In journalism the rule of threes rules. A story needs a beginning, middle, and end (or lede, nut graph, and walk-off, as they say in the biz.)
When an interview subject is illustrating a point it’s always good if they can give three examples, of, say, their favorite places to eat around town. One seems thin. Two is better. Three is best. More than that and you run the risk of overwhelming the reader.
And when you bump into a subject three times in a row on your beat, well you’ve got yourself the makings of a trend piece or a roundup article. That’s how my story in the San Francisco Chronicle today on Latina food entrepreneurs came about.
I’ve covered La Cocina, the non-profit incubator program that supports low-income edible enterprises, in earlier stories and these mostly Latina budding businesses were out in force, of course, at last August’s San Francisco Street Food Festival.
In October, I attended the Tedx Fruitvale Harvesting Change conference held in Oakland and hosted by the food service provider Bon Appetit Management Co., where the idea for this article was sparked as I listened to Amelia Ceja of Ceja Vineyards and organic farmer Maria Catalan tell their stories about working hard, doing well, and giving back.
The following month, in Oakland again, this time to attend the Community Food Security Coalition Conference, I checked out Cosecha, getting rave reviews from conference attendees, and witnessed chef Dominica Rice and her all-Latina crew in action.
(Heads up: Go eat lunch there. No need to just take my word for it.) I stopped by after the rush to talk with Rice about her cafe and her staffing decisions.
After that, I knew I had a story.
You can read the piece, “Latinas share the wealth,” in today’s paper, available online here.
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