Culture

She Immigrated From Mexico And Now She Is Going To Be Selling Her Tamales To Fans At The New Warriors’ Arena

This year is the start of a new era for Golden State Warriors basketball as the team has packed its bags from the old Oracle Arena in Oakland to the shiny new Chase Center in downtown San Francisco. The move across the bay will also coincide with a new line of food options that represent some of the Bay Area’s diverse foodscape. This will include the addition of tamales from an entrepreneur that has waited close to 20 years for an opportunity like this. 

Say hello to Alicia Villanueva, 58, who just landed a contract to sell her tamales at the new arena. Her story is one that represents the best of the American dream and shows the value of hard work.

Credit: Alicia’s Tamales Los Mayas / Facebook

Born in the city of Mazatlan, in the state of Sinaloa, Mexico, Villanueva immigrated to the U.S. with a dream to start a business selling tamales. Since a young age, she had been stuffing tamales with her mother and her abuelita. She believed tamales could be a way to connect her story to those of the people around her and as a way to make a living for her family. But this wouldn’t be easy and it would also take a lot of sacrifice on her behalf. 

So Villanueva hustled. During the day she would clean houses and take care of the disabled. Then at night, she would turn her attention over to tamales where she would make close to 100 tamales a day and up to 500 tamales in a single week. She would then take to the streets going door to door in her Berkeley neighborhood and at local job sites selling tamales. 

“I would knock on doors and introduce myself” after picking up her two young sons from school, Villanueva told the Mercury News. “Some of them became huge customers.”

Thanks to the help of San Francisco-based kitchen incubator La Cocina, who is also her partner in the contract with Chase Center, Villanueva’s dream is slowly becoming a reality.

Credit: @santacruzsentinel / Twitter

Alicia’s Tamales Los Mayas is now getting its time in the spotlight thanks to its partnership with La Cocina, a nonprofit that provides kitchen space and financial training for talented women entrepreneurs. There was also assistance from the Opportunity Fund, another nonprofit that lends money to entrepreneurs who might not qualify for certain loans from other banks. Thanks to that money, Villanueva has taken her tamale business from her Berkeley kitchen to a new 6,000-square-foot facility in Hayward, where she and her 24 employees are able to make 40,000 tamales a month.

“We have a moral obligation to say yes to people like Alicia,” Luz Urrutia, CEO of San Jose-based Opportunity Fund told the Mercury News. “She embodies the American dream, the entrepreneurial spirit.” She says that when entrepreneurs like Villanueva get financial assistance it creates a “ripple effect in our communities.”

All she ever wanted was for someone to take a chance on her tamales and now this the start of what Villanueva hopes is a growing food business that has been years in the making. 

Credit: @juansaaa / Twitter

The sky now seems to be the limit for Villanueva as she is looking to grow even more. As of now, she is having conversations with Whole Foods to hopefully sell her frozen tamales at hot bars in certain stores this December. This will be in addition to the tamales she already sells at Berkeley Bowl and UC Berkeley.

With an increasing demand for her tamales, there is also an opportunity to try new things like introducing organic and vegan options. As well as having her business become zero waste and hopefully start a community garden for the public. 

Things are moving quickly for Villanueva and her family, who assist her every day making tamales, as the business has come full circle after years of just getting by. Tamal orders are coming in every day and with her new partnership with the Warriors, who just last week asked her to deliver 5,000 tamales to the Chase Center, things are finally falling into place. 

“I just can’t believe it,” Villanueva said while showcasing all of her new cooking equipment she was able to purchase due to the loan. “I’m living a beautiful dream.”

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Here Are Some Latina-Owned Jewelry Lines To Support This Holiday Season

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Here Are Some Latina-Owned Jewelry Lines To Support This Holiday Season

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The holiday season is upon us. Maybe you are wanting to get your BFF something nice. Or you might still be searching for a gift for your significant other. Perhaps you just want to treat yourself. Whatever the reason, it is always nice to make sure that you are also supporting our community with that wallet. Here are some Latinx jewelers you should check out.

