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Tucson the city of Flavor

Sabor de la Comunidad

This community event celebrates the vibrant culture and entrepreneurial spirit of local Hispanic food entrepreneurs in Tucson. Through a blend of music, educational panels, business support opportunities, and product demonstrations, attendees experience the rich diversity of Tucson’s culinary scene.

The panel discussion on Success in Food Entrepreneurship, moderated by Ray Flores of Flores Concepts, a renowned Tucson-based management company. Panelists include esteemed chefs such as Juan Almanza, Jose Salinas, and Marcela Davila, who share their insights and experiences in the food industry. You can read more at FORGE’s website here.

But what I want to explore in today’s article are some of the insightful insights shared by the people who are feeding our community.

The panelists shared, vulnerability but they also shared that despite the number of challenges they faced over the decades were about families. Families coming together to feed the community and sharing culture.

Each of these entrepreneurs and chefs shared vivid stories about balancing the flavor and traditional elements while keeping patrons satisfied with the offerings, discussion the difficulty of training employees and team members, retaining talent and the challenges of keeping a restaurant operating.

Some of the unseen challenges they face range from impacts of a storm reducing the availability of a food type to staff emergencies that require other team members to pick up the slack in the kitchen, which sometimes means doing dishes and keeping the operation on track.

But beyond challenges there was passion, passion for building community around something we all enjoy and that’s delicious food. Each of the panelists shared that their passion for doing this was the joy of feeding people and sharing culture with others.

Ray Flores made an impactful statement during the panel that sharing information is a form of advocacy. Hearing the voices of the people who run family restraunts and their passions, desires and struggles was so empowering. My take away is that these unique dining locations are the fabric of our vibrant community that keep our bodies going and our mouths exploring new flavors while building community around something important.

-Rye – Tucson Warehouse Photo


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