Jeanette was born in East Berlin but moved during her childhood to West Berlin.
Before arriving in Indianapolis in 1995 she was a trainer at Allianz Insurance Company, specializing in car insurance. Years earlier she had successfully completed a three-year apprenticeship with them but left the company for a few years to live and work in England, improving her language skills.
Jeanette’s husband, who she met in Berlin during his stay there with the US Army, was the reason for her move to Indianapolis. At the time of her arrival in the United States she could not find any variety of the delicious pastries she grew up with, so she started baking for friends and family. As a seasoned home baker and with the encouragement of her husband, she started her German cake catering business, Zamovar, in 2006.
During her time in Indianapolis, Jeanette also worked at a car dealership, as an executive assistant for a previous local grocery chain, as a realtor and for a local relocation company. She co-founded a German School, the Indianapolis German Language Institute, which teaches German to children and was a longtime board member of the German Heritage Society.
Through the previous owner of Perk Up, Jeanette got the opportunity to start “Kaffeeklatsch”, the typical German gathering over coffee and cake, which happens on Sunday afternoons.
It was also there that she met Alice in 2008 and the rest is history.
Alice Matsuo is a third-generation Brazilian-Japanese raised in Brazil. She has lived in Japan, Australia, and Germany before arriving in the USA following her husband’s corporate transfer. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry. While living in Germany, she became fascinated with the tradition of German artisan bread-baking and was amazed by the multitude of breads offered. Inspired, she decided to go through a three-year apprenticeship program to become a German artisan baker. Alice completed the program in a bakery dedicated to whole grain and organic ingredients, and she received her final certificate Magna Cum Laude by the baker’s guild of Wuppertal-Solingen-Remscheid.
Today, she has successfully combined her love for cooking and baking, an immense knowledge of chemistry, and an incredibly broad and diverse experience overseas. This exquisite formula has created a simple and enthusiastic result: her passion for the art of bread baking and fascination for the science behind this craft.
Alice’s chemistry background and her curious nature also took her into roasting coffee beans, carefully selecting green coffee beans from Fair Trade Organic, Rain Forest Alliance, and women-run farms. Alice now is kept busy creating new recipes, baking and roasting at Perk Up, spreading all that she has learned and experienced over the years to the people of Indianapolis and surrounding areas.