Carmen Milagros Torres is a New Yorker born and raised, who is a bookkeeper and accounting assistant at a CPA firm in Port Richey, Florida. As a child Carmen grew up eating and making homemade popcorn balls with her family. Popcorn is such a big deal in her family that at the age of 11, she dreamed of having her own popcorn business and would make caramel popcorn balls as gifts for family and friends using her Abuela’s cherished family recipe. And so she created Caramel Passion.
I had a childhood dream of having my own popcorn business; at 11 years old I would make caramel popcorn balls as gifts for friends and family.
A single mother of three who was brainstorming on ways to supplement her income, after a brief trip down memory lane, Carmen decided to embark on her popcorn journey. Taste-testing several varieties of store bought popcorn and from local popcorn shops in the Tampa Bay area, she began experimenting for weeks until she came up with the perfect blend that includes an old family recipe.
I am so proud and in love with my heritage. We are a rich and colorful society. I am constantly learning and sharing my knowledge about La Latinidad with others. I believe discovering who we are as Hispanics/Latinos begins at home. I learned from mis abuelos and in turn I teach my children. Knowledge is power. The more you know about who and where you come from the more confident you will be as a person.
Caramel Passion is a family business; Carmen works alongside her children to fill small custom orders of popcorn and together they attend community festivals to sell their product. To Carmen, this business is her children’s future. Her children are her support, strength, biggest fans and toughest critics. They are the driving force behind all that she does. They’ve also launched a Facebook page and a website that is currently under construction. Carmen’s goal is to be able to sell larger quantities and wide varieties globally.
All great inventions began with a vision or dream. But the formula for success is passion. You have to believe in your project. If you don’t believe in your own idea then no one else will. Do your homework! There is a world of information out there filled resources and contacts, thanks to the internet, that will help you with your idea.
Project American Dreams is to Carmen an amazing opportunity for her as a Latina entrepreneur to be able to launch her popcorn products. Carmen dreams of the day when she is solely devoted to working her business and can devote a 110% instead of having to work a full time job. Her entrepreneurial dream of successfully entering the buyer’s market is closely tied to her aspiration to secure her children’s future. Carmen says, “Being a single mom, this is very important to me.”
Project American Dreams is the vehicle for more opportunities for Latinos in the United States. It brings Latino entrepreneurs together helping us to grow, learn and support each other as a community. It delivers the message that we are here and we are strong. That’s what we all need; a voice and leader to represent our dreams and needs.
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