Co-founders Marissa and Mark Gencarelli were in attendance to receive the award. In her acceptance speech, Marissa spoke to the history of Yoli and how it served as a way to work through the grief from the loss of her parents.
“Yoli was born out of dealing where life had taken us,” she said. “More than 20 years ago, I lost both of my parents. I have now led most of my life without them. Baking became our therapy, a way to connect and honor our ancestors in the middle of North America. Thank you for the opportunity, and thank you for helping us honor the very humble tortilla.”
Marissa also took a moment to thank the James Beard Foundation, Yoli’s employees and her children.
In a recent interview with Craft to Crumb, Marissa shared that the nod from the James Beard Foundation was “incredibly meaningful” to her as a Mexican.
“For me, bread is a colonized food, so the tortilla really represents indigenous people, the Mesoamerican survival against colonialism,” she said. “And then the flour tortilla is how we adapted from being conquered. So, for me, it’s just incredibly meaningful and an honor that something like this would even be recognized.”
The bakery is known for its stone-milled corn tortillas, Sonoran-style flour tortillas and more.