Black Restaurant Week Establishes ‘Feed the Soul Foundation’ In Partnership With Maker’s Mark® Bourbon

Foundation Will Aid Marginalized Entrepreneurs In The Culinary Industry With Business Development Resources And Support In Order To Foster Sustainable Business Growth

Houston, TX (October 15, 2020) – Black Restaurant Week is proud to announce the establishment of the Feed The Soul Foundation, a new non-profit organization designed to support marginalized entrepreneurs in the culinary industry through business development resources and mentorship support in order to foster sustainable business growth. With support from Maker’s Mark® and other community partners across the US, the Feed the Soul Foundation furthers Black Restaurant Week’s dedication to celebrating the flavors of African-American, African, and Caribbean cuisine nationwide as a key ingredient to American culture.

Feed The Soul Foundation will create the Restaurant Business Development Fund, designed to benefit marginalized businesses in the following ways:

  • Equip marginalized business owners with business development training and consultation services to improve their business operations.
  • Increase access to business resources including programming, funding, and technology to support marginalized entrepreneurs.
  • Support the growth and expansion of marginalized entrepreneurs’ culinary businesses to create economically sustainable communities.
  • Invest in workforce training to employees of culinary businesses with marginalized business owners.

As a long-standing partner of Black Restaurant Week, Maker’s Mark will make both a monetary donation to help the organization expand the reach of its initial grant program, as well as create meaningful programming that brings the resources of the Maker’s Mark community into action for this vital cause. The iconic red wax-dipped Kentucky bourbon has previously supported Black Restaurant Week activities, including the recent Power of the Palate national cocktail competition, as part of the brand’s commitment to creating a more diverse, equitable and inclusive food and beverage industry.

“Creating opportunities for marginalized entrepreneurs in the culinary industry is critically important to empowering communities so often overlooked or undervalued,” said Falayn Ferrell, co-founder of Black Restaurant Week. “Maker’s Mark has shown its ability to not only understand the need to support these small businesses, but to provide them with the resources to overcome challenges and flourish. We are incredibly excited to work together to support economic growth and empower those who are as passionate about this industry as we are.”

“We’re honored to be able to work with our friends and partners at Black Restaurant Week on this incredibly important mission they’re putting into action,” said Rob Samuels, 8th Generation Whisky Producer and General Manager of Maker’s Mark. “When my grandparents sought to create Maker’s Mark, they were able to do so with help from others in the bourbon-making community near our historic Loretto, KY distillery. That sense of community and supporting those around you is a part of our DNA, and we’re proud to continue that tradition with our partners who are helping to shape the next generation of culinary industry stars.”

Applications are open until January 5, 2021 for business owners to apply for the Restaurant Business Development grant program. Visit the Feed the Soul Foundation website https://feedthesoulfou.org/ for more information.

About Black Restaurant Week

Black Restaurant Week LLC is an annual, multi-city culinary movement celebrating the flavors of African, African-American and Caribbean cuisine nationwide. Black Restaurant Week partners with black-owned restaurants, chefs, caterers and food trucks to host a selection of culinary experiences aimed to expand awareness and increase support for black culinary professionals. The organization was founded in 2016 by entrepreneurs Warren Luckett, Falayn Ferrell and Derek Robinson. Connect with Black Restaurant Week on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

About Maker’s Mark® Bourbon

In 1953, in Loretto, Ky., Bill Samuels, Sr., fulfilled his dream to create a handmade and delicious bourbon. He decided to make his whisky in small batches, using soft red winter wheat to enhance the softness and sweetness. He then rotated each barrel by hand for consistency and, finally, aged each barrel to taste. Bill Samuels, Sr., transformed bourbon from a “commodity” into a premium handmade spirit, and today Maker’s Mark® continues to make its bourbon the same way. In recent years, Maker’s Mark has introduced thoughtful, super-premium innovations to its portfolio, including Maker’s Mark 46®, Maker’s Mark® Cask Strength and Maker’s Mark® Private Selection, the brand’s first-ever custom barrel program. For more information, visit makersmark.com.

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