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Journal

WiHU + ListenUp

WiHU + ListenUp

On October 28th, I spent the day working side-by-side with Women in Hospitality United (WiHU) for a sprint session to affect change in the hospitality industry. It was a robust, fulfilling and inspiring day with the WiHU founders, host committee members, Preeti Mistry and Reem Assil, and 40 other womxn.

We flowcharted and brainstormed to help develop the 2025 Hospitality Industry Equity Goals, a blueprint and action plan to address the industry’s most pressing issues, including those related to a safer, harassment free workplace, ending the gender and racial wage gaps, and supporting a diverse and inclusive talent pipeline. A lot was accomplished and I walked away from the event hopeful, with a handful of fledgling friendships, which was a welcome added bonus! 

What is WiHU?

Women in Hospitality United’s mission is to build community by creating safer spaces to gather; to foster leadership and champion the equitable advancement of all people through connection, mentorship, and resource sharing; to empower our members by providing tools, training, advocacy, and support; and to develop solutions and provide policies that set new standards for equity, accountability, and transparency in the industry. Born in the wake of the #MeToo movement, the non-profit was founded on the belief that there is an urgent need to revolutionize the industry and to amplify the voices of those who have been silenced. 

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Spotlight | Food In Focus

Spotlight | Food In Focus

Taylor Gillespie is a Sacramento based food photographer and entrepreneur. Nothing in this world brings her more fulfillment than witnessing the joy someone experiences when she prepares them a delicious, nourishing and wholesome meal. Her love for food and photography began at a young age, inspired by her mother. Capturing these moments of beautiful food allows Taylor to share her passion with the world.

For the last 10 weeks, Taylor has been repping our kitchen linens as a Loyale Ambassador and we've loved seeing her creative recipes and ways of styling. Give her a follow on Instagram!

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Grazing at the Kitchen Table

Grazing at the Kitchen Table

Kitchen Table Advisors supports a new generation of small-scale, sustainable farms that produce healthy food and form the foundation of regional food systems. As you may know, we donate a portion of our sales to this fine 501c3.

Their annual fundraiser, Grazing at the Kitchen Table, will be held on October 18th evening at AirBnB headquarters in San Francisco. Buy your tickets today!

This year's event celebrates our shared roots in agriculture, and those connections to family, place and culture which drive us. KTA looks forward to celebrating small farm viability, and the powerful ties of family – in all its forms – that weave together our food system. Featured purveyors include Bi-Rite, Bluma Farm, Cowgirl Creamery, Nopa, Skyelark Ranch and more.

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Spotlight | Kristina Cho

Spotlight | Kristina Cho

We’re all about spreading the love for some of our favorite Instagram accounts this week and one of our top three super stars is Kristina Cho, also known as @eatchofood.

She is an architect turned home chef and I can’t get enough of her dumpling posts with mouth watering photos. Granted she does a whole lot more than dumplings, but as a dim sum fanatic, I lean towards her savory Chinese-inspired recipes and am aiming to participate in one of her workshops soon. 

Kristina and I officially met at a Pineapple Collaborative SF event several months ago, when the kitchen essentials collection was just a pipe dream. I pretty much geeked out when I saw her and introduced myself; just as I hoped, she is a humble, kind person following her heart and passions. I’m pleased to report she is now a Loyale partner and you’ll be seeing our goods sprinkled throughout her photo shoots! 

If you scoped out our social platforms, you probably saw the stunning Rose Siu Mai pic we featured. Pop over to Kristina’s blog for the full delicious recipe...plus, there’s a giveaway underway with her now on Instagram - enter now for a chance to win one of our SF-made aprons

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Let's Talk About Burfi

Let's Talk About Burfi

Not sure what Burfi is? They’re Indian confections made of milk, ghee, nuts and sugar. 

We’re getting a crash course on flavorful Indian-inspired desserts due to our wonderfully talented model, Hetal Vasavada otherwise known as @milkandcardamom on Instagram.

Aimee, our Community Manager came across her feed in early 2019 and we’ve been smitten ever since.

