meet-the-black-woman-who-owns-three-chick-fil-a-restaurants-in-3-different-states

Meet The Black Woman Who Owns Three Chick-Fil-A Restaurants In 3 Different States

Meet Sereena Quick, who has made history by becoming the first Black woman to own a Chick-fil-A in three different states — Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. The 39-year-old entrepreneur most recently opened her Chick-fil-A restaurant in her hometown in Philadelphia.

“It really is astounding just this accomplishment to really inspire and motivate the people in our community,” Quick said, according to AfroTech. “The young Black boys and girls in our community, who are going to one day look at me — or even at this opportunity — and say, ‘I too can do this.'”

Growing up in the public housing community of Raymond Rosen Homes and raised in a single-parent home, Quick faced many challenges. But she did not let it stop her. She graduated college and started a career as a juvenile probation officer in Philadelphia.

Her career took a turn when she moved to California and connected with Jon Hooper, the owner/operator of Chick-fil-A, Auto Mall Parkway in Fremont, California. Inspired by this mentorship, Quick decided to transition into the restaurant industry. She later returned to Philadelphia, where she continued to learn from experienced operators like Stanley Webber and Chris Walsh.

In just three years, Quick went from being the Executive Director at Chick-fil-A Malvern in Pennsylvania to becoming the proud owner of her Chick-fil-A restaurant in the state.

The new store on City Ave, owned and operated by Quick, is set to create over 100 jobs, contributing positively to the local community. Quick, who grew up in North Philadelphia, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to give back to the city and empower future leaders.

“I am passionate about creating long-term positive change in my community and look forward to this new chapter in the place where I was born and raised,” she said.

Be sure to follow Sereena Quick on her Instagram @SrnQuick

meet-the-founder-of-the-first-black-woman-owned-creative-daiquiri-and-margarita-bar-in-houston,-texas

Meet The Founder Of The First Black Woman-Owned Creative Daiquiri And Margarita Bar In Houston, Texas

Miyosha Weston, a dedicated wife, mother, sister, and daughter, is the first Black woman in history to own a creative daiquiri and margarita bar in Southeast Houston. Her establishment is called My Famous Daiq’s and Dogs and as the name indicates, it also includes a Gourmet Chili Hotdog stand.

With a journey marked by diverse business adventures and 33 years of corporate experience, Miyosha brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her latest venture. Her story is not just about entrepreneurship; it is a narrative of resilience, continuous learning, and the pursuit of excellence.

While establishing her groundbreaking business in 2021, Miyosha decided to go back to school, not only to learn the intricacies of running a business but also to master the art of building and leading a team. This commitment culminated in Miyosha achieving her Master’s in Human Resource Management, a testament to her dedication to personal and professional growth.

“Pouring into my business means investing in people,” she expresses. “I am firm about building a great team, and my education in Human Resource Management equips me to create an environment where everyone can thrive.”

My Famous Daiq’s and Dogs stands as a beacon of Miyosha’s innovative spirit, offering handcrafted daiquiris and margaritas alongside a Gourmet Chili Hotdog stand. She invites the community to join her in celebrating the Anniversary event on May 1, 2024, where guests can experience the unique blend of flavors and witness the manifestation of Miyosha’s entrepreneurial vision.

About the Owner
Miyosha Weston is a visionary entrepreneur, wife, mother, sister, and daughter, with a rich background in corporate America and a supportive family, for 33 years. Her journey includes diverse business ventures, and she is now celebrated as the first woman Black-owned creative daiquiri and margarita bar owner, complemented by a Gourmet Chili Hotdog stand in Southeast Houston. She shares her success with her husband Jacie Weston, Jr., and two children Jordon and Miyah.

About the Business
With an impressive selection of over 150 mixed creations, this innovative bar promises a one-of-a-kind journey through the world of tantalizing flavors. Unlike any other daiquiri and margarita bar, My Famous Daiq’s and Dogs has a two-lane drive-thru for those customers who choose to drive and keep going. This bar is a haven for enthusiasts seeking a diverse walk-up, drive-thru, and extensive menu. From classic favorites to bold and inventive concoctions, patrons can embark on a flavor adventure curated to satisfy every palate including flavors for the non-drinker. The bar boasts not only an extensive daiquiri and margarita selection but also features a Gourmet Chili Hotdog stand, adding a savory twist to the overall experience.

Be sure to follow My Famous Daig’s and Dogs on Facebook and Instagram.

