Angel Gregorio is the owner and CEO of The Spice Suite, Black + Forth, and Dream Incubator. The Spice Suite is a growing community-centric spice boutique combining the love of good food and people, staying true to the motto “food is fashion.” Black + Forth is the first Black-owned strip mall offering commercial space with rent way below market rate. The Dream Incubator provides accessible education, resources, and grants while serving as a catalyst for aspiring and growth-stage Black entrepreneurs.
The Howard alum says she wasn’t looking for the idea of The Spice Suite, it just came to her. “I saw an empty storefront in Northwest D.C., and something was just telling me that, like, call and just see what the rent is. It felt doable. And then, like the rebel in me just wanted to prove to myself that I could do this wild random thing that I said on that phone call. I decided that in three and a half weeks, I was going to set out to open a spice shop like I said I would, and I did it,” Gregorio says.
Originally, Gregorio didn’t know what to fill the space with but decided to host pop-up shops for other Black entrepreneurs. While most people boast they should start a business because they love the product, this CEO says although she loves spices and cooking, she wants to grow her business to be financially free and wants her kids and grandkids to be free as well.
It was important to Gregorio as a Black business owner to show other people what freedom can look like and being a business owner can come without a ton of hardship. When entrepreneurs ask for her “historical advice”, Gregorio has always said to “start now, perfect later.” Sometimes the fear of getting started keeps us stuck. For more information on all three businesses, head over to www.blackandforth.org.
Watch the full interview with Angel Gregorio above.
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