Monthly Archives: January 2015

Paulie’s Counter Culture – Sarah Troxell

Sarah was born and raised (mostly) in Houston, Texas, with a few brief stints in Alaska, Canada, and Australia as a small child, and Austin while she attended The University of Texas.


Sarah followed advice from her Dad and began working in restaurants in high school as a hostess. He told her if she gained restaurant experience, she would always be able to find a job. Little did he know this small piece of advice would end up shaping her passion for the food and beverage industry. Sarah worked a variety of jobs in restaurants while studying to be a pharmacist at UT. Her passion for the industry grew so much that she left The University of Texas to pursue and eventually obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in Culinary Management from the Art Institute of Houston. Her science and math minded brain really proved to be a great asset while attending culinary school.

Sarah has been cooking professionally for six years at a variety of restaurants ranging from food trucks to fine dining establishments in Houston. No stranger to the front of house, Sarah decided to transition from the kitchen to the counter at Paulie’s to learn different aspects of the restaurant industry from the talented staff and management at Paulie’s. She loves the environment of Paulie’s, as well as utilizing her ability to multi-task. One day she hopes to open a 24 hour diner in Houston, or an oyster shack on the beach in northern California.

When she isn’t at work, you will most likely find Sarah drinking an espresso and a vanilla flat white at Southside, or slurping ramen noodles in Chinatown. She loves reading and collecting cookbooks of all varieties. In her spare time Sarah loves cooking for her friends and family. Her all time favorite thing to make is risotto. She has made risotto at least once a week for over four straight years. She also loves baking (and eating) desserts of all kinds. She loves spending time with her boyfriend, who is also a chef, and her siamese ragdoll cat Roux. When she finds time to get away from the restaurant for a few days, Sarah enjoys traveling to see her favorite bands Phish and Modest Mouse. Sarah loves living in Montrose, and is definitely enjoying her short commute to work at Paulie’s!

Paulie’s Counter Culture – Paul VanDemark

Paul is a Yankee by way of Alma, Michigan, but we’ve adopted him as a Houstonian.


Alma is a very small town, around 10,000 people; his high school class was around 150 students.  Paul was into sports, mainly football and wrestling, but he also played basketball and found a late, but strong, interest in Ultimate Frisbee.  He wrestled from 4th – 10th grade before he decided to take football training more seriously.

After High School, Paul moved to Upland, Indiana, another very small rural town, to attend Taylor University.  He graduated with a BA in English Literature.  He also played football in college, but gave it up after grades came in freshman year.  Taylor University focuses strongly on community and building life long relationships.  When Paul got married in 2013, his best man and groomsmen were all college friends.

One of Paul’s most favorite experiences while at Taylor was being the President of the Integration of Faith and Culture. He scheduled concerts, hosted authors and other figures for speaking engagements, and showed movies to create a dialogue on campus that otherwise would not have existed.  This experience drove Paul to Texas after college to attempt to work with live music.

After only a few months of moving to Houston, Paul landed work with some of the biggest artists in the world and helped put on the largest live music event in Houston. After working in live music for three years, and becoming a married man, Paul decided to pursue a job that includes his second love, coffee.  His wife teases that vacations are often not the most exciting because he is always dragging her to local coffee shops.  Basically that’s what has brought him to Paulie’s.  He also loves pasta, but coffee is his true love behind the counter.

The mysterious lady mentioned, his wife, is named Alice.  They live with only one pet, Puppy, which is an energetic golden colored long-haired Chihuahua mix.  They live in The Heights and like walking Puppy in the neighborhood and on the bike path nearby.  They also attend Sojourn Heights, a bible based Acts 29 network church.  Alice helps by serving on the media team and Paul helps prepare and serve coffee to the congregation. They met while attending Sojourn before the church plant was able to afford it’s own building.  Paul would help set up chairs and get the PA tuned and mics checked.  Alice would help set up slides for songs and microphones each Sunday: over time they became friends, and later husband & wife.  Paul & Alice still attend and greatly enjoy the community they have found within the church.  Every Wednesday they get together with a group of friends from church and have dinner, jet him know if you ever want to join!