Angel Gregorio, owner of the Spice Suite, works to empower others, particularly Black women through her products, recipes, and food and nutrition education. (Courtesy photo)
Angel Gregorio, owner of the Spice Suite, works to empower others, particularly Black women through her products, recipes, and food and nutrition education. (Courtesy photo)

Since Angel Gregorio launched , District residents have come to know her as a curator of spices and social entrepreneur on a mission to empower Black women. 

In recent years, Gregorio鈥檚 also garnered a reputation as a Black mother who works miracles in the kitchen. At any given time during the week, she鈥檚 posting Instagram reels showcasing her home-cooked meals that bear a striking similarity to what one would find at a five-star restaurant.聽

Each time, the caption reads 鈥淲e got food at home!鈥 鈥 what Gregorio calls an ode to her grandmother, and other Black matriarchs, who never thought twice about driving past a fast food restaurant.聽

In an increasingly technological and isolated world, Gregorio told The Informer that she wants her patrons to experiment with the spices in their cabinet and strengthen their family ties while doing so. 

鈥淎s an adult and mom, I realize the importance of eating at home and the community that鈥檚 built within your family or when you invite other people,鈥 Gregorio said. 鈥淭here鈥檚 something significant about taking time to sit together.鈥 

As the company website explains, the atmosphere at The Spice Suite, now located at the Black+Forth shopping mall that Gregorio launched on Channing Street in Northeast, matches Gregorio’s home, which she describes as welcoming, engaging and fun.聽

Each of Gregorio鈥檚 Instagram reels, filmed in her kitchen and among family, provides viewers the opportunity to learn about the assortment of spices in the Spice Suite catalog.  

These spices, which appear in colorful packaging, are salutes to elements of Black District culture. Examples include 鈥淣o Salt, Still Bomb鈥 spice blend, 鈥淛ust a Little Heat鈥 spice blend, and 鈥楧C or Nothing鈥 spice blend. 

鈥淥ur branding is very colorful and interesting,鈥 Gregorio said. 鈥淭here are fun, catchy things that are a nod to Black food and culture. It could just be spices that rep the four quadrants of D.C. No matter your entry point, if you walk into The Spice Suite, something is going to catch your eye.鈥 

Last weekend, followers saw Gregorio go to work with her Spice Suite flavors and KitchenWEAR as she made waffle cones stuffed with home fries, eggs and smoked salmon. She used a Spice Suite cutting board and Spice Suite pyrex.

Followers also saw a Spice Suite almond espresso vanilla that she poured into the waffle batter. She served the final product with a side of raspberries. 

Days prior, Gregorio made a 鈥渜uick Monday meal鈥 — a crispy spicy shrimp quesadilla with chipotle avocado slaw and salad and salsa. She used Spice Suite鈥檚 Thai chili-ish, along with The Spice Suite鈥檚 Applewood Smoked Sea Salt, Northwest Spice, and Smoked Sweet Paprika blends. 

She also threw chimichurri con limo in the mix while her children juiced lemons for a homemade lemonade and 鈥淏lacker the berry鈥 tea mix. 

In a March 10 Instagram post, Gregorio showed off her freshly prepared shrimp and grits. In her caption, she mentioned making the sauce with butter, heavy cream, along with Spice Suite鈥檚 Smoky Sweet Thang and Smoked Applewood Salt blends. 

Gregorio, who earned a spot on Season 8 of MasterChef, told The Informer that she doesn鈥檛 consider herself a chef nor does she try to complicate cooking. She said that she uses her spices to accentuate the basic meals that she can make really well. She encouraged parents and caregivers across the District to take on a similar attitude. 

鈥淚 look in the freezer and I thaw something out,鈥 Gregorio said. 鈥淚 don鈥檛 have a favorite spice. I enjoy experimenting and layering flavors. You can start with something basic. It鈥檚 not a flavor thing. It鈥檚 about trying the same thing differently. I can cook salmon all week and use a combination of different spices.鈥 

Maryam Thomas counts herself among one of The Spice Suite鈥檚 earliest supporters. She said that Gregorio personifies Black female entrepreneurship to the tee. 

For nearly a decade, Thomas, a local mother, wife, and school executive, has jazzed up her home cooked meals with flavors and spices from The Spice Suite. She said that she maintained a relationship with the business, not only because of the results that have been produced in the kitchen, but Gregorio鈥檚 diligence in evolving her brand. 

鈥淲atching Angel鈥檚 ascent has been awe inspiring and speaks to the resilience and brilliance inherent in Black women,鈥 Thomas said. 鈥淪he has brought all the principles of Kwanzaa to life and made them actionable for us.She is a reminder of the necessity for economic empowerment in our community and exemplifies the practices of 鈥榚ach one teach one and bring one.鈥欌

Sam P.K. Collins has nearly 20 years of journalism experience, a significant portion of which he gained at The 老澳门开奖网 Informer. On any given day, he can be found piecing together a story, conducting...

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