For press inquiries, contact 281-532-6457 or myodogs@gmail.com

vegan,-plant-based-restaurant,-native-foods,-in-downtown-chicago-is-now-black-owned

Vegan, Plant-Based Restaurant, Native Foods, In Downtown Chicago Is Now Black-Owned

In January, the Chicago culinary scene shines a spotlight on its diverse vegan options, focusing on Native Foods in the South Loop (218 S. Clark). The beloved vegan eatery now heralds a new chapter as it becomes Black and employee-owned, thanks to local entrepreneur Dame Dia.In September 2023, a significant milestone occurred for Native Foods. Dame Dia, the former Chicago District Manager for the brand, was presented with an extraordinary birthday present: the chance to become the owner of Chicago’s last standing Native Foods location. This news was enthusiastically welcomed by the community, particularly by those who were concerned about the potential closure of the Chicago Loop location following the earlier shutdowns of the Wicker Park and Lakeview branches. Dame officially assumed ownership of the restaurant in late November 2023.

Dame’s path to ownership is a narrative of resilience and community support. After relocating to Chicago over five years ago to be with his now-wife OnJaLee LaShay, he brought a rich 15-year experience in the restaurant industry. His career journey, beginning in Queens, NY, is a story of remarkable growth, starting as a dishwasher at Red Lobster and escalating to the General Manager of the same restaurant. Before leaving New York, his career had progressed to managing multiple eateries at JFK Airport’s Terminal 5, where he also met OnJaLee.

OnJaLee, who is known in Chicago as “The Connector” for her vast marketing and networking skills has been instrumental in this endeavor. The pair, having met at JFK Airport, decided to unite their skills and passion to embark on this business adventure together.

The rejuvenated Native Foods is poised to introduce a captivating mix of traditional vegan recipes and, in the near future, West African cuisine, showcasing Dame’s Senegalese heritage and culinary prowess. These cultural dishes, frequently adapted to vegan preferences for his wife, are expected to infuse the menu with distinctive flavors and will be incorporated later this year.

As Veganuary unfolds, Native Foods warmly invites both Chicago residents and visitors to explore and enjoy its rejuvenated, culturally rich culinary offerings. Join us in celebrating a dream come to fruition, a journey flavored with ambition, community connection, and culinary innovation.

About
Founded in California in 1994, Native Foods is a premier vegan restaurant chain known for its innovative and delicious plant-based cuisine. Emphasizing sustainability and ethical eating, it has been a staple in the vegan community for years, continually evolving to meet the diverse tastes of its patrons. Learn more at NativeFoods.com

For press inquiries, contact onjalee@olashay.com or 773-357-5603.

black-childhood-friends-team-up-to-bring-organic,-plant-based-food-to-st.-louis

Black Childhood Friends Team Up To Bring Organic, Plant-Based Food To St. Louis

Childhood friends DeVonte’ “DJ” Jackson and Derrick Mosley have teamed up to bring plant-based comfort food to St. Louis with their new venture, Da Vegan Way. The duo combined their shared passion and expertise for cooking to offer locals a menu of familiar dishes with a vegan twist.

When the pandemic hit and Jackson faced a job loss, he seized the chance to pursue his lifelong culinary dream. Jackson newly embraced a vegan lifestyle at that time and decided to launch Da Vegan Way where he shares his health journey while earning extra income.

“It was very liberating and allowed me to unlearn old harmful habits and learn new healthier ones,” Jackson told Feast Magazine.

Jackson initially took the risk by himself but soon after, Mosley, with a culinary background, joined him. Their kitchen collaboration balances professionalism and fun.

“I enjoy working with a friend who shares the same desires for self-sufficiency and growing our vision,” Mosley said.

Transitioning to a plant-based diet can be overwhelming. Da Vegan Way aims to ease the shift, offering plant-based twists on familiar favorites. Jackson and Mosley rely on fresh, organic ingredients, quality seasonings, and a dash of creativity and love for their vegan creations.

Their menu boasts hits like Chik’n Bites, loaded nachos, and deep-fried oyster mushrooms with sweet heat jerk or barbecue sauce. The duo also loves dishing out coconut chickpea curry and veggie teriyaki stir fry for their simplicity and rich flavors.

Beyond notable events like the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Da Vegan Way appears at various St. Louis markets and pop-up events, spreading the joy of vegan comfort food.

“What makes this all worth it is knowing we have a hand in positively rewriting the narrative of vegan comfort food across St. Louis,” Jackson said. “I see the community growing stronger day by day!”

Looking ahead, Jackson and Mosley plan to shift from markets to full-scale catering. Through digital cookbooks and educational content, they aim to encourage those embracing a plant-based lifestyle.

