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Conversations with Women: Activist and Entrepreneur Angela Salamanca

“The life that I have right now is not a life that I could have ever imagined”

I met Angela for the first time at a coffee shop early in the morning on March 3rd of this year. She had agreed to meet with me for an interview about her journey as a business owner. You see Angela is the owner of one of my favorite restaurants in downtown Raleigh called Centro. I contacted her a few weeks before and was super excited (and nervous) to meet her. The day we met I was waiting for her at a coffee shop and as soon as she recognized me she immediately greeted me with a warm hug and then proceeded to offer me half of her pastry. I felt connected with her instantly (and not just because she fed me) but because she had this warmness about her that reminded me of Latin America and my fellow latinos. I would later find out that she would be extending the same generosity and warmness in answering my questions throughout the interview…

Angela Salamanca opened Centro for the first time in September 2017 and is located in the heart of downtown Raleigh. The restaurant serves fresh, authentic Mexican cuisine and also has a mezcal bar on the second floor of the restaurant. However, even though they mainly offer Mexican dishes the food and the restaurant itself is very diverse. As soon as you walk in the door you are mesmerized by the art, all the bold colors and decorations that represent Mexican culture. The dishes are equally as colorful and thoughtful as the design on the walls. However, both the culture of the restaurant and the food being offered are more than just a representation of Mexican culture. They are a representation of Angela Salamanca; a diverse strong woman. She is well known as an entrepreneur but during this interview I discovered that she is also an artist, a chef, an activist, a fighter and most importantly a mother and a nurturer. When asked about her perspective on success she responded: