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'Mama' of Mama's Hot Tamales made a name for herself, now protege won't let her use it
'Mama' of Mama's Hot Tamales made a name for herself, now protege won't let her use it

The name "Mama" was given to Sandra Romero like a job title, back when she first began working in MacArthur Park. In a neighborhood plagued by gangs, drugs and lawlessness, it took Romero more than a decade to earn the respect that came with such a moniker. It was 2001 and through Mama's Hot Tamales, a nonprofit restaurant backed by the city, Romero's job was to clean up the park and to teach the street vendors flooding the area how make a living — legally. Over the years, hundreds of vendors gave up their sidewalk peddling to become her students. They trained in her kitchen and transformed their lives through the program. Some launched their own...

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