My name is Shari Baber and I am the chairperson of the Soul Ford Organization. I moved my family to Boise, ID in 1992 and owned one of the few businesses run by an African American woman. I joined the Treasure Valley Intercultural Association because I saw the need for diversity in my community. In 1994, the Soul Food Extravaganza was organized to showcase African American food and culture. The Extravaganza ran successfully until 2013 and drew hundreds of thousands of attendees.
For many years after, the Lord laid it on my heart to recreate this experience for our community. I formed a committee of leaders in January 2018 and on August 18, 2018, we began the resurgence of the Soul Food Festival. With the help of our founding food vendors, Mr. BBQ, B & B Soul Food, Brown Suga Soul Food and Louisiana Soul Bayou, we were able to create an exciting opportunity engage with our community once again.
It is my sincere desire to allow the festival to continue to grow and leave a legacy for generations to come. This opportunity has allowed us to bridge the gap of cultural understanding with many of our partners in the Treasure Valley. My hope is that the Soul Food Festival will be a safe space to foster understanding and cultural awareness over a good meal and great music.