What’s that fragrance in the air? Sugar? Spice? Everything nice, perhaps? There’s a little ginger, a sticky sweet cherry limeade and strawberry lemon, the tantalizing scents of a legendary local bakery, delicious tamales. All of these things and more flavor our December issue. (See what I did there?) Yes, dear reader, it is our food issue. What perfect timing! We’re at that part of the year where food and drink are the thread connecting us all, where we come together and fellowship with our most sacred parts of the community.
This issue is an actual smorgasbord of some of the most incredible women in the food and beverage industries in Austin. Our cover woman, Allison Ellsworth, founder of the wildly successful Poppi, is a legend in the making. Her desire to create something that would allow us to live in the nostalgia of some of our favorite soft drinks without guilt blossomed into the viral beverage brand we know today. Her story is as compelling as her meteoric rise. Speaking of legends, Joe’s Bakery deserves its flowers for the powerful family legacy that still charges on long after the founder and patriarch transitioned. Now, the women of the Avila family are at the helm, and are keeping the tradition of family-forward business and baking alive. Family is certainly a common theme throughout this issue. Ballet Afrique’s adaptation of The Nutcracker Suite centralizes the Black family, and by extension Black love. China Smith brought together some of Austin’s most venerable Black leaders to play the ever-popular Mother Ginger, and in doing so has exalted Black motherhood. Mother-daughter team of Valerie Gonzalez and Herlinda Lopez-Wood have harnessed the memory of their abuela’s tamales to create a multi-million-dollar family-owned business that continues to thrive and honor her. This is truly one of our most sumptuous issues of the 2023.
Food puns aside, it is that time of the year again, dear reader. A time when many of us make merry and commune with those we care about the most. That being said, I realize that’s not the case for so many people. For anyone who finds these last few weeks of 2023 challenging, I wish you peace and the gift of rest. To every one of our readers, thank you for blessing Austin Woman with your support over the years. From us to you, happy holidays.