La Cocina, “the kitchen” in Spanish, was born out of the informal food economy of the Mission District in 2005. They help chefs from immigrant and communities of color become self-sufficient culinary pioneers and launch their food businesses. The La Cocina program creates equitable opportunities so talented chefs without resources can thrive.
The two- to six-year program—like a mini-MBA for food—moves people, often women, from informal businesses into professional culinary work places. La Cocina helps them to write business plans, create menus, and formalize recipes. They lift up talented food entrepreneurs by connecting them to catering opportunities as they learn the food business and work towards realizing their dreams.
La Cocina offers participants subsidized commercial kitchen space in San Francisco's Mission District, hands-on industry-specific technical assistance, and access to market opportunities, such as catering, a stand at a farmers market, food trucks, pop-ups, or finding a restaurant space. They assist in moving packaged food products or snacks out into the community through national distribution channels as the women build equity in the community.
By supporting these women, La Cocina nurtures the food traditions that makes San Francisco so unique.