Roberto Copa Matos


As a chef who has been educated as a biochemist and has also worked as an artist, Roberto has a singular approach to the kitchen: he treats it as both a laboratory and a studio, creating precise, attractive dishes. Roberto began his journey in 2011 as a chef at Old Havana Sandwich Shop, quite by surprise. But he soon grew to love the craft and profession. 

From the first year it opened, Old Havana consistently won awards for Best of the Triangle and Best of Durham in its categories, including Best Cuban, Best Latin American and Caribbean, and Best Sandwich. 

Before long, Roberto realized that he had found his calling in “cultivating relationships from the soil to the table.” This is the vision that he brings with him to COPA: a passion for connecting diners to the land and history that is steeped into every bite.

While COPA will be different from Old Havana, many of the sandwich shop’s best dishes and qualities will be coming with us: the signature slow-roasted pork, our mojo sauce, our guests’ favorite sandwiches and plates, and, of course, our commitment to warmth and hospitality.




Elizabeth Turnbull

Director of Marketing and Publicity
(and sometimes Pastry Chef)

Like her husband and partner, Elizabeth fell into the restaurant industry quite unintentionally. And like Roberto, she has found great joy in the unexpected. Elizabeth brings with her a long background in marketing and writing. As marketing director, she uses her experience to build relationships with the community and share the story of the restaurant.

Elizabeth was pleased to help Old Havana find regular coverage in local, regional, and even national media outlets, spreading message that sustainable, farm-to-table Cuban food isn’t just possible, it’s delicious. Elizabeth is excited to bring her skills to COPA. She looks forward to sharing the joy and adventure of a meal where every mouthful is anchored in a far off time and place, but where the ingredients came from a garden just down the way.