This May, we’re celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. First proposed by Jeanie Jew, whose great grandfather was a Chinese immigrant and helped to build the transcontinental railroad, AAPI month was introduced as legislation by Representative Frank Horton and first honored in May 1979. May marks the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to America as well as the completion of the transcontinental railroad, on which thousands of Chinese immigrants worked in harsh conditions for less pay than their white counterparts. The Federal Asian Pacific American Council has designated 2023’s AAPI Heritage Month theme: “Advancing Leaders Through Opportunity”.
Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month at Seward Co-op
Support AAPI-Owned Businesses
Seward Co-op is committed to supporting inclusive businesses year-round. Here are some of the AAPI vendors you can find in our stores:
Roots Essential is a local, woman-owned wellness business that sells naturally-derived bath soaks, soaps, lotions, and more. Founder Evangeline Stacy grew Roots Essential from her experience as a sports massage therapist as well as her upbringing in the Philippines, where she developed passions for service and nature. A Community Foods vendor, Roots Essential is committed to sustainability in their products and packaging. Read more about Roots Essential here.
Another Community Foods Vendor, Yon’s Foods is based in Burnsville, Minn. and specializes in kimchi. Yon started her small business after years of making kimchi for friends, inspired by her South Korean heritage and her mother’s and grandmother’s taste. Try Yon’s kimchi with fried rice, hamburgers, or simply on its own.
Sushi Avenue is a restaurant and wholesale sushi company founded by Nay Hla in 2004. Built on years of experience in a variety of roles in the sushi business, Sushi Avenue was the product of Hla’s work to achieve the highest level of his profession after emigrating from Burma in the 1990s. Sushi Avenue sells rolls, bowls, nigiri and more at the Grab and Go Deli sections of the Franklin and Friendship stores.
What began as a quest for a great-tasting dairy-free creamer developed into a thriving business for Madeline Haydon, founder and CEO of Nutpods. Her almond and coconut blend creamer can be found at both the Franklin and Friendship stores. Since developing her signature recipe in 2013, Madeline has gone on to win the Earnst & Young Entrepreneurship of the Year award in 2019 and continues to build her business. Nutpods is committed to sustainability in their packaging and uses materials that are up to 95% plant-based.
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Class Series
We are excited to present a cooking and lectures class series highlighting the food, traditions, and cultures of the Twin Cities’ Asian American and Pacific Islander community. Community instructors Jess Toliver, Koshiki Smith, and Kimiko Molasky will generously share their expertise on the traditions and history of ingredients and recipes from the AAPI community in Minnesota and beyond. This class series is collaboratively presented by Eastside Co-op, Mississippi Market, Seward Co-op, the Wedge, and Linden Hills Co-op as a way to examine and connect our cooperative values with food, equity, and social justice; and to recognize and celebrate cultural heritage months that reflect our communities. Click on the images below to learn more.