After four cities, six business owners, and $40,000, take a look back at our latest Fueling Equity series! We set out to find inspiring members of our community that our employees feel are making a difference to help fuel their dreams and thank them for the inspiring work they do by surprising them each with a $10,000 grant.
We began with Chattanooga’s Gideon Thomas of Serious Health LLC. Gideon’s care for others shines through her work in community-living and senior care and this path was inspired by her own experiences with family health crises. As Gideon tells it, Serious Health has a deliberately, empathetic culture that you can feel.
Then, we headed to Atlanta to surprise LaMont Bynum of Rite At Home Furniture. LaMont’s energy was unmatched “Know what your value is,” he says, “and work hard.” When he felt underappreciated in the design community, he set off on his own. Without his courage, Rite At Home Furniture would not exist to support all communities in creating their dream homes.
Next, we visited Chefs Matrell and Ora Wardlow in Illinois at Cafe 322 Urban Bistro. These home cooks-turned-caterers know the value of representation, as they are building a legacy for their children. They’re taking the next step with their business and launching a brick and mortar location. We were honored to contribute $10,000 to the cause!
Last, but certainly not least, we stopped in Norfolk, VA to surprise Cutlass Grille owners Chef Shawn and Rachel Dawkins. Opening a restaurant had been a dream of Shawn’s since he was a child and one day the Dawkins family took a leap of faith to make his dreams a reality. Serving up love to all of their customers, Chef Shawn and Rachel are determined to bring some Jamaican hospitality to their hometown food scene.
All of these talented business owners have one major thing in common– a love for what they do. It is their passion that exudes through their businesses. And this passion has allowed them to fuel new opportunities for not only themselves, but their community. We know $10,000 is just a start, but we’re honored to have a small part in their amazing journeys.
Watch each of their stories unfold below.
Fueling Equity, one business at a time.
Cafe 322 Urban Bistro
Interview with LaMont Bynum
Interview with Gideon Thomas