Pittsburgh Gets Real

Black-owned Pittsburgh business taking unique approach to help stop violence

PITTSBURGH — A Black-owned business on Pittsburgh’s North Side is taking a unique approach to give back to the community and help stop the violence.

“There are people out here in your community that care,” co-owner Lateresa Blackwell said.

Even though the business is known for soul food, the owners are most proud of the positivity that they are able to feed young people.

“Let them know that you are worth more than what you think that you are,” Blackwell said.

The building that Michael and Lateresa Blackwell use to help keep kids off the street used to be a nuisance bar. They renovated the building and opened a cafe. The garage was transformed into a kitchen lab, where teens and young adults can learn more about the hospitality industry.

The owners literally give back to the community. They fill bags with nutritional items and hand them out to the community each day.

“We wanted to be leaders in our community, to be an agent of change,” Blackwell said.

They’ve been able to offer teens a 16-week program in the food and hospitality industry.