Friday, May 13, 2011

Smash it up, Homegirl!

On Thursday afternoons in South Pasadena, a crowd will gather at the edge of the farmer's market. Shaded under a wide white tent, you'll find a spread of treats (and stories, if you ask!) from Homeboy Bakery....

And the Homegirl Café

(don't worry, they get along!)

If you're hungry for more than cookies, bread and juice, you can experience the fun of Homegirls from the café "smashing it up!"

Alright, hold on. Smashing what up? Each other!?

Never fear- just fruits and veggies!

Here's how it works. You choose either veggie or fruit, and a Homegirl will ask you what you want in your Smash it Up- anything from hot peppers, edamame, and fresh beets in the vegetable cocktail, or aloe vera, mango, and fresh berries in the fruit cocktail (there's a ton to choose from, all seasonally appropriate).

Then, your Homegirl (Ivy is guiding us through this fruit demonstration) puts it all in a cocktail shaker...

And smashes it up!

When it's all smashed and shaken (with a little sweet syrup for the fruit cocktail, or salad dressing on your veggies) you have an exquisitely healthy and delicious concoction.

Homegirls take part in the farmer's market as part of their one-year training certificate program through the Homegirl Café, where high-risk and gang-involved women are given a chance to learn and grow, mastering culinary arts skills from gardening to restaurant management.

The Homegirl Café is now in the USC Farmers Market on Tuesdays, the West LA Kaiser and South Bay Kaiser markets on Wednesdays, the South Pasadena market on Thursdays, and the Malibu market on Sundays!


  1. Great story. From the street to the garden to the kitchen, and then back into society as a responsible, productive, creative chef of the future.

  2. Awesome! We need more Urban awareness of local and organic foods- and how crucial it is to our health and wellbeing. Love this!

  3. You Go Homegirls! Wish you could come to our Farmer's Markets in Illinois. Would love to try the food and talk to amazingly strong people such as yourselves.

  4. When will you come to Northern CA?

  5. You are all a testimony to the awesome power of the human spirit! I wish we had a program like this in North Carolina where I live. May God bless you for the loving, peaceful energy you bring to the world.