We’re at a point locally where the leaders in our food industry are women: The James Beard Awards honored Ann Kim (Young Joni/Pizzaria Lola/Hello Pizza), the national wine writers have been singing the praises of Erin Rolek and Amy Waller (the Bachelor Farmer), and a local group is trying to shine a light on women who have started businesses around food.
I attended a pop-up event outside Cafe Latte in St. Paul (owned by the pioneering Linda Quinn and her husband Pete) by Women Who Really Cook, an awesome organization founded by longtime local media personality Sue Zelickson, or Sue Z.—who’s also a regular Minnesota Monthly contributor.
Here are some of the women business owners who were there letting us try samples of their delicious products:
I did a WCCO story on Therese Moore’s 3 Bear Oats in September of 2018 when she was in a training program with Lakewinds Co-op. Now her frozen oats product is available in Kowalski’s, too. It’s so cool to have a savory oat bowl that you can quickly heat up and enjoy. I love the Orso Toscano, with mushrooms and leeks, and the Cottage Garden, with kimchi.
Sarah Pritzker studied international business in India when she discovered the light, crunchy deliciousness of a popped lotus seed. Her snacks are similar to popcorn without the hull. Try truffle salt, chocolate sea salt, or chipotle lime.
Monica Jimenez is a third-generation owner of Hacienda San Jose, a cacao plantation from Ecuador. Gorgeous 80% dark chocolate—or, brighten it a bit with the 80% chocolate plus natural nibs.
Melinda Norman was a pastry chef, and now she’s focusing on old-world recipes like a candy peanut roll. Good stuff!
Cheryl Gendler is a delight, but her nut butters are almost more delightful. I adored her plain ol’ peanut butter, but I really loved her spicy peanut butter with cayenne and garlic. Her rosemary-and-garlic almond butter was super cool, too.