Introducing Minority-Owned Business Initiative Participants – Group 1
September 14, 2023
Buffalo Niagara is home to a vibrant community of minority-owned businesses, and our Minority-Owned Business Initiative (MBI) is shining a spotlight on trailblazing professionals leaving an indelible mark on our regional business landscape.
The MBI program provides minority-owned businesses access to the Buffalo Niagara Partnership's extensive resources and networks to build their business, removing financial barriers to membership and providing greater opportunities for growth.
Get to know some of our newest participants:
Hair Empire is a virgin hair company that provides customers in Western New York and beyond with high-quality hair extensions. Founded by Jocelyn Sadler and her sister, Hair Empire offers customers 100% natural human hair without any synthetic fibers or chemical processing. The company was created to offer a range of hair products to service women of all races.
Hair Empire offerings include straight and wavy hair extensions, bundles, closures and frontal, as well as hair care products such as edge control and moisture enhancers. The company takes pride in delivering in excellent customer service and product knowledge with a commitment to innovation in the virgin hair industry.
Hair Empire offers an e-book, “Building Your Hair Empire” to help other entrepreneurs establish a business including what it means to have a hair business, how to get started, and finding the perfect customer. The company also offers vendor lists for sale for Duchess, Majesty, and Heiress lines of virgin hair.
For more information on Hair Empire products as well as online ordering, visit hairempire.org.
The Mahogany Events and Gathering Space
Created and co-owned by Khari Myers and a team of partners, including banking executives and marketing pros, The Mahogany offers event space for individuals, families, businesses, and organizations to host celebrations, meetings, conferences, and other events.
Located on Minerva Street in the city of Tonawanda, the family-owned business traces its roots back to the 1980s when the original Mahogany opened on Fillmore and Victoria Avenues in Buffalo’s Central Park neighborhood. Today, still family-owned, the Mahogany’s renovated event venue in Tonawanda features two floors of event space, and a professional photography business on the third floor.
The Mahogany offers a number of available services for hosting events including a wedding planner, graphic designer, staffing, tables and chairs, and security. The company also offers in-house photography and a photo booth, and additional décor elements are available for rent.
While cooking and stove use are not available, The Mahogany has a large prep room with stainless steel prep tables and refrigerator and freezer for use by hosts and caterers. Hosts may use their own vendors, disc jockeys, florists, and so forth. Space is available to rent Friday and Saturday from 8 am to 11 pm, and Sunday through Thursday from 8 am to 8 pm.
For more information visit themahogany.com.
Thyme-N-Honey is a Food Consultant company specializing in teaching demonstrations of classical and modern cooking techniques. Thyme-N-Honey offers fun, informative, and entertaining cooking classes in a relaxed professional environment. Owner Stephen Forman brings more than 30 years of professional experience in the culinary industry to the classes.
Each class is personalized to make cooking engaging and comfortable. Specialized classes are designed to improve culinary independence. With Certified Chefs through the American Culinary Federation, Thyme-N-Honey offers simple classes and virtual lessons for the beginner as well as the more experienced chef.
In addition, Thyme-N-Honey provides Pop-Up Dinner events offered in the comfort of the customer’s home. Pop-up dinners may be made for 4 to 12 people. Gourmet meals are made in front of the host and guests, with chefs entertaining with skillful explanations of the dinner prepared. Thyme-N-Honey offers catering services as well.
In-person classes are generally taught at the Culinary Artisan Lofts at 200 Amherst Street in Buffalo. Video tutorials give online, on-demand access to pre-recorded Thyme & Honey courses.
For more information visit Thyme-N-Honey at buffalocookingclass.com.
Whitt Care offers adulting classes designed to help teens make the transition into adulthood with a focus on personal development, career preparedness, and transitioning to college. Courses teach the life skills necessary for young adults to address the challenges that often follow graduation from high school or college.
Founded in 2018 by Fantah Whitt, Whitt Care offers programs and workshops designed to help young adults, ages 14-21, avoid the stress of hopping from job to job and create a plan after completing their education. Students learn about options open to them whether applying to college, interviewing for a job, or starting their own business.
For young adults thinking about college, course topics include scholarships, the importance of planning for college, picking a college that offers the desired major, and the difference in cost between staying in New York and attending college out of state. Whitt Care works with Buffalo Public Schools’ Saturday Academies program to teach and answer questions from high school students on college preparedness.
For more information visit whittcare.com.
The MBI Program is funded through generous underwriting of Bank of America, National Grid, and the Buffalo Niagara Partnership.
Walid Al Hilaly’s Zoom Zoom is an innovative rideshare company focused on meeting the needs of the community – from providing affordable, reliable transportation to creating regional job opportunities.
Attorney Owen Herne is an enrolled member of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe. Herne Law specializes in the legal, economic, and policy issues facing Indian nations across the United States today.
Founded in 2018, That Brown Bag is the area’s only hard copy directory for minority-owned businesses, including establishments in Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Rochester, and Toronto.
The Buffalo Niagara Partnership announces second cohort of Minority-Owned Business Initiative Program Expanded to Respond to Applicant Needs
The Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s (BNP’s) Minority Business Initiative (MBI) strives to eliminate the obstacles that have long hindered minority business ownership by providing minority-owned businesses access to BNP’s extensive resources and networks to build their business. The 2023 cohort was announced at today’s DEI Symposium and includes two tracks to better serve participant needs. The MBI Program is funded through generous underwriting of Bank of America, National Grid, and the Buffalo Niagara Partnership.