Teresa Blanco, the link between community and vendors

Northgate González Market’s owners have made a longstanding commitment to care for the community’s health and wellbeing. Sometimes, the stores operate as a health portal. Teresa Blanco is the mind and hands behind this.

She is the Director of Community Engagement and Wellness at Northgate Market.

Northgate Market held over 600 events in 2023 to bring free health screenings and nutrition education about chronic diseases to the stores. The result? Customers see the market as a health portal to learn more about nutrition and how to improve their general way of life.

Meet Teresa Blanco

Her mom and dad were from Jalisco, México. She was born in Santa Monica and is the youngest of her siblings.

“When I was a kid, I guess I’ve always volunteered. I was Treasurer and President at Elementary, as well as in junior high and high school, involved in student government-type programs and giving back to the community,” Teresa Blanco said in an interview with Abasto.

That is very similar to her work today, and she also ensures her family is involved.

Teresa is determined to pursue her passions and take pride in her Latina heritage, thanks to the unwavering inspiration from the women in her family and her coworkers.

“Women have inspired me to make sure that we’re always giving back, making a difference in the community, and taking time to care for ourselves,” Blanco said. “Women should also know our worth value. Because we juggle so much for our families. Especially as Latinas, we juggle so many things regarding work and life balance, and I think women overall carry a lot more weight on their shoulders every day,” she added.

Teresa is a single mother who figures out how to come home after work and make a home meal with her children. She makes that a priority.

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Her role in the community

Teresa Blanco enjoys her job as Director of Community Engagement and Wellness at Northgate Market. She explains that the pros of working in the industry are the different partnerships the company establishes to better the community. Northgate Market has been hosting free onsite breast exams and mammograms at store level since 2010. UCSD and Northgate Market will launch 3rd USDA grant in 2024 helping Calfresh participants earn and redeem additional free produce at grocery store level.

Another example, when schools’ setup a “field trip” or healthy store tour to visit Northgate Market, they turn it into a walkover through Nutrition Month in March.

“Our goal is that after they do the tour for one hour, they learn how to shop healthier when they come in with their parents and help them make a difference,” said Blanco.

The supermarket chain partners with vendors to promote healthier options and products. The goal is to create an enrichment environment for the kids. At the end of the store tours, kids leave with bilingual coloring books, fruit, and nutrition knowledge.

Teresa’s involvement with the community also involves Northgate Market associates and their family members. As a cancer survivor, she co-founded a cancer support group in 2016 with her coworker, Juan Manuel “Chito” Suarez.

Her Experience

  • 2005 Teresa Blanco worked ten months at El Super.
  • 2010 She was on board at Northgate Market.
  • 27 Years in marketing.
  • 20 Years of developing and managing partnerships with nonprofits.