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Krizzia Yanga; Filipino Owner & Leader in Columbus

This past week, I had the pleasure of photographing Krizzia Yanga, a leader and entrepreneur in the Columbus Restaurant industry. This soon-to-be 31-year-old is already smashing the foodie scene in Columbus, Ohio. Yanga is the owner of Bonifacio and the recently opened Boni Filipino Street Food located at Budd Dairy.

When I sat down to figure out who I would feature this Women’s History Month, Yanga immediately came to mind. As a woman-owned business myself, it is always of the utmost importance that I try and figure out how I can help and uplift the lady bosses in my community. Yanga’s perseverance through these past couple of years of strife reminds me a lot of when we featured Molly Merkle, owner of Brown Bag Deli. Both of these entrepreneurs set an example that hard work and believing in your community really does pay off. So what does it mean to be a woman in a male-dominated industry? Especially, when it comes to the kitchen (cough cough) Anthony Bourdain might have to lead the way with kitchen culture. "It's great to have fun at work, but it doesn't have to be a toxic place. Everyone should feel safe in their workplace and I'm really proud of the culture we built here. Our staff is diverse and they come from all walks of life," stated Yanga during my most recent visit.

When you walk into Bonifacio, Yanga wants you to feel that you're not only getting an experience but also a sense of the community. Family and community are big to Yanga. “Ya, they are getting an experience and great food- but this is also a place where you can leave with more friends than you came with. You'll probably end up meeting your neighboring tables,” Yanga said. This is where Boodle night comes from. You eat with your hands, you eat on banana leaves. “It's a beautiful experience. It's such an amazing thing to watch people engage in it,” Yanga stated. It’s a nod to her love of the Philippines.

This restaurant is rooted in the family. Bonifacio is her Grandfather's first name (on her mother’s side) and the name of a Revolutionary war hero. It stems from her being able to celebrate dinners together with her community as a young teenager striving to fit in amongst her mostly white peers. Eating food with her community is what gave the connection to her family back in the Philippines. Her restaurant is really a family affair, her mother is the brains behind most of the recipes you will see and you might even catch her chatting with customers as she works the room.

We recommend that you take the time to stop into either of her restaurants. Try something new, get a cocktail, meet your neighboring tables. Have a sense of community. You won’t be disappointed.

As always, thank you for supporting the Columbus community. Thank you for eating local, thank you for supporting your neighbors, thank you for investing in Columbus, and thank you to Krizzia Yanga for being who you are- and bringing the delicious Filipino food to all of us.

All photos are taken by Emma Parker Photography.

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