Grandmother Helps Her Granddaughter's Business at 90 Years Old After Arriving in the U.S.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024 by Michael Hernandez

The arrival of elderly Cubans in the United States in recent years, some after navigating perilous land or sea journeys, continues to inspire awe and admiration. This is especially true when these seniors demonstrate that they can pursue new goals regardless of their age.

Such is the case of Antonia Milán, a 90-year-old woman who crossed borders to reunite with her granddaughter and great-grandson in Miami. Today, she is a pillar in the small family business, Tu’a Salad, managed by the young Yany Guerra, with whom she partners to drive the business forward.

The impressive story was unveiled by Cuban journalist Daisy Ballmajó on her weekly Telemundo program, “Conectados con Daisy”, which was dedicated to Mother's Day on May 11.

Starting a Business in Miami

In a small space within her Miami home, Yany—a single mother—started her own business, Tu’a Salad. The venture prepares cold salads, croquettes, and other culinary delights made to order, allowing this young Cuban entrepreneur to carve out a niche among Miami's diverse culinary offerings.

In the report, the businesswoman showcases part of the process for preparing her cold salad, which she describes as generous with both pineapple and ham. “My salad has a strong pineapple flavor,” she states, adding, “the ham is a secret I can’t reveal.”

Her right hand in the business is her very own grandmother, who assists by making croquettes or washing kitchen utensils. “I feel happy because she has started her business, she is an entrepreneur, and I am very glad about that,” Antonia confesses. She smiles modestly when the journalist assures her that at 90 years old, she is also an entrepreneur.

“She helps me if I need to leave for a delivery. If someone comes, she starts washing dishes,” Yany acknowledges. “And of course, the croquettes.” Antonia explains that she makes croquettes from chicken, ham, fish, or “whatever people ask for.”

One of the business’s principles is to “provide fresh and quality service.” Yany asserts that her salad “is based on that” and emphasizes, “I guarantee that my salad is fresh. It’s made to order; you place your order now, and you have it the next day.”

“Sometimes I don’t even sleep,” she reveals. “Sometimes I go to bed at five in the morning to take my child to school at seven-thirty.”

When the journalist inquires about the secret to her salad's success, she responds without hesitation: “First and foremost, I do everything with love. I’ve discarded salads because I’ve said ‘I don’t like this one.’ I won’t sell something that I don’t like myself.”

“Putting in love, effort, and dedication is what helps you advance in everything,” she assures.

Yany and Antonia are just two of the hundreds of thousands of Cubans who have left their country in search of better days and opportunities, forging stories of achievement and success every day.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cuban Immigrants in the U.S.

This section addresses common questions about the experiences of elderly Cuban immigrants in the United States, particularly those involved in family businesses.

What inspired Antonia Milán to move to the U.S. at 90 years old?

Antonia Milán was motivated to move to the U.S. to reunite with her granddaughter and great-grandson in Miami. Despite her age, she wanted to support her family and be part of their lives.

What role does Antonia play in her granddaughter's business?

Antonia assists in the family business, Tu’a Salad, by making croquettes, washing kitchen utensils, and helping with other tasks as needed. Her contributions are crucial to the business’s operations.

What makes Tu’a Salad stand out in Miami's competitive culinary scene?

Tu’a Salad distinguishes itself by offering fresh, made-to-order salads and croquettes. Yany Guerra, the owner, ensures that every dish is prepared with love, quality ingredients, and dedication, which she believes are the keys to her success.

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