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Favorite Daughter LLC

Angela Rakis
Silver Spring, MD, USA

BORN FOR SMALL BUSINESS + COMMUNITY

My passion for food and small/local businesses began at a young age. My grandparents owned a Greek market in Washington, D.C. : The Acropolis Food Market, where my mom would often drop my brothers and me off on weekends so she could run errands. The images of the Greek community gathering to hear the news of the week and seeing them connect with my Yiayia as she wrapped up their cheese and olives are engrained in my memory. I didn't know then that I would someday return to the District to follow in their tradition.

A CAREER IS a JUNGLE GYM, NOT A LADDER

I've led a diverse career – my philosophy has always been that your career isn’t a straight line. I started as an account manager working in advertising agencies in New York City, where I built my creative energy and a foundation in strategic planning while working on national brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Denny’s and Jaguar Cars.

After a few rewarding years there, I knew it was time to pivot and follow my passion for food. I enrolled in The French Culinary Institute in New York City (now the International Culinary Center) earning my certification in Pastry Arts. While attending school, I learned the details of small business by working in the best cheesecake shop in New York City, Eileen’s Special Cheesecake. Eileen was proof that when you put heart into what you do, you will succeed, and inspired me to unite my business savvy with my personal passions.

The natural next step was to combine my love for food with my background in business, and I joined Whole Foods Market as head of marketing. This was a dream role – I talked about food, sourcing, farming and local business each day. Whole Foods Market was also my training ground for retail execution, exceptional service and strong leadership. I established myself as a marketplace strategist and connector in the industry and recognized for leadership, innovation, creativity and driving results.

I was fortunate to be on the forefront of the organic, natural and local food movement, but after 10 years at Whole Foods, I was ready for a new challenge. Intrigued by an opportunity to see the retail business from a fresh perspective, I took a role with EDENS Realty. As Vice President of Marketing, my focus was on how our corporate marketing team, representing the company’s vast real estate portfolio, could serve the company’s mission of enriching communities. From nurturing independent businesses to creating engaging experiences for our visitors, our team crafted vibrant places to gather and engage. My efforts allowed our sales team to lease space to best-in-class retailers, restaurants and service providers.

SO, NOW WHAT?

I offer a wealth of program management and strategic planning skills, a tenure of successful leadership and a clear passion for mentoring, marketing and brand management. My varied professional background ensures I provide a unique and valuable perspective on operations, consumer behavior, customer trends and business strategy.

When not working, I can be found discovering new restaurants in the D.C. area, tinkering in my kitchen or hanging out with my beloved dog, The Drake. I am inspired by traveling and the cultures of other cities and countries. My favorite US cities are Charleston, S.C., New York and Berlin, MD. Yes, Berlin. You should check it out!

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