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Adams gearing up for Small Business Saturday with #BLKCOFFEEINBK tour

November 21, 2018 By Todd Maisel Special to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Getting ahead of tomorrow’s Small Business Saturday, Borough President Eric Adams spent Tuesday visiting black-owned cafes, part of his #BLKCoffeeInBK campaign. Here, he visits Brown Butter Craft Bar & Kitchen, owned by Myriam Nicolas (left). Eagle photo by Todd Maisel
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As Brooklynites are gearing up for Black Friday sales in big box stores, Borough President Eric Adams revived his #BLKCoffeeInBK tour to promote Small Business Saturday.

On Tuesday, Adams kicked off the tour by spotlighting Myriam Nicolas, a longtime Bedford-Stuyvesant resident and the owner of two businesses in the iconic neighborhood.

“Small shops are part of the fiber of the community providing food, pastries and coffee, and we want the community to not overlook them,” Adams said. “Myriam not only works, but lives here in Bedford-Stuyvesant, so what is better than a local shop that then circulates the dollars?” 

Adams visited Nicolas’ Brown Butter Craft Bar & Kitchen on Tompkins Avenue, which opened last year. The coffee shop is located within walking distance of her inaugural entrepreneurial business, Brooklyn Baby Cakes, which opened in 2012 on Nostrand Avenue.  

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Nicolas said the cafe was originally slated to be another bakery, but then she decided to go in another direction and serve more than just coffee, but also homestyle baked goods, sandwiches and hot meals. The new cafe still features grab-and-go items, but also has indoor seating and a backyard with picnic tables.

“There has been such a huge influx of businesses here,” said Nicolas. “I’ve lived in Bed-Stuy almost 18 years now, and I’ve definitely, definitely seen the change with lots of small businesses opening up. It’s a welcoming change.” 

Adams said many of the new coffee shops are struggling, while larger chains have multimillion-dollar budgets for advertising.

In May, Adams emphasized the need to patronize “mom-and-pop” business, especially black-owned coffee shops, with the social media hashtag #BLKCoffeeInBK. During that tour, Adams visited vegan businesses Sol Sips on Wilson Avenue, Sophia & Grace Cookie Company on Ralph Avenue and a boutique cafe, Urban Vintage on Grand Avenue.

There are also fears among some residents that gentrification may be changing the community in the wrong direction. Adams disagreed as he continued his tour on Tuesday to Bklyn Blend and Crocus Cafe, both located on Tompkins Avenue. 

“You hear that many shops are being pushed out, but no — they are regular Brooklyn residents, many who are black Americans, three who we visited today,” he said. “It really is about having good quality food, service and people. As long as you provide that, nobody cares what your ethnicity is.” 

Adams said he will continue to visit small businesses and promote them as being healthy for Brooklyn.


Additional reporting contributed by Christina Carrega


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