Today is the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month. Start the celebration by supporting your favorite Hispanic-owned businesses — here are a few of ours.
Today is the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month, a month-long celebration of ancestry, culture, and the many influences Hispanic Americans bring to the United States. And, of course, the innumerable contributions Hispanic Americans bring to the hospitality industry that shape our food and drink scenes nationwide. To start the celebration, we put together a list of a few businesses and non-profit organizations to support this month and throughout the year!
Three Sisters Nixtamal
Three Sisters Nixtamal is located in Portland, Oregon, where Adriana and Pedro Azcárate-Ferbel and partner Wendy Downing produce traditional organic corn tortillas and stone-ground masa using fresh nixtamalized corn. Nixtamalization is an ancient process of soaking and cooking dried grains in water and calcium hydroxide. The process increases the nutritional value of grain, makes it easier to grind, and increases the flavor. Three Sisters Nixtamal corn tortillas are widely used in restaurants, and they can be found in select grocery stores and farmers’ markets across Oregon, Washington, and some San Francisco locations.
World Central Kitchen
World Central Kitchen (WCK), founded by Chef José Andrés and has become a well-known non-profit in our industry and worldwide. WCK started in 2010 using food to empower and nourish communities facing crisis and need. Their programs use the power of food to increase individual and environmental health, offer professional culinary training, create jobs, and improve food security within the communities they serve. During the pandemic, WCK showed up to help support struggling restaurants and works while feeding and aiding communities under severe financial hardship.
Hot Mama Salsa
After moving to Portland, Oregon in 1999 from the Southwest and seeing a need for fresh Mexican flavors in the PDX food scene — Nikki Guerrero set out to create a salsa with all the flavors she grew up with. Today, Hot Mama Salsa works out of a small production kitchen in Portland, Oregon making delicious and flavorful hot sauces, chili oils, and salsas used in restaurants and found in grocery stores around PDX. For those outside Oregon, you can purchase from their website.
La Cocina is a San Francisco-based non-profit supporting entrepreneurship within the Mission District. Inspired by the many informal food businesses supporting the ethnically diverse and economically vulnerable neighborhood, La Cocina created a space to help these hidden businesses legitimize their home restaurants into sustainable legal businesses. The program focuses on providing resources to women of color and immigrant communities, offering affordable kitchen space, industry-specific technical assistance, and access to market opportunities. La Cocina was created by Arriba Juntos, The Women’s Initiative for Self Employment, The Women’s Foundation of California, and a generous anonymous donor. To learn more and make a donation, visit their site here.
Guelaguetza Mole Paste
Guelaguetza is a family-owned restaurant located in Los Angeles known for its iconic Oaxacan moles. To share the flavors of Guelaguetza with all of us who can’t be in L.A., or Oaxaca for that matter — the James Beard Award-winning restaurant began bottling up and selling their iconic moles to enjoy at home. You can purchase mole paste and much more on the Guelaguetza online store here.
The Hispanic Federation is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to empowering and advancing Hispanic communities across the nation through work in education, health, immigration, civic engagement, economic empowerment, and the environment. With their grassroots and grass tips approach, the Hispanic Federation can work locally, state-wide, and nationally to uplift other Latino nonprofits, promote public policy advocacy, and help build community programs.
This list is just a shortlist of our favorite Hispanic-run organizations and businesses, but there are many more! We’d love to hear your favorites in the comments. And as always, every day is a great day to celebrate diversity, culture, and heritage — have a tremendous start to the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month!