COLUMBUS (WCMH) — As protests for racial justice continue here in Columbus, so has the push to recognize more black-owned businesses.
These entrepreneurs are not only seeing support since the start of these conversations about equality, but also as a result of this global pandemic.
“We wanted to come to an area where health was more needed.”
Three friends — Tinia Suggs, Celeste Richmond, and Alex Dominguez — packed up their lives and moved to the Buckeye State to pursue their dreams.
“Being in Los Angeles, you know they already have that covered over there. Columbus is the perfect place it’s such a great up and coming diverse city,” explained Aligned co-owner Dominguez.
“It’s been great so far because everything’s a learning experience,” noted Richmond, founder of Aligned, a healthy cafe on Bethel Road. “We knew it would be one of our biggest challenges to our life, to uproot our life. We knew it want going to be easy and that it was a big risk. People were like what are you doing? It just didn’t make sense to anybody.”
Aligned opened in February but little did they know, their new dream would quickly get derailed.
“I think anyone who is an entrepreneur knows there are challenges in every business and so, for us, this was another hurdle we were excited to get through,” explained Dominguez.
But even with the pandemic at the forefront, the attention from recent protests and increased support behind black-owned businesses, Aligned quickly bounced back.
“It means a lot because we get to be those voices that bring awareness to what’s going on and we get to show people that,” said co-owner Suggs.
They see all kinds of people walk through their doors from all over central Ohio.
“There’s a lot of people who want to show a minority business support or small business in general whatever the intention is,” noted Richmond.
Not only are Suggs and Dominguez new business owners, but they’re soon to be parents as well. They know that setting a good example is more important than ever before.
“So a lot of that puts so many things into perspective, like how we want our child to grow up in this world and to not live in fear,” explained Dominguez. “We’re just like you. We have dreams and passions and decided to peruse those. We want to inspire people. Whatever you want to do in life is possible, but living healthy and happy will help you pursue it for a longer time.”
A perfectly blended business, shaking up the Columbus health scene, with a lot of support from their new community.
They are already in the beginning stages of developing stores similar to Aligned for Dublin and Bexley.
“Now that we’re coming out of it and that this location has weathered one heck of a storm, we feel confident that in any condition we can open up more.”
Go to RankTribe.com or download the app where you can access black-owned businesses in your community and add to it as well.