a healthy breakfast has become a way of life, a business venture, and an opportunity to entertain friends and family.
“Breakfast for us is the most important meal of the day,” says Jennifer, who serves as chief brand officer of Pura Vida, the couple’s health-conscious cafés with locations across South Florida. “We sit down with no electronics and enjoy family time in our home.”
Omer, Pura Vida’s chief executive officer, says that starting with healthy, casual food is at the center of everything—in his restaurants and his home. “It is most rewarding to get together with family and friends and start the day with a healthy meal,” he says. “That is very important to me.”
Both Omer and Jennifer grew up in homes filled with food and entertaining. Born and raised in Israel, Omer recalls that, thanks to his mom and grandmother, cooking was everything. “We grew up in the beach town of Netanya near Tel Aviv,” says Omer. “For Friday night Shabbat, we had an open-door policy for neighbors, friends, and my grandparents. So food and hospitality are a natural for me.”
Jennifer was born in Chicago (her grandparents owned a restaurant in Skokie) and raised mostly in Weston, Florida. She learned about hospitality from her mother. “My mom taught me how to create comfortable spaces with a feminine touch and insisted I learn to put things back where they belong,” she says.
But food and hospitality wasn’t the first career path that either Omer or Jennifer took. Instead, the Miami real estate market beckoned them. Good thing, too: The pair met when they were realtors working opposite ends of a transaction. Jennifer brought the buyer; Omer was representing the seller. “I believe Omer got the best deal of his life that day,” quips Jennifer.
With the sale complete, Jennifer and Omer soon became a couple. But they’d had it with real estate and wanted a new adventure. So they pivoted, pursuing a healthy dining concept Omer had been conceptualizing. “I was looking for a great healthy breakfast place in Miami for myself and could not find one, so I thought about creating my own,” he says. “With the natural colors and vegetables that I loved in Israel, the idea of locally sourced, organic foods in a wellness hub concept was a no-brainer for me.”
Omer started Pura Vida Restaurants—serving healthy breakfast options all day—in 2014; Jennifer joined the following year. The first location opened on Washington Avenue in South Beach, followed by outposts at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Edgewater, the Miami Design District, West Avenue in South Beach, and most recently Rosemary Square in West Palm Beach (with new spots in Aventura and Fort Lauderdale coming soon).
So when the couple recently invited a small group of friends to their waterfront home for a party, they decided to serve the most important meal of the day: breakfast. While Omer handled the bar, moved the furniture, selected the music, and took care of the dishes, Jen designed the decor, selected the flowers, and whipped up the eggs.
Their home is airy and open, an indoor-outdoor masterpiece with whitewashed oak floors, lots of stone, plenty of natural light, and a backyard pool and patio area that overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway. “When we bought this house, our thoughts were about entertaining friends and family here,” says Jennifer. This includes regular visits from Omer’s two children, Emma, 9, and Adam, 7, from a previous marriage. Jennifer and Omer are expecting a baby girl in the spring.
The modern Italkraft kitchen boasts Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances, as well as a beautiful granite island—providing a perfect place for the breakfast bash. “We like to host in our kitchen because it is the heart of the house,” says Omer. The space fits seamlessly with the dining and living areas, and leads to the patio where we serve family style like I love in Israel.”
With Omer leading the kitchen team, Jennifer lighting the candles and making sure the social vibe was just right, and their Cavapoo Henry running about, the family welcomed guests just before noon. Jennifer offered a choice of drinks: Lulu’s Lemon mimosas served in coupe glasses with fresh blueberries and a rosemary sprig; white wine; Champagne; green deluxe juice; and Flu Shots with ginger and lemon.
The group gathered in the kitchen and around the dining space, highlighted by a beaded stone and ceramic chandelier hanging above a bespoke table created from an old door from the Soviet Union. Appetizers included an array of minis in 2-ounce cups: mango chia parfaits topped with homemade granola; fruit salad with granola; and hummus with toasted pita.
Guests soon moved on to the pool area, where large black lanterns and vignettes of cool Restoration Hardware lounges created a chic setting. Nearby, the salvaged wood dining table with white chairs and a wicker anchor perch was set for eight. The decor pulled the inside neutrals out with pops of color from Japanese blue tweedia, Italian ranunculus, dahlias, tulips, sweet peas, and blackberries. “I picked flowers from Anthology Floristry that speak to spring for the table’s centerpieces,” says designer Liz Ryan of Orange & Rose Events. “Breakfast should always feel bright and fresh.”
On the tabletop, pops of green came from the linens by Freshly Set, with natural flatware from Pialisa, dinnerware from A Different Look, patterned green tumblers from Tavola Tabletop, and menu cards by Callie Buck. “To tie everything together, we pulled elements from the table linens onto the menu cards,” says Ryan.
The menu of fresh, clean daybreak delights included avocado smash on toasted multigrain sourdough atop a wood board; smoked salmon, soft-boiled eggs, feta cheese, and tomatoes presented on a white ceramic platter; bagels and sliced sourdough in a black wire basket with spreads of cream cheese and avocado smash; Jennifer’s herb salad, a blend of arugula, walnuts, dried cranberries, scallions, and cilantro with a honey lemon dressing; and an Israeli salad made of diced red onion, cherry tomatoes, Persian cucumbers, cilantro, and green pepper tossed in olive oil and lemon.
What’s better than a breakfast party? A breakfast followed by desserts. Devoured by all, the sweet and savory offerings included goat cheese, Nutella, and pistachio hazelnut croissants from Pura Vida served on a three-tiered gold stand, as well as a white cake with florals from Earth & Sugar displayed on a marble base.
As the breakfast came to a close and Jennifer and Omer’s sated guests said their farewells, Scott Harris, a food entrepreneur and founder of Deliver Lean, summed the event up beautifully. “Omer and Jen are generous hosts who know how to take care of family and friends,” he says. “Real soulmates who work and share a life together, they are a very special couple.”