KILLEEN, Texas — Rhea Bridges is a Mortgage Loan Officer in Killen and she has lived in Central Texas her whole life. She recently started a Black History Month Bingo to highlight Black-owned businesses in the area.
"Really just wanted to get out and get the community involved, everyone just show support," she told 25 News. "I have people in my family who are self-employed and small business owners and the only way they can do their job and continue their business is by supporting them."
One restaurant on the list is Ras Kitchen in Temple. Owner Emilie Wright said she was honored to have been included.
"I have little kids come in and be like oh my goodness Black people own this," Wright said. "As a Black woman business owner, a Black man business owner, as a Jamaican business owner, there's a lot of communities we fall into."
Emilie Wright and her husband are the owners of Ras Kitchen. They offer a one-of-a-kind fine dining Jamaican experience and they're excited for more people to give it a try while playing bingo.
"We're excited and it brings a lot of importance to the Black community," she said. "Go support all of those businesses who are on the bingo cards. Make sure you check them out, they all have something important to give to the community."
Bridges said supporting local Black-owned businesses may expose you to something you've never had before, like at Mon'Amie's Caribbean Flava Ice.
"It's not Italian ice. It's not shaved ice, it's not sorbet and it's not an east-coast water ice," Owner Anthony Cooper said. "It is without a doubt the best cold confectionary that you will ever taste."
Cooper and his wife started their business as a single food truck more than 30 years ago. Over the decades, they've grown to three trucks and now a brand new storefront. Being on the bingo card gives them a chance to share their expansion with the community.
"For them to select us, I was like 'Hey cool anything I can do to get new people in here,'" he said.
To play black history month bingo all you have to do is visit a restaurant, snap a picture of your dish and post it on social media.
If you tag 'Rhea Bridges - Mortgage Loan Officer' on Facebook or @RB_Mortgages on Instagram, she will keep track of your card. Each time you hit bingo, you'll be entered into a drawing to win $100.