#InMyMinga with Rebecca
Meet Rebecca Tosdevin - A baker and environmentalist living in LA. Rebecca is currently the pastry sous chef at Milo and Olive in Santa Monica and dreams of opening her own co-op bakery or gneral store for local artisan and farmers. She's been a loyal Minga customer this past year and has turned into a friend and inspiration. Read on for more.
Tell us a bit about you! How are you finding joy these days?
Hello! My name is Rebecca, and I live in Los Angeles, CA. I am a baker and environmentalist. I grew up barefoot in Topanga canyon learning about the plants and birds from my parents, who moved here from England shortly before my siblings and I were born. Creating and working with my hands has been the great theme and love to run through my life. I studied Metalsmithing at university, and at a small but special cookery school in Ireland, food and environmentalism have always been tied together for me. Farming and food are at the center of our opportunities for positive change.
In this unbelievably difficult time, it is so important to find our own moments of joy. For me, it's spending as much time outside as I possibly can, and reading. The stress of working in a kitchen through a pandemic can truly take a toll at the end of each week, but if I can get outside, and sit down with a good book, (currently reading and loving Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer) it makes such a difference to my spirits. I also have two amazing nutty dogs and a partner who keeps me laughing throughout the hardest of days.
Thanks so much! We’re curious how did you discover Minga. What drew you to our small and growing brand?Of course in the age of social media, I found you on instagram. I fell in love with your hats after seeing one on a friend, Anna Ehrgott @annaehrott. After doing a little research I quickly discovered Minga was a beautiful brand, with a warm hearted mission to keep important traditions alive. It was just the kind of brand I was looking for to support!
It’s awesome to have your support. What is your favorite Minga piece and why?
The word Minga means, “Collaborative work in which friends and neighbors volunteer their time and effort to achieve a shared goal for the betterment of the community.” How would you define community and collaboration? How do those take a roll in your life right now?
I think Minga is such a relevant word when it comes to a bakery, to the whole food industry really. Ideally (which I know sadly, not all restaurants follow this philosophy) each restaurant works collaboratively with farmers, animals, land, the seasons and each other. A girl can dream.
For instance, the humble buttery croissant. In each bite you've got, the land, the grain, the cow, the rain, the farmer, the mill, the market, the buyer, the bakers. To go further each baker has had a hand in each croissant as well. The mixer, lamination, shaper, and baker who bakes the final product. It's a huge process! So much love goes into each one, into each bite! And of course, good croissants are part of the betterment of the community! But most importantly, supporting small farms, local farms, and farms that follow responsible farming practices are for the betterment of the world.
What are some other small brands and makers you’re loving right now?
Supporting small brands and makers! One of my new favorite things to do. This pandemic and global social unrest has forced me to really slow down, and take a good look at where I am spending my time and money. I truly believe we vote with every purchase we make. It is so important to look at what we are supporting, and what we allow to continue. We can no longer claim ignorance, there is too much information out there at our fingertips.
Now for the exciting people making beautiful things!
- Orenda Tribe. I am completely in love with their reclaimed vintage textiles! The Most beautiful clothing, you can really see how much love is put into every aspect of the company. Down to every photo. And it is indigiounus owned! It is their mission to spread love and light, donating 100% of much of their proceeds to covid relief. I discovered them through a partnership with Minga! @orendatribe
- Independently owned bookstores are so important in the day of Amazon. My favorite is Reparations Club! They have everything online right now, and do a really cool curbside stand three days a week. Also you're supporting a black owned business! @reparations.club
- The Well refill is my most frequented shop. With everything I need to be as waste conscious as I can. Women owned and run, they make it easy and affordable to live your life without single use plastic, refilling ANY container with your desired product. But it's more than that, they sell anything from floor cleaner to beautiful vintage clothing. I cannot recommend it more. @thewellrefill
- Fire and the Moon is currently my favorite jewelry designer and metalsmith. I feel her pieces truly express the women I am. @fireandthemoon
- White bark workwear makes the best aprons in the industry. 100% hemp, and beautifully made here is LA. Charlie's aprons all have comfortable cross backs so while you're standing and looking down at your work all day, you don't have that extra stress on your neck and back. It makes all the difference. AND they come in beautiful colors! @whitebarkworkwear.
I could go on and on! There are so many amazing artisans! I found it really hard to choose a few. I have bakeries/restaurants, yarn stores, farmers, ceramicists and second hand shops I love! I think with every purchase we make we must pause, and think where it comes from, who benefits from this sale, and who can be badly affected. If we all did this, it would change the framework of being a consumer.
Where can we find you and how can we help support your work, mission and eat your croissants?
I am currently the pastry sous chef at Milo and Olive in Santa Monica. But ultimately I want to start my own coop bakery or general store for local artisans and farmers. I love highlighting people in the community, and making it easier for people to shop small, and eat well. Stay tuned!