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Restaurant

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Historic Black Owned Restaurant Approved for Coronavirus Relief Loan

Ben’s Chili Bowl is a historic Black Owned restaurant restaurant in Washington, D.C. Amid the coronavirus pandemic that has gripped the D.C. region,  the landmark has been doing its best to adapt.

Thankfully, a loan from the Paycheck Protection Program means the U Street institution will get to feed its loyal and hungry patrons for a bit longer.

historic black owned restaurant

Sage Ali, a member of the Ali family that owns the restaurants, said that the business’ bank informed him that the application for the loan was approved for the second round of PPPs. The application did not get in in time for the first round.

A PPP is a Small Business Administration loan that helps businesses keep their workforces employed during the coronavirus outbreak.

“Things are good … and we’re very thankful for that,” Ali said.

They have not received the money, but Ali said that it should cover at least two months of the payroll for the four restaurants that the family owns: the original one and Ben’s Next Door on U Street NW, a location on H Street NE and one in Arlington, Virginia.

Currently, only the original restaurant remains open for takeout and delivery.

Ali said that he would only consider reopening on a case-by-case basis.

He said the personal family commitment has been that the U Street location will never close, “but we really do have to look at the other locations on a case-by-case basis and see.”

Ali said that it’s hard to imagine what the “new normal” means.

“As you know, the Chili Bowl has been a real community gathering place, and we’ve created where the community goes. Even beyond the DMV, it has become a global community gathering place,” Ali said.

But what does social gathering mean after social distancing? That is what Ben’s Chili Bowl and other restaurants and businesses are trying to figure out.

“This would have easily been our biggest year ever” had it not been for the closures, Ali said.

Another Ben’s Chili Bowl location had just opened at the beginning of March at the Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore, but by March 16, the casino closed due to the orders to shutter nonessential businesses.

Loads of tourists were also scheduled to bring in revenue this spring and summer with the cherry blossoms and summer vacation, and bookings that were scheduled months in advance all the way to September were canceled.

“It changes the whole game, and we have to look up and say, ‘How do we adapt to this?’” Ali said.

However, even with over 80% of the business down, Ali said people have been very supportive.

When news hit that the restaurant was in danger of closing because it did not get a loan during the first round, people started coming in, ordering more online. One person even bought a $500 gift card.

Ali said while he and the family were very thankful, it was a little bit uncomfortable.

“We’ve never asked for money,” Ali said. “We’re so thankful with what we’ve been given by the city that our job is to give back and to support and to bring something to the community,” and he said they did not really feel right accepting the man’s generosity.

So, they turned it around, using the money to feed first responders and those in assisted-living facilities.

“That came as a response to this beautiful outpouring of love. How do we pay that forward? How do we use that to enhance our ability to give back?” Ali said.

So now, when people buy gift cards, Ben’s Chili Bowl is taking that and reusing it to buy food that will be donated to first responders.

“We’re not saying, ‘Hey please come and help us,’” Ali said. “We’re thankful for people to come, and if you want a meal, come and get a good meal. Come get a friendly face. That’s what we do. That’s what we’re here for. We’ve always been here for you, so we’re trying to give more than we receive. That’s what we’re here for,” Ali said.

For more information on purchasing a gift card or ordering a chili dog, go to Ben’s Chili Bowl website.

You can also find out more about how to help the restaurant feed first responders on the Ben’s Chili Bowl Foundation.

 

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Black Owned Restaurant Partners with Walmart to create over 30 Jobs

Cornbread is a unique Black owned restaurant that is creating jobs and a space where traditional soul food dishes are prepared using ingredients that are free of steroids and hormones.

Recently, the restaurant announced that they are working with Walmart to expand into three Walmart stores in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. All three restaurant locations will open this year with the inaugural location set to open on July 5th.

Black Owned Restaurant

Cornbread’s mission is to passionately invest in its employees and in the communities where it does business. The inaugural location, in a leased space at Walmart, is expected to create approximately 35 new job opportunities.

