SAN FRANCISCO -- Nestled in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood, La Cocina Municipal Marketplace stands as a delicious haven for foodies and a golden door of opportunity for women business owners.
"We're the first woman-led food hall in the country, which you know, in and of itself is a huge, a huge success," said La Cocina's Food Justice Advocacy Manager Naomi Maisel. "And then when you think about how we've opened during a pandemic, that sort of shows the resilience of the people that we work with here."
From Algerian to Salvadorian to California Creole options, this food hall is a foodie's paradise that also serves as a spot for economic opportunity.
Cultivating low-income food entrepreneurs as they grow their businesses, La Cocina provides affordable commercial kitchen space, industry-specific technical assistance, and access to unique market opportunities.
"Being part of La Cocina it's been amazing," said the owner of Los Cilantros Dilsa Lugo. "We have the opportunity through La Cocina to open a restaurant in Berkeley. And now through La Cocina, we have this amazing opportunity to be in this municipal marketplace."
"I always wanted to start a business, it has always been a passion of mine since I was a teenager. It's very inspiring to be amongst other women entrepreneurs that I can learn from," described Tiffany Carter, owner of Boug Cali.
La Cocina strives to create an inclusive, equitable and welcoming space for the community.
"You see this marketplace in the corner of Hyde and Golden Gate, you come in, it's beautiful, it's clean, it's welcoming," said Nafy Flatley, owner of Teranga. "Let's make this place a successful place and also duplicate it to other cities around the United States. Let's do it."
Visit here for more information about La Cocina.