Creating a better space for women
Organization: Salsas Family Market
Born in Morelos, Cuernavaca, Mexico, Laura Valle came to Chicago at the age of 14. Her parents had nothing and needed to work long shifts, leaving her alone with her 8-year-old sister and newborn boy. Their salary was not enough to support the family, so Valle decided to help. She found a part-time job in a grocery store where she met her future husband.
Previously she owned the successful restaurant Salsa’s Grill at 3808 W. Lawrence Ave. It was known for pozole and tamales, but the stress and time needed to run a restaurant made her consider leaving the industry. She did not want her son to have the same memories she had, of long days waiting for her mom to come back from work. Valle remembers how her mother was never able to ask for a day off or stay at home if she was feeling sick.
Someone offered to buy the restaurant, and she jumped at the opportunity because she had already been thinking of opening a grocery store. When she opened Salsas Family Market, her goal was to start looking for more staff, especially other women, and give them the opportunity for a part-time or full-time job within walking distance of their home. Thanks to her family, friends and employees Valle is grateful to share this journey with them. They are the reason why she has never thought of giving up.
She started the store with only herself and her husband. After two years in business, they were distributing homemade salsas to six different stores and had hired five women with flexible hours and days. Her parents also help and now manage their own schedule.
Words of wisdom: “If you want something you never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.”