Dominique, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
As a child, I was always interested in civil rights activism. Civil rights leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Angela Davis, Huey P. Newton and The Black Panther Party, Marcus Garvey, and Malcolm X stood out to me. I immediately gravitated towards Malcolm X as I felt like his story and mine were similar in certain aspects, just in different time periods; not to mention his birthday is two days after mine.
I relocated from Richmond, VA to Los Angeles in 2016 to pursue my doctorate degree in business psychology. While in LA, I noticed that health and wellness was and still is a HUGE thing out here in comparison to Richmond. You can literally be in the comfort of your home, look out the window, and witness dozens of individuals working out and drinking their green juice(s). However, the problem was that most of those individuals either were in the DTLA, Culver City, or North Hollywood areas aka predominantly white and affluent areas. I didn’t notice these same drinks being offered within marginalized communities and if they were, it literally was only one store and more than likely the product that was offered was of low quality and low health standards. Have you ever heard of the term “Death by Food”? well, this was and still is literally happening in black communities. I believed one of the many ways to address food insecurity and liberate the black community was to create a mobile-juice movement that was rooted in not only wellness but art, education, and social justice.
Because of this, “Blacker The Berry Juicery” was born.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Smooth? What’s smooth lol? For me at least, entrepreneurship has not been smooth as I would like for it be. It has been full of hoops, hurdles, and politics that are out of my control. Capital has been one of the biggest things. As stated previously, we are a mobile juice company, but I’d love to have a brick-and-mortar location in Inglewood, South Central, and other areas but capital is needed. Reach has also been a struggle of mine. Of course, we all know COVID is still going on and because of this, I have not been able to reach certain audiences like I would like but hey, this comes with being a business owner. You experience certain obstacles, but you also discover new ways to overcome them.
Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Blacker The Berry Juicery?
Blacker The Berry Juicery specializes in creating healthy alternatives (mainly fresh juices) to address food insecurity within marginalized communities. Unlike other health and wellness movements, we believe in conscious capitalism and tie our business to addressing people and social initiatives; one of the ways we plan to do this externally is by partnering with local law firms and taking a portion of our juice proceeds from an undisclosed time period and using them to pay for the legal fees of wrongfully arrested/convicted Black people.
We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on luck and what role, if any, you feel it’s played for you?
Honestly, I don’t believe in luck, I believe in divine intervention. I believe I’ve gotten this far within my personal and professional life through healing and spiritual guidance. I hope to continue building on previous manifestations, implement things I’ve mapped out in my synergy map, and bring Blacker The Berry to the masses.
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/blackertheberryjuicery/, https://www.instagram.com/dominiquelburrell/
Alan – @alanjbe