State Recognition for Downtown Toledo Black Owned Businesses
The Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose highlighted eight Black-Owned businesses in Ohio that “have shown what hard work looks like, continue to make their communities better, and inspire others to chase their entrepreneurial dreams.” We are proud that two of those eight are located right here in downtown Toledo!
The Onyx Café has been serving up delicious coffee and treats from their Oliver House location since spring of 2021. “Keith B. Jordan Sr. wanted to have a place for his community to gather safely while enjoying each other’s company. Keith noticed that there was a lack of Black-owned coffee shops in Northwest Ohio, so he wanted to be one of the first! Whether you are stopping in for coffee, a zoom meeting, or bringing your kids for story book time on Saturday mornings, they have a healthy and safe space for customers to enjoy. If there was one way Keith would describe his Café, it would be a ‘hug in a mug’. Keith has also started a local magazine called ‘Stalwart’ which highlights the impact and contributions of Black-owned businesses in his community. In his spare time, Keith runs a non-profit called JLJ Vision Outreach which helps kids learn life lessons and how to excel in their schoolwork.”
Keith is a graduate of Spring Arbor University where he serves on their board of directors. He is also a Board of Trustee member for the Toledo Lucas County Public Library and Owens Community College.
You’ve surely seen their logo outside of construction sites all over downtown. ARK Restoration and Construction, started by Ambrea and Kevin Mikolajczyk, began from a love of flipping houses. “Ambrea said their business model is driven by their passion for restoring homes and buildings for people of color. ARK Restoration and Construction is committed to making the Toledo area even better. ARK Restoration and Construction is a Minority Business Certified business and has worked to encourage and support other minority and women-owned businesses in the Toledo area. Most recently, ARK Restoration and Construction renovated the Wonder Bread factory in the Lowertown District of downtown into an apartment building with 33 living spaces, where they also made their home office.” Other ARK Restoration and Construction projects in/near downtown: The Lofts at Wonder Bread, Hotel Royal, Salem Financial, Sunkist Building, Regers Building, New Cheney Flats apartments, Uptown Arts apartments and others.
Ambrea and Kevin are graduates of the University of Toledo. Ambrea is also a graduate of the Goldman-Sachs 10,000 Small Business program. She serves on the boards of the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce and the University of Toledo Alumni Association and was recognized with a 20 Under 40 Leadership Award.
ConnecToledo Downtown Development Corporation is a 501(c)3 organization committed to the redevelopment of downtown Toledo. This is accomplished by connecting public and private investment to facilitate the implementation of the Downtown Toledo Master Plan and other community priorities, including marketing, event management, environmental maintenance, safety and economic development services. The goal is an exceptional experience for those who invest, play, work, dine, shop and live in downtown.
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ConnecToledo Downtown Development Corporation
300 Madison Ave #0110
Toledo, OH 43604
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