Chantelle Bourdeaux is currently a specialty food representative for Salt Lake City-based A Priori Distribution (founded by Caputo’s Markets CEO Matt Caputo), one of the nation’s top curators of craft and artisan foods. “It’s a small, family-owned, local company, with high standards for quality and ingredients,” says Bourdeaux of A Priori’s artisan chocolates, conservas (sustainably-sourced tinned fish) and cocktail bitters which can be found at Caputo’s Markets, locally-owned Harmons Grocers and shipped all over the world. Of the farmers, local markets, restaurants, and her work educating consumers about local and artisan products Bourdeaux affirms, “There’s 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 currently leads 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 the Tenderloin while providing equitable opportunities for low income, immigrant and women-led food entrepreneurs. She also teaches Asian cooking at 18 Reasons, a community cooking school. Most recently, she was head of operations at Bay Area's artisan tofu maker, Hodo. Linda came to the US as a student over 30 years ago, and worked in business consulting and technology in order to keep her visa status, and only about a 15 years ago, when she finally immigrated, she was able to pursue her passion in cooking. She now leverages all that experience and connections to build a more equitable system.
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.