Bill Fujimoto Zines


A zine from Sam's larger graphic novel around Japanese American Retailer Bill Fujimoto: He was a Berkeley-based Japanese-American food retailer who played a pivotal role in the development of 1970s California cuisine. Today, Americans are more aware of their food choices—where the food comes from, its locality, how it was produced, and its health quotient. But back in the 1970s, local food movements were largely nonexistent. People became disconnected from the people who grew their produce. However, Fujimoto ran a market where he supported small farmers and organic, local farming and farm-to-table eating in a time when corporate farming and supermarket chains were dominant. He followed and carried out an ideology that is more than just the taste of the food but encompasses what eating locally produced, seasonal food means. Thus, he has helped others in their communities to imagine a radical, more equitable, community centered world where food production is healthier, more sustainable, and controlled by small farmers. Bill was the first person to source produce for Alice Waters’ restaurant Chez Panisse when it opened. Over time, the Bay Area chefs who were a part of igniting California cuisine all went to Bill’s shop to buy their produce. He created a community of chefs, local farmers, and eaters who cared about seasonality, taste, and unconventional produce.