Lifestyle

First Black-owned sandwich company founded by 3 Kenwood Academy graduates, contributing to the South Side community


CHICAGO (CBS) – Some businesses aren’t just about making money – they also benefit the community.

Such was the case with the first Negro-owned sandwich company founded by a group of friends from right here in Chicago.

The best thing since slicing bread. You may have said it without even knowing that it dates back to 1928. That’s when the first pre-packaged bread was sold.

“The crazy thing is that it took 100 years for Blacks to be part of this industry,” said Charles Alexander of the Black Bread Company. “To reap the benefits for our families and communities by eating bread every day.”

The Black Bread Company launched in February 2021 to celebrate Black History Month. Now, these three friends and father from Chicago’s South Side have been a year in the game.

They are not just selling, they are serving.

“You can start a business, be successful in business, and still care about who you are and where you are,” says Alexander.

As a product of the Chicago Public Schools, all Kenwood Academy graduates are teaching the lessons learned in all those loaves to CPS students.

“Thirty for 30,” Alexander said. “Our goal is to get to 30 CPS schools in 30 days or more. It’s free. We just wanted to come and show the love to inspire and motivate and say we were above. those chairs and look at what we’ve done.”

The group also hires interns through a partnership with Phalanx Family Services, a company that connects South Side youth with careers.

In their biggest move, these guys are now providing part of their success through an equity crowdfunding campaign.

With $2.78 per share and a minimum purchase of $250.20, you can invest. And in just 45 days…

“Over a thousand investors and over $700,000 invested, so now our community has a stake in our company,” said Jamal Lewis.

The owners said they received emails from first-time investors.

So any way you cut it, the bread business is looking for this trio as they elevate those around them.

“We’re proud of that, being part of our community that learns and grows together, and is open to new ideas and ownership,” Lewis said.

The bread was distributed from a warehouse in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. And now on sale in 70 stores across Chicagoland, plus shipping internationally. The Black Bread Company has just been valued at $51 million.

You can learn more about their crowdfunding campaign going on right now onThe Black Bread Company website.



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