Black Owned Restaurant

“This expansion is the culmination of two years of hard work by my co-founder, Zadie, and our amazing team. Cornbread was born out of a vision and belief that we could create a space where friends and family can enjoy soul food that is also healthy and where we invest in our employees. We also wanted to ensure that our food was accessible, which is why this collaboration with Walmart is so important,” explained Adenah Bayoh, co-founder of Cornbread.

“When I began my journey as a restaurateur, I was turned down by seven banks before I was able to secure the financing I needed to purchase my first restaurant. Now, 13 years later, my own signature soul food restaurant is expanding outside of New Jersey with the support of the largest retailer in the country.”

Adenah Bayoh and Elzadie “Zadie” Smith are the co-founders of the restaurant

Cornbread’s menu and flavor profiles were crafted by Zadie B. Smith, a native of Georgia with life-long culinary experience. Adenah Bayoh is a restaurateur who opened her first restaurant at age 29.

 

To learn more about Cornbread, please visit www.cornbreadsoul.com.


-Tony Oluwatoyin Lawson (IG@thebusyafrican) and Guest contributor Vernon Williams

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Ben’s Chili Bowl Inspires D.C.’s Black Business Owners to Invest in Themselves

Virginia Ali, cofounder and owner of Ben’s Chili Bowl, says the iconic 60-year-old business would have folded a long time ago if she and her late husband, Ben Ali, didn’t have the foresight to buy the building on U Street NW.

Today in Washington, Ben’s stands out as a shining example of a black-owned business that’s stood the test of time. Last month, a group of entrepreneurs organized DMV Black Restaurant Week to bring together young restaurant and bar owners looking to follow the Alis’ example. DMV Black Restaurant Week guided attendees to more than 30 participating black-owned restaurants, including Ben’s Chili Bowl, Ben’s Next Door, and Ben’s Upstairs.

Virginia Ali says that the original Ben’s, the landmark home of D.C.’s signature chili-slathered half-smoke sausages, only survived because the she and her husband had invested in themselves instead of renting from someone else. At workshops and events throughout DMV Black Restaurant Week, her message resounded among a new generation of young business owners.

“I’m absolutely, positively sure it made the difference as to whether we could stay or not stay,” says Ali, who turns 85 next week.

In the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, the crack cocaine epidemic had decimated Washington, and Ali said business was practically nonexistent. According to an article in the Washingtonian this year, things had gotten so bad around Ben’s that the matriarch invited police to raid her shop when drug dealers were making sales from inside the restaurant’s booths.

Owning the building outright meant that even though generating revenue was a struggle, the Alis didn’t have to worry about paying a mortgage. Once the Metro station was built nearby, higher rents pushed out many longtime residents and businesses, but Ben’s was able to increase its value. Now the building is a major asset that’s been passed down within the family. Ben’s Chili Bowl opened in 1958 in a building bought for around $65,000. According to D.C. public records, it’s worth more than $2 million today.

In that way, the Alis have established intergenerational wealth. Teaching others to do the same was one of the major topics of discussion during DMV Black Restaurant Week.

Andra “A.J.” Johnson, a property investor and restaurant consultant who helped organize DMVBRW, says acquiring intergenerational wealth is particularly tough in the black community. According to a 2016 study by the Urban Institute, white households in D.C. had an average net worth 81 times greater than black households, and black-owned properties were valued significantly lower than white-owned ones.

DMV Black Restaurant Week founders, from left, Furard Tate, Andra “AJ” Johnson, and Erinn Tucker.

“How many people of color can walk up to their family and say, ‘This is what I need?” Johnson said. “It’s a problem. But it shouldn’t affect how much our growth is.”

For Johnson, building intergenerational wealth in the restaurant industry starts with a change in mindset — instead of grinding to make someone else’s dreams come true, members of the black community should save and invest in themselves early like the Alis did. “We need to get off somebody else’s race,” Johnson says. “We need to be on our own racetrack.”

