• Harvest Brunch and Woodlawn Street Market bring big crowds to the neighborhood

    Filed Under: Business-Proving, Events, Small Business, Woodlawn, Woodlawn Street Market

    REV’s mission is to create vibrant commercial districts, and we saw that on display in a big way in Woodlawn on Saturday, August 11. Birmingham Restaurant Week’s 2018 season kicked off with a sold-out Harvest Brunch alongside a larger-than-ever Woodlawn Street Market, drawing more than 1,000 people to just a few blocks in heart of the historic district. 

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  • Homemade taste and quality ingredients: Suzie Jane's Cozy Cakes and Bars

    Filed Under: Birmingham Food & Drink, Business-Proving, Small Business

    REV’s June 2018 Woodlawn Street Market was Hawkins’ first experience selling her goods in a public setting. Up until then, Hawkins had only her instinct that there was a market in Birmingham for her cakes – and it turned out, she was right! She saw robust sales and collected encouraging customer feedback.

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  • The Annex commissary kitchen, culinary incubator opens in Tillman Levenson building downtown

    Filed Under: Birmingham Food & Drink, Business-Proving, Downtown Birmingham, Filling Vacant Spaces, Small Business

    Local entrepreneur Haden Smith is bringing long-needed commissary kitchen space to downtown Birmingham. The Annex will offer commercial kitchen space for rent, event space for pop-up dinners, and a food truck incubation program.

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  • Organically Yours bakery is cooking up something sweet in East Lake

    Filed Under: Birmingham Food & Drink, Business-Proving, Small Business

    Antionette Neely started reading ingredient labels in the grocery store where she worked as a young woman. Right away, she realized most of the additives were unpronounceable and synthetic. That’s when she asked herself a question: What can I do to put out better products? Twenty years later, the lifelong baker cooked up a sweet answer to that question − homemade oatmeal cookies she baked for her kids. She switched out original ingredients for all wholesome options, and thus, Organically Yours was born. In 2009, she received her first two clients: a local Piggly Wiggly and Organic Harvest. After 6 months of working in her home, Neely thought about opening a brick and mortar bakery, but it wasn’t the time. Every time she got close to securing a space things fell through. That didn’t keep her from staying focused on her dream. “I knew from day one I was supposed to be in a brick and mortar,” Neely said. “One day, it’ll come.” Last year, REV helped that day come by working with Neely to identify a space in East Lake. For the first time, Organically Yours LLC had a brick and mortar space to call home. Although her new location isn’t projected to open until later this summer, Neely is already excited to bring healthy, natural foods to an area that can use an economic boost. “Over the years, I’ve seen it deteriorate a little. I figured that putting a bakery there would really help to revive the location,” she said. “I think that people are crying for something healthier – a bakery that is healthy.” Moving to a brick and mortar location is going to be a huge change for Neely – a positive one that is long overdue. Since she started Organically Yours, she has basically been a one-woman show, managing almost every aspect of her business. “Baking, packaging, delivering – I pretty much did all of that by myself since 2009 – up until now,” Neely said. “But when you know what you need to do, you just do it.” She wants her story to motivate others who are considering starting their own businesses. “In my case, it took 10 years. There is no overnight success,” Neely said. “When you’re called to do something, it doesn’t happen quickly. It’s going to take time to grow. It’s like planting a seed. My advice would be to stay with it, no matter what comes your way.” Check out Organically Yours on Facebook and Instagram!

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  • Food entrepreneurship leads economic development progress in Woodlawn

    Filed Under: Birmingham Food & Drink, Business-Proving, Small Business, Woodlawn

    The Birmingham community of Woodlawn has recently seen economic growth through the renovation of an existing but dilapidated building that now houses a restaurant, a bakery and a fresh produce distribution center.  Located at 5829 1st Avenue North, the joint venture between Woodlawn Foundation and REV Birmingham has allowed two Woodlawn business owners to expand their footprint to accommodate a growing demand for their respective products.

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  • Meet the 2018 Rise of the Rest winners: Mixtroz

    Filed Under: Business-Proving, Small Business

    In 2014, Kerry Schrader and Ashlee Ammons set out to solve a problem that has long plagued events: people just don’t ‘mix’ at mixers.
    Their solution: Mixtroz, an app that helps forge more diverse, genuine connections at mixers by driving attendees from phone to face-to-face in real time while capturing data.

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  • What I learned at Woodlawn Street Market: Beehive Baking Company

    Filed Under: Birmingham Food & Drink, Business-Proving, Events, Small Business, Woodlawn, Woodlawn Street Market

    As the Birmingham food scene grows, Beehive Baking Company owners Sarah Schlund and Caeden Oliver are using Woodlawn Street Market to reach new customers. The co-owners first participated in the market last fall, and both say they’ve learned a lot through the process.

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  • Eugene's Hot Chicken owner to present expansion ideas to Rise of the Rest pitch competition

    Filed Under: Birmingham Food & Drink, Business-Proving, Downtown Birmingham, Events, Small Business

    Eugene’s is already the king of hot chicken in Birmingham, but the man behind the popular food truck and restaurant has even bigger plans.
    Owner Zebbie Carney will pitch his plan for a North Birmingham commissary kitchen at the upcoming Rise of the Rest tour stop in Birmingham.

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  • East 59: 2015 Big Pitch winners still serving East Lake in style

    Filed Under: Big Pitch, Birmingham Food & Drink, Business-Proving, Events, Small Business

    The East Lake District boasts many incredible assets, including Ruffner Mountain and East Lake Park. Husband-and-wife duo Amber and Stephen Tolbert have called East Lake home since 2012. They love their neighbors and community, and they knew this was the neighborhood where they should start their business. 

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  • Taste of Five Points is back for year two

    Filed Under: Birmingham Food & Drink, Business-Proving, Events, Small Business

    Taste of Five Points is back by popular demand! Vulcan Park and Museum and the Five Points Alliance are working together to host the second annual “Taste of Five Points” presented by Spire – a celebration of the neighborhood’s 131st anniversary. Attendees will experience all the elements that exemplify the best of Five Points South, from culinary hot-spots to trendy retail to lively entertainment options. 

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