CUESA Behind the Mask: Jameil Minor | CUESA

Ferry Plaza Farmers Market »

OPEN! Sat 8am–2pm | Tue & Thu 10am–2pm

Mission Community Market »

OPEN! Thu 3pm–7pm

June 19, 2020

CUESA Behind the Mask: Jameil Minor

In these times of social distancing, we would love for you to get to know our team better. Each week, we’re going to take you “behind the mask” with a different CUESA staff member, so that, even when our faces are covered, we won’t be strangers at the farmers market. This week, meet Operations Assistant Jameil Minor. 

Tell us a bit about you and your history with CUESA.

I grew up in Richmond in the East Bay. After I finished high school, I moved to San Francisco. I found an internship through this program called New Door Ventures. During the interview, we had a bunch of questions about what we wanted to do and what we liked. For me, it was all about cooking and being outside, so the case manager connected me with CUESA. I was hired after the internship ended. That was about three years ago.

When I was younger, I didnt really have an interest in cooking, but then I started liking it. My mom would tell me to go to sleep and I couldn’t, so I just watched the Food Network. I got home one day from school, and I was by myself and I was hungry, so I started cooking. It just kept going from there. One day I’d like to have a booth in the farmers market doing burgers and BBQ, so I can show off some of my skills.

What’s your role at CUESA and how has your work changed since the pandemic?

My role is on the operations team, and I’ve worked at all of the markets. I try to do and learn a little bit of everything, so that I can be of help even when my team members or a manager are not around. I help set up the market on Thursdays at the Mission and on Saturdays at the Ferry Building. I’ve also helped with the education programs, such as Foodwise Kids and the Food Shed tent and setting up the CUESA Classroom for the cooking demos.

Since the pandemic, we haven’t been doing the education programs. Besides that, most of the stuff that I’m doing now to set up the market is the same with some extra stuff for safety, but nothing too difficult.

Whats something that you wish people understood better?

I wish people could be a little bit more considerate at the Info Booth when they have feedback, instead of just complaining. At the Mission market, it’s only three of us working there, so it can be hard for us to be at every place at once, and we’re doing our best. It would be nice if everyone at the market could work together and do their part.

What do you enjoy most about your work at CUESA?

I enjoy talking to all the farmers and chefs, and getting to know people. Also, seeing and interacting with my co-workers, being outside, learning new stuff, and being hands-on. I also enjoy the education programs, helping kids learn how to cook, prep food, and shop the market. At the Food Shed, I liked learning different recipes and helping shoppers learn about foods in the market. And I love going on farm tours and seeing the farms.

What do you do to recharge outside of work?

Listen to music, sleep, and play video games. But I really like to cook and bake, so I’m doing that most of the time.

Do you have any favorite farmers market foods or tips you can share?

One is the apple juice at Dave Hale’s Apple Farm. Ever since I went on a farm tour there and tried it, I couldn’t stop buying it. It’s one of my favorite things. Another is the food at Namu. And Tory Farms’ stone fruit.

In terms of market tips, I say to try new things that you haven’t tried before. You might end up liking them. I remember trying parsnips, which are like a cross between a carrot and a potato. I wasn’t sure about them at first, but I ended up liking them. It’s good to ask questions, too. Farmers markets are important because people and chefs can connect with the farmers, and learn about what the farmers go through and their process of getting everything to the market. And they’re good for children, too, so they can ask questions and learn about cooking.

About CUESA

CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food. Learn More »