Food

As Black farmers dwindle, grower at Temescal market wants public to know ‘we are here.’

Every Saturday morning, Will Scott Jr. wakes at 4 a.m. and drives from Fresno to Oakland to sell his fruits and vegetables at the Freedom Farmers Market in Temescal. Among the Black small business owners at the market this day, he is the only farmer.  At 81, Scott is part of a diminishing group — one of just 429 Black farmers in California. He said he travels 175 miles each week to make a point. As president of African American…

Six at-home restaurants open in Oakland, dozens more planned.

When Akshay Prabhu’s plans for a steamed-bun cart were thwarted in 2014 by stringent restaurant standards that he couldn’t meet, frustration pushed him to change the system and the laws.  Prabhu lobbied for the Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operation bill, which passed statewide in 2018 and was adopted in Alameda County in May. Now Oakland residents can prepare and sell food directly from their homes, or offer sit-down dining. “With prices soaring to actually get a brick and mortar, home restaurants…

First Fridays finally returns with food, music, fun in KONO

At his family-owned halal market Thursday morning, Temur Khwaja cut and marinated chicken and lamb for kebab at Marwa Market & Grill. “We need to prepare for First Friday tomorrow,” said Khwaja, anticipation in his voice, sweat on his brow. Local businesses and restaurants in the Koreatown Northgate (KONO) neighborhood are preparing for the relaunching of the Oakland First Fridays festival tonight. First Fridays is a monthly street festival held by KONO Community Benefit District. Eighteen months after the pandemic…

Hundreds march for right of animals to live with ‘decency and kindness’

Hundreds of animal rights protesters marched in San Francisco Saturday afternoon to demand the end of factory farming, chanting, “Humane slaughter is a lie! Animals do not want to die!” “We believe in a world where every animal, every human being is treated with decency and kindness,” Wayne Hsiung, founder of animal rights group Direct Action Everywhere, told a crowd in Dolores Park. The protest aimed to raise awareness for animal rights, recruit more people to join the effort, and…

Group honors the “Muffin Man” for delivering food to people in Oakland who need it

Out of the back of a green Dodge pickup, the Muffin Man has been feeding underserved communities in Oakland for almost two decades. His truck is loaded with crates of canned food, baked goods, pet food; jars of spices, fruits, vegetables, dairy products; various meats, sweets, bread, and even flowers. Jack Dice distributes the bounty in Oakland neighborhoods, where he is known as the “Muffin Man” because he leads a group of volunteers called The Muffin People. They collect food…

Soul On a Roll food truck serves second chance for new business partners

With a baby boy on her hip, GaQuayla Lagrone arrived in Oakland in 2014 looking for a fresh start. She had served a year and a half in federal prison in San Diego for a nonviolent crime.  “I came up here not knowing my left from my right,” she said.   Today, Lagrone, 37, is one of four people with similar stories who were chosen as future co-owners of the food truck business Soul On A Roll, which opened Friday with…

When school’s out, where can Oakland kids go for meals?

In the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), all students have access to school breakfast, lunch and supper through the Community Eligibility Provision, which is a federal program that allows schools in high-poverty areas to serve food to students without collecting money from them or asking them to apply. This robust access to food serves a critical need for students during the school week. According to the OUSD’s website, the school nutrition services provide approximately 7,500 breakfasts, 20,000 lunches, 10,00 snacks…