LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A soul food restaurant in the Russell neighborhood held a grand reopening Friday with help from Louisville's first incubator dedicated to Black entrepreneurs.
Pamela Haines, the owner of Sweet Peaches Soup, Sandwiches and Specialties located at 18th and Muhammad Ali, is a member of the Russell Technology Business Incubator, which launched earlier this year to provide resources and training to leaders of Black-owned businesses.
"I've been in business for eight years," Haines said. "Of course, I thought I knew it all."
Haines said she had always known how to cook good and healthy food for the community, but after working through the incubator's programs, she now has a better understanding of how to make money. She said she has been getting help from accountants and other experts through the RTBI.
"When you're in a room of nothing but darkness and that little light starts shining, that light was Mr. Christopher," she said.
Dave Christopher Sr., the founder of AMPED and the RTBI, said he started the incubator as a way to help give Black entrepreneurs resources that have traditionally been missing from businesses in west Louisville due to decades of redlining and other discriminatory practices.
"Black folks aren't broken. We don't need fixing. We just need resources," he said. "The people that we're working with had the ability, had the skill. They just don't have the resources. And so it wasn't a far stretch for once you provide those resources, they'll be excellent."
Christopher said other Black entrepreneurs in west Louisville can look at Sweet Peaches as a success story and use Haines' journey as a blueprint for success.
"I never knew how it could change my attitude. With each stroke of paint that they put on the wall, I gained more and more hope," Haines said. "Now I'm able to give someone else a hand. We're going to keep it moving and we're going to thrive. I'm going to thrive. I'm going to help the next person thrive."