COLUMBUS, Ohio — “There was a window to really tell a story in the Black culinary community,” said Falayn Ferrell, managing partner of “Black Restaurant Week.”

The campaign has been showcasing Black-owned businesses across the country since 2016.

What You Need To Know

  • Black Restaurant Week is a marketing campaign intended to help small, Black-owned businesses around the country

  • 70 Midwest business have signed up this year, including three in Central Ohio

  • J's Sweet Treats and Wedding cakes is participating, located on Parsons Ave. in Columbus

“We really wanted to build a platform that was all inclusive of the Black community because it was a little lacking when it came to the culinary event scene and the culinary campaign scene.”

Black Restaurant Week started in Houston and has expanded across eight cities including Columbus.

“We were getting requests to do so many cities, so we thought why don’t we create a region and so the Midwest is our first regional campaign.”

J’s Sweet Treats and Wedding Cakes is one of 70 Midwest businesses participating in this year’s event. Owner Juana Williams says it wasn’t hard to get behind the campaign.

“Anytime we can be a part of this movement bringing recognition to Black-owned business is a positive,” said Williams.

J’s has been in business since 2015.

“It really was just a hobby for us we were making cakes for friends an family and we had a pop-up shop and we call it the pop-up shop that never ends because here we are," said Williams.

But, like many small businesses, she says these last few months have been challenging for her team.

“Business has been affected from COVID-19 as far as foot traffic is concerned our business was based on custom cakes because i was baking out of my home is so we weren’t even sure what foot traffic would look like when we moved over to Parson’s, but the community has embraced us."

Just like Ferrell and her partners.

“These are small businesses. They don’t have the funds to run major marketing campaigns in the community, so this is our way of helping them,” said Ferrell.

Hen Quarter Dublin and the Lifestyle Cafe join J’s Sweet Treats in being the three Columbus restaurants that will be showcased through August 2.