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Meet Lauran Smith of Chicago BLACK Restaurant Week

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lauran Smith.

Lauran, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My story is actually quite simple: I recognized a need for Black-owned food/dessert/beverage businesses to be highlighted, so I created a full week in honor of their contributions to the food community.

Has it been a smooth road?
The road to creating this annual event has been smooth, however, I am always faced with harsh words from quite a few Caucasian Americans EACH YEAR, stating that I am a racist for creating such an event. My life has been threatened as well. I will not stop providing Chicago BLACK Restaurant Week for the city of Chicago, and I remain unafraid of “keyboard thugs”.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I am known for being a Columnist for the oldest African American Publication in the world, and for being a Digital Marketing Specialist.

What I am most proud of about Chicago BLACK Restaurant Week is that each year, the support increases, and this annual event is being recognized nationwide.

What sets me apart from others? Probably my willingness to serve, whether it directly benefits me or not.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
In the next 5-10 years, I will continue to see a pattern of growth for Chicago BLACK Restaurant Week. It is a steady progression each year, and I am excited about how far it has come and where it will go. There are lots of plans to increase engagement/reach/etc., but those will be expressed once the work on those plans is complete!

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Email:
  • Instagram: @officialchicagobrw
  • Facebook: @officialchicagobrw
  • Twitter: @chicagobrw

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