Gonzales started both her own graphic design company and a food delivery service called Lumpia Po. She’s also a part of Ohio Progressive Asian Women’s Leadership, a grassroots organization that empowers women and nonbinary people in the Asian American and Pacific Islanders community.
Dish Out: Lumpia Po is both a growing business that delivers the homemade Filipino eggrolls after which it was named and an expression of her roots. “When you’re new to any place, regardless of (whether) you’re an immigrant, you really have to be courageous. Be open to rejection. Be open to people.”
Family Food: In 2017, Gonzales organized a pop-up at a restaurant that raised $6,000 to help her siblings immigrate to America.
Food Philosophy: “As a child I was always in the kitchen, whether it was with my grandma or mom. I learned that there are many bridges that are built when it comes to food. Now, I also get to create those bridges and relationships through food.”
Pioneer: Gonzales emigrated from the Philippines — on her own — when she was only 14 and was raised by her grandparents. “That strength that I get to do the serious things that I do comes from them because they’ve done so many things I consider as scary. They’ve fought so many battles.”
Home: Gonzales defines home as a feeling that defies geography. “I think home for me now is finding a genuine connection, whether it’s to your job or food or person.”
Takeaway: “I am one with you. I see you, I feel your hurt, your anger, your frustrations. Our stories are complex, but they are beautiful. There’s something to be proud of because this is our home today.”
Interesting Fact: If she had to pick a song to play whenever she walks on a stage, it would be “Strange Overtones” by David Byrne.