Latinas Share Wealth in Food and Farming

by Sarah Henry on January 26, 2012 · 6 comments

in farmers' markets,food businesses,restaurants,sfgate site,street food

Latina power: Dominica Rice (left), Amelia Ceja (center, photo Amy Heiden), Maria Catalan (right, Bart Nagel)

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.

You might also like:

Giving Thanks for Farmworkers on Thanksgiving
SF Street Food Fest: The Twitter Set and the Untwitterific
La Cocina Helps Launch Los Cilantros Catering Company

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

The Writer's [Inner] Journey January 28, 2012 at 7:56 am

I want to spend one week in SF and shadow you as you seek out great food stories, then eat at each establishment you cover, and meet the people who create the meals! Such creativity goes into the posts, the meals, the stories. Just great, post after post!
The Writer’s [Inner] Journey´s last [type] ..The 5-Question [Screenwriter+Author+Therapist for Creative Issues] Interview: Dennis Palumbo


Sarah Henry January 28, 2012 at 12:03 pm

You’re too kind, Meredith. Come on up. Eat, observe, collect stories. Good times.


MyKidsEatSquid January 28, 2012 at 7:42 pm

Cool, I can’t wait to read the story. Off to read it now. Thanks


Sarah Henry February 12, 2012 at 7:33 am

Since you’re a fan of Mexican cuisine, MKES, I think this story is on point for you.


Malowanki March 24, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Cool story, please more:)


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