Meet Laura O'Neill, Co-Founder & Owner of Van Leeuwen & Selamat Pagi

Portrait by Nick Hudson

How did you end up in Brooklyn? I moved here 7 years ago from Melbourne, to be with my then boyfriend (now biz partner) Ben.

Describe your ideal day off. Ideally I would be somewhere out of the city so i don't accidentally start working! But keeping it local i would probably do some pilates and go for a bike ride, eat something delicious and hang with friends, maybe catch a show in the evening.

 

We love Van Leeuwen ice cream. How did you decide to open an Indonesian restaurant? Do you view it as an extension of Van Leeuwen? Selamat Pagi came about because we had a vacant storefront at our HQ and an obsession with Indonesian food that started when Ben and I would go to Bali while back visiting my family in Australia. We figured why not bring the food we love so much to a part of the neighborhood that doesn't have a lot of options. Our chef Jason Greenberg does an amazing job at creating authentic and inspired indonesian dishes. Although it's a very different product, Selamat Pagi definitely echoes the same dedication to ingredients and quality as Van Leeuwen always has.

 

 

What is your favorite dish at Selamat Pagi? I really love the Long Bean Lawar and the Market Fish Curry.

What inspires you? Outside of Van Leeuwen and Selamat Pagi I am in a band (Laura + Greg), we've been playing a lot of shows this past year and are loving it, we have our first LP coming out this summer.  I also host No Lights, No Lycra a dance jam in the dark every Tuesday night in Greenpoint.

Do you have any advice for entrepreneurial minded women wanting to launch their own business? I'm big on dabbling in lots of different stuff. It's important to put a ton of energy in to your business, but other little side projects keep life interesting and help you not burn out on your core career.

 

What are your favorite products at Line & Label? I love the dreamcatchers and the leather trim t-shirt dress. It's so nice to have a few little boutiques in the neighborhood, shopping in Manhattan can be so stressful!

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