Chantelle Bourdeaux is a specialty food representative for Salt Lake City based A Priori Distribution (founded by Caputo’s Markets CEO Matt Caputo). After being introduced to Slow Food Utah in 2009, she quickly became a board member as she was driven to make a difference in her community by connecting people to culture, preserving ancestral traditions and sustainable practices through food. Her involvement in the organization led her and her partner at the time (Vanessa Chang, of now CowGirl Creamery) to start one of the first seasonal cocktail events in Salt Lake that brought hundreds of people together, mainly young adults newly introduced to local food makers and producers. She continued with other efforts such as starting some of the first sustainable food programs on local university campuses. Her experiences and cherished bonds in the food industry quickly grew where she was able to pursue her passion in food full-time as Sales and Marketing Representative for Edible Wasatch Magazine of Edible Communities. It wasn’t too long after where she was asked to be one of the first representatives of the up and coming, specialty food distribution company in Salt lake City, Utah. Reaching now to all 50 states, A Priori is one of the nation’s top distributors of craft chocolate and artisan foods, that truly value quality and true craftsmanship above anything. Through her professional and personal passions, she continues to expand her food education and spread the gospel of preserving food traditions. This work deepens her belief that there is real power in connecting people to quality products.
Chris Bailey is a chef, food entrepreneur and small business developer with Hacienda CDC’s Portland Mercado, the Pacific Northwest’s only Latino market hall and business incubator. Since joining in 2017 he has worked with 50+ businesses to help take their products to market. For his work with the Portland Mercado he was awarded a Willamette Week Skidmore Prize for public service. He founded Bloom Caramel, a dairy-free caramel line, which won a Good Food Award in 2019. Chris is also a 2019 fellow for NPR’s How I Built This summit.
Corey Rateau is a grocery professional dedicated to the uplift of marginalized communities. In 2010 at the age of 18 he inherited a food distribution program in Jacmel, Haiti when its white founder departed without notice. When the food ran out he continued to support local artists in their efforts to collectively organize and access new markets for their work abroad. This experience informed his choice to dropout from The University of Chicago to prioritize hands on experience at the intersection of food and community. His time in Chicago included managing Open Produce, a south side neighborhood market, and training in whole animal butchery at Publican Quality Meats. In 2015 he returned home to the San Francisco Bay Area to join the assortment team at Good Eggs, where he is currently Senior Category Manager.
Keba Konte has invested his life as an artist, food entrepreneur and community man. He is the founder of Red Bay Coffee Company, where he has embraced and hired people of all backgrounds and strive to be inclusive of those who have traditionally been left out of the specialty coffee industry, especially people of color, the formerly incarcerated, women and people with disabilities. In his spare time he enjoys aquaponic gardening, judo and making waffles while listening to ol’ time singer Valerie June.
Linda Tay Esposito is an all-around food business consultant. Her work centers around helping food businesses launch through the intersectional lens of food and equity. Her food business experience includes growing perishable food businesses from artisanal to nationwide distribution, and building inclusive food places. She currently consults on business planning - activating first floor retail with food in affordable housing projects. Most recently she led the development of La Cocina’s Municipal Marketplace – a public-private social venture that leverages food in community to drive economic development, urban renewal and addresses food security challenges in an inner city neighborhood while providing equitable opportunities for low income, immigrant and women-led food entrepreneurs. Prior to that, Linda was head of operations at Bay Area's artisan tofu maker, Hodo and led marketing, sales and production operations for 5 years. Before pivoting to food, Linda worked in product development and marketing in tech, finance and CPG. She now leverages all that experience and connections to build a more equitable system. To keep her rooted in the kitchen, Linda also teaches Asian cooking at 18 Reasons, the community cooking school which is part of the Bi-Rite Market family of businesses as well as Milk Street Kitchen. You can find Linda planting hard-to-find Asian herbs at the Fort Mason community garden, where she also serves on the board.
Sana Javeri Kadri is the founder of Diaspora Co., a direct trade spice company working towards a radically equitable, sustainable, and more delicious spice supply chain. Born and raised in Mumbai, India amidst a big family of idealists and architects, she has over a decade of experience in every facet of the food industry and supply chain from farm worker, to line cook, to marketing consultant. She founded Diaspora Co. in 2017, and it has quickly become a nationally acclaimed, beloved food brand that supports over 150 small Indian farmers and farm laborers, and aims to set a new standard for what equity in food and the decolonization of foodways can look like. She currently lives between Mumbai, India and Oakland, CA.