“I moved to Boston from Atlanta in January 2017 for the Gastronomy Master’s Program at BU. I came here knowing no one and having no sense of community. Throughout my time at the University of Georgia, coming together around the table with new and old friends and family always kept me grounded and helped me establish a sense of community. Moving to Boston, I was feeling very lost without that. Once I started grad school, I also started to pitch freelance articles to large and small food publications, but I didn’t get any bites.
On one hand, I was struggling to find a community of women in Boston, and on the other, I was frustrated with not being able to get my foot in the door at these publications. One night in early April 2018, I came home from class and decided I was going to start a publication for women and womxn-identifying individuals that would combine stories of food, art, and culture. Within 24 hours, I sent out texts to friends who are freelance writers, artists, and food bloggers to gauge whether they would take a chance and do this unpaid opportunity for fun. I got enough interest in those first 24 hours, so I took that idea for GRLSQUASH and ran with it.
Now, this idea that came out of a place of filling my void has filled a void for others who have also found a sense of community by joining. GRLSQUASH aims to connect the dots between the food and art worlds to show the general public that food is art. It is so much more than what we consume. Since we launched Issue 2 this January, we’re in a big period of growth. We had about 30 contributors for Issue 1 and about 50 for Issue 2. We grew from 80 pages to 120 pages and realized the full potential of how many people we can get involved.
GRLSQUASH is not my full-time job at the moment, but it’s my dream for it to be someday. I currently nanny, but I dedicate many hours to GRLSQUASH every day. My fiance and I live in the heart of Central Square and I work out of my home office, but 1369 Coffeehouse is basically my second office. It’s great to have a ton of food and coffee options readily available in Central if I need to meet up with someone for networking purposes. If I need anything for GRLSQUASH, having so many unique, small businesses close by is amazing. We love to support local and I truly can’t imagine living anywhere else other than Central.
For those interested in contributing: We accept submissions biannually from womxn, femmes, queer, gender nonconforming, agender, and trans folks that fall under the GRL umbrella. We want GRLSQUASH to empower and uplift those voices. We use womxn because we want to be intentional about how inclusive we are.”
— Madison Trapkin, Founder of GRLSQUASH