By Christine Mackay WSJA
Credo Pizzeria, in West Seattle’s Junction, is quiet when I walk in on a Monday morning to chat with owner Jacque Newar about the restaurants’ latest accolades as one of the top 30 best restaurants in the U.S. “Will you take some coffee?” he asks as I enter. Jacque makes coffee while I glance at the many quotes on ‘belief’ artfully displayed on the walls. The writings range from the humorous to the profound. I chuckled over Mae West’s quote about the benefits of being looked over vs overlooked. When Jacque returned with two beautiful cappuccinos and heated muffins in hand, my first thought was- what a beautiful gesture. It was as if we both had all the time in the world, which neither of us did. We sat down to talk, and over the next hour, I came to realize that his gesture of
hospitality represented the totality of Jacque, and what Pizzeria Credo was to him. For Jacque, the most important thing, is not the bottom line, but the joy he gives to people who come to his place. His pleasure is to give pleasure. As I sipped on the best cappuccino I have had in years, Jacque shared his story of leaving his native France, learning his culinary skills in D.C and how he ended up in West Seattle on a consulting gig. He said when he arrived, the mountains spoke to him. He was in love with the area and never returned to the East Coast. Jacque is proud of what he has acc
omplished, and yet he is humble. He comes across as a gentle giant with a huge heart filled with love.
Jacque touches everything around him with a dash of grace. With the inspirational quotes scattered across the walls, the central red-tiled wood oven, the wood work and the plants, his place just feels good. And the food is sheer perfection, well deserving of the top 30 designation. The overall feeling of Pizzeria Credo is simple beauty. Jacque understands the challenges of running a small business and feels for all small businesses operating during Covid. “It’s a challenging time, we are in the same boat like everyone else, taking it day by day, and sometimes it’s scary.” When asked what motivates him, he doesn’t hesitate. “Pleasing people is what keeps me motivated. But we all love to be recognized, especially when you put in a lot of work. And to be in the top 30 in the U.S, I appreciate it fully.” Why Credo? It means to believe, and that theme came when he lost one of his earlier restaurants and he “…believed he could start over. Maybe you do some things on the subconscious. I wanted to offer something inspirational to people. It gives them a little bit of hope to believe. So beyond food, I try to do something small. This is a way to give beyond food, to share some love when everyone is struggling. This is for everyone.”
Visit Pizzeria Credo in the heart of the Junction, and you too can believe. 4520 California Ave SW.