these-five-black-owned-restaurants-in-miami-just-got-$10,000-grants

These Five Black-Owned Restaurants In Miami Just Got $10,000 Grants

The Black Innovation Alliance on Tuesday surprised five Black-owned Miami businesses with $10,000 each in grant funding. The coalition, which is focused on closing the racial wealth gap, is hosting its annual Sustainability Summit in downtown Miami through Friday.

The five businesses were selected because of their high number of positive Yelp reviews.

“This is our way of saying we know Black businesses don’t get access to friends and family rounds,” said Black Innovation Alliance CEO Kelly Burton. “We don’t necessarily have inherent wealth. We need to find new ways to show up for each other and Black businesses.”

Opa-locka native and former NFL player Kayvon Webster’s restaurant Smith and Webster was among the restaurants to receive a $10,000 check. Webster, 33, opened the restaurant in April 2022 with food critic Starex Smith.

Webster pivoted into entrepreneurship following an eight-year NFL career and quickly ran into the same challenges that many Black entrepreneurs face in raising funds.

“A lot of the times when athletes get into business, we’re using our own funds,” he said. “It’s a blessing to do all of this hard work and for someone else to notice.”

Webster plans on using the funds to invest in his company’s 35 employees and potentially hire another chef.

Burton hopes that the five Miami grants can be the beginning of a sustainable funding project for Black entrepreneurs across industries throughout America.

Hosting the group’s annual conference in Florida was a topic of great debate among Black Innovation Alliance members, Burton said. But it was a Supreme Court ruling against affirmative action in 2023 and Florida’s subsequent efforts to eliminate diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives that led to the group providing grants to local Black-owned businesses.

“Most Southern states are red,” Burton said, “That’s the history and legacy of slavery and Jim Crow. We’re still dealing with the same thing.”

Here are the five businesses that each received a $10,000 grant.

The dining room at Smith & Webster restaurant in North Miami.

Smith and Webster

Smith and Webster opened in 2022 after local food critic Starex Smith and former NFL player Kayvon Webster joined forces after having differing opinions on food.

486 NE 167th St., Miami 33162

Chicken and waffles from Rosie’s.

Rosie’s

Chef Akino West and his wife, Jamila, opened this intimate Little River restaurant in 2020. It has received Michelin’s Bib Gourmand award two years in a row.

162 NW 73rd St., Miami 33150

Lobster mac and cheese at the World Famous House of Mac.

World Famous House of Mac

Owned by Derrick Turton, this restaurant boasts 84,000 Instagram followers and specializes in dishes such as macaroni and cheese and jerk pasta.

1951 NW Seventh Ave., Suite 190, Miami 33136

Lil Greenhouse Grill in Overtown

Lil Greenhouse Grill

Owner Nicole Gates and chef Karim Bryant started this Overtown restaurant as a food truck. It specializes in soul food and regularly hosts events.

1300 Northwest Third Ave., Miami 33136

A House of Wings employee takes orders over the phone.

House of Wings

Musaddiq Muhammad opened this restaurant in 2003. It has become famous for its 60 varieties of chicken wings.

1039 NW Third Avenue, Miami 33136

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