We’re Christine Doerr and Tammy Tan: friends, food enthusiasts and entrepreneurs. Between us, we own three food businesses (including our shared-use commercial kitchen where this podcast is recorded), and have lots to say about food, the food business, and the people who work in our industry.
Join us each episode as we explore food and the food business with other entrepreneurs and food lovers, and share our decades of experience owning, running, and marketing our businesses.
New episodes are released on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month. Thanks for listening and subscribing!
September 14th, 2019 | 58 mins 38 secs
Growing up in a big Greek family, cooking for large groups was a natural part of Marissa Daskalakis Tsangaropoulos’ youth. She eventually turned that passion for bringing people together over food into a business, Fete Fraiche, first as a personal chef, and now as an event chef and caterer for the likes of Google and Stanford. Marissa shares the challenges of unanticipated growth, why saying no is such an important part of success, and the reason she’s such a gigantic fan of… lists and spreadsheets?
August 24th, 2019 | 59 mins 59 secs
The lack of decent lunch options led Koji Kanematsu to launch Onigilly, serving onigiri—traditional Japanese rice balls—to busy American workers. He now has an ambitious mission to build Onigilly into a nationwide chain of at least 500 locations, as a healthier alternative to Subway and McDonald’s. He joins us to share his vision, how his early career in high tech and mobile gaming prepared him for the food business, and why the death of his childhood friend inspires him to always move forward.
The end of this episode mentions the death of Koji’s friend by suicide. If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “home” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org
August 10th, 2019 | 59 mins 31 secs
Steven Hollifield walked into a kitchen dish-pit, found it magical, and remained in food service his entire career. He now runs two kitchen-based businesses, Seismic BBQ and South Basin Kitchen, and joins us to discuss how he got his start, shares some sobering realities of owning a catering business in San Francisco, and of course, talks barbecue, from sauces to its place in American history. Learn about the value of a good partner, great suggestions for great meals, and why even the chefs at Michelin-rated restaurants go to... Taco Bell?
July 27th, 2019 | 17 mins 10 secs
It was unusually warm in San Francisco in early June, so we took a quick break from interviews to chat with each other about ice cream to keep us cool during these rare, warm San Francisco evenings. If you live in—or plan to visit—San Francisco, consider this a guide to delicious, creamy treats.
July 13th, 2019 | 51 mins 38 secs
Joel Sakakihara and his brother updated their grandfather’s 60 year old toffee recipe, and built a business that’s grown from farmer’s markets to Costco and Whole Foods. Joel joins us to chat about the complexities of running a rapidly-growing food business, advice for starting a food business of your own, and how he launched the company with... Arnold Schwarzenegger? Plus, the return of our favorite segment, Wrap-id Fire!
June 22nd, 2019 | 45 mins 27 secs
Award-winning pastry chef Robert Hac joins us to taste some of the best chocolate croissants in San Francisco. Robert is the pastry chef at Sons & Daughters, where he builds seasonal desserts inspired by memories of the foods he ate as a kid. He traces his love of cooking to his grandma, and the dumplings and mochi they made together. We talk about the start of his decade-plus career before Robert shares the essential trait needed to enter the culinary world, creeps himself out from his open kitchen, and defends the artisan creator. And what in the world does Jackson Pollock have to do with dessert? Tune in to find out!
June 8th, 2019 | 59 mins 36 secs
As an entrepreneur, you do what it takes to make your dream a reality, and Elyce Zahn almost literally built Coco Tutti by hand. She makes gorgeous, “addictively edible” chocolate artwork, an award-winning business she started just as her architectural business was going under. We cover a wide range of topics this episode, from Elyce’s start in the arts to having the vision to see a kitchen where others see an office. Learn what you can accomplish when you’re a one-woman force of nature.
May 25th, 2019 | 53 mins 52 secs
Mirit Cohen was “executive chef” of her family’s large dinner gatherings long before becoming Executive Chef at Google and Adobe, as well as CEO of her own “daily foodservice” business. Now Adobe’s Global Workplace Experience Programs Manager, Mirit shares her advice about the importance of identifying your market, the hazards of scaling too quickly, the right way to shut down a business, and why she believes sharing a meal is the original social networking.
May 11th, 2019 | 41 mins 31 secs
You don’t need passion to start a business, but you do need it to keep one going for a quarter century. Life-long entrepreneur Jack Epstein of Chocolate Covered sells over a thousand artisan chocolates from his store in the Noe Valley neighborhood of San Francisco. Learn how Jack built his unique business, and hear valuable advice from a shopkeeper who’s been in business for 25 years. Plus, Jack shares dozens of chocolate and San Francisco restaurant recommendations! (Check the show notes for links.)
April 27th, 2019 | 48 mins 50 secs
Stuart went from whiskey novice to Certified Bourbon Steward, turning a bad first impression with whisky into a passion he now shares with others in his at-home whiskey tasting and cooking classes. We taste our way through a personalized flight of four ryes, while learning more about whiskey (and whisky!) with Stuart as our guide.
April 13th, 2019 | 47 mins 9 secs
The baobab tree looms large in the life of Nafy Flatley. Its fruit juice nourished her when she was young, and powers her Teranga Juice business today. We discuss the origins of Nafy’s business and learn a lot about the “tree of life”, including its health benefits. Can the juice of the baobab fruit help you be stronger, fall in love, or attain happiness? Listen and find out!
(Recorded October, 2018.)
March 23rd, 2019 | 1 hr 1 min
From an immunology Ph.D to ice cream entrepreneur, learn how a book, a funny name, and a memory of an ice cream taco all came together to form Lori’s delicious desert business. We discuss reasons to remaining artisanal, the argument against franchising, and the power of liquid nitrogen.
March 9th, 2019 | 29 mins 51 secs
Why does Guilianna of Alma Superfoods say “my kitchen is my lab”? And how did a dislike of peanut butter turn into a nut butter business? Guilianna grew up in the Peruvian Andes where she helped her mom run a popular catering business. From her mom, she learned how to mix the flavors and aromas of ancient ingredients and was inspired to created her food business. She leads us through the genesis of Alma Superfoods before taking us on a culinary adventure through Peruvian flavors and ingredients.
February 23rd, 2019 | 18 mins 56 secs
The Good Food Awards Mercantile is the place to taste the future of food, from small, sustainable producers. We discuss the Good Food Foundation that puts it on, and chat with two Good Food Guild members, direct from the show floor.
February 9th, 2019 | 30 mins 10 secs
Lulu runs a cake business, but is her ultimate goal to build a lifestyle brand? A self-taught baker and accidental entrepreneur, Lulu got her start making cakes for friends, who convinced her they were good enough to sell. We learn the value of persistence, the power of social media, and how a beautiful, delicious cake is like an attractive woman with a computer science degree.
January 26th, 2019 | 31 mins 46 secs
Mark has the best job: he tastes award-winning, artisan-crafted olive oils, chocolates and honey, and shares his finds with the world. He leads us through a chocolate tasting, and chats about why he started his business.