South Side Chicago’s own Brown Sugar Bakery is expanding while other companies are unsure about how to move forward during COVID-19,
According to ABC 13, the 75th street pastry storefront recently purchased 84-year-old chocolate company Cupid Candies.
“This is just a great opportunity for two Chicago companies to come together and maintain what we have, but grow in directions that better serve our city,” said Brown Sugar Bakery owner and founder Stephanie Hart.
When the coronavirus rendered the future uncertain for Cupid Candies, one of the last family-owned candy makers in the area, Hart stepped in. She received a $500,000 small business grant from Illinois’s Office of Minority Economic Empowerment in order to finalize the buy. Now, the Brown Sugar Bakery kitchen will move into the Cupid Candies factory located on the Southwest Side.
The business move is a major success story among many shuttered Black businesses. CBS News reported that there were over one million Black-owned businesses in the U.S. at the beginning of February. By mid-April, 440,000 Black-owned businesses shut down their companies for good.
With the new purchase, Hart looks forward to bringing more job opportunities to the community through the newly acquired business.
“Cupid Candies is a company that makes products that can be shipped nationwide by people from my community,” Hart said. “This just feels extremely necessary.”