Anti-Racist Toolkit for Farmers Markets Work Group Member
Stacey’s food system journey started in her hometown of Altadena, California, where she learned to cook from her mother and grandmother. She would use her culinary skills to offer her friends home-cooked meals and dinner parties in exchange for help with chores. Wanting to experience seasons and snow, she left sunny California and headed to the Midwest where she continued her passion for food while earning an AA in Pastry and Baking from The Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago (CHIC – which is now Le Cordon Bleu). While in Chicago, she was reminded of the impact food can have on communities. Stacey began working as a chef instructor with C-CAP – the Careers through Culinary Arts Program, which is a non-profit that provides culinary training and college scholarships to disadvantaged high school students throughout the Chicago-land area.
In pursuit of her Bachelor’s degree, Stacey relocated to Atlanta, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Management. During her time there, she actively volunteered her community by teaching cooking classes with a focus on healthy eating alternatives and starting a community garden, where she taught garden-to-table recipes to the local food desert community. She also started a small non-profit wherein worked with disadvantaged women, providing free food safety certification training and gardening skills.
Her commitment to community brought her back to California where she continued her newfound passion for gardening and became a UC Certified Master Gardener. Her background in baking was the basis for her catering business, specializing in pastries and private chef services. She also sold her pastries at her hometown farmers market.
After realizing how the market perfectly encompassed her passions for food security, cooking, and sustainability, she made the leap and bought the market — becoming the owner and manager of Altadena Farmers’ Market.