CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A social media account, Black Food Fridays, was created earlier this year to encourage everyone to order from black-owned restaurants on Fridays, a movement the founder said he hopes will be as normalized as Taco Tuesday.
According to KJ Kearney, the creator of Black Food Fridays on Instagram, it began as a way for the author to escape his writing, but he soon found himself creating a new company and ultimately leading to a revolution.
A passion project that nobody really paid any attention to—to now people calling me asking if they can invest, if they can be part owner, they want to donate money. So I’ve had to like create an LLC and you know, try to start the process of becoming an actual business.KJ Kearney, Founder BlackFoodFridays
Kearney said that while there has been a drastic increase in followers in the past two weeks, he hopes that those that go to the different restaurants enjoy their products and continue going back. He added that if the account followers continue to grow, it will show that many are interested in the specific message rather than ‘trying to latch on to not feel racist.’ He continued on by noting that money spent at black-owned restaurants and businesses can change lives.
Where you spend your money is a political act, as quiet as it’s kept. So by you purposely every Friday deciding to spend your money with a black-owned business, you’re purposely choosing to keep those businesses alive.KJ Kearney, Founder BlackFoodFridays
One business, Charleston Gourmet Burger Company, owned by Chevalo and Monique Wilsondebriano said they launched at the Charleston’s Farmer’s Market in 2012 and are now selling nationwide. The husband and wife-duo said their first date was at a McDonald’s, which was the beginning of their acknowledgement of their love for burgers.
Their company was recently featured on a Yahoo List as #7 out of 30 for black-owned food and drink to support now and always—an honor they did not know at first.
We were like what is going on, and then a lady called us and she’s like, oh I’m reading about your company—you’re n Yahoo’s list and we were like oh okay. We’re like what is she talking about and then we googled it and that’s when we saw it.Monique Wilsondebriano, Charleston Gourmet Burger Company
The two said being featured now during the pandemic and the recent civil unrest has been both a time filled with thankfulness and harrow.
If somebody can look at a business, a small business and it happened to be black-owned to yah know give a shot, give it a try because there are so many great black owned businesses that have great products and great ideas and great services that they offer. But they maybe don’t have the advertising.Chevalo Wilsondebriano, Charleston Gourmet Burger Company
Monique added that for those businesses especially hurt during the pandemic and unable to receive certain capital, the boost through supporting black-owned is assisting them. The Wilsondebrianos told News 2 that they hope that at some point they and many others will just be seen as good businesses rather than black-owned businesses.
The couple also added that they began a mentor-ship program which assists people in turning recipes into packaged products. See video below….