Johnson brought up hosting a panel on the topic of intergenerational wealth with fellow DMVBRW founders Furard Tate and Erinn Tucker while they planned the weeklong celebration. A conference featuring that panel was a resource for people who want to someday own restaurants. The founders of DMV Black Restaurant Week consider it to be a success. They’re now working on planning quarterly events, including panels and an awards ceremony honoring black hospitality leaders.

“This is a continuing conversation,” Tate said.

Attendees in November learned it’s not enough to solely focus on getting capital to start a business. It’s also critical to secure proper permits and licenses, create a business plan and structure, decide who will inherit the business, and find available city resources and loans.

“If you don’t know about it … you don’t have the opportunity compared to other places that have it,” Tucker said.

Tate, a chef and entrepreneur, knows firsthand that property ownership is crucial to achieving intergenerational wealth. In 2014, he was forced to close his 18-year-old restaurant, Inspire BBQ, after his landlord sold the property on H Street NE to a developer. Tate wishes he’d followed the Alis’ example.

“They were their own landlord, so when times got hard, they were able to weather the storm,” Tate said.

D.C. Institution Ben’s Chili Bowl Holds 60th Anniversary Party
Virginia Ali, center, is escorted by activist Jesse Jackson at the 60th birthday party for Ben’s Chili Bowl in August 2018.
Half-smokes on the flat top at Ben’s Chili Bowl.

The Alis opened Ben’s Chili Bowl when D.C. was still segregated. They envisioned it as a business to not only serve the community on U Street, then known as Black Broadway, but as an asset for their unborn children. Ben Ali gave their three sons Ben as a middle name in case they went into the family business.

The couple’s sons, Nizam, Kamal, and Haidar, also known as Sage, now run Ben’s Chili Bowl. They’ve opened more locations at Nationals Park, FedEx Field, Reagan National Airport, and on H Street NE. They also opened full-service restaurants, Ben’s Next Door and Ben’s Upstairs, that serve avocado toast, steak frites, and crab cakes.

Tony Simpson, who appeared on the DMV Black Restaurant Week panel on intergenerational wealth, has found success running two businesses in predominantly black Prince George’s County. He and his wife, Josette, own SoBe Restaurant & Lounge, a Lanham, Maryland, restaurant slinging American fusion cuisine with a swanky South Beach vibe.

Before opening SoBe, Simpson didn’t know much about restaurants. But he knew plenty about scrimping and saving. He recalls eating tuna fish sandwiches and driving a beat-up car before he got his IT Services company, CHRONOS Systems, off the ground in Suitland, Maryland.

With money from that venture, Simpson financed SoBe himself. Not everyone has that luxury, but with planning and sacrifice, Simpson set the course for the next generation — his 30-year-old son Brandon now manages SoBe and owns a clothing company.

“If you plan to have that for your family going forward, you must start planning for those grandkids and those people that you want to pass it onto in the beginning of your career,” Tony Simpson says.

Virginia Ali hopes her three grandchildren eventually take over the growing Ben’s franchise, already inviting them in to get a taste of the business at the U Street landmark that advertises Chili Smokes and Chili Burgers on its facade.

“It’s a great way to meet people and to learn how to deal with folks from all walks of life and all cultures,” she said. “I find it fun, and I think they do too.” 

SiriusXM Host Joe Madison Honors The Life And Legacy Of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., With A Live Broadcast From Ben’s Chili Bowl In Washington, DC

Source: Eater Washington D.C.

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12 Black Owned Restaurants in Florida

When next you’re in town, check out these Black owned restaurants in Florida. Even if you don’t live there, spread the word to those that do. Let’s give these businesses our businesses. Also, leave a comment with any others you feel should be on the list!

