What do you call the kind of person who know EVERYONE? The kind of woman who knows how to navigate the halls of city hall and the dance hall? The kind of person who can give you top notch recommendations for four star restaurants and Nepali food trucks? The kind who is known by politicians and postal workers but holds no political office? The kind of chick who makes the rooms where it happens happen? A person who facilitates the voiceless getting a voice without making a press release? A person who can bless or curse you in at least two languages? What do you call a daughter of the sun? One who centers and warms all in her orbit? Around Columbus, we call her Sandra Lopez.
Sandra's not originally from Columbus (heck, neither is half of Columbus). She's from the Dominican Republic. But she has made Columbus home for herself. And through her work for the Columbus City Council and numerous community organizations, she has helped to craft a Columbus that is hospitable enough to become home for countless New Americans. She has used her knowledge of the law, the town, and how it feels to navigate life as the new girl to help Columbus become Sancocho, instead of a non-descript melting pot. And the city is better for her.
When we decided to name a cookie in the Hispanic Heritage Month Collection for Sandra, we opted to just ask her about flavors rather than mine the deep culinary ground that is her beloved Dominican Republic. Why? Well, Sandra is as serious about food as she is about love and justice. You can't really make a food thing for her that she doesn't like.
She gave us a mile long list. Dee opted for two flavors that encompass Sandra's gorgeous complexity and two genres of cookie. The flavor is round smooth coconut in three different ways, and sweet and sour passion fruit in two. The texture is part shortbread part macaroon. Worth sharing. AND IT'S VEGAN.