Jon Gray of Ghetto Gastro has joined forces with Hornitos Tequila to bring forth his latest venture, Gastronomical—a "platform that aims to take iconic product staples that have lined the shelves for decades, and to craft affordable, better-for-you versions that never compromise on quality or taste," according to a press release obtained by EBONY.
“Packing bags and delivering groceries at my neighborhood supermarket was my first entrepreneurial pursuit. With a little help from Hornitos Tequila," said Gray of the initiative in a statement. "I'm going back to where it all started to challenge the idea that ethnic food needs to be low quality or unhealthy. It’s time to flood the streets with flavor."
All Gastronomical products are vegan, non-GMO, and made from organic roots and grains. They are also free from artificial additives and preservatives.
"With the pause of the pandemic, we had the time to think about my next project. We started workshopping what would end up being Gastronomical and my homie linked me with the Hornitos Tequila Shot Fund and the rest is history," Gray tells EBONY. "I’m typically skeptical but the Shot Fund is about helping entrepreneurs trying to shake things up," Gray went on, "We're interested in shifting the paradigm of packaged food."
The first offering on the platform is the Wavy Waffle + Pancake, which is a pancake and waffle mix. It comes in four flavors—Ancestral Roots, Toasted Matcha, Chocolate and Red Velvet—and retails at $20.
The new venture is part of Gray's continued efforts to stand up to food apartheid. The Bronx-raised entrepreneur cited that much of his work is grounded in the "idea that everybody has to eat and that "the world can change for the better through breaking bread."
"I think a lot of design crimes can go unnoticed," Gray says of food inequality as an inconspicuous form of systemic racism. "Thinking of redlining or the east sides of inner cities. Food apartheid is very real and is not an accident."
He goes on, "Food is a soft power tool and can be utilized as a force of evil or as a force to resist oppression. I look to the work of The Black Panther Party and Fanny Lou Hammer for reference."
Gray's partnership with Hornitos Tequila is part of the brand's The Shot Fund—a multi-year investment initiative founded to support creative entrepreneurs launch their business ventures.
To learn more about Gastronomical or to place your order for the Wavy Waffle, click here.