BRAZOS COUNTY, TX — The conversation on Black economic prosperity, all throughout 2020 last year, has sparked a growing desire among U.S. consumers to support Black-owned businesses.
That movement inspired local Black businesses owners in Brazos County, to take it a step further- by building their own Black owned grocery store.
From food to jewelry, and everything in-between, you can find a business in Bryan/ College Station for just about every occasion. The key is knowing where to look.
That's where organization, Culturally Rooted Enterprise, comes in.
"Just your typical day at the store, buying stuff you don't need, but that you like, and that you want, and you seeing it's done locally, supporting your local entrepreneurs," Nichole White, member of Culturally Rooted Enterprise said.
The 10-person non-profit organization hosts pop-up events at the Lincoln Center, with a greater end goal in mind: one day, creating a Black owned grocery/department store, where all products, are also made by Black business owners.
"It would just be a blessing to see more people get involved, and give back to our roots. Something to help revitalize several little communities around here," Brandon Williams, Vice President of Culturally Rooted Enterprise said.
It all started back in the Summer of 2020. Brandon Williams asked on Facebook if there was a Black-owned grocery store in the community, so he could shop there, on Blackout Day, July 7.
The day called on Americans to only support Black-owned businesses, to protest, the racial salary gap, and police brutality.
The answer was no, but William's question got founding member and CEO, Cedric Lewis, thinking.
"What if we had 10 thousand, 10 thousand people put in 100 dollars. We would have a million dollar. We could open up our own supermarket. And so, that's where Culturally Rooted started. A couple messages, and it just went like wildfire from there," Lewis said.
"You can circulate your cash flow at least three, or four times, before it leaves the community, and I think that is crucial, to economic growth," Williams said.
More than a dozen different vendors have gathered for the pop-ups, showing the drive to succeed.
There's a role for everyone, whether it's selling a service, handling the finances, or helping new entrepreneurs navigate the business world.
"We love to support each other, and we are dying for that unity, and culturally rooted is what they do, they bring people together," Williams said.
"Whatever it is that we want to achieve collectively, we are able to do that," White said.
While we won't see this one-stop shop for at least another year, founders, are very confident it will come to light in time.
"It can't die because we have that vision, and the momentum is going too, that vision, is going to drive, that momentum," Williams said.
"It's all for the greater good, so that we can have something, that we can leave behind for our children, and grandchildren," Lewis said.
Planting seeds that will leave a legacy for Black owned businesses, all across the Brazos Valley.
Culturally Rooted Enterprise will host its next pop-up shop in February.
To get a hold of theirproducts via Facebook, click here