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Feed the Soul Foundation Awards $300K to Black and Latino-Owned Culinary Businesses through Restaurant Business Development Grant Program

Back Row: Black Restaurant Weeks Co-Founder Warren Luckett; Gusto Gourmet Owner Sandra Sarshalom; Black Restaurant Week Co-Founder Falayn Ferrell; Alfreda’s Soul Owners Marguerite and Troy Williams Front Row: Sweets by Belen Owner Belen Bailey; Latin Restaurant Weeks Founder Karinn Chavarria; STUFF’D Wings Owners Jarrod & Prisoria Rector; Feed the Soul Foundation Program Manager Karina Fernandez; and Black Restaurant Week Co-Founder Derek Robinson


 Grant from Grubhub Community Fund to increase funding and allow expansion in organization’s second year supporting Black and Latin-owned culinary businesses across the nation

HOUSTONMay 10, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — According to the Independent Restaurant Coalition, 500,000 restaurants and bars face an uncertain future due to lost revenue and increased debt over the past 22 months.  1.1 million minority-owned businesses often face heightened challenges and disparities when securing business funding.  To meet this challenge and in its second year, Feed the Soul Foundation, the non-profit arm of Black Restaurant Week, LLC, announced their cohort program to support marginalized restaurant entrepreneurs financially and professionally through the Restaurant Business Development Grant Program.

Through the support of the Grubhub Community Fund‚ the presenting program partner, Feed the Soul Foundation’s grant program will award 30 small businesses with $10,000.00 financial stipends and six months of business development services as they prepare to navigate the post-Covid world and the ever-changing consumer dining trends.

Founded by entrepreneurs Falayn Farrell, Warren Luckett and Derek Robinson, the foundation increased its funding from the 2021 Restaurant Business Development Grant Program by $50,000 and expanded its reach to support Latin-owned culinary businesses in addition to Black-owned culinary businesses.

“Small businesses are still in recovery mode because of a two-year long pandemic. It is our responsibility to ensure they are not facing these hardships alone,” says Falayn Ferrell, Chairwoman of Feed the Soul Foundation and co-founder of Black Restaurant Week. “Last year’s program was extremely successful in the revitalization of Black-owned culinary businesses, and we are more than excited to expand our services to support additional marginalized communities. We are deeply committed to providing solutions to issues faced by restaurateurs such as human resources, marketing, and operations.”

Cohorts will work alongside subject matter experts and consultants during the six-month program that will further their growth and knowledge of the restaurant industry:

  • Financial literacy training and Financial Coaching
  • Advertising and Marketing training
  • One-on-One Business Development Consultation from industry experts

The awarded cohort includes the following businesses:

  • Aksum Café (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Alfreda’s Soul (Houston, TX)
  • Blends Daiquiri Lounge (Dallas TX)
  • Brotherly Grub (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Cochinita & Co. (Houston, TX)
  • Cocobreeze Restaurant (Oakland, CA)
  • Cool Runnings Jamaican Restaurant (Daytona, FL)
  • Deddle’s Mini Donuts (Pikesville, MD)
  • Dos Hermanos Taco Truck (Columbus, OH)
  • England Eatery Café (Baltimore, MD)
  • Forsyth Seafood Market & Café (Winston-Salem, NC)
  • Fruve xPress Juicery (Chicago, IL)
  • Gusto Gourmet (Houston, TX)
  • Jelana’s Bake Shop (Hillsboro, OR)
  • Kina’s Kitchen and Bar (Sonoma, CA)
  • Lakou Café (Brooklyn, NY)
  • Miss Mamie’s Spoonbread Too (New York, NY)
  • Original Rio Cristal Restaurant (Miami, FL)
  • Sky’s Gourmet Tacos (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Smoothie Express Miami Shores (Miami, FL)
  • Star Fusion Express (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Stuff’d Wings (Houston, TX)
  • Sweets by Belen (Houston, TX)
  • Tacotlan (Chicago, IL)
  • The Missing Brick (Indianapolis, IN)
  • The Nourish Spot (Queens, NY)
  • Tsion Café (New York, NY)
  • Underground Vegan (Birmingham, AL)
  • Windy City Ribs & Whiskey (Chicago, IL)
  • Yo Soy Ceviche (San Francisco, CA)

During its inception in 2020, Feed The Soul Foundation strived to create a non-profit program that would provide sustainability and growth in marginalized-owned businesses. In 2021, the foundation celebrated the following milestones:

  • 25 US-based Black-owned businesses received $250,000 in grants in addition to 6 months of business development support valued at $190,000
  • Established a National Emergency Relief Fund to aid culinary businesses across the nation with $16,450 in emergency funds to assist with unforeseen and natural disasters
  • $25,000 awarded in scholarships to minority hospitality students at Careers through Culinary Arts Program and University of Houston Conrad N. Hilton College of Global Hospitality Leadership

Feed the Soul Foundation will begin taking applications for the 2023 program in October. For more information about Feed the Soul Foundation, please visit feedthesoulfou.org.

SOURCE Feed the Soul Foundation

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