Tracker Pixel for Entry

Small business incubation

by Tom Bixby | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Editorial | March 9th, 2017

Liz Gelardi of the Denver Channel was In the kitchen of the Comal Restaurant, talking to Silvia Hernandez, who was singing as she made tostadas.

Hernandez is inspired by her mother’s recipes, but she receives restaurant training at Comal. ‘"It's not books, it's not reading, you have to do it every day. So it helps me a lot, because when I'm going to open my business, I'm going to be ready,’”

According to columnist Laura Shunk, the restaurant is part of a community outreach program by the Focus Points nonprofit organization. The Globeville, Elyria and Swansea neighborhoods are the poorest and most blighted in Denver. The program gives low-income women job training, teaching participants skills in marketing, financial literacy, computers, and English, as well as culinary arts, setting the women up to launch their own ventures. Each instruction cycle lasts eight months, and then another group of learners comes into the Comal Heritage Food Incubator.

Executive chef Tim Bender, with experience in some of the best restaurants in Denver, agreed to help the Comal group, “bringing their kitchen skills up to high-quality standards. Upon greeting his team of 15, he said they didn't need much assistance with recipes, rather his focus would be on learning operations, ingredient sourcing, safe cooking, presentation, timing, and standardizing dishes for a restaurant setting.”

Silvia Hernandez and her colleagues make dishes they learned from their mothers and grandmothers. They’re from Mexico, El Salvador, and Peru. Reporter Gigi Sukin found out that 60 percent of all revenue is paid to the women for their time and effort. The other 40 percent covers operations and educational costs.

They use the traditional griddle to cook tortillas, as in Mexico and Central America. The regular menu offers homestyle combo lunch platters, including a choice of soup or salad, one of three daily entrees with rice and beans, and grab-and-go options, such as pupusas, tamales and burritos, and of course, Silvia’s tostadas.

Focus Points is helping the women to plant a garden, with beds for hard-to-find Latin American spices and chiles.

Why are we telling you all this? Do we want you to travel to Denver? Not really. We just couldn’t help noticing what wonderful facilities Fargo-Moorhead has for conducting such a program.

We have the expertise in the North Dakota Small Business Development Centers. Looking at their websites, they seem tech-oriented, but they help other categories as well. They helped Sonja Stromswold get started with Sonja’s Bake Shop in Minot, where she “is preserving those old Norwegian family recipes through homemade old-fashioned delicacies.”

SBDC helped Megan Wold open the Meg-A-Latte Coffee House in Williston, and now she has three locations. In Grand Forks, they prepared Rachael Eider for her presentation with the bank.

It wouldn’t take much, North Dakota SBDC, for you to expand your mission just the least little bit...

We also have some of the best chefs in the Midwest, people who would be successful anywhere. Ryan Nitschke, Andrea Baumgardner -- every time they announce a one-day-only menu they sell out. Eric Watson of Mezzaluna and Rustica. All of them are very busy and haven’t the time for something like this -- but maybe they know someone who does.

MSCTC Professor Eric Daeuber’s smartphone probably has enough in it to organize such a venture!

The last and most essential ingredient: starting last September, we have a number of new Americans from Syria in Fargo.

Syrio-Lebanese is one of the world’s great cuisines. Examples: In the Cities, the excellent Emily’s Lebanese Deli, and the Filfillah Restaurant. The Baraka Pita Bakery in Winnipeg, which also makes delicious shawarma. Some of the best meals we’ve ever eaten, makes us hungry just to hear the names! Hey, we need one here, at least one.

We’re living through a historic tumult, a turning point, and one of the engines running it is the empowerment of women.

Can we be accused of ethnocentrism, lack of respect for Middle Eastern cultures? Frankly, my dear, we don’t give a damn. Most of the women coming here need more than empowerment; emancipation is a better way to say it. We can help.











Recently in:

FARGO – Expressing disgust over an interview with a local “pro-white activist” on Valley News Live “Point of View,” concerned citizens have started a campaign to pull advertising from the show.Concerned citizens are…

Culture

The pyramid of the prairie

by Sabrina Hornung

Nekoma tactical area purchased by the Cavalier County JDAPhotos by Sabrina Hornung“These have all been cleaned and filled with sand and concrete,” said Randy Mehlhoff, who serves on both the Langdon Chamber of Commerce Board of…

Sunday, August 20, noon-5pmND Horse Park, 5180 19th Ave N, FargoFood trucks from Fargo-Moorhead and all over the Upper Midwest. Soft drinks, alcohol, prize giveaways, kids jumpy gym, craft vendors, live band, live radio broadcast.…

Our opinion: We all breathe the same air, and we all drank the same beer.Last weekend I helped a pal plan a small festival in an even smaller town. In fact, you may find me bartending there once in a blue moon, flexing my…

Gadfly

Crazy like a fox

by Ed Raymond

Can we learn anything after we know it all?There’s a 100-page book written by a high school dropout that should be read by all high schoolers, college education students, teachers, and politicians. Michael J.Fox of movie and TV…

The moment of truth has arrived. After seven weeks of sampling and judging some of the finest libations in the area the results for this year’s Cocktail Showdown have arrived. Christopher Larson, Raul Gomez and Sabrina Hornung…

On Wednesday July 19, Luna had their first and very solid convergence with Junkyard Brewing. The beer dinner was comprised of five killer Luna courses with five stellar Junkyard beers. The results were extraordinary. Initially I…

Formed in 1988, The Supersuckers have gained the moniker of being “the greatest rock n’ roll band in the world.” In 2015 lead singer/bassist Eddie Spaghetti was diagnosed with stage 3 oropharynx cancer. Thankfully he…

Reteaming with his “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” leads Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara, filmmaker David Lowery has a very compelling tale to tell in “A Ghost Story.” Somber yet funny, and comfortable with exclamations of…

Interactive Hive through Plains Art Museum goes to marketPhoto by Jerry ShervenThis summer, interns between the ages of 11 and 18 participated in Buzz Lab, a program through the Plains Art Museum that gives students the opportunity…

‘Heathers’ hits the Empire stage in Grand ForksBefore the pink-clad Plastics or Cher’s group of popular beauties in “Clueless,” the shoulder pad-wearing, croquet mallet-wielding Heathers ruled the halls of Westerberg High…

Humor

​Talking to strangers

by Sabrina Hornung

“I don’t have a tour, like, on the back of a sweatshirt,” comedian Paula Poundstone says. “I go out every weekend. This weekend I went out Friday, Saturday and Monday. Mostly it’s Friday/Saturday or Thursday through…

If you’ve never had Mankato’s Organ Grinder Amber Ale, you should probably put it near the top of your “must try” lists.If you are a fan of Mankato Brewery you may have been a bit confused the last time you went looking for…

Essential oils. They are all the buzz lately. It seems everyone has heard of them or is purchasing them. Some people know how to use them; others are just interested in the wonder of their complex scents.Essential oils are as…

Live and Learn

​The other shoe

by HPR Contributor

By Elizabeth Nawrotnawrot@mnstate.eduI look up from my hotel lobby breakfast astonished to see a framed print of Wassily Kandinsky's "Mit und Gegen,” a masterpiece of color and composition that just happens to be my favorite…

A few months ago I wrote about the long, strange saga of Jason Halek, the fellow who dumped 800,000 gallons of poisonous oilfield brine down an abandoned oil well south of Dickinson. Back in April of this year, he pleaded guilty to…