Chucks and Pearls Initiative highlights black-owned businesses in Columbus

5 months ago
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By LaShondra Tinsley & Okon Ekpenyong (Picures by Emerald Lambe)

Chucks and Pearls is an initiative created by a group of women inspired by Kamala Harris’s swearing-in ceremony. So, women across the country donned Chucks (Converse All-Stars) and pearls to commemorate her accomplishment.

There was a huge online event that took place called Chucks and Pearls on January 20, 2021. Women across the nation took pictures of themselves wearing chuck Taylors and pearls, which Kamala Harris often wears. The event was such a success that a group of women got together and created “The Columbus chapter of Chucks-N-Pearls (unapologetic, sophisticated girls in our chucks-n-pearls).

Franklin County Treasurer Cheryl Brooks Sullivan and LaShondra Tinsley are one of the founding members. Other members include Shaundretta Boykins, Juana Williams, Nichole Chambers, Lurenna Hutchings, Sheronda Byrd, Lori Brown, Lisa E. Freeman-Williamson and Representative EricaCrawley.

“To give back to the community, we have decided to highlight a black-owned business on the 20th of every month with the intention of a massive turnout to get people to purchase from black-owned companies”, Cheryl Brooks Sullivan and Lashondra Tinsley said.

“The founding members were resolute in bringing solutions to the societal ills that plague the African American community. The event included a voter registration drive, as well as spotlighting a Black-owned business. Confronts head-on both civic engagement and economic empowerment,” Lisa E. Free-Williamson said

It is to bring attention to the black-owned business, and patrons can patronize as they choose If they like the service and the menu options.

African Americans contribute to at least 1.3 trillion in consumer purchases, and it is their organization’s effort to ensure that the local businesses also receive a portion of that trillion.

J’S Sweet Treats, Wedding Cakes, and The Pit BBQ Grille are this month honorees. Suppose a customer is looking for a unique luxury cake for their upcoming wedding, a birthday party, an anniversary, or a simple cake to eat after a meal; in that case, they can count on J’s sweet treats and wedding cakes. They are a pastry/bakery shop, which creates custom specialty cakes that one can enjoy with friends, family, or even alone.

Juana M. William is the owner of that establishment, which began its award-winning bakery shop in 2016. She is also one of the founding members of the chapter. They were the Wedding Wire Couple’s Choice winner in 2017-2021

Also appearing in the Discovery Family Channel, “Bake It Like Buddy.” They were “On Good Day Columbus,” WSYX/WTTE. And Birdie Magazine had a feature about them. They were recently on “The Drew Barrymore show.”

Some of the J’s sweet specialties are brownies, danishes, croissants, chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, turnovers, cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, cake slices, and cheesecake slices, to name a few. For a whole cake, they start from five inches to 12 inches in size. Two-tier, fondant layer and edible images are also an option.

Williams said, “there is an option to get a vegan cake or ask for a custom specialty depending on your favorites if something is not on the menu that suits their tastebuds.”

The shop address is at 1540 Parsons Ave, Columbus, OH 43207. Their store hours are Wednesday-Friday from 10 am – 6 pm, and Saturday from 8 am – 4 pm. To reach J’s Sweet Treats and Wedding cake, one can call 614-906-8888 or send an email to orders@jssweettreats.net.

The Pit

Established in 2016, four friends, Bryant Browning, Chimdi Chekwa, D’Andre Martin, and Mike Johnson, the proud owners of “The Pit,” dreamt of changing the narrative when people say that the mid-westerners do not know how to grill.

“One thing about grilling in the wintertime is that you are competing with the wind; therefore, an individual must control the fire and keep the vent closed, especially a high wind can burn your coal much faster; Grill Master Mark at, “The Pit,” said.

The birth of a successful BBQ restaurant comes from individual home experiences and listening to your community recommendations regarding how important the meat must be seasoned and controlling the fire.

Remember that when you prepare the food, think of it like a holiday cooking where different faces might show up, and anticipation must always meet the expectation when that plate is in their hands. One of our most requested items at the Pit is “our signature polish girl, which consists of “All beef polish sausage topped with pulled pork, pulled chicken or brisket, fresh-cut fries, coleslaw, and PIT Sauce,” Mark added.

They have two locations: one at 1542 Parsons Ave and the other at 4219 N. High Street.

“A third one is currently under works in Dublin, Ohio,” according to D’Andre Martin.

Feed Me Sandwich King

Feed Me Sandwich King, a local restaurant specializing in serving gourmet sandwiches since 2016, is the chapter’s next patron. The sandwich names are catching phrases that thoroughly represent the authentic African American culture in unique and positive ways.

“That Philly Tho! which is number four on the menu and comes with two choices, Brisket or Chicken. Unfortunately, the well-known sandwich carry-out in Olde Towne East had to close its business due to vandalization between 4–5 am on January 26. Their security system and online ordering computer equipment were gone.

 “So, Saturday, March 20, from noon until 3 pm, The Columbus chapter of Chucks-N-pearls visits you and your family to ensure that he recovers all that he lost and more…come out and party with a purpose; with us,” Juana Williams said.

Their address is 1053 E Main St, Columbus, OH 43205, and they are open Tuesday-Saturday from 12 noon to 8 pm.

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