Café of the Second Chance

By on Thursday, March 7th, 2013

In 1992, Fr. Greg Boyle found an abandoned warehouse in LA’s Boyle Heights and with the help of his crew turned it into a bakery. That bakery was the beginning of Homeboy Industries; his “crew” consisted of homies who grew up on the streets of LA with nothing but their wits and their fellow gang members to keep them alive.

Today one of the country’s most successful gang rehabilitation programs in the nation, Homeboy Industries is the quintessential Café of the Second Chance—employing and educating those with the least through working with food.

Dave Dahl, owner of Dave’s Killer Bread provides work to ex-felons who otherwise would struggle to find work. He knows; he’s been there.

Over the last 20 years, hundreds of gang members and at-risk youth have had their tattoos removed, their troubles counseled and their hands covered with flour, oil, eggs and salsa through Homeboy Industries. The company employs nearly 300 young men and women; they make salsa, tortilla chips, fresh bread, apparel and serve thousands of downtown diners at Homegirl Café.They learn business, administration and marketing skills. Many go on to join other companies in the area.

“If you aren’t offering these kids concrete help, God doesn’t care about your prayer meeting,” Boyle says.

Kitchensurfing: The New Culinary Shidduch

By on Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

There are a lot of lonely kitchens out there. And there is a corresponding passel of great meals and dinner parties yearning to break free around one of those underutilized islands…if the chef lived in something other than a studio with hotplate.

A new site, kitchensurfing, allows members do just that: surf for kitchens, chefs, food companionship.

We either yearn to have one, yearn to share one or yearn to meet up with other people who love to eat in one.

But if the guys at Kitchensurfing have their way, we won’t be yearning for long. Book a chef, learn how to cook, barter to create unique events through this new, impeccably designed site… the idea is virtually anyone, at any skill level, with any kitchen, can find something here.

Getting Shelf Space: How the BBQ’n Fools Did It

By on Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Moms have one. Dads have one. Every Texan has one. But talkin’ up your own special recipe for homemade ‘cue and trying to get your sauce onto supermarket shelves are two vastly different things.

BBQ’n Fools have done both.

The “Fools” — in a Seussian naming frenzy they became Fool 1, Fool 2, Fool 3 — are Tom Brohamer, Grant Ford and Kurt Weidmann. They sell competition-level BBQ sauce that gives the big brands a serious case of nerves.