Three entrepreneurs from Flossmoor, Illinois — Charles Alexander, Mark Edmond, and Jamel Lewis — have made history after launching Black Bread Co., the first-ever Black-owned sliced bread company in the US.
The idea first came to Edmond while he was buying groceries last year in the midst of the social unrest surrounding George Floyd’s death. He tried to search for a brand of bread that was Black-owned but in a “not so shocking discovery,” he didn’t find any.
“I left the store frustrated, and immediately hit up my boys to let them know we needed to change this,” Edmond told Travel Noire.
Lewis and Edmond, who are serial entrepreneurs, and Alexander, who is a communications professional and professor, have known each other since high school. They immediately decided to team up to launch the first Black-owned sliced bread company.
However, it wasn’t all about just making money. The trio says their main purpose in building the company is to shatter the glass ceiling in an industry where Black people aren’t represented as owners.
“We face a double stigma. We are not only Black, but we are Black men,” Alexander shared. “We have had to go into these predominately white rooms to debunk the myths around Black men and entrepreneurship. We are serious about what we are doing.”
They also wanted to help improve how Black consumers spend their money while at the same time providing excellent products and services.
“Our motto is ‘come correct’ and you will see that in every facet of the business,” Lewis said. From marketing, branding, as well as the taste of our bread. We ultimately want Black people to start looking into where they spend their money, and see how it will benefit our communities. Too often, we just spend money without being intentional.”
Black Bread Co. has officially launched their online shop where their high-quality honey wheat and premium white bread can be purchased. Since then, they have received overwhelming support. They are looking forward to adding more products such as hot dog and hamburger buns, multi-grain bread, and brioche as well as having their products soon available in local grocery stores.