Bay Area Latino-owned small businesses join forces in effort to support each other

ByLilian Peña KGO logo
Sunday, August 9, 2020

OAKLAND, Calif (KGO) -- An Oakland restaurant owner and Sonoma County vintners came together virtually for an inaugural series designed to generate business support during these challenging economic times.

Octavio Diaz, head chef and founder of Agave Uptown, prepared dishes over Zoom. He was joined through a screen by Francisco Lopez and Monica Lopez, sibling vintners, from Aldina Vineyards. The gathering was livestreamed on Facebook to engage the public.

The virtual collaboration was the first in a series of Shop Latino events set to promote small businesses still open. The initiative aims to draw attention while asking communities to support local.

Chef Diaz specializes in authentic Oaxacan cuisine. He presented the food pairing, featuring some of his favorite dishes. Here are the recommendations:

  • First dish - wild salmon with pipian & mole verde (green sauce) paired with the Aldina Vineyards Rosé
  • Second dish - Branzino fish marinated in a Oaxacan pesto a la plancha (grilled) & vegetables and mole rojo (red sauce) paired with the Aldina Vineyards Chardonnay
  • Third dish - grilled portobello mushroom and carnitas topped with Agave Uptown's mole negro (their signature dark sauce) with a bed of spinach paired with Aldina Vineyard's Cabernet Sauvignon
  • The tasting gave way to conversation. Francisco and Monica shared an interesting part of their father's history, Al Lopez.

    Decades before he and his wife, Dina, started their vineyard, Al worked in the publishing business from 1979 to 1982 for Sonny Madrid, owner of Lowrider Magazine. Eventually, Al owned the magazine from 1986 to 1997. You can read more about their entrepreneurial spirit here.

    Agave Uptown is open for takeout, delivery and dine-in on the patio. It is located at the Kapor Center building in the heart of Uptown Oakland. The staff is practicing social distancing guidelines.

    The event was organized by Silicon Valley Latino (SVL), a social impact venture. It was the first one under their Shop Latino initiative. For updates on social, follow SVL at:

    Facebook - @SiliconValleyLatino

    Twitter - @SVLatino

    Instagram - @silicon_valley_latino

    You can find Agave Uptown on social:

    Facebook - @AgaveUptown

    Instagram - @agaveuptown

    To learn more about Aldina Vineyards, connect with them on:

    Facebook - @AldinaVineyards

    Instagram - @aldinavineyards