Black Owned Restaurants in Florida

Chef Creole

Swirl Wine Bistro (Coconut Creek, FL)

 

Southern Spice (Hollywood, FL)

Black Owned Restaurants in Florida

 

Uber Wings (Miami, FL)

Black Owned Restaurants in Florida

KC Healthy Cooking (Miami, FL)

House of Mac (Miami, FL)

Black Owned Restaurants in Florida

Little Greenhouse Grill (Miami, FL)

Black Owned Restaurants in Florida

Soul Veg (Tallahassee, FL)

Awash Ethiopian Restaurant (Miami, FL)

Black Owned Restaurants in Florida

Chef Eddie’s ( Orlando, FL)

Nikki’s Place (Orlando, FL)

Black Owned Restaurants in Florida

Soul Food Bistro (Jacksonville, FL)

 

-Tony O. Lawson


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Black Owned Vegan Businesses You Should Know

As more people associate eating vegan with health and fitness, more businesses catering to the consumer in search of plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy. Here are a few Black owned vegan businesses that can cater to that need.

Black Owned Vegan Businesses

Azla Vegan (Los Angeles, CA)black owned vegan

Simply Wholesome (Los Angeles, CA)

NuVegan Cafe (Washington, D.C.)

Evolve Vegan Restaurant (Washington, D.C.)

Senbeb Cafe (Washington, D.C.)

Khepra’s Raw Food Juice Bar (Washington, D.C.)

​​Drop Squad Kitchen (Wilmington, DE)

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Eden in Eden (Miami, FL)

Tassili’s Raw Reality (Atlanta)

Loving It Live (East Point, GA)

Majani Restaurant (Chicago, IL)

Deelish by Deedi (Baltimore, MD)

Land of Kush (Baltimore, MD)

​​Detroit Vegan Soul (Detroit, MI)

​​Simply Pure (Las Vegas, NV)

Blueberry Cafe Juice Bar & Grille (Newark, NJ)

Seasoned Vegan (New York, NY)

Greedi Vegan (Brooklyn, NY)

Two Vegan Sistas (Memphis, TN)

The Southern V (Nashville, TN)

Green Seed Vegan (Houston, TX)

Sunshine’s Deli (Houston, TX)

 

Plum Bistro (Seattle, WA)

222 Vegan Cuisine (London, UK)

Yummy Dishes (Mississauga, ON)

Stuff I Eat (Inglewood, CA)

First Batch Artisian Foods (Atlanta, GA)

Sweet Soulfood (New Orleans, LA)

Brown Sugar Baking Company (Seattle, WA)

Bam’s Vegan (Dallas, TX)

V-Eats (Dallas, TX)

Recipe Oak Cliff (Dallas, TX)

Vegan Vibrationz (Dallas, TX)

Soulgood (Dallas, TX)

Slutty Vegan (Atlanta, GA)

 

 

-Tony O. Lawson


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Black Chefs You Should Know About

Although the number of Black chefs is increasing, there’s still plenty of progress to be made in terms of representation in the culinary industry. We’d like to take a moment to shout out some chefs who are doing their thing nationally and internationally, paving the way for the next generation of culinary masters.

Black Chefs You Should Know About

Chef Lee is the co-owner of Plated By Leshé where she specializes in vegan-caribbean food.

black chefs

Joseph ‘JJ’ Johnson is an award-winning chef at The Cecil and Minton’s

Chef Jernard was the Runner-up on Season 12 of “Food Network Sta

Chef Tunde Wey uses the food of his native Nigeria to start conversations about America and race.

Jamila Crawford Pécou is a celebrated vegan chef with over 15 years of experience. Vegans and non-vegans alike enjoy her unique and delicious twist on healthy eating.

Chef Marvin Woods is recognized for his take on food rooted in northern Africa, South America, the Caribbean and the United States Low Country.

Bryant Terry is a vegan eco-chef, food justice activist, and author.

Chef David Destinoble promotes the natural beauty of Haitian cuisine shows the youth of Haiti that a career as a chef is obtainable.

With  diverse style of cooking, Chef Sam has no limitations in the kitchen. From Caribbean,  American and , Italian cuisine;  just to name a few.

Chef OPhus is a US Navy veteran who has worked in some of the best restaurants in South Carolina, New Orleans, Atlanta and around Miami.

Stacey Dougan is a raw and vegan Chef on a mission to heal the world with deliciously, satisfying, tasty plant based foods.

