MILWAUKEE — Sherman Phoenix is celebrating five years serving the Milwaukee community and the BIPOC business community. 

What You Need To Know

  • Sherman Phoenix serves the BIPOC business community in Milwaukee

  • The idea for Sherman Phoenix was originally born out of the civil unrest that happened in Sherman Park in 2016

  • It serves over 100 people daily, has been home to nearly 50 businesses and employs over 75 residents

Even after five years, new businesses are still setting up shop in the marketplace. 

Sherman Phoenix’s newest vendor is Baked Dreams. The business specializes in desserts, cakes, cheesecakes and more. 

Tamesha Patrice is the owner. She said baked dreams has been in business for 12 years, doing catering and pop-up events. Patrice said it was time they opened a storefront, and she thought there was no better place than Sherman Phoenix. 

“It’s like a family reunion,” said Patrice. “When you come to Sherman Phoenix, you can guarantee there’s going to be immediate hugs. It’s a happy place.” 

(Spectrum News 1/Katarina Velazquez)

Whether it’s a salad or freshly baked cookies, Patrice said she’s hoping to share her food with more of the community. 

“Founding businesses that were here before I moved in, they have done amazing and they are still doing amazing,” she said. “They have made a big brand name for themselves, and I believe any business that comes in here has a potential to do the same thing.” 

She said she’s proud to be a part of this business community. 

“It’s just a perfect fit,” said Patrice. “We have been in the Sherman Park community for a while doing our business and it has been an amazing experience. It’s just a full circle moment for us and we’re happy to be here.” 

Planted Vibes is also a new addition to the space. It offers vegan and plant-based burgers and bowls. 

Brandon Hawthorne is the co-owner of Planted Vibes. He said Sherman Phoenix has grown to be a community staple. 

“Knowing that Sherman Phoenix has been around for almost 5 years is a positive sign for the community,” he said. “That lets us know that they’re thriving and building off strong values in the community, and that’s why we wanted to partner up with Sherman Phoenix.” 

Dr. Stacia Thompson is the executive director for the Sherman Phoenix Foundation. She said the idea for the Sherman Phoenix Marketplace was originally born out of the civil unrest that happened in Sherman Park in 2016. 

(Spectrum News 1/Katarina Velazquez)

“Since the space opened in 2018, we have been an economic hub for small businesses of color and known as a place where people can come to eat, shop, practice self-care or attend a cultural or entrepreneurial-focused event,” said Thompson. 

Thompson said it’s all about building and supporting strong business owners in the community. 

“We have been home to 49 businesses that have called Sherman Phoenix home,” said Thompson. “Of those businesses, over 89% are still in business, which far exceeds national averages. Everybody here wants to see everybody win and succeed, so there’s a natural kinship that happens in the building where they help and support each other.” 

Sherman Phoenix serves over 100 people daily, has been home to nearly 50 businesses and employs over 75 residents. 

“We provide tools and resources to our businesses that help them scale and grow outside of the Sherman Phoenix due to our support,” said Thompson. “As we celebrate five years, we do so with a renewed focus on initiatives that will create more impact for business owners and the local economy.”

Since 2018, Sherman Phoenix has had a list of accomplishments.

That includes creating a foundation to expand programming and partnerships, launching the Phoenix Rising Academy for entrepreneurs of color, providing over 100 pop-up businesses opportunities within the space, hosting over 250 community programs and events, and serving over 10,000 customers that have walked through its doors.