On this first weekend of Black History Month, a brewery in Northeast Minneapolis wanted to bring more attention to the small, Black-owned businesses in the Twin Cities.
56 Brewing held its first “Respect Makers Market and Music Fest” Saturday.
For dozens of Black-owned businesses in the Twin Cities, having a place to show off what they do can make or break them.
“Oftentimes, we’re underrepresented. Even trying to get a leg up into the commerce, into the marketplace can be really challenging for us,” said Abisola Jaiyesimi, creator of Sola’s Butters. “So for us to have this spotlight and have an event curated specifically for small black businesses is amazing. It’s important. It’s a great way to set the tone for black history month.”
DaQuan Richard works for 56 Brewing and helped organize the Respect Makers Market and Music Fest as a chance to bring the small Black business community together and help them showcase their art, jewelry, healthcare products and more to the community at large.
“It’s the passion. It’s the upbringing you experience and putting that into the work that you do. That’s something that no one will ever understand where if you can come here and promote yourself and do that, I think it’s a way to expand on the community that we have,” said Richard.
Business owners say it’s all about making opportunities where there aren’t any with events like this opening the doors to even more.
“It’s been invaluable and it’s been because of little, small markets like this that I’ve been able to even expand my horizons and I’ve been everywhere from corporate to washing dishes,” said one woman in attendance.
“I think this is an amazing thing and as I’ve met more people, it’s made my heart very happy,” said Richard.
The Makers Market and Music Fest runs until 10 p.m. Saturday.
The brewery hopes to highlight more businesses from underrepresented communities throughout the year.