McBride Sisters Collections, Inc. Launches #SheCanThrive2020 Grant Program

Supports Black-Women Owned Small Businesses During COVID-19

This year, the global impact of COVID-19 has hit all businesses but has been especially destructive to Black-owned small businesses. At the beginning of February 2020, there were more than 1 million Black-owned businesses in the U.S. but by mid-April, 440,000 or 41% of those businesses had shuttered. By comparison, 17% of white-owned businesses closed during the same period.

Black women are starting and maintaining businesses at a faster rate than any other group in America and McBride Sisters Collections, Inc. has pledged $100,000 to help entrepreneurs make the necessary business adjustments to sustain and propel growth during the age of COVID-19 through access to capital and business advice. McBride Sisters Collection is also seeking support from the corporate community in this urgent endeavor.

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Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance, 4thMVMT and PepsiCo Collaborate to Increase Pathways to Black Franchise Ownership

The Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance (MFHA), 4thMVMT, and PepsiCo announced a formal collaboration to provide leadership development and increase business ownership opportunities for Black people in the restaurant industry. Together, they are launching the Pathways to Black Franchise Ownership program, an innovative personal development training initiative that equips potential business owners to operate high-performing businesses.

Recent data shows that only eight percent of restaurants are owned by Black people. The program’s goal is to create 100 Black-owned franchise restaurants by the end of 2022 and to continue growing that number.

In alliance with the MFHA, the Pathways to Black Franchise Ownership program will be conducted with 4thMVMT, a social equity organization that vets, trains, facilitates funding, and partners with individuals from underserved communities to own and operate competitive businesses. As part of the company’s commitment to advance racial equality, PepsiCo is the founding sponsor committing $2.5 million over the next five years to build and sustain the program. The alliance aims to catalyze additional franchises and companies to join the effort.

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BTB Showcase: Benita Johnson, The Vine Wine Club

Benita Johnson, The Vine Wine Club

Pictured/Photo credit: Benita Johnson

Benita Johnson founded The Vine Wine Club in 2014. Johnson’s The Vine Wine Club is a subscription-based company that offers wine, education and lifestyle events to its members. In 2005, Johnson became the first Black woman-owned wine shop in Richmond, Virginia, when she opened Grapes and Barley that later closed in 2009.

An accountant by profession, Johnson pivoted smoothly into the wine world when opening her wine shop. She earned an MBA from the University of Virginia and a certificate from the  Master Court of Sommeliers. Johnson is also a member of the Guild of Sommeliers. In the past, she’s hosted “Off The Vine with Benita and Terricinia” and has always been an advocate for wine appreciation and education. She plans to launch Wine Art and Soul in 2021 as her next venture in the wine world where she will merge her love for art and wine.

Johnson’s future includes hosting a virtual wine festival project that she is teaming up with a friend and six wineries, but in the meantime, we wanted to learn a little more about this 15-year wine veteran.

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New Scholarship Initiative, Talent on Tap, Aims to Support The Growth and Development of Women of Color in the Beer Industry

City Brew Tours announces the establishment of the annual Talent on Tap Educational Scholarship program to support women of color from unique backgrounds who have a desire to make a lasting impact in the beer industry.

The scholarship will be open to all Women of Color 18 years or older who are interested in pursuing education related to the beer industry. The scholarship will provide financial support for a wide range of educational pursuits such as Beer Science programs, Cicerone® Certifications, and other hospitality certifications.

Applications are currently open and will be accepted until December 1, 2020. The first program award will be made in January 2021.

Source: City Brew Tours

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The Wonderful Company Announces $500,000 Expansion Of Its COVID-19 Relief Fund To The California Wine Region

Company Extends Previously Announced $1 Million Relief Fund and Opens Submissions for the JUSTIN and Landmark Community Grants

— The Wonderful Company, which is dedicated to harvesting health around the world, announced today that it has extended its previously announced $1 million COVID-19 relief fund in California’s Central Valley to create a $500,000 additional fund specific to the San Luis Obispo and Sonoma Counties. The JUSTIN and Landmark COVID-19 relief funds will each receive $250,000 in additional funding for local organizations and schools affected by COVID-19 and the recent catastrophic California wildfires.

