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An LA Slaughter House Is Fined $3.8 Million for Wage Theft and Child Labor

Plus, Black Pot Supper Club, 10 year anniversary for Wolf & Crane, and more

Poultry packages are seen in a supermarket refrigerator in... Photo by John Lamparski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Mona Holmes is a reporter for Eater Los Angeles and a regular contributor to KCRW radio. She has covered restaurants, dining, and food culture since 2016. In 2022, the James Beard Foundation nominated her for a Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award.

The Exclusive Poultry, a Southern California meat and poultry supplier that sells to grocery stores and food distributors like Ralphs, Grocery Outlet, and SYSCO, will pay $3.8 million to settle allegations that it committed wage theft, employed children as young as 14 years old, and falsified payroll records, says the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

An investigation by the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division found that the La Puente-based company and others owned by Tony Bran violated child labor regulations by employing young children to work hours longer than allowed by federal and state laws to debone poultry with sharp knives and move pallets using heavy machinery. The DOL also noted that the wages for employees who cooperated with federal investigators were cut in an act of retaliation by the company; Bran and the Exclusive Poultry will pay $3.5 million in back wages and damages. According to NBC News, a lawyer representing the Exclusive Poultry Inc. says the settlement will put the company out of business.

A taste of U.S. history

Chef Martin Draluck is hosting two Black Pot Supper Club dinners this month. Both are priced at $250 per person for an eight-course menu that explores U.S. history through dishes prepared by enslaved chefs with wine pairings from Black wineries. The events are on December 18 at Alta Adams and December 19 at Post & Beam. Only 18 seats are available per dinner; secure tickets on Eventbrite.

Studio City holiday night market

The Studio City Chamber of Commerce will host its first Studio City Holiday Night Market on December 7 from 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Ventura Place between Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Radford Avenue. The event is free and open to the public with wines, food, and options for Christmas gift shopping. For more information, see here.

Toy giveaway at Vallarta Supermarkets

Southern California grocery chain Vallarta Supermarkets will host a toy giveaway with Santa in tow on December 9 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Children 12 and under will receive a free toy and sweets including samples from the on-site bakery. (Contact specific Vallarta location to confirm participation.)

Wolf & Crane celebrates 10th anniversary

Wolf & Crane will celebrate 10 years in Los Angeles by hosting a party tonight. Park Hospitality (which also owns Donna’s, Bar Flores, and Lowboy in Echo Park) will start festivities at 3 p.m. with drink specials, bartending alumni, DJs, an ice luge, and a merch store showcasing anniversary glassware. Atlaco Taco will be on-site as well.