CHICAGO -- Over the course of the past year, Charles Alexander, Mark Edmond, and Jamel Lewis have developed the first Black-owned gourmet sliced bread brand, The Black Bread Company.
It all started when Edmond went to the grocery store.
"My wife gave me a grocery list, and at the top of the list was bread. I wanted to buy everything that was Black-owned, and I could not find one African American owned bread, so out of frustration, I left," Edmond said.
Immediately afterwards, Edmond called up his best friends from high school, Alexander and Lewis, and from there, The Black Bread Co. was born.
Building on each other's business skills, they were able to determine their company design, logo, create a website, select whole ingredients for their sliced bread and hire a co-packer to help launch The Black Bread Company.
They went through numerous rounds of testing to make sure the bread was just right.
"There's a certain level of pressure that comes when you're starting something that's never been done before," Alexander said. "And the pressure for us was to make sure we got it right, and so we really took our time with the entire process."
They currently offer honey wheat bread and premium white sliced bread, but are looking forward to adding more products such as hot dog and hamburger buns, multi-grain bread, and brioche.
Want to purchase your own loaves? Head to blackbreadco.com. If you're in the Chicagoland area, you can also buy in store at Dill Pickle Food Co-Op in Logan Square and the Sugar Beet Co-Op in Oak Park.