May 18, 8:30am - 10:00am PDT. Hosted at Blend
part of a series on Commitment
About the speaker
Leticia learned about La Cocina in her last week of college while reading an article about El Huarache Loco (a La Cocina graduate) in The New York Times. After moving to San Francisco to work at a foundation, she visited La Cocina’s Ferry Plaza Farmers Market booth a couple of times and decided it was an organization she wanted to volunteer for. As the daughter of Mexican immigrants with a passion for food and cooking, the mission hit close to home.
Coincidentally, Leticia met Valeria (La Cocina’s Executive Director at the time) at a holiday party and instead of becoming a volunteer she began as a staff member in February 2008. Leticia studied Social Anthropology at Harvard and has a background in international nonprofit work – she has lived in rural Northern India and rural Southwestern China working and studying agricultural poverty and its effects on women. She also completed the first year of culinary training at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and worked on the line at Jeffrey’s Restaurant in Austin, Texas where she grew up. She is fluent in Spanish and French and (increasingly less) conversant in Mandarin Chinese.
Since joining La Cocina, Leticia has been named one of San Francisco’s Tastemakers by 7×7 Magazine, a Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneur by the Hitachi Foundation for her work on the program curriculum and social entrepreneurship and was on Zagat’s “30 Under 30” list in 2013. As Deputy Director, Leticia oversees the business incubator and funds development, manages staff development and is responsible for strategic projects including co-authoring the La Cocina Cookbook (to be published Spring 2019 by Chronicle Books.)
Leticia brings a passion for the kitchen to La Cocina and a true belief in the power of business ownership in transforming lives, particularly those of women and immigrants.
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The mission of La Cocina is to cultivate low income food entrepreneurs as they formalize and grow their businesses by providing affordable commercial kitchen space, industry-specific technical assistance and access to market opportunities. We focus primarily on women from communities of color and immigrant communities. Our vision is that entrepreneurs gain financial security by doing what they love to do, creating an innovative, vibrant and inclusive economic landscape. La Cocina was born out of a belief that a community of natural entrepreneurs, given the right resources, can create self-sufficient businesses that benefit themselves, their families, their community, and the whole city. The food that has come out of this kitchen since 2005 reflects that aspiration and, quite simply, tastes amazing.
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