Last night I was honored to speak at Cherry Bombe’s Future of Food event at The Source. Such an amazing evening. Such amazing women. You are all the Bombe! I wanted to share my talk where I share the story of Rebel Girl Bakery as well as my view on the Future of Food.
When I got a text from Kerry Diamond a few days ago asking me to give her a call, I was like “what”? So I called her and she asked me if I was interested in doing a short talk about the future of food. At first my fears and nerves got the best of me and I said no. Then a few hours later I texted her saying I would do it after remembering how inspiring and supportive the recent Jubilee event that I attended in New York City was. Everything that I’ve done the past few years has been about being fearless, taking the leap and having no regrets. So here we go ….
I believe The Future of Food is Rebelling.
The name of my business is Rebel Girl Bakery and the mission is to rebel against the status quo as well as make yummy treats.
But …. Let me take a step back and give you some insight into the inspiration for the business. Riot Grrrl was an underground feminist punk movement that started in the 1990s. Out of it emerged a music genre and movement that was inspired by the punk scene in which women could express themselves in the same way men had been doing. There was a strong emphasis on building an all-inclusive community and from the beginning they had to fight for many of the basics, such as safety.
Riot Grrrl also had a manifesto and I wanted to read a few excerpts from it so that you can get a sense of what the movement was all about.
“BECAUSE I need laughter and I need girl love.
We need to build lines of communication so we
Can be more open and accessible to each other.
BECAUSE we are being divided by our labels and philosophies, and we need to accept and
Support each other as girls; acknowledging our
Different approaches to life and accepting all
Of them as valid.
BECAUSE a safe space needs to be created for
Girls where we can open our eyes and reach out
To each other without being threatened by this Sexist society and our day to day bullshit.
BECAUSE we need to talk to each other.
Communication/ Inclusion is key. We will never know
If we don’t break the code of silence.
BECAUSE every time we pick up a pen, or an
Instrument, or get anything done, we are
Creating the revolution.
We ARE the revolution.”
I think that there is a strong correlation between the Riot Grrrl Movement and what the Me Too Movement and the Cherry Bombe Community, the Bombe Squad, are trying to do for women in food and beyond. The Riot Grrrl Movement as well as the music of many of the bands associated with it was some of the inspiration for the name and mission of Rebel Girl Bakery.
First, the name … Kathleen Hanna was one of the founders/leaders of the Riot Grrrl Movement as well as the front woman of the band Bikini Kill. They have a song entitled Rebel Girl, which is where the bakery name comes from as well as the whisk/guitar logo that I created and tattooed on my arm … I also named one of my bread starters after her. In the song, she sings about a girl who is the queen of the neighborhood and is starting a revolution.
Second, the mission and story, I started Rebel Girl Bakery earlier this year but the journey here started back in January 2017 when I decided to make a career change and go to culinary school. This was the first time that I was truly fearless and took the leap without a real plan … it was the first of many fearless leaps that I would take in my culinary food adventure. I learned a lot in culinary school. In addition to kitchen skills, I also learned about myself. I learned that I loved the pastry kitchen and bringing people together through food.
After graduating I started thinking about the next step and I knew that it had to involve baking. There was no going back. I had to push fearlessly forward and leap. After tons of research, I found that I could start the baking business in my home kitchen under the Cottage Food Act in Colorado. That allowed me to start the business my way, on my terms. I wanted to challenge, break and change the rules of baking and business and build a community through food. I started selling my goods at a Pop-Up Bakery that I would set up in the enclosed front porch of my house. I got the word out old school by plastering flyers around the neighborhood but also used social media, especially instagram and nextdoor to reach out to the community … and it worked. People came. And came back again and again. I also sell at indie artisan markets around Denver. And every Monday, I set up a table with other Cottage Food vendors at a neighborhood brewery. I love meeting and creating relationships with my customers and love the community that is being created there.
Right now I’m thinking and dreaming about what is next for the bakery. I’m not sure where this baking adventure will go from here but I feel that the possibilities are endless and am just going to enjoy the journey for now and continue to feed and grow my community. I believe that if you follow your passion, you will find a way to make it work.
So I know that the future of food is bright. As long as you are willing to rebel, be fearless and take the leap, you will have no regrets. And it is a future of food that will build community; use local/seasonal ingredients; and encourage inclusion, acceptance and accessibility.
As the original Riot Grrrl Kathleen Hanna would always say, “Girls To The Front,” at Rebel Girl Bakery, I like to say Bakers To The Front. Thank you!