The Power List
jen pelka Kassie Borreson

The Power List 2019: Jen Pelka

Setting a new investment model

The annual NRN Power List is the definitive list of people setting foodservice trends today and shaping them for tomorrow. See the full list >>

Jen Pelka, owner, The Riddler

• The investment world is notoriously male, but Jen Pelka opened The Riddler champagne bar in San Francisco with funding from 33 women investors in 2016.

• “I put together a list of everyone in my network who I thought might have $5,000 or more available, and I noticed that nearly all were women,” Pelka said.

• Pelka’s approach helped make investing accessible to new players. “I would watch as the person who I was meeting with would shift in their seat as they realized that they might be eligible. It was like a lightbulb going off, every time.”

• The Riddler’s sales were up 7 percent in 2018. The Champagne bar, which also serves food like tater tot waffles, increased its average check by $14 to $93.

• The Riddler is expanding to New York City’s West Village, and the location “will also be supported entirely by a female investor base,” Pelka said.

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