Todo Verde founder, Jocelyn Ramirez, is a vegan cook, yoga instructor, and advocate for healthy food access in her community. After Jocelyn’s father was diagnosed with cancer for the second time, she created a plant-based superfood smoothie diet that made him dramatically stronger and helped with a quick recovery. In this process, she noticed the disproportion of healthy food options in the LA area after years of driving across town in search of healthier food for her and her family.
Todo Verde’s mission is to create delicious and healthy plant-based food options inspired by familiar tastes using Mexican and South American flavors that taste great and are great for you. We are doing this with a menu using local, fresh, and organically grown ingredients.
Melissa Gallardo grew up in Southeast Los Angeles surrounded by factories and freeways where access to locally grown and organic produce is limited. However, she considers herself fortunate to come from a family that has always practiced growing fruits and vegetables. Much like her parents, she became involved with urban gardening and now even makes her own yogurt and kombucha. Melissa is currently a nutrition student at Cal State Los Angeles working towards bringing more sustainable, alternative food options to the community.
Elvira Arvizo grew up in East Los Angeles. Like most families in the area, her mother fed her family on a low budget, which meant unhealthy food. As a teenager Elvira noticed how much meat and unhealthy options her family consumed, so she decided to become vegetarian. In her late teens, her mother’s eating habits caught up with her, and was diagnosed diabetic. Elvira became aware that preventable diseases are an epidemic in communities of color, so she began to educate herself on better food options. She became an urban farmer at Proyecto Jardin in Boyle Heights, and now grows her own food at home. Elvira is a firm believer that feeling good physically and mentally means looking at what we put into our bodies and incorporating plant based food into our diet.
Claudia Arandia is an artist from Pasadena with roots in Bolivia. She grew up with 3 siblings, lots family pets, and an abundance of fruits & vegetables in their home garden.
Growing up, Claudia remembers making juice, cooking with the fruits and vegetables from the garden, and picking eggs from the family hens. All this has given her more appreciation for locally grown produce. Now, working with Too Verde, she feels good knowing our team provides healthy options made with fresh ingredients from the local farmers. Claudia now has her own backyard home garden and is learning more and more about healthier living.
Daniela Sarmina was born in Mexico City and immigrated with her family to California at age 3. Her family made their new home in the San Joaquin Valley, where her parents worked in the campos/fields, picking uvas through the summer and naranjas in the winter. One of her favorite memories is watching her father lay clusters of grapes across their rooftop, to make raisins in the hot valley sun.
Daniela graduated with B.A. in theater from UCLA and will be pursuing an M.A. in Social Welfare in Fall 2018. As a mental health professional she hopes to further explore cultural relationships with food and integrate conscious eating as a component of treatment.
Bri grew up in Monterey Park, though she has called many places home. She first learned about organic foods and holistic health at a young age and noticed that access to these resources were limited in her community. While studying Social Welfare and Justice at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI, Bri recognized the greater challenge to food access and general healthcare especially in POC communities. After graduating in 2015 she spent 13 months volunteering with a non-profit in Guayaquil, Ecuador at a nutrition and holistic health center in an underprivileged and under resourced neighborhood. Working with community partners, Bri assisted with the preparation of plant-based medicines, participated in weekly nutrition classes held for mothers and children, and spent time visiting the families in the community. Now back in Los Angeles, Bri works for a non-profit as a coordinator for an after school program in Boyle Heights. She is a strong advocate for holistic resources, most especially for POC communities, and is on her own journey of finding sustainable practices of healing and health.