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.

Marcos Murrilo, Tapa the World

Marcos Murrilo came here from Mexico in 1996. His first job in the U.S. was working at Tapa the World restaurant in Sacramento. There, he was the executive chef for 11 years. Marcos created several of the specialty dishes that are still on the menu today. 

Soichi and Raechel Kadoya, Soichi Sushi

Chef Soichi Kadoya was a highly respected fixture in San Diego’s sushi scene. After 25 years of training in Japanese cuisine, he and his wife Raechel were ready to branch out and start their own restaurant.

Cosimo Allegretta, FoodJets

FoodJets is a local franchise web and app-based platform that allows you to order food from local restaurants. You can track your delivery driver and enjoy your delicious piping hot food without delays from other orders. FoodJets delivers one order at a time.

Bill McRae, On Stage Music Academy

A classically trained musician from an early age, Bill McRae spent many years performing and composing. He played keyboards, guitar and bass. After college, he became a music business executive, then a classroom teacher. In 2014, Bill decided he wanted to open a music school. He wanted to share his love of music with students of all ages.

Tam Le and Richard Lai, Tam’s Restaurant and Sandwiches

Tam Le is no stranger to making food people can’t get enough of. Her bakery, aptly named Tam’s Bakery, was already a staple for dozens of Garden Grove families, college students, and locals. The immense popularity of an off-menu item, a soup served to royalty in her native Vietnam, prompted Tam and her husband, Richard Lai, to consider opening a restaurant.

Michael and Barbara Crosbie, Crosbie Chiropractic

Michael and Barbara Crosbie founded Crosbie Chiropractic in 1983 in Southern California and moved to Humboldt County in 2001. They first set up shop in Rio Dell, then in Fortuna in 2006. Dr. Michael Crosbie dedicates his life to alleviating a myriad of conditions, from low back pain to migraine headaches. He is the only local practitioner of the Koren Specific technique.

Mark Saavedra, Airport Barbershop

Mark Saavedra came to the small business world via happenstance. He was working at a market and learning to cut hair when his teacher suggested he take over the Truckstop Barbershop. He was unsure, but when friends and family who knew his talent and skills urged him on, his vision for himself changed. Instead of renting a hair station, he went straight to renting an established barber business.

Lena’s Soul Food, Faces of Entrepreneurship Winner

Lena’s Soul Food has become a pillar in its community of East Oakland. Not only does owner Calvin Andrews employ dozens of people, including formerly incarcerated folks, but he also gives back by giving away unsold food to locals in need, many of whom are unhoused.