BLACK AND FORTH
If “each one, teach one”
was a business model.
Over the past five years, the Black Lives Matter movement inspired funders to pour billions of dollars into closing the racial equity gap through supporting entrepreneurship, career pathways, financial equity, criminal justice reform and more. The efforts are immense, but the impact is slow and hard to access, even as one of the most successful Black women business owners in the Nation’s capital. The road to success for The Spice Suite has been, and continues to be, paved with barriers both large and small. Whether faced with regulations or policies laced with historical biases or gatekeepers to accessing resources afforded to others, these barriers served as an inspiration for Dream Incubator, Inc.
Inspired by our Black and Forth business model, in which we embrace a traditional back-and-forth system and village approach to business ownership by opening the doors of The Spice Suite to other Black entrepreneurs and makers to sell their products while running our store for the day. We launched a 501(c)3, Dream Incubator, Inc. operating through Black and Forth, the first Black-owned strip mall offering affordable commercial space for lease by Black business owners, to provide accessible education, resources and grants while serving as a catalyst for aspiring and growth-stage Black entrepreneurs.
Angel Gregorio is one of the District of Columbia’s most recognized Next-Gen, black female entrepreneurs and influencers of our time.
Community Servant. Innovator. Philanthropist. Disruptor.
Angel is the founder and owner of The Spice Suite, a growing community-centric spice boutique, located in the city’s Takoma Park community. The Spice Suite is aimed at not only providing its patrons with unique, interactive culinary experiences, but was also established with a mission to support and empower other local grass-root business owners to maximize their own potential and success. As a way to pay it forward and support fellow dreamers, Angel offers space at The Spice Suite for pop-up shops, free of charge. No fine print. No commission.
Since embarking on her self-proclaimed “food is fashion” journey, Angel and her business have been featured on a variety of local and national media platforms, such as The Drew Barrymore Show, Essence Magazine, BET, Travel & Leisure, Bon Appetit and VICE News.
Born in DC, Angel attended DC public schools. She graduated from Benjamin Banneker Academic High School and earned both Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Psychology and Counseling Psychology, respectively, from Howard University.
Angel has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to improving the lives of the city’s most at-risk and vulnerable youth and families. Prior to launching her entrepreneurial career, Angel worked in educational leadership and youth advocacy roles as a teacher at the Oak Hill Youth Academy, and as a counselor, and later Vice Principal, at a DC Charter School. She is co-founder of DC Natives Day, an official holiday recognized by Mayor Muriel Bowser to recognize and highlight the presence and contributions of DC Natives to the culture and fabric of Washington, DC., and now owns Black + Forth, the city’s first Black-owned strip mall offering community education and affordable commercial space for Black business owners.