Chef Ahki, CEO of Delicious Indigenous Foods is a celebrity chef, natural foods activist, and nutritional counselor.

Chef Krystal provides a wide selection of delicious vegan meal options inspired by cuisines throughout the world.

Chef Nina Gross has taken what she has learned along the years and added her twist by bringing it from the kitchen to your home, dinner parties and luxurious events.

Chef Marc Lissade is theExecutive Chef/Owner of Black Apron Events, a unique Gourmet Tour bringing fourth an exhilarating, thrilling and innovative way to explore the finest taste of French Creole gourmet cuisine.

Chef Loïc Dablé ,owner of Cafe Dapper, has been called the creator of “Afrofusion” – an ingenious mix of African and Western flavors.

Rougui Diaof is one of the most respected chefs in France. Her accomplishments stem from many things including her constant reinvention of traditional dishes through her quest for new flavors.

Chef Morou Ouattara, owner of the Kora and Farrah Olivia restaurants in Arlington VA, combines French, African and Middle Eastern cuisines.

Chef Andrea Drummer makes cannabis-infused meals for medical marijuana patients and recreational weed consumers.

Tanya Holland is the Executive Chef and Owner of Brown Sugar Kitchen in Oakland, CA. Holland is known for her inventive takes on modern soul food, as well as comfort classics.

Lazarus Lynch is a professional chef and face behind the popular brand, Son of a Southern Chef.

Nadege Fleurimond creates life moments with lasting impressions through a culinary lens.

Scott Durrah co-owns Simply Pure in Denver, the first black-owned dispensary in the country.  He offers a line of savory and sweet edibles, including organic, gluten-free and vegan products such as marinara sauce, mango chutney and apple preserves.

 

-Tony O. Lawson

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15 Black Owned Restaurants in Chicago

The Windy City has always been able to hold its own against the best food cities in the country. We’ve listed a few of the Black Owned Restaurants in Chicago that make the city special.

Black Owned Restaurants in Chicago

Peach’s is a comfy American eatery with biscuits & other Southern staples for breakfast & lunch.

Batter & Berries serves creative pancakes, omelets & other breakfast eats plus sandwiches & lunch fare too.

Black Owned Restaurants in Chicago

5 Loaves  is a family owned and operated catering/restaurant that is known for its quaint feel and down-home cooking and hospitality.

Normans Bistro offers an American Creole Cuisine with a Brazilian Flair. Outstanding dessert menu and wine list are served in a casual, relaxed atmosphere.

Luella’s Southern Kitchen serves traditional Southern favorites in a simple storefront space with a BYOB policy.

Litehouse Whole Food Grill was opened with the hope of bringing healthy fast food to his community in the most wholesome way.

Sweet Maple Café offers country-style comfort food including all-day breakfasts & hearty lunches served in a homey space.

Ja’ Grill offers curries, jerks & other Jamaican specialties in an upscale-casual space with a lounge & weekend DJs.

Ain’t She Sweet Café is a casual, cozy eatery offering counter-serve sandwiches, smoothies & house-baked desserts.

Original Soul Vegetarian offers a one of a kind culinary experience in innovative vegan cuisine and a unique take on vegetarian fare that is big on taste without compromising health.

Pearl’s Place offers a unique experience, combining delicious home-style foods with the service and attention of a fine-dining restaurant.

Gorée Cuisine – Concentrates on Senegalese food. A West African cuisine influenced by North African, French, and Portuguese cuisine and derives from the nation’s many ethnic groups, the largest being the Wolof.

Turkey Chop is an upbeat, bright grill offering a turkey-centric menu of Italian, Mexican, Asian & Southern dishes.

Currency Café –  is a neighborhood cafe featuring cuisine that embodies a modern mix of Mexican spice, American nostalgia, and Southern soul.

Simply Soups and Salads keeps it simple with delicious soups, salads and sandwiches. Seriously, they have 17 sandwich choices on the menu.

