A bakery and donut shop in Pasadena is among 25 small Black-owned businesses across the nation to receive a $10,000 grant, as well as expert business consultation and other resources, through a program run by the Texas-based Feed the Soul Foundation designed to help marginalized restaurateurs get back on solid footing as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the foundation announced Monday.
LêBerry Bakery & Donut, 445 E. Colorado Blvd., is a recipient of the organization’s inaugural Restaurant Business Development Grant Program, according to a statement issued by the Feed the Soul Foundation. Seven other small businesses in California were included in the program.
“Through the support of Grubhub‚ who donated proceeds from its Donate the Change program during the month of February to Feed the Soul Foundation, and Maker’s Mark, who provided initial backing and partnership for the establishment of Feed the Soul Foundation’s grant program, the fund will award 25 small businesses with $10,000 financial stipends as they prepare to navigate the post-Covid world and the ever-changing consumer dining trends,” the statement said.
The grants also include financial training, advertising, marketing training, and one-on-one business consultations from industry experts, according to the Feed the Soul Foundation, which is the nonprofit arm of Black Restaurant Week, LLC.
The foundation received hundreds of applications for the program, representatives said. Ninety-four percent of them came from Black entrepreneurs.
It was intended to make a difficult time a little more manageable for the participants, according to Feed the Soul Foundation Chairwoman and Black Restaurant Week co-founder Falayn Ferrell.
“Black-owned businesses were already faced with funding challenges and creating sustainability before the pandemic,” Ferrell said.
“We spent years speaking with restaurateurs to hear their concerns and there was an echoing sentiment,” she said. “We came to understand there is not a one-size-fits-all method. One restaurant needs support in building a digital presence; however, a food truck is seeking knowledge to expand to a brick-and-mortar location. We focused on developing a solution to address individualized concerns with personalized insights to improve and grow their businesses.”
More information on LêBerry Bakery & Donut is available on its website at leberrybakery.com.
More information on the Feed the Soul Foundation can be found online at feedthesoulfou.org.