Yordanos Asmelash Haile, Asmara Cafe

Asmara Cafe specializes in traditional brewed Eritrean and Ethiopian coffee and food such as chicken kilwa, foule and sambusas. Owner Yordanos Asmelash Haile is a first-generation American having immigrated to the U.S. from Eritrea in East Africa. She aims to highlight her cultural flavors through the menu at her coffee shop.

Rafaela, Bayleaf Mama

As with many of us, Rafaela has always enjoyed cooking, cooking with her mother and grandmother especially, being a true family tradition. She has always worked to perfect her craft, be it through old family recipes or in new discoveries, so when times became a little difficult, it was in cooking and baking that she found some comfort and eventually… a new way of independence, her own business.

Alicia Maria Kidd, Wine Noire

Wine Noire LLC., an import, export and wholesale distribution company based in Berkeley, CA. Launched in 2017, The Wine Noire specializes in helping winemakers who are women and people of color get their wines into the marketplace, as well as directly into the hands of consumers.

Socorro Manzano, Tacos Manzano

Ms. Socorro Manzano is the owner of Tacos Manzano, a cozy and proud establishment that started just when the pandemic crisis erupted in 2020. But Ms. Manzano rose to the challenge.

Jasmine Epperson, Epperson Consulting

Jasmine Epperson is a Mendocino County bookkeeping business owner working with client businesses located anywhere. We just chatted about her expertise, challenges that businesses have with their finances, and what’s changing for her while participating in the StartUp Mendocino program.

Albert Patterson, FRESH FROM CALIFORNIA

FRESH FROM CALIFORNIA is a lifestyle brand & creative studio led by graphic designer Albert Patterson. Recently, FRESH launched a new set of branding-specific services that are ideal & valuable for new small businesses trying to figure out their business’ identity and for existing businesses needed some TLC.

Charlie Mercado, Gamepoint Basketball

Gamepoint Basketball based out of Oceanside, California is an elite youth basketball club founded by Charlie Mercado in 2004 and serves young men ages 9-17. Charlie founded the business to give back to his community and stay connected to the sport he loved playing growing up and in college. Currently heading into its 18th season with locations in San Diego, Riverside and Orange counties, Charlie credits his amazing staff of 11 coaches and over thousands of players for Gamepoint’s success.

Charina Vergara, Titas of Manila

Charina Vergara began her culinary career as a food vendor at local night markets where she offered original Filipino cuisine. In 2019, she was offered a business opportunity to take over an existing Filipino restaurant. Ms. Vergara & her business partner jumped on the chance and became the new owners of Titas of Manila in West Covina, CA.

Ken Granderson and Dale Dowdie, Black Facts

BlackFacts.com is the longest-running data-driven repository of Black history on the internet. BlackFacts.com was created in 1997 by Ken Granderson and Dale Dowdie, two black technologists, who saw there wasn’t a place to get facts about African-Americans online, so they built a place for Black communities to be in control of their narratives. A labor of love for over 25 years, Ken and Dale nurtured this site with no outside investment – no big team, no big venture capital dollars.