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These Latina-Owned Businesses Are Winners Of The El Pollo Loco Grants

El Pollo Loco announced a grant program to help Latina-owned businesses in the Los Angeles area. The grant, which is $10,000 and mentorship to grow their businesses, went to several businesses ran by Latinas. Covid-19 has devastated the small business community and women have been the hardest hit. El Pollo Loco’s grants offered some businesses a necessary lifeline.

Andrea’s Healthy Kitchen

Andrea’s Healthy Kitchen started in 2013 and aims to offer people healthy juices to help with their own health goals. Tatiana Pacheco’s own journey in weight loss with the help of juices inspired the company to be.

“It means a lot for AHK and we are going to be forever grateful for all the support we received from our clients, friends, followers and family,” Pacheco said. “The amount of love was unbelievable during this contest. I cried with every single nomination because they all had a special memory or reason to nominate AHK.”

Milpa Grille

Desyi Minera Serrano created Milpa Grille to connect people with their Mesoamerican ancestors through food. The most important part of the Milpa Grille experience is the use of the all-important ingredient: corn.

“This El Pollo Loco [grant] is huge for us. It will ease my mind knowing that we have the fund to catch up to those bills that piled up during COVID. But most importantly that you have organizations/companies that are willing to help and assist others during a time where the hospitality industry has been hit the hardest,” Minera Serrano says. “Having such a huge company like El Pollo Loco help us professionals is such a privilege. We’re going to ensure that the professional help is applied to Milpa not only to better us as a team but also see how we can share what we applied so we thrive as a community.”

Alchemy Organica

Chef Denise Vallejo is a first-generation indigenous Xicana who is bringing plant-based foods to everyone who finds her on social media. Alchemy Organica is a pop-up restaurant, lifestyle brand, and product line with roots in the plant-based heritage of Mexico.

“My main focus has always been the creative. I consider myself an artist first and this business cannot exist without the passion I feel for my art. However, I look forward to having expert business & financial advice to support me as I continue to grow. I come from a very humble background & working class family,” Vallejo says. “There’s so much for me to learn about running a sustainable business & becoming financially literate. I grew up seeing my father self-employed & running his own businesses, but I often wonder how much more successful his businesses could have been if he had access to more resources. It feels like I’m being supported by the universe to break generational curses now.”

Yucas LA

For decades, ‘Mama’ Socorro Herrera has been offering delicious bites from the Yucatan and people cannot get enough. According to their website, Mama and her husband Jaime first got customers by promising that they’d love it or they’d get double their money back.

Mama was touched to see the letters of love a support they received in the nomination process for the grant. Mama says that the grant to Yucas LA has “provided a breathing space financially, and an invaluable opportunity to be mentored in a specific area of business. I feel like I’ve been allowed free rein of the candy store! The campaign itself has generated a buzz that improved business.”

Café Santo

Owners Pilar Castañeda and Marlon Gonzalez are giving people a wonderful taste of Latino coffee culture with their coffee cart. The pop-up coffee business is also in the process of creating a modern Oaxacan coffee shop in California.

“We’ve put all of our heart and soul to bring our community quality coffee and a great experience to take home,” Castañeda says. “This grant will help Café Santo reach the next step in our journey, using these funds towards opening our first contemporary Oaxacan coffee shop in the Eastside of LA. El Pollo Loco’s professional mentorship will help guide us in building a solid foundation for our growing small business, something that will create long-lasting change for us as an emerging business.”

La Llorona Bakes

Adriana De Casas’ business, La Llorona Bakes LLC, is an example of a hobby becoming a profitable career. It was the kind of hobby that went from YouTube tutorials to making money with the support of friends and family.

“It means the world to me that friends, family, and customers took the time and effort to nominate me. What may just be one post to them, it means everything to me,” De Casas says. “It means they believe in my dreams, that they support me wholeheartedly. But more so, it’s honestly just reassuring like I can do this, I AM doing this.”

East Los Sweets

Baking was a part of Laura Martinez’s life since she was younger. The LA Central Bakery has been in her family since 1984 and working in a kitchen was never her plan. However, it quickly became where she was the most creative.

Martinez is grateful for the El Pollo Local Grant for giving her a chance, as a one-woman operation, it make investments in her business.

“Since gatherings are on a smaller scale because of Covid, this grant will help me buy equipment that would have taken me twice as long to save up from my orders,” Martinez says. “El pollo grant also provided finance/accounting mentorship that will help me further grow more as a small business.”

Todo Verde

Jocelyn Ramirez is a woman of many talents, including a deep knowledge of plant-based cooking. The college professor, chef, yoga teacher, and businesswoman is on a mission to create delicious plant-based foods deeply rooted in the flavors and techniques of Mexico and South America and they might be coming to a grocery store near you.

“This grant is going to our payroll for our team and will also help us continue to pivot our business,” Ramirez says. “We have been dreaming of launching consumer packaged goods available in grocery stores for the last couple of years, but have been too busy to get it off the ground. Now, we are ready and working with an amazing team to make it all happen!”

