Jonathan & Laura Nelms
Jonathan and Laura Nelms are the founders of Supra, Washington, DC’s first Georgian restaurant.
Jonathan has long been fascinated with Georgia, starting as a teenager in Florida when a Georgian exchange student joined his high school Russian class. That was 1989, and the following year Jonathan became one of the first 50 Americans to live as a high school exchange student in the Soviet Union.
Jonathan’s fascination with the region led to a legal career focusing on high-risk business transactions in the former Soviet Union. A fluent Russian speaker and Partner at the international law firm Baker McKenzie, he frequently travels to the region and lived, together with Laura and their daughters, for three years in Moscow. There they frequented the city’s many Georgian restaurants and observed the popularity of the cuisine among expats and locals alike.
Laura studied environmental science and policy at Yale before working for the DC Government and the American Forest Foundation. Since returning from Russia, Laura developed the school garden program at Lafayette Elementary School. In addition to laying out and planting the garden, she leads nutrition and environmental classes for the kids. At Supra, Laura is focusing on event planning and the retail space.
On their fifth-anniversary trip to Georgia in 2011, Jonathan and Laura fell in love with the country, especially the food and wine, and knew it was something they wanted to share with their friends and family back home. Serendipitously, they also dined at the Tbilisi restaurant ‘In the Shadow of Metekhi’ where Chef Malkhaz led the kitchen.
When they are not working, Jonathan and Laura spend time traveling, hiking, and visiting local farmers’ markets, and Jonathan is busy studying the Georgian language. They currently reside in the Chevy Chase neighborhood of DC with their girls, Leyla and Chloe, and their old dog, Tuly.