Celebrating Black-Owned Businesses: Nikki’s Chocolates WNY Partners with Delaware North

Celebrating Black-Owned Businesses: Nikki’s Chocolates WNY Partners with Delaware North

(IN SHORT) As Black History Month is honored in the United States, Delaware North spotlights several Black-owned businesses it collaborates with, including Nikki’s Chocolates WNY founded by Jannell Eason. Transitioning from a corporate career to entrepreneurship in 2018, Eason’s confectionery specializes in handmade chocolates and desserts, catering to diverse dietary needs. Featured at Delaware North’s corporate events, Nikki’s Chocolates WNY has become a testament to Eason’s journey, highlighting the importance of recognizing Black entrepreneurs in the culinary industry. Eason’s involvement in initiatives like the “Diversity Shop at KeyBank Center” underscores the role of businesses in driving awareness and fostering opportunities for underrepresented communities in Buffalo, exemplifying the power of collaboration and mentorship in inspiring future Black entrepreneurs.

(PRESS RELEASE) Buffalo, NY, 2024-Feb-20 — /Travel PR News/ — As we recognize Black History Month in the United States, Delaware North is highlighting several Black-owned businesses that partner with the company. After a 12-year career in corporate management, Jannell Eason started a “pursuit of happiness” in 2018 when she formed Nikki’s Chocolates WNY.

“Although I had a successful career, I felt I didn’t get to explore my creative side,” said Eason, who specializes in handmade chocolates, cakes, cookies and dessert tables. Eason creates custom desserts catering to all dietary needs, and her treats have been featured at Delaware North’s corporate headquarters for special events such as employee appreciation days, leadership talks and social gatherings.

Why do you think it’s important to recognize Black History Month in the culinary industry?

So many talented individuals of color often create delicious dishes behind the scenes. Black History Month is one way to learn more about these individuals and what drives them to create. You leave each story inspired!

What role do you or your business have today in serving as catalysts for change?

Awareness is the key to change. Since launching Nikki’s Chocolates WNY, I have employed youth through internships, which also serves as a mentoring opportunity for me to share my journey while inspiring them to find their own career paths. Many of these teenagers never considered becoming entrepreneurs before working at Nikki’s Chocolates WNY.

What advice do you have for current or aspiring Black entrepreneurs?

Take advantage of connecting with development programs focused on advancing small businesses. As a Western New Yorker, I utilized Buffalo State University’s Small Business Development Center to learn how to develop a business plan, select funding and do market research so I could target the right customers in my industry.

Nikki’s Chocolates was recently announced as one of eight Black-owned retailers at the “Diversity Shop at KeyBank Center” initiative in collaboration with Erie County’s Level Up program. What has been your experience with starting a business in Buffalo?

My experience with the Level Up program has been great! Erie County Legislature Chairperson April Baskin started this program with a vision to meet business owners where they currently are and help them grow sustainably. Over the past year, I have connected with organizations such as Delaware North, Tops Markets, the Buffalo Bills and the Buffalo Sabres – large clients that I would not have been introduced to otherwise as a small business owner.

I have learned that having a great product means nothing if people don’t know about you. Marketing is an expense that most minority-owned businesses cannot afford. Working together as a group in the Level Up program has been a blessing because you can share best practices and support each other. The Diversity Shop hosted by the Sabres at KeyBank Center [where Delaware North operates foodservice] is another example of how small businesses can collaborate to cross-promote their products and get in front of a large audience. I am grateful for this opportunity.

Media Contact:

Glen White
Director-Corp. Comm
250 Delaware Ave.
Buffalo, New York 14202
Email: GAWhite@delawarenorth.com
Phone: 716-858-5753
Fax: 716-858-5125

Source: Delaware North