Omar D’Angelo moved to Columbus from Mendoza, Argentina with his family in 2000 three days following his high school graduation. He arrived in Columbus with no knowledge of English. With the help of tutors, he learned the language and sought to pursue a college education. D’Angelo started school at Columbus State before transferring to Franklin University where he graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration. Throughout his education, D’Angelo continued to assist his family with growing their business.
Story has it that Chilean President, Ramón Barros Luco, is the namesake of the Barros Luco, a savory sandwich comprised of broiled beef and cheese served hot. The popularity of the combination spread beyond Chile to Argentina, where regional flavors crafted a “barroluco” that wedges lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, ham, egg, and a hearty portion of a protein (usually beef) between two thin slices of bread. Omar D’Angelo and family are taking the barroluco of their Mendoza, Argentina home and making it their own here in Columbus, Ohio – with Barroluco Argentine Comfort Food.
The D’Angelo family owned a bakery in Argentina, and continued baking for friends and family in Columbus. Recognizing a growing need among Latinos for their baked goods, they established D’Angelos Bakery in 2009.The bakery is now known as Barroluco, rebranded in 2014, and has since sought to provide the Latino community with financial support in addition to baked goods and other culinary offerings. Since 2014, Barroluco has shared part of its proceeds with various Latino organizations through its program Limitless that’s helped to fund The Latina Mentoring Academy (in 2014), Latin Ladies Organization (in 2015), and Big Brothers Big Sisters(in 2016). This conversation with D’Angelo presents an important vision to use a business to promote cultural understanding in a community while supporting education and opportunity for Latinos.
From Mendoza, Argentina to Columbus, Ohio:
🎧 Listen (1:48)
In 2000 is when my family and I moved here and left our bakery in Argentina… I didn’t know English, I had to go to different tutors from church to learn English until I was prepared and I said ‘Ok, let’s go to college, because I want to do something here.'”
Making time for education in Columbus:
🎧 Listen (1:49)
“Three days after my graduation [from high school] I moved to Columbus… I decided to study English so I could one day have my business. And that took a little time because I didn’t get the free schooling like in high school.”
“Columbus is a home. It is a city where you can have your life have your things and be able to be productive and embrace your family…If I were to go to New York or Chicago, I don’t think I would’ve got my degree.”
Thinking without limits and giving back:
🎧 Listen (1:05)
“I don’t like limits… It is my time to give back and that’s why I created Limitless. [Limitless] is an opportunity to help with the education of those dreamers and we have been donating to Latin Ladies Organization who give scholarships. This year we are helping Big Brothers Big Sisters.”
Sharing food and sharing culture:
🎧 Listen (2:21)
“The mission statement is to go to every corner in Columbus and share our food, share our culture to show our empanadas so people can try different flavors and just always offer good customer service.”
An inclusive Latinidad:
🎧 Listen (1:38)
“I identify myself as a Latino… by being Latino it’s all about being inclusive and at the same time helping others.”
“So Argentina opened the doors [to immigrants] – that’s what my [Barroluco’s] mission statement is – everybody who needed a second home… After that Argentina became very influenced by Italians, Spaniards, and Germans. And so all the Latinos around the country made the Argentinians that we are now. It is a combination, it is a mix.”