Were you expecting two white females?
I can’t even begin to count how many times we’ve gotten this as African American entrepreneurs, business owners, Indianapolis natives, building and operating a food media company (from the ground up), in a predominately white, media, restaurant industry/Indiana.
I jumped on here to vent. I never do this, but after yesterday (the murder of George Floyd – say his name loud and clear), I’m tired. Like physically exhausted. All of the emotions hit me, just now. And I wanted the community that we’ve spent almost 5 years building, nurturing, and catering to, to know and understand our frustration.
The injustice, the unfairness, the inequality, the unevenness that we have to endure as black men in America. The underrepresentation we have to go through in the entrepreneurial space (less than 1% of Black-owned companies receive funding), this big ball of emotion just weighed in heavy on me.
Add COVID-19 to the scenario (did we forget about COVID that fast??) and the economic effects that it’s directly had on our start-up business — we’ve been hit very hard these past several months. And we’re really starting to feel it.
Here’s something you probably didn’t know: we’ve been a faceless business (on purpose) to the general public. We’d originally made that decision back in 2015 in an effort to “protect” our brand. We wanted our audience and our customers (majority white) to value our company, not from the people who ran it, but from the product we were producing.
Realistically, if you didn’t know us personally, who knew the owners of Eat Here Indy were two black guys?
We’ve dedicated so much of our culture, passion, expertise, resilience and dollars to the Indianapolis food community, yet we consistently struggle to see the internal returns on our investments.
We appreciate the engagement aspect of what we do. We get joy and excitement by seeing so many people connected and immersed in the conversation we’re creating around food and local restaurants.
But right now, it’s pretty hard to be “normal” or act like everything is ok, when it’s not or most likely ever will be.
I felt it appropriate that you see who’s driving the content, conversation and business.
Nice to meet you, too.