Salsaology

Lori Sandoval created Salsaology in 2013 when she was fresh out of college and needed to create a career. She knew that food was the path but didn’t plan on culinary school. With that idea, Salsaology was born in her kitchen.

“The response from our customers and friends was a humbling experience to me and the team. We feel inspired by everyone’s support; it has given us a gust of wind to keep going especially through these difficult times,” Sandoval says. “We really do strive to service and offer our community food that is clean and good for you without compromising our culinary traditions. So when we see this outpour of love and support, it motivates us to keep showing up for our community.”

READ: El Pollo Loco Announces First Round Of Latina Business Owners To Win $10K Grants

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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

Westend61 / Getty Images

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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El Pollo Loco Announces First Round Of Latina Business Owners To Win $10K Grants

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El Pollo Loco Announces First Round Of Latina Business Owners To Win $10K Grants

Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Update: October 14, 2020

El Pollo Local Grants was created to help Latina-owned small businesses and the Latinas who started them. As part of the program, El Pollo Loco awarded $100,000 in grant money directly to ten Latina entrepreneurs who needed support during this pandemic. El Pollo Loco has also set up a GoFundMe to use the momentum and community support to save more Latina-owned businesses. Here are some of the Latina-owned business that El Pollo Loco helped with their grant program.

Thirteen lucky Latina food jefas in Los Angeles won grants from El Pollo Loco.

El Pollo Loco, in partnership with #WeAllGrow Latina, is putting their money back into their community. With Covid-19 devastating small business owners, Latinas in particular, the fast-food chain wanted to help those struggling. In response to the ongoing pandemic, El Pollo Loco created the #FundLatinaFoodJefas campaign to give $10,000 and mentorship to Latina food jefas in the Los Angeles area.

“When El Pollo Loco approached us about working together to support the local Latina business community, we were all in,” Ana Flores, founder and CEO of #WeAllGrow Latina, said in a statement when the fund was announced. “We know that Latinas are driving economic gains that create generational wealth for the broader community, but that the circumstances of COVID-19 have posed a significant threat to our progress. This program will provide the exposure, mentorship, and the cash that women in our community, specifically those in the food industry, need to adapt their businesses to this new reality.”

Thirteen Latina food jefas won the grants. The restaurants and jefas were nominated by customers, friends, and family who wanted to see them thrive. The winners of the grants are Amara Kitchen & Catering, The Salvi Vega, Alchemy Organica, Cafe Santo, La Llorona Bakes, Todo Verde, Andrea’s Healthy Kitchen, Milpa Grille, Salsaology, Twisted for Sugar, Yucas, East Los Sweets, and Alta Baja Market.

Congratulations to all of the Latina food jefas who won the grants to keep their businesses going. El Pollo Loco wants to keep the love going. If you want to help, you can donate to their GoFundMe here.

Original: Covid-19 has devastated millions of Americans with job loss. Unemployment skyrocketed as the federal government failed to create and execute a plan to combat the pandemic. El Pollo Loco is stepping up and giving our community a chance to keep business doors open and community members employed.

El Pollo Loco is giving Latina business owners in the greater Los Angeles area a lifeline in these uncertain times.

The Latino community is the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs and business owners in the U.S. According to a Stanford University study, Latino business owners grew 34 percent while every other demographic grew 1 percent over the last ten years.

However, Covid has changed things. Latina-owned business are some of the hardest hit and the sudden loss is impacting our community. According to the Pew Research Center, Latinas experienced a -21 percent change in small business ownership and jobs since the Covid downturn.

El Pollo Loco is offering $100,000 in grants to different Latina-owned businesses because of the pandemic.

The fast-food chain has started a GoFundMe to keep the donations going. El Pollo Loco has already pledged $100,000 to help Latina small businesses and the GoFundMe promises to keep the donations flowing. For every $10,000 raised in the GoFundMe, El Pollo Loco will donate it to a Latina small business. The GoFundMe has raised over $100,000 at the time of this post.

#WeAllGrow Latina partnered with El Pollo Loco to give Latina business owners this lifeline.

#WeAllGrow Latina and El Pollo Loco are asking the Latino community to help find Latina small businesses that deserve the grants. Instead of making the decision themselves, #WeAllGrow Latina and El Pollo Loco want you to nominate your favorite Latina small business for the grant.

“This year has been unlike any other, leaving Latina-owned businesses disproportionately impacted,” Bernard Acoca, President and Chief Executive Officer of El Pollo Loco, said in a statement. “Given the critical role brands are expected to play during the pandemic and on the heels of Hispanic Heritage Month, we felt compelled to find a way to support the people and city we call home.”

In order to nominate a business, here is what you have to do.

Credit: weallgrowlatina.com/fundlatinafoodjefas

Using social media, nominate your favorite LA-based Latina small business and tag @elpolloloco and @weallgrowlatina while using #grantcontest and #FundLatinaFoodJefas. You can nominate the business up to five times.

People are already nominating their favorite food places in LA.

You have until Sept. 15 to nominate your favorite Latina small business. You can help them win $10,000 and mentorship from El Pollo Loco to help Latina business owners in LA keep their doors open. You can learn more here.

READ: California Is Poised To Become The First State To Offer Unemployment To Undocumented Workers

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