This past weekend, I found myself surrounded by women in food. After two years of virtual conferences, the annual CherryBombe Jubilee finally reconvened in midtown Manhattan—and jubilant is the right way to describe this coming back together of passionate, like-minded women from all corners of food.
The energy was palpable, the room all abuzz with the kind of shared human experience we’ve missed for so long. Truth be told, it was a bit nerve-wracking, socializing after so many nights in sweatpants with just my partner and my cat—especially surrounded by such icons across generations of women in food. There was Dorie Greenspan, instantly recognizable in her round glasses and very French scarf! And there, Claudia Fleming, casually handing out cookies!
In the tasting space, table after table of makers showcased their products, some familiar, some new. Our longtime retail partner Whole Foods highlighted The White Moustache Persian-style yogurt, started by Homa Dashtaki in honor of her family’s heritage—their Sour Cherry yogurt is my most favorite east coast dairy treat (come to the Bay, please!). A newer partner from the Bay, Mommenpop, poured their California citrus-based aperitifs under an awning of strung lemons—the most refreshing adult lemonade stand. And the women of Brightland, another friend from California, poured garlic-laced olive oil so delicious I downed it like a shot before they could hand me a piece of focaccia to accompany it.
On a stage backed by electric pink and gold splashes of color, we heard from women in hospitality overcoming the challenges of balancing work and motherhood—Camilla Marcus, co-founder of ROAR, a restaurant activist group, speaking passionately at six months pregnant about the inability of most food service employees to find sufficient childcare, and Christina Tosi of Milk Bar fame, quite literally balancing her toddler on her arm as she read aloud from an upcoming memoir.
To hear a panel discussion on the intersectionality of tokenism and race and gender and background—Hetty McKinnon interviewing Zoe Adjonyoh of Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen and Sana Javeri Kadri of our local new friend Diaspora Co—was to be reminded of how much work there is yet to do in our industry. And to roll with laughter at the Pulitzer-Prize winning Kim Severson’s attempts to corral the one and only Rachael Ray is to also appreciate the generosity of those who have succeeded and their commitment to building others as they rise.
It was fitting to end March and its celebration of Women’s History Month in the company of these women of food, and a reminder of the power of being a part of something greater than oneself. And closer to home, we are proud at Cowgirl Creamery to carry on a long legacy of strong women in leadership. From our founders Peg and Sue to our current team, with a nearly entirely female-identifying senior leadership team and women growing into all levels of leadership across our company. May we continue onward in this spirit of community and connection!