By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Oct 25, 2021 at 6:30 PM

’Tis Dining Month, the tastiest time of year! This means we’re dishing up fun and fascinating food content throughout October. Dig in, Milwaukee!

In August, the folks behind Maranta Plant Shop, 1739 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., introduced a delicious new concept to the Bronzeville Neighborhood: Tostada by Maranta, a mobile food business specializing in tostadas and agua frescas made with locally sourced ingredients.

This month, the philanthropic plant shop has announced that it will be partnering with CASHDROP on an event that will allow customers to enjoy delicious tostadas in exchange for book donations that support youth literacy.

During the event, which will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 27 from noon to 6 p.m., guests who donate a book are eligible for a free tostada and drink from Tostada by Maranta.

During the event, all transactions will be cashless and contactless. Customers can use Tostada by Maranta’s CASHDROP to place their orders for the free tostadas using discount code CASHDROP. As each order is prepared, it will be placed on a shelf in front of the trailer for pickup. Guests who would prefer can also donate directly to the cause on CASHDROP.

Following the event, donations and books will be distributed to local organizations including Barby The Book Fairy, Next Door Mke, and COA Youth & Family Centers, all of which work to provide books for underrepresented Milwaukee youth.  

“Maranta and Tostada would not be anything without the support of our community,” says Maranta co-owner Mags Rodriguez . “We owe so much to every single individual who has supported us since our launch. Hosting events like this allows us to highlight other great organizations in Milwaukee and offer us an opportunity to give back.” 

Literacy fuels dreams

The event is one that hits close to the heart for both Rodriguez and Maranta co-owner Michelle Alfaro, both of whom credit books as a transformative tool, particularly for BIPOC youth, who benefit from the imagination, innovation and confidence that comes with literacy.

“As a child, I relied on books to give me a different perspective in life,” says Alfaro. “I didn’t grow up living the fantasy I imagined; but it taught me how to have an open mind and broaden my education.'' 

CASHDROP CEO Ruben Flores-Martinez agrees.

“One of the most important tools in creating compounding change in our communities is the access to information. I am so proud to be able to take a part in making sure our Milwaukee youth have learning resources that can help them be more prepared for whatever life throws at them. Knowledge is power.” 

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

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.