Black History Month is a time when we remember and celebrate the accomplishments and strides that the African American community has foraged. Education and celebration of Black History Month is a glorious way of highlighting incredible, black-owned businesses that are contributing to our city’s success. We’re diving in to highlight two business owner stories – how they got their start and how their heritage has impacted their journey. On the agenda? Twisted Fry and Tea’s Me Cafe.
The Twisted Fry food truck was born from a college student’s ambition to become a business owner. Tea’s Me Cafe originated from Indianapolis Fever player Tamika Catchings’ creative mind and determination to support her community. It’s clear from talking with both that they’re incredibly determined individuals. These feel-good stories have more layers to them, though. Opening a business comes with real challenges and life-changing victories.
“Opening Twisted Fry was challenging because we were still students. We were young and naive with what we thought was a cool idea. I was still competing in track at the time and there were days where I’d work until 4 a.m. and then have a 6 a.m. practice. All I could get in during that time was a nap. The challenges were all-around exhaustion and willingness to persevere.” – Owner Devyn Mikell
Mikell has been humbled by opening his own business and going through the struggles along with that.
“I’m super proud to have accomplished my goal of starting a business in college. It was a goal I had since my senior year of college. It changed my whole attitude towards starting companies and I’m grateful for that.”
Meanwhile, Tamika Catchings had a different journey on the business-owning front. She took over the business from the past owners at Tea’s Me Cafe.
“The biggest adversity we have had, and I think it’s probably with all businesses, is being able to have a consistent revenue day daily. We have our really good days and then sometimes due to weather, day of the week and which events are going on in town, it may not be as profitable. I enjoy the challenge of working with our Tea’s Me team to think of creative “outside the box” ways to reach out to the community and continue to share the story and get people to our cafe.” – Owner Tamika Catchings
Catchings has felt the impact of Tea’s Me Cafe in the community and the lives of those who have visited.
“Our proudest accomplishment is the smiles and the impact that we’ve had on the community overall. Our customers that come in love Tea’s Me, the ambiance and the service provided. I am super excited about the future of Tea’s Me and just being able to know that we are doing an incredible job in our space with bringing community together.”
These businesses are just a couple of the up-and-coming, black-owned businesses in the Indianapolis area. The Indianapolis Urban League and the Indy Black Chamber of Commerce have more references on other black-owned businesses and information on how to register your business through these organizations.