By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Dec 06, 2021 at 10:07 AM

They say adversity breeds invention. And that was certainly the case for many businesses across the nation as they met the challenges of a worldwide pandemic head on. Among them was Maranta Plant Shop and subsequently Tostada by Maranta, two synergistic concepts which have served not only to meet a demand, but also create community.

This week, we’re talking with Michelle Alfaro and Mag Rodriguez, the folks behind Maranta Plant Shop, about their entrepreneurial journey. Along the way, they share the story of  a simple pop-up plant shop which has morphed into – not only a brick and mortar retail shop –  but as a destination for inventive, flavorful tostadas, philanthropy and community.


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Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.