BHM Black business spotlight: Grind AVL | News

Grind AVL coffee shop, in Asheville.

ASHEVILLE, NC (FOX Carolina) – We are highlighting Black businesses each Monday of Black History Month.

Grind AVL is our third business. They’re a coffee shop, in Asheville.

It’s one of the businesses helping to push Asheville’s Black Wall Street forward.

Manager Curtis Langley says the business has been open less than two years.

“I didn’t have a business when I first moved here, but then, I started to see the importance of having a Black-owned business and how that can impact the City of Asheville,” said Langley.

The shop is already creating a space for like minds to get on their grind.

Tyler Lewis is an avid supporter.

“I like just coming in here to be able to do your work, to really chill. Being able to just communicate with people, connect with people,” Lewis said.

Langley says it’s not about coffee. It’s about community. That’s why Strange Carolinas awarded them the number three coffee shop in the state.

“Coffee is out unifier. Community is our main thing,” said Langley, “We love for people to come in and work on their businesses.”

The shop is minutes away from Asheville’s Black Wall Street, which is one of the reasons why Grind AVL was founded in the first place.

The history of Black Wall Street is a constant reminder as to why Black businesses are so important. During the Tulsa Massacre, their Black Wall Street was destroyed by mobs of white residents.

Eventually, more Black Wall Streets started popping up in state’s across the country; including Asheville. Founder J. Hackett says it’s the inspiration behind the project.

“They killed, murdered, burned, the Black business district there known as Black Wall Street,” said Hackett, “So, 1921 to 2021 represented 100 years. And that’s when we inaugurated this project.”

Hackett says the shop was opened during the pandemic. And already, Black Wall Street is exceeding their expectations.

“Our goal was 20 businesses for the first year, but we recruited 75 and enrolled them in our program,” said Hackett, “And our goal was to generate $250,000 in revenue, among that cohort of Black businesses, but we exceeded $1 million. “

So, whether you’re an entrepreneur or just stopping by for a cup of joe, you’ll know the people and history behind what you’re supporting.

“Supporting Black businesses is everything,” Lewis said, “because, for so long, Black people have been characterized as the lesser of mankind… and that’s not true.”

This Saturday, Asheville’s Black Wall Street is hosting the Black History Month Awards.

Grind AVL will also expand to another location at the end of March.

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