A Bi-Rite Market employee has been called a food world up-and-comer by Zagat.
Shakirah Simley, the retailer’s 28-year-old community coordinator and canner-in-residence, made this year’s list of 30 Under 30: SF Bay Area’s Food-World Up-and-Comers of 2013.
The U Penn graduate and human rights fellow turned La Cocina entrepreneur started her own company Slow Jams, landed herself on the Katie Couric show and earned a one-year Fulbright fellowship at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy to pursue a Masters in Food Culture and Communication. As she says, “Not bad for a Harlem-raised girl who didn’t taste a fresh apricot until her first visit to the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market.”
She writes about how she’s been “Jamming my way through the food world” on the Bi-Rite blog, describing her food adventures and how she landed at the nationally recognized Bi-Rite Market, where her job includes working on the company’s new PUBLIC Label line of products.
"I asked my favorite dreamer-entrepreneur-foodie Sam if there was a place for me at Bi-Rite. As a new member of the Bi-Rite family, I now wear a number of hats. I’m working as our Community Coordinator, continuing our support of so many San Francisco organizations that need our help, and forging new programs that aim to increase access to healthy food across our city’s neighborhoods. I’m hosting our Sunday cooking classes at 18 Reasons (tickets are available for my blackberry-palooza on August 5th!) And as our in-house canner, I now work with our farmers, grocery and produce teams to make small-batch, seasonal preserves out of our Bi-Rite kitchens right here on 18th Street."
Simely’s company on the Zagat list mostly includes chefs and alcohol industry leaders, but the honor also recognizes: Caitlin Lacey, a small-batch chocolate production manager who has explored sustainability models; Toby Hastings, a farm owner and manager who mentors high school students; Ryan Harris, the sales and marketing manager at a charcuterie; and Michelle Fernández, Leticia Landa, Angela McKee and Daniella Sawaya, who collectively run a food incubator that provides kitchen space and technical assistance to low-income and immigrant women entrepreneurs.