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Meet this Triangle entrepreneur mom and chef

Erica Calderon is a local mom and a chef. She started her own meal delivery company, Satori Meals.

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Meet this mom: Erica Calderon
Erica Calderon is a local mom and a chef. She started her own meal delivery company, Satori Meals. Get to know her here.
What’s your name, and in what part of the Triangle do you spend most of your time?

My name is Erica Calderon. When I’m not in our kitchen in Downtown Raleigh, I’m making food deliveries all over the Triangle and usually finish my work day at a coffee shop in Apex, Cary or Morrisville.

Tell us a little about your family.

My parents are in Florida, and I have three brothers who all live in different states. My husband and I have been married four years. His oldest just graduated from college, and his youngest graduated from high school this summer. Seeing the relationship he has with his kids is truly heartwarming, and I’ve had the opportunity to watch them go from being teenagers to young adults making major life decisions.

What is your favorite activity to do with your family?

I love watching movies when we’re all together, but pool time is probably more popular. I get a lot of slack for sitting under the shade with my print magazine, instead of being in the pool.

Tell us about your current career and how long you’ve worked in that field.
I own Satori Meals, a meal prep delivery service based in downtown Raleigh. We specialize in gluten-free and dairy-free cooking from scratch. Two years ago this week, I was lucky enough to find a commercial kitchen space and make this a full-time job. I spent my first year in business developing weekly menus and building a client-base in the Triangle area. My main priority is to simplify mealtime for local families without compromising flavor or nutrition. Now, we have a team of three cooks in the kitchen working hard to create delicious meals for busy people.
Erica Calderon is a local mom and a chef. She started her own meal delivery company, Satori Meals.
What’s your favorite meal to make?

Is that different than your favorite meal to eat? Breakfast! I get pretty excited about cracking farm fresh eggs over a cast iron skillet, and making sweet potato tortillas on the weekend. In my family, breakfast is a big deal. We also look forward to having biscuits at home, ever since I learned how to make them a couple years ago. There aren’t many things that don’t taste good with either a handmade tortilla or a scratch-made biscuit. My favorite meal to eat is anything my mom makes.

What do you love about parenting as a working mother?

I love that even with busy schedules, we all make time for family dinner most nights. Everyone has their own thing going on throughout the day, but dinner time is my window. That’s when I get to cook for them, talk about our day, laugh, poke fun at each other, and watch us all wind down after a long day.

Describe your employment journey to date.

I come from a big family of immigrant entrepreneurs. My parents, aunts, and uncles always stressed the importance of education, independence, and going after what you love. That was what lead me to graduate from the University of Central Florida, pursue a career in sales and marketing, and stay in the food industry. I’ve always loved a home cooked meal – especially when someone else prepares it. I knew I wasn’t the only one, so in the spring of 2020, I came up with Satori Meals.

Tell us about a challenge you’ve overcome as a mother in the workplace.

My biggest challenge as a working stepmom, has been building a routine that works for my family, work, and self-care. Knowing when to switch hats and being intentional about how I spend my time and energy is a challenge. When you love what you do, it truly doesn’t feel like work. Everything starts to blend together which means it’s easy to work long hours and just as easy to get off track when you know you have autonomy. You have to be aware of where your head is at. For me, it’s quite literal in the way I go from wearing a black baseball cap to work every day, and then switch to my white “running hat” as soon as I get home and have 45 minutes to hit the greenway trails.

What are you passionate about outside of work and family?

I’m passionate about learning where our food comes from and how it’s grown, and giving to people who are going through difficult times.

How do you incorporate self-care into a busy schedule?

My self-care comes down to scheduling and working toward healthy habits. As a business owner, everything seems urgent and it’s hard to take a day off without feeling guilty. I cherish flexibility and spontaneity (or maybe just procrastination), but I realized I needed a tighter work schedule to keep me focused and a sustainable routine – not only for myself but for my family. I don’t love routines or waking up at 5:00 a.m. every day, but each day I stick to it, I have time for a run after work, dinner with my family, and can actually enjoy a day off to get a massage or meet up with a friend at the end of the week. Reading before bed also helps to clear my mind.

What is one book, podcast, article, social media account, blog or other resource you can recommend for moms?

Discipline Equals Freedom by Jocko Willink

If you have a favorite go-to spot in the Triangle, what is it? (dining, park, activity, entertainment venue – anything!)

Raleigh’s parks are stunning. I’ve always enjoyed Umstead Park, Lake Crabtree, and the greenway trails near my house in Cary.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Like most entrepreneurs, I feel like there are never enough hours in the day, but my husband and I tackle things together, and my step kids are smart, loving and respectful young adults who make it easy for us to navigate busy schedules. I recognize how blessed I am to have an incredible support system at home. All my love and respect goes out to the moms with young children who are pursuing their passions and taking it one day at a time.

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