This story was originally published on La Cocina’s 2018 Annual Report.
In 1988, Lupe Guerrero migrated to the US. She was in search of a better life for her and her two young daughters. After arriving in Berkeley, Lupe found a job at a taqueria where she worked 12-hour days, 6 days a week.
She earned $5/hr. After 12 years of tireless work in kitchens, Lupe saved up enough money for her daughters to join her in the US. In 2012, with a friend’s encouragement, she joined La Cocina to start her own food business.
With La Cocina’s support and hands-on assistance, Lupe launched at Off the Grid and grew her business in a kiosk at The Hall. In November 2018, after six years in La Cocina’s incubator program, she opened El Pipila at 889 Brannan Street —an opportunity secured by La Cocina.
Thanks to La Cocina, I’m no longer living paycheck-to-paycheck. I’ve created jobs for other people who are just starting out. I’ve built a business I can pass on to my daughters. And of course, I’m bringing the flavors of my beloved Acámbaro to San Francisco—the city where La Cocina changed my life forever.”