Be sure to follow the brand on Instagram @DaVeganWayLLC

black-entrepreneur-does-homework,-now-owns-20-airport-restaurants-to-hit-$50m-in-revenue-this-year

Black Entrepreneur Does Homework, Now Owns 20 Airport Restaurants To Hit $50M In Revenue This Year

Meet Randy Hazelton, the 43-year-old CEO of H&H Hospitality, a Black-owned company that runs concession stands and restaurants in major U.S. airports. Starting from scratch and learning from his past, he now runs over twenty different airport restaurants, employing nearly 100 people. He owns multiple Shake Shack and Auntie Anne’s stands, and his company is on track to hit $50 million in revenue this year.

Growing up in a military family, he moved around a lot and eventually settled in Atlanta. He credits his dad for instilling discipline in him. But as a teen, Randy often skipped homework to play basketball because he said he enjoyed it more than just sitting down and studying.

When he ventured in a business and went through tough times, he realized his bad habits when he was a teenager. In 2006, he left his job to open Café Circa, a restaurant and bar in downtown Atlanta. While the business did well, it wasn’t efficient enough and eventually led to bankruptcy. Randy realized the reason was that they didn’t understand the restaurant business.

“We didn’t know how to make money because we didn’t do the homework,” Randy told Forbes. He sold Café Circa in 2012 and used the money to start his franchising operation.

Hazelton founded H&H Hospitality in 2007 and they’ve been thriving with the support of a government program called Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Act (ACDBE), which supports minority and women-owned businesses at federally funded airports.

“It changed my life,” he said. He calls the program a “springboard” for smaller companies aiming to expand in restaurant franchising.

One of H&H’s spots is a Freshens yogurt and Famous Famiglia pizzeria at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, one of the busiest in the world. They’ve also teamed up with Concessions International for a Shake Shack and Auntie Anne’s restaurant on another concourse. Next year, the company plans to open a Slutty Vegan, a popular plant-based burger brand owned by entrepreneur Pinky Cole.

Moreover, the business has its challenges, including fees, advertising costs, and managing employees. To overcome those and succeed, Randy transformed himself into a “homework nerd” and used a copy-and-paste formula of what already works.

“Borrow from other folks,” he says. “Some of the greatest successes are just copycats of something already here.”

Be sure to follow him on Instagram @RandyHazelton and follow his company as well @HH_Hospitality

daughter,-owner-of-chicago’s-oldest-black-owned-restaurant-celebrates-50-years-since-her-dad-opened-it

Daughter, Owner Of Chicago’s Oldest Black-Owned Restaurant Celebrates 50 Years Since Her Dad Opened It

St. Rest Country Kitchen, a beloved Black-owned soul food restaurant on Chicago’s South Side, is celebrating 50 years in business. Founded in 1972, the family restaurant is now owned by Daniella Coffey who continues the legacy of her late father and founder Rev. Larry Hopkins.

In 2021, Coffey and her husband, John, took the reins from her father. At the time, the restaurant faced a major financial hurdle with $600,000 in debt and the looming threat of foreclosure. Sadly, her father passed away just two months later.

Within a year, the family overcame the odds, paying off the debt and reorganizing the business. They are now seeing continuous success.

“Great customer service, sanitation, and great food. Those are our pillars here and of course faith,” Coffey, who also serves as the head chef, told Fox 32 Chicago.

Her mother Sophia Hopkins, who is now 77 years old, still works as the restaurant’s lead waitress. She is responsible for making everyone feel at home, apart from belting out her Southern tunes.

For 5 decades, St. Rest Country Kitchen has been serving soul food classics like turkey legs, short ribs, smothered pork chops, cabbage, black-eyed peas, succotash, and candied yams. Their menu certainly boasts comfort food that satisfies every patron, including NBA legend Michael Jordan who dined there.

Learn more about the restaurant at its official web site at StRest2Country.

Be sure to follow Daniella and her family’s restaurant on Instagram @Daniella_Coffey

Also, you can support the business by visiting its location at 727 E 87th St, Chicago, IL 60619.

black-ceo-and-pitmaster-still-running-family-restaurant-his-uncle-started-almost-90-years-ago

Black CEO And Pitmaster Still Running Family Restaurant His Uncle Started Almost 90 Years Ago

For nearly three decades now, Derrick McCray has served as the CEO of McCray’s Backyard BBQ and Seafood, a Black family-owned restaurant in West Palm Beach, Florida. His great-uncle, Jay Harvey, opened the restaurant almost 90 years ago in 1934. As both CEO and pitmaster, Derrick has worked hard to preserve the restaurant using his family’s rich traditions and flavors that have delighted patrons for decades.

