East Bay deli launches upscale sausage line with rap legend E-40

In-N-Out closes down; HelloFresh’s union efforts; more Bites.

Bay Area rap legend E-40 celebrates his latest food business. Credit: Goon with the Spoon/Instagram

Kinder’s Meats, the Concord-based deli and meat market with locations across the East Bay, has a spiffy new business partner: Earl Tywone Stevens Sr., who’s better known as E-40, the Vallejo rap star well-known to mainstream audiences for his 2006 smash “Tell Me When To Go.” Via Instagram, Stevens announced the launch of Goon With The Spoon, a company that, with Kinder’s support, will sell a line of gourmet sausages with flavors like “Philly Cheesesteak Chicken” and “Turf Burritos.” What are Turf Burritos, you ask? Speaking with TMZ, Stevens explains: “I’m from Magazine Street and right down the street, everybody would get turf burritos at 7-11,” he said. His will be “the ones that everybody loves: the green chills and the red chilis.” Goon With The Spoon officially launches on Nov. 15, and joins Stevens’s other forays into food, including multiple wine and tequila labels and partial ownership of Oakland-based Filipino destination The Lumpia Company.

Officials in Contra Costa County briefly shut down an East Bay In-N-Out. You likely know the all-too-tiresome tale by now: the SoCal chain, long known for its conservative leanings, politicized efforts to prevent the spread of deadly virus COVID-19 by flouting vaccination mandates in San Francisco and Contra Costa County, with a company spokesperson referring to rules around vaccination as “unreasonable, invasive, and unsafe.” Officials in Pleasant Hill, San Ramon, and Pinole fined those restaurants for allegedly serving diners indoors without requiring vaccination proof, the Bay Area News Group reports, and suspended the Pleasant Hill location’s permission to operate this week. That In-N-Out’s dining room remains closed as of publication time, but ABC 7 reports that its drive through and takeout operations have reopened.

Workers at a Richmond factory for meal-kit delivery company HelloFresh are unionizing over workplace safety fears. KQED reports that “everyone is rushing to meet their delivery targets” at the factory, leading to multiple accidents “involving loose plastic, pallets and tripping,” a concern on top of the massive COVID-19 outbreak at the warehouse that resulted in Cal/OSHA fines over “workplace safety violations.” Now, about 1,000 workers between HelloFresh’s Richmond and Colorado facilities are attempting to organize, a first for the meal-kit delivery industry. According to an Inc. report from 2018, HelloFresh is “The World’s Most Ruthless Food Startup,” turning its first profit in 2020 to the reported tune of $430 million.

Quick Bites

  • Berkeley’s El Tiny Cafe just serves coffee and sandwiches now, but owner Lilia Vizcaino hopes to expand into Mexican rice bowls and “pastries, ones that you won’t find in every coffee shop.” [East Bay Express]
  • Food critic Soleil Ho describes new Oakland spot Jo’s Modern Thai as “an inclusive, truly Oakland-style take on Thai American cuisine.” [SF Chronicle]
  • Diwali, the Indian festival of light, starts on Nov. 4 this year, and East Bay cookbook author Amisha Dodhia Gurbani has some ideas of how to celebrate. [Bay Area News Group]
Eve Batey is the Editor of East Bay Nosh Email: eve@eastbaynosh.org. Twitter: eveb.