[This text was originally published in AREA Chicago #2 in February 2006]
Interview with Carina at ‘ABC NUEVA VIDA’ on 25th and Albany in La Villita.
I had just picked up a tamale from the tam-alero and decided to meander a bit to take in the mild winter weather. When crossing Albany Street, I came across a sandwich board that read: “un galon de leche de soya solo $.30 hagalo ud. mismo” (one gallon of soy milk just $.30 make it yourself). What else was there for me to do, but go in and find out how I could get my soymilk on?
Carina, I’d like to know how long you’ve been selling natural foods in Little Village.
At this location, two years. Before that we were at Homan and 25th for a couple of years. We are a Christian bookstore where we are interested in physical, mental and spiritual health. As human beings, we have three aspects and they need to be in equilibrium. If you are failing physically, you are also suffering mentally and spiritually. So we believe in and sell food, music and books.
What are some of the things you sell?
Frozen soy meats, TVP, tofu, gluten flour, wheat bran, flax seed, soy milk, coffee and egg substitutes, brown rice, unfiltered honey … People come to us because they want to leave meat and don’t know how.
We give cooking classes so people can help themselves with their general health,
diabetes, cholesterol …
All your natural foods cost so little. Why?
(laughs) We don’t earn a penny selling these things! It’s true! (laughs) We put a price on this food to get it to the community— so everyone has a chance to better their health. The prices are there so people can make the change.
What’s this thing—“the SoyMilker?”
You can buy 30 cents of soaked soybeans and make your own soymilk. You put in the beans and a gallon of water, then you plug it in and out it comes. Hot. Then you can put honey in it or vanilla … The science has arrived. It is a beautiful thing.
Would you be interested in carrying local organic vegetables?
Yes! That would be great!