“Our state has been hit hard by COVID-19 and the recent wildfires, and we want to be there for the residents and our employees on the front lines,” said Andy Anzaldo, chief operating officer of Philanthropy at The Wonderful Company. “By establishing these JUSTIN and Landmark relief funds, we can support the organizations and schools that are having the greatest impact in California’s wine region.”

The $1 million COVID-19 relief fund was established by Stewart and Lynda Resnick in August 2020 to support local programs, services, and resources in California’s Central Valley that were affected by COVID-19 either by state and federal budget cuts or in response to new critical needs. Non-profit organizations and schools that demonstrate community impact were eligible to apply for funding. Recently, the Wonderful Company announced the first fifteen Central Valley grantees, including California Farmworker Foundation, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Fresno County, and California State University, Bakersfield.

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Vegan Women Summit™ Launches World’s First Female Founder Summit

VWS Pathfinder will feature a global summit and pitch competition on Dec. 5

Vegan Women Summit™, a media and events organization dedicated to inspiring, educating, and empowering rising female-identifying leaders to bring compassion to their career and industry, will continue to transform the food tech industry with the world’s first founder summit and pitch competition dedicated to female-identifying founders building the future of plant-based innovation.

On Dec. 5, VWS Pathfinder will help raise awareness of the persistent gender inequality that female entrepreneurs around the world face in fundraising and connect the brightest emerging ideas in plant-based innovation with leaders in venture capital. The top prize of the competition is valued at over $50,000, including a $10,000 cash prize sponsored by Purple Orange Ventures, $35,000 of branding services from Evolution Bureau, global membership to WeWork office space, and more.

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James Beard Foundation Announces The James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Investment Fund For Black And Indigenous Americans

In acknowledgment of the immeasurable contributions the Black and Indigenous communities have made to the modern American foodscape, the James Beard Foundation announced today the James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Investment Fund for Black and Indigenous Americans, a new grant initiative to provide financial resources for food or beverage businesses that are majority-owned by Black or Indigenous individuals. The initiative is a component of the organization’s Open For Good campaign launched in April to rebuild an independent restaurant industry that is stronger, more equitable, more sustainable, and more resilient post-pandemic. 

“The new Fund is part of the Foundation’s ongoing commitment to continually lift up the Black and Indigenous business owners in its industry, not just in light of the pandemic, but for good,” said James Beard Foundation vice president of community Colleen Vincent. “Financial resource is that much more impactful when coupled with support from organizations and experts who make themselves available to provide guidance on professional skills like marketing, structuring business plans, and negotiating contracts. The Foundation is creating new partnerships to deliver this value to its grant recipients in an effort to see these businesses thrive for the long term.” 

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BTB Showcase: Celeste Croxton-Tate, Lyndigo Spice®

Celeste J. Croxton - Tate of Lyndigo Spices

Celeste Croxton-Tate is CEO and founder of Lyndigo Spice, an artisanal small-batch line of chutneys, relishes, fruit spreads and spice blends launched in 2014. Her brand is low-sodium, sugar, vegan, gluten-free and packed with fresh ingredients.

Croxton-Tate, a native of Roxbury, Mass., started Lyndigo Catering in 2006 and operates Lyndigo Spice from CommonWealth Kitchen in Dorchester, Mass.

She published The Lyndigo Spice Cookbook: Full of Flavor with a Spicy Attitude, a Culinary Memoir this month and has been featured in Chowhound, Edible Boston, Boston Voyager, Boston Globe, Boston Magazine and PBS’ WGBH, and The CREATE Channel.

She lives in Boston with her husband and her two sons and is also a 24-year veteran of the Boston Police Department. I spoke with her about her journey in the food industry and gathered a little advice for those starting a food business.

Tell us a little about your culinary background?

By profession, I’m a Boston police officer. June 26 will be my 24th year in the Boston Police Department. It kind of picked me. My dad is a retired state trooper. My parents had all girls and my dad wanted someone to go into law enforcement. I guess it was me.

I wanted to teach. I went to Northeastern University after graduating from Boston Latin High School. I had taken the police exam twice. The first two times they called me, I was pregnant. I find myself, at my age, trying to please my parents.

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