We’re happiest when we’re sharing our food, our culture, our vibes, with others. And we couldn’t do that without every one of our CAVA team members. It’s a fanaticism that can’t be faked – it’s a passion we just have to share.

So we’re hearing straight from our team about how they savor life – not just while they’re on the clock at your go-to CAVA location, but (perhaps even more importantly) while they’re off it.

Today we’re hearing from Alex, our Topanga general manager in Los Angeles: 

How did you get to where you are today?

I was living in DC, but I’m from California (well, Peru, originally), and my wife is from the area. I started thinking that I might like to work in food, and I got in touch with the CAVA team. I like the training structure and the opportunity it gives me to grow my career. Everything’s very well laid out and there’s so much opportunity for growing here. I love that part.

How does it feel to be back in California?

I liked having the chance to try something new in DC, but my wife is happy to be here, and I hope to be able to visit family in Peru soon. I haven’t been in four or five years, and I really want to go back soon.

What made you want to work in food?

I’ve had issues with my weight and my fitness for years, and I was learning more about how much healthy eating and the right foods could make a difference. I was seeing people make healthy choices for themselves, and I wanted that too.

I didn’t really know much about food, but I love how much I’ve learned with CAVA. I like that you can customize what you’re eating here so much.

Cava Grill Employee Spotlight Alex Topanga Manager

What are you passionate about?

I love soccer. I almost played professionally in Peru — it was a really big part of my life. Now, I mostly like to watch it. I hope maybe my daughter will like it too. She’s only one year old now, so we’ll have to wait and see.

Tell us something not very many people know about you.

I really like music. I actually thought a lot about being a DJ. It’s a really competitive environment here in LA, but I like to mix music and play with it when I have time. It’s relaxing and kind of a stress-reliever thing for me. I’m also a pretty shy person and it takes a while for people to get to know me — music is a way that I can express myself.

Any favorite food memories?

Growing up, my family was always really into food. My dad’s ceviche is the best. It’s all about how you cut the fish, and how you squeeze the lime juice. I learned to make it by watching him. I love cooking traditional Peruvian food for my family. I make papa a la huancaina — it’s made with potatoes, cheese, olive oil, Peruvian yellow peppers, spices. It’s definitely my favorite.Cava Grill Employee Spotlight Alex Topanga Manager

Any foods you hate?

I actually love trying new foods, and I’ll try anything at least once. I don’t know how you could hate any foods!

What’s your go-to order at CAVA?

I usually get a pita with half hummus and half tzatziki, plus meatballs, cabbage, cucumbers, quinoa, and tomato and onion. I always get the lemonade, too.

Cava Grill Employee Spotlight Alex Topanga Manager