The Madison Black Chamber of Commerce is hosting its sixth annual Black Restaurant Week (BRW) this week, a campaign “designed to bring awareness to [Black-owned] businesses and really to help with increasing their sales, increasing the awareness of their availability, and introducing them to new customers,” said Camille Carter, president and CEO of the Madison Black Chamber of Commerce.
“Madison is such a town and we really wanted to have our culture, to have our cuisine included in that fabric,” Carter added.
The week-long event officially kicked off on Sunday and runs until Aug. 15. It features a variety of food establishments from restaurants to food trucks to caterers all across the Madison and Dane County area. The full list of businesses can be found here.
All week long, patrons can visit pop-up restaurants hosted by the feature business with the culminating event being the Food Tasting Jamboree Sunday, August 15 from Sunday 2-5 pm at FEED Kitchens, 1219 N. Sherman Ave.
All events are free but Express tickets for the Food Tasting Jamboree can be purchased here.
Several corporations will also be patronizing Black Restaurant Week, inviting businesses to cater for their offices.
For the first time ever, the Madison Black Chamber of Commerce will be offering a “BRW bingo” where patrons can win prizes for participating in different Black Restaurant Week events and services. Completed bingo cards can be submitted online via email ([email protected]) or in person at the Food Tasting Jamboree.
Black-owned restaurants and businesses were hit hard this past year and a half for obvious reasons. As a result, the Madison Black Chamber of Commerce was forced to innovate. Last year, in addition to BWR 2020, the Madison Black Chamber of Commerce created an online marketplace entitled Soul Food Sunday Marketplace in which people can order catering from specific Black-owned restaurants and receive curbside pick-up at FEED Kitchens on the first Sunday of every month.
“It’s also important that we as a community support the businesses and become aware of them, and to help them to stay profitable,” Carter said. “We want our community to remember our restaurants when they are out dining with their families and friends and when they are catering for events.
“Ideally, we’d like for Black Restaurant Week to be as Black Friday is to retail, an opportunity in which our restaurants and our businesses can really make some very solid, strong profits and turn their red balance sheet green and stay green,” Carter continued.
Black Restaurant Week not only allows for the features business to meet new clients but also invites Black-owned businesses to connect with one another, Carter added.
“It’s really difficult when you are building a business and especially a restaurant, you’re so often in your business with blinders on. It’s very difficult to understand what’s going on around you because you’re really trying to manage that space,” Carter explained. “And so, Black Restaurant Week is really an opportunity to see what others are doing, get involved through the Black Chamber and connections that happen through the campaign that helped pull them together.”
More information about BWR and the restaurants featured can be found here, on the Madison Balck Chamber of Commerce website.