Story and Photos by Kelly Newsom
Guinevere’s Caf’e and Bistro like many of the local businesses in Woodland is striving to bring the community together through their art and food. Owners Marco and Jennifer Fuoco are the curators of their own lives and let’s just say they show well.
Whether you’re looking for a cup of coffee or a full meal Guinevere’s has an array of options and the decor of the caf’e is amazingly varied too. Marco and Jennifer are artist who display their work throughout their caf’e. Tables are handcrafted by Marco from a tree that was in their front yard, their paintings hang from the walls, and wood carvings are found inside as well as outside. The eclectic vibe is relaxing and homey.
Stop by Guinevere’s soon and introduce yourself. Feel free to play the piano, you’ll likely get a standing ovation from Marco and Jennifer!
“I love seeing all the families I grew up with and now they have kids and grandkids. I get to feed them and I feed them love.” – Jennifer Fuoco
TELL US YOUR HISTORY
Jennifer: Marco owned an art gallery in Sacramento. I have a background in coffee. I was the 9th employee with Java City. Then did a lot of deli work and I’m an artist. I worked with Marco on the cabinet refinishing buisness and painting murals. Just being artistic. Marco: I moved to Sacramento in 1979 and became a performance artist, I was a video artist. I was also inside a history book of Sacramento called Creative Soul of the City. In 1991 I started a decorative painting business. Right now we want to serve people in a different way and it’s with the art of food. This is an art caf’e where people can paint. We’re doing a mural on the back of the building, we’re building a brick pizza oven outside, and all the tables are made of a tree that was in our front yard. I have the most beautiful wife in the world that inspires me. We just love the fact that our restaurant is being accepted and that we brought something unique to this town. We plan on staying here a long time.
Check out Midtown Sacramento: Creative Soul of the City click here
Jennifer: Family, definitely. I met the man of my dreams and we decided to get married. We looked for a home forever and finally Marco said, “you gotta be with your family.”. So we looked in Woodland and here we are. It’s the best thing ever because I get see my family almost everyday. I get to see my mom everyday, she does the flowers. (Jennifer’s mom is Angela Jacobsen, Mrs. Jacobsen to you and me, who taught at Woodland High School for many years. 10th grade English of me.). She comes in and does odd jobs. It’s brought the whole family together. It’s really about community too. I love seeing all the families I grew up with and now they have kids and grandkids. I get to feed them and I feed them love.
COMMITTMENT TO COMMUNITY
Marco: Woodland has a beautiful Opera House that no other city has. We are right across from them and I think it’s the most beautfiul place in the world, especially when there are 300 kids performing every month and all the people coming through here. We have Blue Note, a new wine bar will be opening and we’re all working together to make it a new Woodland. We want to bring the community together in the mural we’re doing in the back of the building. It will be a legacy mural. It’s about the food and art. We want to work with local farmers. Jennifer: We are all about organic.
Marco: We want to stand up for local farmers and eat their food. We have to start supporting our neighbors and teach our children this. Empower them to eat right and local, get the kids off the couch and dance.
Jennifer: We are always going to be creative. There will always be specials to get excited about that we don’t even know about until that morning. Marco: The stromboli is different everyday because we are using fresh ingredients, so today it didn’t have tomato sauce. Today it felt greek with kalamata olives! It’s so fresh because we use what is available.
SOCIAL MEDIA DARLINGS
Jennifer: It feels very natural. Marco: I’m a video artist and 70-80% of what life is is visual. So when you show somebody the bread or the plate of spaghetti we’ve made they come down for it. We make everything fresh every morning and it looks fresh on video. So thats why people come.
Note: If you’re on Facebook like their Facebook page. You’ll be treated to daily videos showing Marco and Jennifer presenting the day’s specials or giving an inside look at what’s going on at the cafe. Click here for their Facebook page.
FEELING THE PAST IN TODAY
Jennifer: 4 o’clock in the morning we wake up and get down here by 4:30 or 5:00am. Marco: But that’s the most beautiful time. It’s so quiet. I put on the music we like, we make ourselves some coffee, and for one moment when we open the door to let that breeze in I often think about the history. I think about when this building was built and I think about the other people who were here long ago and I feel their spirits with us. They are welcoming us.
HERE TO STAY
Marco: We want pepole to know when they come here that this is our home. We are relaxed. It’s not an upscale place or a place you should be rushed. When you come to Guinevere’s I want you to be hungry. We want to share through art and food. We also have Jazz here, artist will be coming in to share with us. Jennifer: Woodland is becoming a destination spot, it’s transforming into what it was probably like in the 1800s where it was downtown and local. A lot of people are volunteering that this is a piece of manhattan, a piece of France on a corner of Woodland. Marco: I just want to live a long life, a happy life and a rich life. Jennifer wants that too and that’s why we are here.
Shop local. Stay local.
Guinevere’s Caf’e & Bistro
317 Second St