Successful Niles chef celebrates Black History Month, rich roots in the Civil Rights Era

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    A Niles woman has a lot to be proud of tonight. She recently celebrated the one year anniversary of her cafe opening.

    We looked into how she's celebrating Black History Month and honoring her family.

    Katheros Cafe and Catering got its name from the Bible; it translates to 'pure' and 'clean.'

    She's proud that her love for cooking came from a history of hope.

    If you head into Katheros Cafe at Ivy Tech South Bend, you'll find yourself some great meals.

    You'll also find the woman behind the restaurant, Cynthia Gallero.

    January marked the year she's had her partnership with the community college, and February is also pretty special to her.

    “This is a blessing,” said Gallero. “I've always had the desire and a dream."

    It's Black History Month, and closing today, Gallero had plenty to reflect on.

    "When it comes to Black History Month, we celebrate it practically every month,” said BEVERLY WOODSON.

    Cynthia’s family has a rich history, especially throughout the civil rights era.

    "It was not easy, growing up at that time,” said Woodson.

    Cynthia remembers being a little girl during the boycotts. Her love of cooking started with her grandmother.

    “I would always be in the kitchen, helping my grandmother prepare the meals for all of the kids,” said Gallero.

    Cynthia's grandmother Rosa Lee Shields participated in the 1965 protest for voting rights.

    She was also the head of a cafe for a preschool.

    "This is the root of where it all started,” said Gallero.

    Summers spent with her grandmother in Mississippi called for Cynthia, who the oldest of her cousins, to cook for the family's youngest members.

    She can still reference her grandmother today of the dream.

    "Oh, I'm proud of my children. I'm proud of my children and grands and all,” said Shields.

    Katheros Cafe is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., not only to faculty and staff, but the general public.

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