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Black-Owned Bird Pizzeria In Charlotte, NC, Makes New York Times List Of Best Pizzas In The US As It Gears Up For Dine-In Expansion

A love for pizza has leveled up the lives of these Black business owners. Black-owned Bird Pizzeria was featured in the New York Times’ list of best pizza shops nationwide. The roundup, which included 22 restaurants, highlighted businesses across the U.S. The pizzeria, located in Charlotte, North Carolina, has been in business since December 2021, Black Enterprise reports. Husband-and-wife duo Kerrel and Nkem Thompson launched Bird Pizzeria as a pop-up restaurant before entering the takeout space. The pizzeria combines the couple’s love for pizza, which they recalled was the meal they enjoyed on their first date.   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by BIRD (@birdpizzeria) Bird Pizzeria has plans to expand its space to allow dine-in seating for customers to enjoy their cuisine after the tattoo shop next door closed and the space became available. “We prayed about this space,” Nkem said, per The Charlotte Observer. “We’re just like, ‘Man, this would be amazing to be able to...

Jul 9, 2024

Victor G. Harvey Is Reportedly Breaking Ground On Florida's First Black-Owned Distillery

Entrepreneur Victor G. Harvey is behind what could be Florida’s first Black-owned distillery. According to a press release, Harvey has secured a $2.45 million loan issued by Fort Lauderdale’s Community Redevelopment Agency to create the Victory Entertainment Complex project, which will house various Black-owned businesses. The venture will cost about $6 million to build, and Harvey plans to support the rest of the cost through his personal investments. The two-story, 15,000-square-foot facility is projected to take 16 months to complete and will include a restaurant, cigar bar, whiskey lounge, event space, a rooftop bar, lounge, and a craft distillery named The Old Sistrunk Distillery, which Harvey believes to be the first Black-owned distillery in Florida. The craft distillery will include products from his company Victor George Spirits, such as VG Vodka, which is available in 44 states at retailers like Total Wine, Kroger, and Trader Joe’s. “This will bring the Black community a...

Jun 26, 2024

Master P Launches Miller Family Foods To Offer Healthier Alternative Food Products

Master P is launching a health-focused food venture. On Juneteenth, June 19, the rapper- turned-businessman took to Instagram to announce the launch of Miller Family Foods. The company will promote healthy living by offering consumers better “alternatives in cereal, oatmeal, breakfast bars, pancakes, waffles and more, deliciously made with the highest quality, using natural ingredients and flavors from the earth it grows.” By design, its foods will be made without artificial preservatives, hydrogenated oils, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners and colors, GMOs, and BHA/BHT. Furthermore, Miller Family Foods’ mission will be to diversify the products shelved in grocery stores. “We are evolving as a culture, we are no longer just consumers,” Master P said in a statement shared on Instagram. “We spend trillions of dollars annually with no real ownership, but that’s changing. African Americans want healthier food alternatives. I heard them loud and clear. And that’s why...

Jun 20, 2024

The First Black Vineyard Owner And Wine Producer In Mendocino County, CA, Is Giving Students Funding To Ensure More Come After Her

Theodora Lee is the first Black vineyard owner and wine producer in Mendocino County, CA. Lee’s introduction to wine began when she was 8 years old, while she was helping her grandfather on his cattle farm in Texas. By the 1980s, she had developed a personal interest in wine. ”My dad picked wild Muscadine grapes and made home brew,“ she told The Press Democrat. ”Given that Muscadine was my first introduction to wine, I found that sweet and syrupy wine nasty. I really had no taste for wine until I moved to California in the ’80s and learned about fine wine.“ Lee chose a path in law , working more than 36 years at the Littler Mendelson, P.C. law firm and splitting her time between Yorkville Highlands, CA; Oakland Hills, CA; and Dallas, TX. However, her passion for wine led her to add a new title to her resume: wine producer. “My first introduction to a grape farm was in Healdsburg, [CA], and specifically Dry Creek Valley,“ she said. “Walking that vineyard made me want to become a...

Jun 12, 2024

Kyle Morrand Started A Digital Platform Empowering Creators As A Side Hustle That Now Reportedly Makes $2M A Year

Kyle Morrand had an idea while living with his roommates. Now he’s turned it into a $2 million vision. The founder leads 302 Interactive, an Orlando, FL-based development studio leveraging game design and emerging technologies to create interactive media, its LinkedIn mentions. It connects clients to resources that supports augmented reality mobile applications, game development, virtual reality and immersive experiences with the aid of its in-house team of developers, designers, and artists. “…The business is a reflection of my own life, ambitions and creativity,” Morrand explained in an interview with Entrepreneur. “…I get to spend my days reshaping our relationship with technology to design lifestyles that are more playful and ultimately eliminate some of the symptoms of depression and anxiety that seem standard to modern-day living.” He says the idea dates back to his time at college in Apartment 302 where he lived with two roommates who were also passionate about gaming. “…The...

