Group of minority business owners bonds over common goals
D’IBERVILLE, Miss. (WLOX) — When Manling Burch began developing her new business, Rockin’ Chicken & Waffles, last year, she didn’t know it would come with a supportive team — that is, besides her mom and boyfriend.
It came from the line of businesses next door.
This strip mall is one of the most unique unplanned business incubators, and they all have a similar background.
“Really, we are all minority and female-owned businesses,” said Burch, who was born and raised in Hong Kong.
This is correct. Every business in this strip mall is minority owned and operated, but that wasn’t planned. It was organic. It just happened.
And it’s proving that diversity is key in the face of adversity.
The group initially bonded over a shared problem: the lack of traffic caused by Pope’s ferry diversion project. Now the relations have increased even more.
“We definitely grew as a family seeing so much diversity in this small area,” said Tobias Wilson, owner of Snow Biz.
Wilson is the senior of the group. He has been at this place for two years.
“With all of us being minorities, we simply say, ‘Let’s work together and show what America is really about: small communities, coming together as one.’”
It means problem-solving, sometimes with a spontaneous gathering outside a storefront.
Burch likes the idea of cross promotion as a business strategy.
“Really, we want to support each other,” she said. “If customers come to us, we want to share their business as well.”
That’s a big deal for Kalendria Kendrick, the operations manager at Pura, a smoothie and juice bar.
“It’s a big deal because No. 1, we’re all in the same place, and so we can all be together and bounce ideas off each other,” she said. “We can help each other because we are all minorities. , , You know, we can go out, talk to each other. This is what happens when steel sharpens steel.
Pura and Rockin’ Chicken & Waffles will both open this month.
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