Episode: 018: Changing Lives One Clairesquare at a Time with La Cocina


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018: Changing Lives One Clairesquare at a Time with La Cocina

La Cocina is a non-profit incubator kitchen based in San Francisco, CA that prides itself on cultivating food entrepreneurs. La Cocina provides affordable commercial kitchen space and hands on technical assistance to low income and immigrant entrepreneurs who are launching, growing, and formalizing food businesses. La Cocina prioritizes women entrepreneurs with a special focus on immigrant women and women of color. Their vision is for entrepreneurs to gain financial security by doing what they love to do, thereby creating an innovative, vibrant, and inclusive economic landscape.

Topic:Changing Lives and Communities by Equipping Food Entrepreneurs with La Cocina

In This Episode:1:38 Introduction to this episode.2:05 Introduction of Jessica Mataka.2:57 Jessica shares the work and mission of La Cocina.5:29 How did La Cocina get started and how did it get connected with entrepreneurs?6:27 Jessica shares her role at La Cocina.8:00 Why does La Cocina focus on helping women entrepreneurs?8:29 How is the work of the graduates of La Cocina impacting their lives, the lives of their families, and their communities?11:07 What has been the economic impact of La Cocina?11:40 Jessica shares stories of success from graduates of La Cocina.14:05 How can listeners get involved with and support the work of La Cocina?17:21 If future Jessica could talk with current Jessica, what will she have to say about the work the La Cocina team is doing?

Guests:Jessica Mataka is a California-born, human rights and environmental activist. She’s organized on behalf of mission-based non-profit Global Exchange, designed and implemented a curriculum focusing on anti-human trafficking efforts throughout high schools in the Bay Area and recently returned from Huaycán, Peru, where she taught an original program focusing on the intersection of art and activism. She is now happily employed as the Communications and Development Associate at La Cocina.Jessica Mataka Twitter- https://twitter.com/jesmatakaJessica Mataka LinkedIn- https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessicamataka

Organization:La Cocina is a non-profit incubator kitchen providing affordable commercial kitchen space and hands-on technical assistance to low-income and immigrant entrepreneurs who are launching, growing and formalizing food businesses. La Cocina prioritizes women entrepreneurs with a special focus on immigrant women and women of color. Their vision is that entrepreneurs gain financial security by doing what they love to do, creating an innovative, vibrant and inclusive economic landscape.

Take Away Quotes:“I think giving someone the tools to be economically self-sufficient is an extremely important point in and of itself. Women are change makers. They are innovators and their equality is so essential to both the social and economic development of human kind. In a report I recently read from the world bank, it stated that women usually reinvest a much higher portion of their income back into their families and communities than men, and turn their spreading wealth beyond just themselves.”

“My hope is that San Francisco will continue to be a city that values diversity and values inclusive food economies and is a place where people from all walks of life can make a living doing what they love to do, especially if that includes starting a food business.”

“Nationally only 28.7% of businesses are owned by women. In an effort to counterbalance that, 98% of La Cocina’s businesses are run by women. So we’re just trying to level the playing field a little bit.”

“One of the most important things you can do on a daily basis is to eat thoughtfully and advocate for good food policies, and use your purchasing power to support owner operated restaurants.”

“My hope is that in 20 years I’ll be able to look around the city of San Francisco and see these businesses that were started through La Cocina and see them continue to thrive and see their family take over their business and continue to operate it once they’ve passed their working years.”

Resources:La Concina: Cultivating Food Entrepreneurshttp://www.lacocinasf.org

La Cocina Facebook Pagehttps://www.facebook.com/lacocinasforg

The Story Exchangehttp://thestoryexchange.org/la-cocina/

Presidio Graduate Schoolhttp://www.presidio.edu

 

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