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March 14, 2018
Angela Carlino Milani & Laura Carlino – The Women of West Chester
Angela Carlino Milani & Laura Carlino – Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Carlino’s
Years in business: Thirty-six
A woman who has influenced you: Our mother and grandmother, “Mama” Angela Carlino
Credit goes to “Mama” Carlino. When the original Carlino’s Italian market opened in Ardmore in the 1980s, customers couldn’t get enough of Mama’s pasta, meatballs, and pastries. “She cooked from the heart and treated customers like family,” says her granddaughter, Angela. “We live by that model every day.”
The third generation of the family carries on Mama Carlino’s tradition with their second store in West Chester, now celebrating its 10-year anniversary. But their first months were bittersweet — Mama Carlino died a few weeks after opening day. “That could have broken us,” says Laura Carlino, Angela’s mom and Mama Calino’s daughter-in-law. “But thanks to the bond my husband and I have with our children, and our core staff, we persevered and came out stronger than ever.”
Today, Carlino’s West Chester store offers a wide range of gourmet Italian foods, including cheeses, charcuterie, olive oils and sweets. Mama Carlino’s embrace of fresh ingredients is still evident in the extensive prepared foods available – everything from baked ziti and lasagna to chicken parmigiana, pork sandwiches and much more. “Mama instilled the art of cooking with only fresh, quality ingredients,” says Angela. “She used traditional recipes and cooking techniques she learned in her hometown of Abruzzo, Italy. I’m proud to continue her legacy by practicing these principles and ideals.”
"Being a woman in business is all about a healthy balance."
In addition to being great cooks, Angela says her grandmother and mother are sources of strength, and her role models. “Being a woman in business is all about a healthy balance,” she says. “I’m proud to be able to run a company and be a wife and mom at the same time. It’s an important lesson to teach my kids.”
Angela also appreciates the strong community of women business owners in West Chester. “I see firsthand, women in the West Chester area who own businesses doing good for the community,” she says. Carlino’s hosts women’s shopping events several times a year in West Chester to raise money for Safe Harbor of Chester County. “We invite customers to enjoy food and drink while shopping some other women-owned businesses around the area at the same time,” she says “It’s a wonderful evening bringing businesses and customers together.”