DMVbrw - Our Story
Local restaurants are the custodian of our community’s culture. When these restaurants thrive, the neighborhoods and cities prosper and the community's overall culture flourishes. Leading to 2018, a series of events put this idea to the test. From the black tax story at a hotel to the profiling of two young entrepreneurs at a national coffee chain, it became necessary to recreate what was once a haven for communal growth.
While the events fueled an already heated discourse, one question was on the mind of Dr. Erinn Tucker, "Where are our black-owned food businesses that cater to the needs of their community?" Black Restaurant Week has proved to be a model that many cities across the country utilized to promote and support black-owned businesses and to keep the black food culture alive. Upon further research Dr. Erinn realized that such a platform is also needed in Washington DC. Once the idea came to her, she reached out to Furard Tate and later Andra Johnson and the DMV Black Restaurant Week (DMVbrw) was born.
Dr. Erinn Tucker is a professor of hospitality at a local university. Andra “AJ" Johnson has been an avid food entrepreneur since the age of 14. Furard “Tate" Tate is a former Washington DC restaurateur who supports and promotes young individuals entering the food space. These three entrepreneurs, united around a powerful idea and mission, came together by a sheer act of destiny to form the TEAJ Alliance. The TEAJ Alliance’s mission is “using food as a force for good.” DMV Black Restaurant Week was established to help facilitate this mission. It carries out this mission in three major ways: supporting black owned restaurants by giving access to resources, supporting black owned restaurants by creating market opportunities and curating the local industry's best talent.
In the short time since its inception DMVbrw has served hundreds of black owned restaurants in the Washington DC metro area. This impact was largely made possible by the 180 volunteers who responded to an article in the Washington City Paper in August 2018. Businesses served have increased their visibility to customers and gained access to capital – two critical pieces holding back their growth and longevity.
To us DMVbrw is not just about a week, it’s about impact in the community all year round. Our mission is to use food as a force for good and our motto is culture, education and good food. We advocate for the local black owned restaurant and food service provider, celebrate togetherness, inclusive to businesses who support our mission and increase the prosperity of the local economy.