We set out with our Juntos Fund Initiative to find and support a Latino/a/é business working to make a difference in their community earlier this year. Along the way, we met so many amazing individuals who are admirably working to make positive change in their area and beyond. We were impressed by each of them and moved by the many initiatives across the country fostering community. We could only choose one business to receive the reward, but we are so excited to share the four other finalists who wowed us with their passion for family, making people feel at home, caring for the environment, and giving back to their communities.
Along with our recipients, Cindy & Andrea of CocoAndré Chocolatier and Horchatería, we had the pleasure of connecting with Jesse of Algo Dulce, Karina & Lalo of Cocina Consuelo, Jazmin & Enrique of Cocina del Corazón, and Joe of Swine House during the Siete Juntos Fund final interviews. We’re so inspired by the work and the missions of these incredible organizations, and honored to introduce them below.
Inspired by their dad’s delicious flan recipe, Algo Dulce makes rich and creamy flan using simple ingredients. Led by the Mondragon brothers and their best friend Robert Silva, Algo Dulce’s care and passion for their family and their community moved us—Juntos es Mejor! We admire their desire to share flan, a traditional Mexican dessert (our Siete familia loooves flan!), with more people and those in their community. Read more about them and get to know their story below!
Q: Algo Dulce's Bio (in exactly seven words):
A: Proud born and raised East Austinite Latino
A: To bring an authentic experience in every bite with a flan made from real and simple ingredients from our kitchen to yours.
A: We bring excitement and fond memories of home in every bite. Our focus is making authentic flans using our dad's recipe along with simple ingredients. We use real eggs and real milk to create that experience of abuela's kitchen, bringing joy and excitement to your meals.
COCINA DEL CORAZÓN
Cocina del Corazón originally started as a catering company in Oakland, CA, but as they saw the impact Covid-19 was having on their area, they pivoted their mission to focus on serving their local community. Founded by Jazmin Villalta and Chef Enrique Soriano, Cocina del Corazón provides Mexico-Californio style meals to those in need in the East Oakland area. Their goal is to fight food inequality while remaining sustainable and connected to their community. We love how dedicated they are to those in their community, and we admire their strong and clear passion for helping others. Read more about them in the following questions!
A: Passionate human doing big things for Oakland!
A: We're Cocina del Corazón, a sustainable food company crafting authentic Mexico-Californio cuisine for Bay Area individuals in need. By providing culturally relevant foods, we're helping solve food disparities one meal at a time.
A: We craft locally sourced free community meals! Each meal is made from the heart and is culturally relevant to the community we are serving. We feed 600 people each week and our work has only begun!
Swine House is a whole animal butchery shop based in San Antonio, TX, that makes and serves sandwiches at their local farmers market. Founded by Joe Saenz, who began his career in the city of New York, Saenz has dedicated his work to celebrating and appreciating farmers' craft and labor. In doing so, Swine House has brought attention to many of the great farms and farmers we have right here in Texas! We love their emphasis on togetherness as a team and farming-community, and the ways they teach and learn to honor farmland, livestock, and animal life. They’ve built a community of folks who are actively working to learn from and educate each other. Read more about them in the questions that follow!
A: Pastured Meat Evangelist and Reticent Cheese Snob
A: Swine House exclusively sources whole, pasture-raised animals from Texas to smoke, roast, grill, and produce fine charcuterie. You can find us at the Pearl Farmers Market every weekend and serving our sausages and house made deli meats at pop-up and private events around South Texas.
A: The Sun, soil, and labor of the farm deserve our utmost respect. We seek to feature the work and sacrifice of the people who produce the best food we can find. Not only does Swine House refuse to contribute to the commodity meat industry on principle, we also believe true flavor cannot be produced but on open pasture and a foraged diet. Swine House endeavors to utilize every part of every animal we source, and we work to educate our staff and our customers in the meat crafts that can best highlight each cut's characteristics. When we serve our meats, we believe we have done everything to make it as delicious and fun as possible. Ultimately, that is how we honor the life of the animal and the land it was raised on.
Karina Garcia and Lalo of Cocina Consuelo recently began making traditional foods of their heritage in their own home. What began with birria is now an intimate take out and dine in business that makes different recipes from the comfort of home. Cocina Consuelo sources all of their products locally, and they are committed to giving back to their community. We admire how welcoming they are and how dedicated they are to cooking for their community. Their love and care clearly motivates what they are doing, and it is reflected in the foods they make and the personal experience they offer of eating in their home. Get to know them better below!
A: Authentic Mexican food to Harlem with love
A: Create community through our food while highlighting homestyle foods.
A: Cocina Consuelo highlights Mexican home style cooking while supporting our local groceries because we find it necessary to create community through our food.
We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to get to know each and every one of these businesses and the wonderful people behind them. It brings us joy knowing that people like Jesse, Karina, Lalo, Jazmin, Enrique, Joe, Andrea, Cindy, and the many other individuals we interviewed throughout the Juntos process are out working to make a difference! It was amazing to meet hardworking and innovative people who care about: the environment, sustainability, food insecurity, ancestral ties, community-building, family, gathering, love, and sharing their heritage with others in their own way. Head to their websites and/or physical locations to show your support for these inspiring Latinx individuals and the businesses they run everyday.
Juntos es Mejor,
Your Siete Family