-Oluremi Lawson

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Black Owned Restaurants in New Orleans

New Orleans is known for everything from the food and music to the rich history and cultural traditions. Because of this we’ve decided to shine a spotlight on some black owned restaurants in New Orleans.

Black Owned Restaurants in New Orleans

Dooky Chase Restaurant opened its doors for business in 1941. Here, legendary Creole chef Leah Chase serves down-home staples in a vibrant, art-filled space.

Lil’ Dizzy’s Cafe is a no-frills joint for soul-food breakfasts & lunches plus a buffet option & dinners some nights.

The Praline Connection is a plain-&-simple restaurant serving down-home Southern dishes & signature pralines for dessert.

Neyow’s is an informal establishment supplying Creole & other Southern-inspired dishes & cocktails.

Ray’s On The Ave is a Creole Soul Food Restaurant and Music Venue. Close to downtown in the historic Treme Neighborhood.

Ma Momma’s House of Cornbread, Chicken, and Waffles is the place where you can enjoy the quintessential food experience that exemplifies New Orleans Creole Cuisine.

Sassafras Creole Kitchen serves an array of traditional Cajun-Creole dishes in a convivial atmosphere.

14 Parishes is a family-run Central City joint that dishes up homeland classics like beef patties and jerk chicken paired with sides like sweet plantains and cornbread.

Black Owned Restaurants in New Orleans

Willie Mae’s is a family-owned spot since 1957, famous for fried chicken & other soul food in a humble setting.

Loretta’s Authentic Pralines has been in business for over 35 years. Its a corner sweets shop making local treats like pralines, pies, cookies & king cake.

Meal from the Heart Cafe is a major tourist destination. Their signature is on the entire menu, but their crab cakes and gumbo are renown.

Compère Lapin is a sophisticated eatery serving Caribbean- and European-accented takes on New Orleans flavors.

Cafe Sbisa , established in 1899, is the third oldest fine-dining establishment in the French Quarter. They are proud to offer the highest quality French-Creole cuisine in a welcoming, historical setting.

Pressed Cafe is a sandwich shop, selling panini style sandwiches with soups and salads.

Sweet Soul-food is a vegan restaurant that offers delectable dishes at budget-friendly prices.

Cafe Abyssinia is a vegetarian platters & other traditional Ethiopian dishes offered in a cozy, colorful eatery.

 

– Oluremi Lawson

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From Prison Chef to Successful Burger Business Owner

By 11 a.m., the first hungry customers start milling about outside of James Purifoy’s burger joint, 15th & Chris in Rockford, Illinois. By noon, the line often snakes around the small, red building and into the parking lot.

“Some of the customers I see so often that I already know what they’re ordering, just by the way they’re standing and looking at me,” says Purifoy.

Purifoy opened 15th & Chris in September 2014 and in less than four years, he’s become a local culinary celebrity. The no-frills operation offers no indoor seating, just a few picnic tables out front. But people come from miles around for Purifoy’s burgers.

“They’re not just coming from 20 or 30 minutes away. Someone in Minnesota saw my review on social media and ended up at 15th & Chris to try my burger,” he boasts.

Purifoy created every burger recipe on the menu and named them himself.

Among some of the most popular burgers is The Mackaveli, a patty with BBQ sauce, melted cheese and beer-battered onion rings. Then there is The First Lady burger, which is basted with steak sauce and topped with Swiss cheese, mushrooms, grilled onions and mayo.

burger

Oddly enough, Purifoy says he wouldn’t be here if he hadn’t served time in prison.

Surrounding 15th & Chris are the housing projects where Purifoy and his siblings were raised by their mother. “We were six kids and she was a single parent with multiple jobs,” he says.

Although he was the first in his family to make it through high school, he says “inner city street life” eventually consumed him. “I was in a gang. I had a gun, I was dealing drugs to make money for myself and for the family,” he recalls.

He was arrested multiple times as a teenager. Then, when he was 17, he shot a rival gang member. “I never thought it was right, but I didn’t want to die either. For me, I had to stop them before they got me,” he says.

At 19, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Walking into the penitentiary was a wake-up call. “I decided prison was not going to be my revolving door anymore,” says Purifoy.

