RICHMOND, Va. -- The third annual Richmond Black Restaurant Experience kicked off its week-long event with Mobile Soul Sunday.
Bruce Hill, the owner of Grilled Meats and Treats, knew he couldn’t miss the food truck event.
"So when they asked me to come back this year, I couldn’t refuse. Anytime you have anything as large as this going on in the city of Richmond, with all the black owned food restaurants. How could I not be a part of something like that. It was a no-brainer."
Back in 2017, co-founders Shemicia Bowen and Kelli Lemon decided it was time for the city to highlight its talented black-owned restaurants. Ever since then, there’s been no turning back.
"We found the first year, that it wasn’t just enough to celebrate the restaurants. We added in the chefs, the caterers and the food trucks," Lemon said.
"In 2017, when we started with 19 black-owned restaurants, it started to multiply. Our emails our inboxes, people spreading the word for us," Bowen recalled.
The growing experience has now brought in up to 30 restaurants. And starting Sunday, they will be covering more than $1 million in revenue due to the success of black-owned restaurants like Traditionz Wings & Grill.
"The exposure, the experience, coming out and meeting people, seeing people, you haven't seen in awhile. Just having the opportunity to network with other businesses," is why Denise Campbell, part owner at Traditionz Wings & Grill continues to be apart of the event.
Organizers said 100-percent of alcohol sales as well as some of the tickets sales from signature events will go toward the non-profit, Mary G. Brown Transitional Center, which focuses on re-entry and how to get people who were incarcerated back into society.
Also those who attend the event will help in funding Richmond Public Schools.
"When you eat during Richmond Black Restaurant Experience, you’re automatically benefiting and supporting Richmond Public Schools. So if you need another incentive, come eat to support RPS," Bowen said.
For more information on what other events will be happening this week click here.
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