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Inspiring Conversations with Silvana Rangel-Duque of Soul Cocina

Today we’d like to introduce you to Silvana Rangel-Duque.

Hi Silvana, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I have always enjoyed cooking, about 10 years ago, I became interested in plant-based eating and had so much fun discovering new ingredients and creating new recipes.

At a cabin weekend with friends, I decided to try making vegan tamales, we just couldn’t believe how delicious they were… in our opinion, they were as good -if not better- than the ones we grew up eating at home in Colombia. At that moment, I realized that I had created something amazing, and the world needed to know about it!

I started sharing with friends the food that I was creating and the feedback was always very positive. That got me thinking of starting my own business, and in 2014, I moved from Colorado to North Carolina and decided to pursue my passion and Soul Cocina was created.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Owning a business is never easy. Getting started was daunting because there is a lack of affordable commercial space available, especially when you don’t have access to capital.

Back in 2015, it was almost impossible to find a commercial kitchen that we could use to make our food. I had to jump from place to place, cooking at restaurants late at night after they closed or early in the morning before they opened. It was very limiting what we could do back then.

In 2018, we opened a physical location within a food hall in Chapel Hill, but not even two years later we had to close it. We really struggle at the food hall because the location was very difficult to find among many other issues.

Even now we struggle with the limited space we have at the shared commercial kitchen we use. We would like to expand, but finding affordable commercial space is something that has definitely limited our growth.

We’ve been impressed with Soul Cocina, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Soul Cocina is a plant-based company with a core focus on creating healthy, innovative, and dynamic cuisine.

By bringing together wholesome and nutritious ingredients, we honor age-old traditions and cooking techniques to create unique combinations. Our recipes are characterized by innovative experimentation; drawing inspiration from our Latin-American roots and using seasonal ingredients from the farmer’s markets in the area.

Our bake and serve meals can be ordered for home delivery in Durham, Chapel Hill, and Carrboro. We are vendors at the Carrboro and Durham Farmer’s Market and we offer pick-up locations in Raleigh, Durham, and Carrboro.

We all have a different way of looking at and defining success. How do you define success?
Success is living a fulfilling life, working hard towards your goals but balancing personal life and work.

Contact Info:

  • Email: veggies@soulcocinatriangle.com
  • Website: www.soulcocinatriangle.com
  • Instagram: @soulcocinatriangle
  • Facebook: @soulcocinatriangle

Image Credits
Stacey Sprenz and Kelly Sims

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