Read more about Hetal’s background, Burfi sweets and her new cookbook via this fab NYT feature, where you can also spot our sunflower apron in a few shots.

Milk & Cardamom: Spectacular Cakes, Custards and More, Inspired by the Flavors of India is available now and if you live in the Bay Area, there are several book signing events in the coming weeks.

We hope you’ll support this rising star...we’re certainly thrilled to have her in our corner!

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Spotlight | Pons

Spotlight | Pons

Fresh back from some time off and I'd love to share a little about my fave new summer sandals, Pons I purchased from a lovely local Sunset district shop, Establish.

Made since 1945 on the Spanish island of Menorca, Pons are ethically made by hand with sustainability and longevity in mind. The raw materials are all sourced locally in Spain, including the rubber sole (the classic style features a sole made from 10% recycled tires) and the high-quality natural vecchio leather— which is sourced from ethically raised livestock. Available in 40+ different color ways, Pons are chrome dyed to strict EU REACH standards. The Pons workshop in Ciutadella is owned and operated by the third-generation of the Pons family and employs about a dozen local craftspeople, some who have spent their entire adult lives honing their shoemaking craft.

I snagged the black wedges before they sold out, but they still have these saucy animal print ones.

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Spotlight | Miracle Plum

Spotlight | Miracle Plum

Miracle Plum is the dream job and full time hangout of Santa Rosa natives Sallie Miller and Gwen Gunheim. They offer delicious pantry items, responsibly grown staples from local farms, beautiful kitchen wares, cookbooks, food centric magazines (hi Cherry Bombe), grab-and-go lunches, natural wines and craft beer.

The space is so dreamy, like a retrofitted barn, with white washed walls and all the sundries you could ever want, creatively strewn about in a cozy way that feels akin to home. Basically I want to move in...

Sallie and Gwen started hosting a book club/potluck a bit ago and when I heard the next book was Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat, I RSVP’d immediately. I decided on her Orecchiette Pasta with Broccoli and took it to the umami heavens with a few anchovies. While I was preparing it, I realized that this was first time I was following a recipe to the letter in four years; it was comforting to just be led along, knowing I would achieve amazing results. There were a lot of instructions in what on the face of it is a pretty basic recipe. Each and every one was completely worth it. And I love the way that Samin has a poetic way of writing recipes, like when boiling the pasta water, “salt until it tastes like the summer sea.” These simple instructions encourage you to be intimately involved in the process thus bringing your senses to life.

I was excited to experience the bounteous spread that awaited us, but was also looking forward to seeing Megan, a new friend I’d made while volunteering with La Cocina. I’d roped her into attending since she is a huge Samin fan and an accomplished cooking instructor; we had a grand time gabbing over the buffet of our dreams.

It was such an enchanting evening and inevitably, my eyes were so much bigger than my stomach! Faves included focaccia, chicken pot pie, fennel and radish salad, and almond cardamom oil cake...I can’t deny I also really enjoyed my Orecchiette Pasta with Broccoli. The crowd was friendly and convivial and Sallie and Gwen were consummate hosts; all in all it was it was a lovely night...strangers sharing their handiwork and bonding over thoughtfully made food gave way to a warm and wonderful time.

MP’s next book club/potluck is on June 23rd for Yasmin Khan's latest release Zaitoun, email hi@miracleplum.com to sign up for it! Or if you're in Sonoma county, pop by the store and enjoy...

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Black Artists + Designers Guild

Black Artists + Designers Guild

"It all started with a powerful post on Instagram. Malene Barnett called out a lack of diversity during a day of panel discussions at one of the design industry’s esteemed centers. Her comments weren’t just about the panel, but about the pattern of exclusivity that still permeates the design world. Barnett took action by founding the Black Artists + Designers Guild in November 2018. She describes it as “a curated collective of black artists and designers throughout the African diaspora.” To date, the Guild has enlisted 80 designers and artists, many of whom gathered for the first time on February 12 at the Décor NYC showroom to celebrate the Guild’s launch with an exhibit of their work."