“Uncle Jay brought my father up in the barbecue business and made him a barbecue extraordinaire,” he told CNBC. “He was the barbecue man. And he was pretty much the only black restaurant business in his area during that time.”

In the midst of historical challenges, from segregation to the civil rights movement, the restaurant served as a safe haven for people to enjoy a good meal and companionship. Over the years, the restaurant stood strong against several challenges, even threats from the Klan. But the “war on drugs” in 1971 took a toll on the community and the business.

Derrick stepped up to restore the family business, following in his father and uncle’s footsteps. But his journey to becoming CEO was not without twists and turns.

While studying business management at Florida A&M University, an HBCU, he was sidetracked by the life of a student-athlete. He had to leave college earlier than planned, but he learned to hustle during this time, selling hotdogs and even starting a magazine with a friend. He also played professional football but it was a career cut short because of his off-field activities. Those setbacks eventually led him back to the family BBQ business.

Despite the changing times, McCray’s Backyard BBQ and Seafood continues to cook with open pit wood, preserving the authentic flavors passed down through generations. Their signature barbecue sauce and desserts reflect the family’s cherished recipes.

The restaurant’s success is evident, generating $1.58 million in revenue last year, with a $230,000 annual net profit. They’ve served esteemed guests, including presidents and musicians, and at events like the Super Bowl.

Moreover, Derrick has ambitious plans for the future. He aims to expand the family business nationwide, raising capital for his first franchise location. But his vision extends beyond profits. He is passionate about hiring and mentoring young Black and Hispanic people, teaching them skills from cooking to running a business, all aimed at creating generational wealth. His two sons are also being groomed to continue the family tradition.

“It’s in my DNA to keep moving forward,” he said. “I don’t see a reason why the McCray’s can’t be like the Rockefellers or the Posts or other big families that have secured generational wealth.”

Learn more about McCray’s Backyard BBQ and Seafood via its official website at McCraysBBQ.com

Also, be sure to follow the restaurant on Instagram @McCrays_Backyard_BBQ

this-36-year-old-black-ceo-sold-$2.3m-in-philly-cheesesteaks-in-atlanta-last-year

This 36-Year-Old Black CEO Sold $2.3M In Philly Cheesesteaks In Atlanta Last Year

Meet Derrick Hayes, a 36-year-old Philadelphia native and CEO of Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks, who sold over $2.3 million worth of Philly cheesesteaks in Atlanta just last year alone. He owns five restaurants in the area and is now on a mission to take his iconic sandwiches nationwide, aiming to open 100 franchise locations by 2025.

“I’m a visionary, I’m a dreamer.” Hayes told CNBC. “Franchising is something that I thought about years ago, but I didn’t have the experience or the team to do it.”

Hayes recently started the franchise process, nearly a decade since he started his business. In 2014, he opened a dessert shop at a gas station in Georgia called Big Dave’s Water Ice, which is named after his late father who ignited his entrepreneurial spirit. When he struggled with selling frozen treats, he decided to do cheesesteaks.

Hayes also had a challenging start with Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks but he got his big break when rapper and TV host Eve, a fellow Philadelphian, tried his cheesesteak. Eve raved about it on social media, boosting his business overnight.

In August 2019, Hayes opened his flagship store in downtown Atlanta. Unfortunately, the pandemic temporarily closed it in March 2020, and it was also damaged during the civil unrest following George Floyd’s murder. During these challenging times, Pinky Cole, founder of Slutty Vegan, a plant-based-food franchise, reached out to offer assistance. Their connection in business blossomed into romance, and they are now married with a growing family.

Moreover, Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks has seen remarkable growth, with his flagship Atlanta location generating over $2.3 million in revenue in the past year alone. The brand is expanding, with multiple locations in Georgia, including three inside Mercedes Benz Stadium. There’s also a location in suburban Atlanta, and one is set to open in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Now, Hayes wants to establish Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks in major cities across the country, seeking franchisees who share his vision. Initially, Hayes is seeking franchisees in the food industry, but he aspires to inspire those who may have faced legal issues, lack a college degree, or lack experience to pursue their business dreams.

“I want to deal with people who care about people. The customer is never wrong, we stand on that,” Hayes says. “I want people to feel like it’s theirs. Big Dave’s is not just a restaurant; we stand for the community, for peace, and for culture.”

Learn more about Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks via its official website at BigDavesWay.com