Hogan’s Alley Society: Cooking for Community

We’ve talked about our love for our Chinatown neighbourhood before. We’ve talked about what businesses we like to grab a coffee from, which local suppliers we love doing business with, and have put our money where our mouth is with our commitment to causes for social good encompassing 18% of our work (more on that here). But what about the work of others in our community? How can we support them?

The Hogan’s Alley Society

Enter Hogan’s Alley Society (HAS). Home to much of Vancouver’s Black community, Hogan’s Alley ran between Union and Prior streets in Strathcona until fifty years ago, when the area was demolished and the residents displaced to make way for the construction of the Georgia and Dunsmir viaducts. Our Chinatown office stood just a few blocks north.

From HAS: “The Hogan’s Alley Society is a non-profit organization composed of civil rights activists, business professionals, community organizations, artists, writers and academics committed to daylighting the presence of Black history in Vancouver and throughout British Columbia. HAS adopts a research driven approach to community development that seeks to preserve and promote the historical, cultural, societal and economic contributions made locally  by Black Settlers and their descendants. With this history in the archives, HAS is in the process of developing partnerships with local government and business interests to acquire and develop land and operate assets as a community land trust.”

What Can We Do?

Some of our Hangar 18 team and photographer Albert Normandin had been in the neighbourhood shooting new imagery for our website when we wandered down to Nora Hendrix Place (NHP) on Union Street. Named for Black community organizer Nora Hendrix, NHP is a modular housing development on the Hogan’s Alley Block. 

Makeda Martin, Chef at Nora Hendrix Place, was outside, so we approached to say hello and share our ideas about “Community 18”, an internal initiative we’ve been working on this year with the goal of creating a portal to give back to our community. 

Makeda was full of light and positive energy. She spoke about what food does for the community, bringing us into the NHP garden where they grow an array of herbs and vegetables to create a farm to table experience for the residents of Nora Hendrix Place. To quote Makeda, “Food brings people together. Everybody eats. Food creates community.”


We heard about the work that HAS has been doing advancing the social, political, cultural and economic well-being and histories of Vancouver’s Black community, and their big plans for land trusts, housing, and eventually the establishment of a Black community cultural centre. We asked ‘how can we help amplify this work?’

We heard that HAS had a really cool project in the works: a zine-style (Zine /zēn/: a small-circulation/self-published magazine) cookbook compiled from community submissions meant to connect folks across the Black Diaspora through food. Leading the visual production of the cookbook zine was Kaiya Jacob.

Meet Kaiya

Kaiya Jacob is a volunteer and former employee at Hogan’s Alley Society in the Communications and Media department. As a mixed Afro-Trinidadian and white European student in Communications at SFU, she enjoys studying the potential of communications for social change. Her interests lie in the use of social media and communications as a tool for community making, specifically for queer and racialised communities. Pairing this with her interest in visual communications and graphic design, Kaiya has led the visual production of the Community Kitchen Cookbook Zine.


Since Kaiya had a strong vision coupled with a good understanding of design software already, we were happy to step in to act as a second set of eyes and production help/tech support/sounding board as needed. We offered our input and guidance as the creation of the cookbook unfolded and Kaiya’s vision took shape—each recipe coupled with a piece of family history or story of how it came to be.

Lexi Mellish-Mingo states in the epilogue “This cookbook is a celebration of our creativity and innovation as people of African descent. Despite our histories of displacement and erasure, we continue to make room for each other to share our culture, experiences, and diverse flavors. Sharing food has always been an inherent way for the Black community to grow, and I hope we can continue this tradition into the future of Hogan’s Alley Society!”



Download the Community Kitchen Zine HERE

Do you have an incredible cause that could use some help or guidance? Get in touch at [email protected]


More Info

This zine cookbook was born in collaboration between Kaiya Jacob and Lexi Mellish-Mingo, another HAS employee, in talks around their common passion for food sharing and community building. The goal of the Community Kitchen Cookbook was to bring people together from across the Black Diaspora to share in food, in culture, in community.

The present day Hogan’s Alley Society is predominantly the product of two community lead initiatives: the Hogan’s Alley Memorial Project (HAMP) and the Hogan’s Alley Land Trust (HAT).

Follow The Hogan’s Alley Society on Instagram: @hogans.alley

Learn more on their website:

For further information on Hogan’s Alley, check out Secret Vancouver: Return to Hogan’s Alley