As we're looking to support the #buyfromBIPOC movement (a celebration of Black and Indigenous People/Person(s) of Color creatives with a focus on slow, ethical, and sustainable goods), the Black Artists + Designers Guild offers another great resource with their online directory and Instagram account. Ever lovers of unique home goods, a stand out for us is Nasozi Kakembo’s collection, Xnasozi, featured here...

Excerpt from The Cut's A Design Warrior: Malene Barnett’s Black Artists + Designers Guild Champions Representation Within Those Fields

Photo credit - Xnasozi

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Spotlight | BlackSheepMade

Spotlight | BlackSheepMade

My name is Alyssarhaye. I originally started BlackSheepMade as a way of funding my study abroad dreams while attending UC Riverside. Within my first few months of opening, I was able to knit my way to Costa Rica for a conservation internship. There I was a part of LAST (Latin American Sea Turtle conservation program) where we worked with the locals of Pacuare and ex-poachers to save sea turtles.

Now, more than two years after opening, BlackSheepMade has grown larger than I had imagined or even planned and is no longer helping only me. Over the last year and half, both my Abuelita and Lola (grandmothers) have been battling cancer. Last Winter, I accompanied my Abuelita to her chemo appointment. She showed me this basket where people can leave yarn in hopes of someone turning it into a beanie for the patients. I found the basket empty. So for the holidays, I filled it up with extra beanies I had for any patients that needed help keeping warm. To keep it going, for every purchase with BlackSheepMade, another beanie will be made for the basket!

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Decolonize Your Turmeric

Decolonize Your Turmeric

Four years after Sana Javeri Kadri moved to the US to attend Pomona College, she noticed a trend taking off. Turmeric, that golden yellow spice native to Javeri Kadri’s home country, India was suddenly everywhere, from lattes to crackers to chocolate. And she had a sneaking suspicion that the people actually growing it weren’t the ones profiting from turmeric’s popularity.

She was right. The modern spice trade is still heavily shaped by its colonialist origins. Farmers in the global South still earn pennies per pound to grow commodity spices, which US-based spice wholesalers sell at astronomical markups. If turmeric was becoming a staple, she reasoned, she wanted Indian farmers to benefit from this trend.

So, in August 2017, then 23-year-old Javeri Kadri founded Diaspora Co. Her Oakland-based company seeks to decolonize the spice industry through direct trade and transparency. This is no easy feat, and Javeri Kadri’s life has been a crash course in business ownership ever since.

“As a young person it’s hard to command authority, so I’ve had to learn how to be a boss...Honestly, if I had known then everything I know now, I probably wouldn’t have done this. But I’m also very grateful that I did.”

Javeri Kadri’s origins deep dive brought her to the Indian Institute of Spice Research in Kerala. It was there that she learned about Pragati turmeric, an heirloom cultivar with a high curcumin content and a short growing season. It’s the best turmeric in the world, but in an industry dominated by cheap commodity production, nobody wanted to buy it. Undeterred, Diaspora brokered a direct purchasing relationship with a farmer growing Pragati turmeric in northern Andhra Pradesh and pays 10 times the average market price.

Not only is she open and transparent about her purchasing relationships, Javeri Kadri has intentionally centered her personal story as part of Diaspora’s identity. As a young, queer woman of color, she knows her visibility as a business owner matters.

“I’ve been open and adamant since day one that this business is a desi x queer x immigrant x woman of color centered one. Queerness is a huge part of my identity and I am deeply invested in folks normalizing queerness, in all aspects of life. Often folks will ascribe a lot of value judgements to a business importing spices from India – and assume a lot about my identity as an Indian woman. Those assumptions can be anything from asking me whether I had pet tigers growing up, to questioning my ability to use a knife and fork, or assuming that I must have grown up in an oppressed backward society. None of those things are true and if folks are going to be consuming the highest quality produce of Indian origin, they owe it to the producer - and themselves really - to have a deeper and more nuanced understanding of where it’s coming from, and what the lives of the people getting it to them really looks like. So I’m here to champion for and be an ambassador for desi culture, for queer culture and for women of color to get paid what they deserve on both sides of the world, here and there.”

Article adapted from Shed’s Maker Stories and an Okay But What Do You Do? Profile

Photo credit: Diaspora Co.

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