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Burning Spear News

Uhuru Foods and Pies making great leaps

Nov 3, 2021
Ona Zené Yeshitela, APSP Deputy Chair


APSP member Sealli Moyenda becoming proficient at the art of baking

 

Uhuru Foods & Pies (UFP) has been on a blistering pace to advance the work of building a worldwide African economy that is dueling and contending with the prevailing dying but not yet dead colonial capitalist system.

UFP has been primarily volunteer-run for nearly 40 years, focused on bringing the politics of African Internationalism to the California Bay Area and Tampa Bay Area through sales of delicious food at street fairs, music festivals and through holiday pie sales.

Now, thanks to relationships built over these past four decades and a strategy of the African People's Socialist Party (APSP) to build our economic capacity, Uhuru Foods & Pies is poised to take off to new heights, particularly through the sales of our delicious sweet and savory pies and the upcoming work to open Uhuru Jiko Commercial Kitchen in St. Louis.

Full-time Director assigned

We knew that the key to advancing UFP was our need to have a full-time director leading the work daily. Maureen Wagener, a longtime member of the African People's Solidarity Committee (APSC) was assigned by the Office of the Deputy Chair to be Director of Uhuru Foods & Pies.

Wagener has done this work for many years while working full time in Silicon Valley. At the end of September she "retired" to dedicate as much of her time as possible to working with the steering committee to take Uhuru Foods & Pies to the next level.

New Oakland production facility

On October 1, Uhuru Foods & Pies moved our production to a new location in the Oakland Bay Area.

The newly rented kitchen allows Uhuru Foods & Pies to grow our pie production capacity, become more efficient and establish systems and protocols that will be implemented in the Uhuru Jiko Commercial Kitchen in St. Louis.

The Uhuru Jiko is the most ambitious project of the Black Power Blueprint.

Also this fall, Uhuru Pies will be developing and producing our own pie shells, thanks to our recent purchase of a new high-quality pie press.

Pies to be sold at Whole Foods

All of this is happening in conjunction with our onboarding process with Whole Foods in Northern California.

We anticipate being on the store shelves in late 2021 or early 2022. We were introduced to the Whole Foods team through our friends at Humble Sea Brewing in Santa Cruz, who have also helped raise funds for the Black Power Blueprint.

Thanks to our donors and supporters!

The same weekend we moved into the new kitchen, we received donations of 2,000 pounds of yams from Doreva Produce and Garcia Farms in Livingston, CA, 400 dozen eggs from NuCal and 125 quarts of half and half from Clover in Petaluma, CA. Pete Yaroschuck led the team with David (Redbeard) Reardon that won these donations. A group of volunteers quickly turned these contributions into the mix for Uhuru's signature sweet potato pies, including some that are vegan.

The recent advances of UFP are the result of a domino effect of different events, networking, and partnerships. In particular, we want to recognize John Roulac, who met Uhuru Pies at a Food Funded investors conference in May, where Bakari Olatunji gave a presentation to win support for Uhuru Jiko.

John challenged us to raise $75,000 for the construction of Uhuru Jiko that he would match. In September, we met that challenge.

John also sponsored Uhuru Pies at the recent Kansas Alliance for Wetlands & Stream and Great Plains Regeneration fundraiser in Lawrence, Kansas.

Representatives of the Black Power Blueprint and Uhuru Pies were honored to participate in the event and meet several people who want to support the Black Power Blueprint.

2022 will be big!

We know that in 2022 Uhuru Foods & Pies will be on its way to becoming a million dollar business before too long. Something long envisioned by the leader of the Uhuru Movement, Chairman Omali Yeshitela.

Point 2 of the 14 point platform of the African People's Socialist Party states, "We want the right to economic development and creative and productive employment which promote the needs and well-being of our whole people."

This is what Uhuru Foods & Pies is building. As Chairman Omali Yeshitela has said, 'The economic and the political are one."

 

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