Grand Rapids Area Black Businesses holds event to support Eastown Cereal Cafe

“I really appreciate that you actually come here and just show your support and love to one other black-owned company that is just emerging.”

18-year-old Taylor Kyle is building her Grand Rapids legacy with her newly opened granola bar.

“I’m building something for my future family,” said Kyle on Friday. “I love it. I appreciate it every moment.”

Kyle comes from an entrepreneurial family. Seeing the opportunity to create something Grand Rapids lacked, her family encouraged her to try.

Eastown Cereal Cafe has over 100 different types of cereal on the shelves and serves cereal, milkshakes, and waffles. Kyle said she was concerned about how the coronavirus pandemic could affect business, but so far she has been surprised by the support.

“It’s been a great start for us, especially as newcomers,” said Kyle.

Kyle, the senior, starts her weekdays at East Kentwood High School before walking into the store up to the store and then following the workout.

“So many people at school don’t realize I own this business,” she said.

It’s not always easy to balance things out, says Kyle, but it’s been worth it.

“I have my stressful moments but then I know that at the end of the day it’s all for a reason,” said Kyle. “I’m just trying to make a legacy here in Michigan.”

On Saturday, February 27th, support continues with Grand Rapids Area Black Businesses (GRABB) hosting their first GRABB MOBB of the year at the Eastown Cereal Cafe.

“It’s pretty much like a financial cash mob or a financial flash mob, where everyone shows up on a specific day and spends money to support this business,” said Robinson.

In the past, GRABB MOBBs have created a “ripple effect” for businesses, says Robinson, which is critical as businesses continue to be subject to 25% capacity constraints.

GRABB, an economic and business development organization, has held digital markets throughout the pandemic to showcase black-owned companies.

As the shops reopen, Robinson said there were plans to hold GRABB MOBBs to show support.

As a company that aims to create and sustain black businesses, GRABB has had to focus on helping business owners survive the past year.

“2020 presented its challenges for everyone, but especially for the black community given the health implications of COVID,” said Robinson. “And then also the black business world.”

When black business owners were largely excluded in the first rounds of government relief efforts, GRABB partnered with financiers to create a $ 100,000 fund. The fund helped 23 local black-owned companies.

“We were really just starting the overdrive and trying to help as many black businesses as possible make it to the other side of COVID without giving up their lifelong dreams of business ownership and wealth creation for their families,” said Robinson .

Robinson said Kyle’s store was selected for the first GRABB MOBB of the year to put the Eastown Cereal Bar on the right foot after opening earlier this month.

“I really appreciate that you actually come here and show your support and love to just one other black-owned company that is emerging,” said Kyle.

Kyle has dreams of expanding the cafe to other cities and possibly other states in the future.

“For anyone my age or older,” said Kyle. “It doesn’t really matter who you are, please, please reach for your goals and don’t stop, don’t stop for anyone. Don’t think you’re doing something so simple, so small, so big. Just be able to take it and learn from it and just keep growing. “

Eastown Cereal Cafe is also currently hiring. Click here to learn more.

Click here to learn more about GRABB.

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