Mercedes Salazar

The Colombian jewelry designer is ready with pieces that are both timely and classic. She infuses the her identity as a Colombian with modern silhouettes to create piece of jewelry guaranteed to spark conversation. If you want to check out what Mercedes Salazar has to offer, check out her store here.

CBJ by Lorena

CBJ by Lorena is a colorful way to show someone special how much you think of them. Lorena beautifully brings together her knowledge of jewelry and polymer clay art to create something truly unique and beautiful. From the hoop earrings to charm bracelets to paperclips, there is so much to love about CBJ by Lorena.

Hija De Tu Madre

Hija de Tu Madre is taking all of the things that make us feel nostalgic and putting it in jewelry form. It is all about wearing that culture with pride and that is something Hija de Tu Madres makes easy. Don’t pass up a chance to rock some of these amazing hoop earrings with the sayings and designs of our youth.

Santú Accessories

The Florida-based Etsy shop is filled with jewelry that perfectly reflects a tropical vibes of Florida. These pieces of jewelry are able to brighten up anyone’s day with how vibrant they are. The bead work in her pieces are not only artistically pleasing, they are attention grabbing.

Honey B. Gold

Treat yourself and the one you love to a customized piece of jewelry from Honey B. Gold. The Los Angeles-based jewelry store is leaning into its authentic aesthetic and being unapologetically who they are. Honey B. Gold is everything you would ever want from a jewelry line.

Azteca Negra

Azteca Negra is bold and in your face. The store, known for their incredible head wraps, offers perfectly designed jewelry. These aren’t your run-of-the-mill pieces of jewelry. These make a statement that you are proud to call out your own heritage in the name of fashion and authentic beauty.

The Dream

Gold bracelets, clay earrings, and classic hoops are a perfect representation of the classic elegance brought by this fashion brand. Don’t sleep on these subtle yet eye-catching pieces of art that you can wear on your body. Plus, you are helping a Latina chance her dream and that is really what is the best part of this whole transaction.

READ: Mexico Is Selling Off Jewelry And Property Seized From Narcos To Build Necessary Roads

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Snoop Dogg Handed Out Thanksgiving Turkeys To People In Inglewood

Entertainment

Snoop Dogg Handed Out Thanksgiving Turkeys To People In Inglewood

The holidays are always hard for some families. There is the expense of providing the holiday experience every year. However, this year, with mass layoffs and hardships, Thanksgiving is an extra hard burden on some. Snoop Dogg teamed up with the Chargers and Rams to provide free turkeys to Inglewood residents ahead of Turkey Day. Families lined up to pick up the food at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood.

Snoop Dogg being Snoop Dogg spent time helping those in need to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Covid-19 has made 2020 the year of hardships and loss. However, the LA Chargers and Rams with the help of Snoop Dogg volunteered to make the holiday a little better for people this year. The rapper and football players gave turkeys to Inglewood residents in need to bring the magic of the holiday to their dinner tables. The food giveaway took place in the SoFi Stadium parking lot. The stadium in Inglewood is the home of the LA Chargers and Rams.

“I love the personal side,” Snoop Dogg told ABC 7. “To be up close and personal; for people to see me, touch me, take pictures with me, to be able to know I really care.”

Families not only got a turkey, but they also got all of the trimmings for a Thanksgiving feast.

Don Lee Farms, the L.A. Regional Food Bank, Pepsi, and Frito-Lay donated the turkeys and fixings for the giveaway. The kind act gave 2,500 Inglewood families a Thanksgiving meal as lockdown orders around the state forced some businesses to close back down. The lingering impact of the Covid outbreak has been devastating for American families exacerbated by the federal government’s failed response to the pandemic.

Snoop Dogg is no stranger to helping people during the holidays.

Snoop Dogg often helps those who need some help during the holidays. He has teamed up with Inglewood before to make sure that families are able to have the Thanksgiving they deserve. This time of year is all about giving and being thankful for what we have and how we can help others. Snoop Dogg is a master of putting to work his compassion for other people.

READ: Snoop Dogg Loves Banda So Much That He’s Collaborating With Banda MS On A New Song And We Can’t Cope

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