He took classes to pass the time. He pursued an associate degree in automotive technology, followed by vocational certificates in custodial services and building maintenance. But it was the associate degree he attained in culinary arts that struck a chord with him.

“I remember watching my mom cook and wondering how she made things taste the way they did. It always intrigued me,” says Purifoy.

Eventually, he became head chef at one of the prisons where he was serving out his sentence. While there, he designed and cooked meals for an inmate population of 2,800. As his confidence grew, Purifoy knew cooking would one day help him get back on his feet.

In 2004, Purifoy was released. He was 29 years old. At first, he landed odd jobs and took business classes at a local community college. He saved his money and started a small trucking company, JFP Trucking, which he ran for a few years.

Work was steady, but his heart wasn’t in it. “Cooking was my passion,” he says. The self-described “burger fanatic” couldn’t stop thinking about how the neighborhood was desperately in need of a great burger joint.

In 2012, Purifoy drove past an abandoned shack that used to sell ice cream. “I thought, well, there it is. I’m going to open my burger spot there.”

Purifoy sold JFP Trucking to raise capital. He also received a $50,000 grant from the city and drummed up additional help from family. Two years later, after putting a total of nearly $100,00 into renovations, he opened 15th & Chris.

Today, the business has 10 employees, including a few workers who have served time in prison. “These are people from all walks of life. They’ve been to prison and just need a chance now for a fresh start,” says Purifoy. “They need jobs.”

Purifoy starts his day shortly after 5 a.m., helping his wife Latasha get their five young children ready for school. After that, he heads to the restaurant where he cooks and helps serve the food.

The business is now profitable and Purifoy is looking to expand, he says. Last year, he bought a food truck to cater events, but now he is using it every day to sell his burgers around town.

Up next: To open another restaurant in Rockford, one with more indoor space so he can offer table service. Across the parking lot from 15th & Chris is Penguin Foods, a third-generation meat shop and catering business.

“He buys ground beef and sausages from us for his restaurant,” said owner John Ciembronowicz. Purifoy, in turn, uses the freezers in Ciembronowicz’s shop to store his supplies.

“We help each other out,” says Ciembronowicz. “The way he’s turned his life around is incredible. And he’s helped to revitalize this area, too…Small businesses like ours are vital to this community.”

Purifoy is trying to give back to the community in other ways, too.

“I speak with inner city kids just like me and I’m very upfront about my life story,” he says. “I tell them that education is everything. If you know better, you do better in life.”

 

Source: CNN Money

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9 Caribbean Restaurants In The UK

Caribbean cuisine is known and enjoyed for its exotic flavour. Our list of Caribbean Restaurants in the United Kingdom has some great choices that will leave those taste buds tingling.

Hopefully, you can handle the spice!

caribbean food

Caribbean Restaurants In The UK

PandaBerry Caribbean restaurant & Jerk centre. We are family run business dedicated to serving you hot, delicious and nutritious food.

Levi Roots Caribbean Smokehouse aims to aim to serve the best Jerk Chicken in the world amongst other traditional Caribbean favourites.

The Rum Kitchen is a Caribbean eatery that bends the rules. We focus on bringing Caribbean beach shack drinks with travel inspired flavours to London.

Negril is a Simple, unfussy Caribbean restaurant with a traditional comfort food menu & outdoor seating.

Rudie’s is a hip Jamaican joint serving banging real jerk and small plates with a contemporary twist.

Cafe Caribbean is a counter-serve Caribbean joint with chalkboard menus listing familiar regional cuisine.

Jamaica Patty Co. is a simple takeaway for traditional Jamaican patties, plus soups, coffee, juice and imported cakes.

Fish, Wings & Tings is a compact restaurant dishing up a vibrant menu of Caribbean favourites at pavement tables.

Bokit’la is the first French Caribbean street food vendor based in London. It’s a family run business sharing a taste of Guadeloupe.

 

Also check out our list of African Restaurants in the UK.

 

Tony O. Lawson

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