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Ralphs Teams With Homegirl Cafe to Offer Downtown-Produced Salsa

By Eric Richardson
Published: Friday, October 09, 2009, at 12:14PM
Ralphs / Homegirl Cafe Press Conference Eric Richardson [Flickr]

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa samples Homegirl Cafe's morita salsa, one of two varieties that Ralphs will stock in its Downtown store.

As speeches started to drag on at a Friday morning press conference to announce that Ralphs would start offering a pair of salsas from Homegirl Cafe, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's attention visibly wandered. He wanted to try the salsa.

Given the chance, the Mayor offered his feedback. "The morita. I like it hotter," said Villaraigosa. "They're both very good."

Starting today, both morita and mango varieties of Homegirl Salsa are available behind the deli counter in its Downtown Los Angeles store. The program is a partnership between the grocery company and Homeboy Industries, which provides gang intervention and rehabilitation services from its headquarters in Chinatown.

"It is our hope that this program will supplement the amazing organization today and in the future in a very real and sustainable way," said Ralphs spokeswoman Kendra Doyel. "It's also our intention down the road to help grow this area of Homeboy Industries into not just Downtown Los Angeles, but throughout our communities."

Homeboy founder Father Greg Boyle spoke of the lasting impact that job training, schooling and counseling provided by Homeboy can have on the lives of those who have been in gangs and prison. "Ralphs, in this partnership with Homeboy Industries and especially Homegirl Cafe, are really standing, frankly, with the demonized so that the demonizing will stop," said Boyle. "They're truly standing with the disposable so that the day will come when we stop throwing people away."

Ralphs also presented a $25,000 check to Homeboy Industries founder Father Greg Boyle to support the organization's programs. The company also presented a $25,000 check to Para Los Ninos, and a $100,000 check to the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank.

"Let me tell you ... these Homegirls make some of the best salsa I've ever tasted," said Villaraigosa, "and I consider myself to be an expert on that."

The Mayor also made note of the number of times he has appeared at the Downtown Los Angeles Ralphs. "I don't shop here much because I don't live in the area ... but this is probably my fourth press conference here," said Villaraigosa.


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