Jun 11, 2024

Founder Of Canvas Beauty Shares That She Has Become The First Known Person To Earn $1M Through A Single TikTok Live

Stormi Steele has seen firsthand the power of social media. Steele is the founder of Canvas Beauty, a beauty brand she conceived in a night, Forbes mentioned. It all started with a hair serum made with cayenne pepper in her kitchen, which she introduced to her clients at her hair salon. After her clients’ rave reviews, she was encouraged to sell the product. Now, Steele’s Hair Blossom Serum remains the leading product in its marketing sector, the outlet notes. “It just ended up having a life of its own after that,” Steele told Forbes. Steele found great success since the launch of her business in 2018. In its first year, Canvas Beauty sold more than 1 million units, according to information provided to AFROTECH™. In 2019, going viral led the business to earn 30,000 monthly orders compared to 6,000 before the exposure, per Forbes. However, the influx of orders prompted Steele and her husband and business partner, Courtney Beasley, to learn a quick lesson about running an online...

Jun 11, 2024

Dr. Lakeysha Hallmon Has Helped Generate $8.3M For Black Entrepreneurs

Dr. Lakeysha Hallmon is creating wealth for Black entrepreneurs. The Village Market The former educator is CEO and founder of The Village Market, an Atlanta, GA-based marketplace launched in 2016 for Black entrepreneurs. Hallmon moved to the city in 2010 to work as an education research and evaluation specialist with the Georgia Department of Education, according to Forbes. Yet, she turned her attention toward strengthening the Black dollar upon observing trends between retail businesses and Black consumers. She began hosting monthly master classes geared toward entrepreneurship and community development, LinkedIn mentions. The Village Retail The Village Market soon followed the master classes. Hallmon’s savings of $20,000, along with $3,500 pooled from family and friends, supported the marketplace’s beginning stages. The venture proved fruitful and allowed it to scale to a storefront in 2020 with The Village Retail. However, the retail launch proved to be a trying time for Hallmon....

Jun 10, 2024

Meet The Entrepreneur Behind A Georgia-Based Candle Business Introducing STEM To Children

Anikitia Abram leads the first Black- and woman-owned candle-making studio in Middle Georgia, according to the Macon. She accomplished this feat in July 2023 with the opening of Pretty Lux Co., which offers candle, skin, and hair products that are “100% vegan, cruelty free, and created with minimal ingredients,” per its website. For Abram, that means using locally-sourced materials and remaining environmentally conscious during production. “Pretty Lux Co. is not just a business; it’s a movement toward greater wellness and understanding, providing a nurturing environment that supports both personal and communal growth,” Abram told the Macon. “This foundational inspiration continues to drive every aspect of Pretty Lux Co., guiding our mission to enrich lives through both our products and our educational initiatives.” Those initiatives encompass a focus on engaging the community in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through candle and skincare development. “By...

Jun 7, 2024

Larry Morrow Opens New Orleans Steakhouse With Goal Of Becoming The 'Largest Black-Owned Hospitality Group In The Country'

Larry Morrow is opening another restaurant in his hometown of New Orleans, LA. As previously reported by AFROTECH™, Morrow became an entrepreneur at 22 years old with the opening of Larry’s Poboys & Wings, which later closed. Learning from his mistakes and with the wisdom that comes with age, he would return with the opening of Morrow’s in 2018. “Learning from when I was 22, it helped prepare for when I opened up Morrow’s,” he mentioned during an interview with “Earn Your Leisure.” “I knew I needed more reserves and I was just mentally in a better place. I was much more mature than 22 years old.” He continued, “I opened up Morrow’s, it was like a line out the door and I’m like, ‘Oh sh-t, we on to something.” Morrow would go to open up five different restaurants and a club by 2023, and most recently his business has scaled once again with the launch of Morrow Steak, bringing him closer to his aspirations of making history in the hospitality industry. “I want to be the largest...

