Fresh on Fillmore

You know you’re working too hard when you feel like you’ve slept in–waking up at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday. Be that as it may, I found myself wandering aimlessly on Fillmore Street when I found two new culinary delights.
Dr. Robert Fairlie of UC-Santa Cruz recently reported that African-Americans had the largest increase in his entrepreneurship index of any group in the past year, despite the recession.
Hard times may be the tipping point which is convincing larger numbers of blacks to put their economic fortunes in their own hands, instead of large institutional and industrial employers.
One of the first suggested activities of National Black Business Month in August is to patronize African-American food manufacturers. There are important cultural reasons, as well as economic development reasons. Much of the retention of African-American culture goes through the recipes passed down through the generations, but Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben are owned by conglomerates.
That’s why I couldn’t pass up either Bumzy’s, a new bakery opening in the 1400 block of Fillmore St, or the farmer’s market booth of Mothers Touch Kitchen. In both cases, I got some completely new slants on familiar foods.
There are several generations of black cuisine residing in the memories of rural black households, even as their descendants have become urbanized. All those recipes can be commercialized, just as Glory Foods and Sylvia’s have successfully.
In the case of both Bumzy’s and Mother’s Touch, the proprietors have used the Internet to market their products. Bumzy’s has sold online only for five years, leading to the establishment of their store.
Juneteenth celebrations around the country (see National Black Business Month web site for details and locations) are a hotbed of innovative black chefs, who are looking to break through into the big time.
As a consumer, don’t just buy one time, but get a card and an e-mail to encourage them to commercialize their creations.
Black people like to eat, like to cook, and like to get paid. We can do all three at once.

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