House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was in the Mission last week to visit, speak to, and sample from local small businesses on a visit to celebrate Women’s Equality Day, which commemorates the passage of the bill that granted women equal voting rights.
She visited Casa Bonampak on Valencia Street and upon entering, asked, “Do I smell chocolate?” As she sampled a piece from Kika’s Treats, an artisanal desserts company with its roots in the Mission, Pelosi got the rundown on the history of the small business from Christina “Kika” Arantes, the company’s owner.
Arantes began her culinary career with La Cocina, a nonprofit organization that helps small food enterprises. She quickly expanded operations and now her desserts can be found at Rainbow Grocery, Williams-Sonoma, and several other establishments.
“The fact is, and you are all living evidence of it, small businesses are where jobs are created,” Pelosi said. “Women are in the lead of creation of small business in our country.”
A Women’s Equality Day roundtable discussion was organized by Bay Area-based Working Solutions and the Women’s Initiative, two nonprofits that mentor and provide micro-loans to entrepreneurs.
Of the two organizations, Pelosi said during the discussion, “The momentum that you have, about teaching general business practices and credit and those kinds of issues, is invaluable. You really cannot put a quantitative price on it, because it’s really explosive in what you enable people to do.”
Throughout her visit, Pelosi heard out the challenges and issues facing the local female small business owners, and promised to bring up certain topics with congressional committee members. She praised the eight entrepreneurs present and expressed that helping small businesses is a cause she would adamantly continue.
Our Haute 100 list details the accomplishments of the most influential people in each of our markets. To see the entire Haute 100 San Francisco list, click here.