Jun 6, 2024

Uncle Nearest Officially Surpasses $1B Valuation, According To Reports, And Becomes Fastest-Growing American Whiskey Brand

Uncle Nearest is making history as the fastest-growing Ameri­can whiskey brand ever, according to Forbes. As AFROTECH™ previously told you, Fawn Weaver serves as founder and CEO and established the company to honor “Nearest” Green, a formerly enslaved man who taught Jack Daniel how to make whiskey. The company has since received significant backing, even in the midst of Weaver’s clear stance that she has no intention of selling the business, which has grown to include a 458-acre distillery with the world’s longest bar (518 feet). Products are now featured in over 30,000 stores, bars, hotels, and restaurants in 12 countries. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey (@unclenearest) By November 2023, Weaver had raised $225 million in individual support. Per Forbes, the business is backed by 163 individual investors, providing an average check of $500,000 a person. “The most difficult thing in starting any business. It’s always the capital,” Weaver told...

May 29, 2024

Founder Derrick Hayes And Big Dave's Cheesesteaks Secure Multi-Year Agreement For Brick-And-Mortar Location At Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Another win for Derrick Hayes. The Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks founder and CEO has secured a four-year agreement that will scale the business at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA. Starting in 2022, he had two portable vendor cart slots placed around the stadium and soon expanded to three. Now, sports fans will be able to visit a brick-and-mortar location in Section 107 of Mercedes-Benz Stadium and enjoy staple items such as signature cheesesteaks, seasoned fries, chicken tenders, and its newest offering, the Fried Chicken Cheesesteak. The new location will replace the carts. “We are thrilled to secure this four-year deal with Mercedes-Benz Stadium, further expanding the reach of Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks,” Hayes said in a news release. “This partnership aligns perfectly with our mission to bring our exceptional food to even more fans and event-goers. We look forward to being a proud sponsor and delivering an unparalleled dining experience at one of the world’s premier sports and...

May 24, 2024

Brittney Mikell Left The Pharmaceutical Field With Aspirations To Become The First Black Woman To Own A Brewery In Minnesota

Former pharmacist Brittney Mikell will be making history in her next chapter. WCCO-TV reports Mikell exited her role in pharmacy after experiencing burnout. She then decided to purse her passion in brewing and landed a role as an assistant brewer at La Dona Cerveceria in Minneapolis, MN. “I didn’t feel like I was making the impact that I really wanted to in healthcare,” Mikell explained to  Eater Twin Cities. “I woke up one day and realized that this could be a really cool place where I could make an impact. You only really live once, so I decided, let’s just pivot — why not?” Mikell maintained bigger aspirations while working at La Dona Cerveceria, referring to herself as “a huge dreamer,” per WCCO-TV. She plans to become the first Black woman to own a brewery in Minnesota. This is significant as just 1% of breweries in the U.S. are Black-owned, Essence reports. Additionally, of the 200 breweries in the state, few are owned by women or people of color, WCCO-TV mentions. “The...

May 23, 2024

The Beyoncé Effect Has Led Black-Owned Businesses To See A Spike In Cowboy Apparel

The Beyoncé effect strikes again! The world is still processing the brilliance behind the Houston, TX-born artist’s latest album “Cowboy Carter,” which features singles including “Blackbiird,” “Texas Hold ‘Em,” and “Riiverdance.” The album is certainly making its mark in music, breaking records as the most-streamed album in a single day on Spotify in 2024 when it was released, People reports. It also debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, the eighth time for the star on the chart. To no surprise, “Cowboy Carter” could be a contender for next year’s Album of The Year at the Grammy Awards too. While its status in music is clear, the album is also making its way in business. According to NBC News, Black-owned businesses have experienced an increase in demand for cowboy apparel following its release. This includes athleisure brand KIN Apparel founded by Philomina Kane, who jokingly shared as an April Fool’s prank on Instagram that the brand would be selling satin-lined cowboy...

May 21, 2024

After Fearless Fund Was Hit With A Lawsuit, CEO Arian Simone Says ‘About Eight Figures Of Investments’ Fell Through In Fall 2023

According to the Associated Press, Atlanta, GA-based venture capital firm Fearless Fund “faced tough questions from conservative judges” on Wednesday, Jan. 31, as it fought for its grant program to further support Black-women-owned businesses. As AFROTECH previously told you, Fearless Fund was hit with a lawsuit by Edward Blum and his American Alliance for Equal Rights (AAER) group in August 2023 on the basis that the fund was carrying out “explicit racial exclusion” and violated the Civil Rights Act of 1866.

Feb 2, 2024

This Family Runs Happy Day Dessert Factory, Pittsburgh's First Black-Owned Ice Cream Parlor

What makes visiting this ice cream shop even more of a sweet experience is that you’re supporting a Black-owned business.

Aug 2, 2023