The Taste of Soul Vendors Appreciation Reception was held on Nov. 1. (E. Mesiyah McGinnis/L.A. Sentinel)


The 18th Annual Taste of Soul Family Festival had a tremendous turnout of approximately 500,000 people on Crenshaw Blvd.  Among the assortment of fun activities was an amazing array of food and merchandise offered by the event’s 300 vendors.

On November 1, Bakewell Media, sponsor of Taste of Soul, gathered the food and small business vendors to celebrate them at an appreciation reception.

“This event allows the Taste of Soul staff to thank the vendors for their hard work and for believing in themselves as the entrepreneurs who are vital to the festival’s existence,” said Amira Elswify, TOS vendor coordinator.

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Wells Fargo Bank, sponsor of the reception, held a panel discussion on financial literacy during the event. The panelists included Mario Holten, Wells Fargo vice president of Philanthropy & Community Impact; Effie Turnbull-Sanders, vice president of USC Civic Engagement and Economic Partnership; Adrian Veliz, Sr., program manager at Vermont Slauson Economic Development Center; Savannah Walker, assistant program officer at Local Initiatives Support Corporation; Colette Moore, director of PCR Business Finance Small Business Development Center; and Lane Florquist,  senior representative of Wells Fargo Small Business Development.

Holten and the panelists were grateful for the opportunity to share in the Taste of Soul’s platform in providing free resources with the community.

“If we educate one person, we educate an individual. If we educate our small business owners, we educate the entire community. Our goal at Wells Fargo has to be focused on strengthening the pillars of our local communities, and providing them with resources they need that will enable the community as a whole to flourish,” said Holten.

Event host, David Z, vendor booth winner, Gwendolyn Moseley, owner of Da’ Mosslady, and TOS Vendor Coordinator, Amira Elswify. (E. Mesiyah McGinnis / LA Sentinel)

A highlight of the night was the vendor booth giveaway won by Gwendolyn Moseley, owner of Da’ Mosslady.   Moseley mentioned being a cancer survivor and gave a heartfelt testimony on the trials and tribulations of owning a business.

“In addition to being a vendor, I also facilitate an annual community health fair clinic that provides free mammograms to low-income women that lack insurance and may be at risk of breast cancer,” said Moseley.

The event was attended by more than 100 vendors.

(All photos by E. Mesiyah McGinnis/L.A. Sentinel)
Attendees at the TOS Vendors Appreciation Reception.