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The Black Business Roc Black Tie Gala Recognizes, Honors Local Entrepreneurs

By: Telisha McIntyre

Black Business Roc Black Tie Gala organizer Chad Grimes. Photo from Chad Grimes’ Facebook page at by Albert Jones Photography.

Several local business owners celebrated and honored one another at the annual Rochester Black Business Black Tie Gala Event organized by Chad Grimes, founder of Black Business ROC. 

“I always wanted to get everybody in a room where we could celebrate and look good doing it,” said Grimes, who is also owner and CEO of CG House of Bounce.

“I want to praise my peers, so we all do better in the long run. I’m excited to see everyone else have a good time.”

The Rochester community is filled with many local business owners, each individual invited to the event came and uplifted and supported one another. 

This year’s event highlighted Black women-owned businesses. The six women entrepreneurs bestowed with awards and honored consisted of; Cheria A. Anderson, owner of Morgan’s Cereal Bar LLC; Anissia Calhoun, owner of S.I.S (Socially Involved SISters) Fit Fitness; Monique Chatman, owner of The Groom Room Men’s Spa and Lounge; Yolanda Smilez who is CEO of Roc Awards; and People’s Choice Kitchen owner Evangela Stanley.

The room was filled with happiness and love as everyone dressed to impress and encouraged each other. 

“This feeling is magical, I never thought something like this could happen here in Rochester, it’s all love and praise within tonight’s venue,” said Grimes.

The event was held at the Grand Occasions Ballroom in downtown Rochester.

It was hosted by local comedian and food enthusiast, Joel James and Tysharda Thomas of the real estate brokerage, New 2 U Homes. The gala guests were graced with a performance by Grammy-nominated jazz saxophonist Jimmie Highsmith Jr.

The Inaugural Black Business Roc Black Tie Gala first launched on September 15, 2019, to recognize, honor and highlight Black businesses in the Rochester community. “We are all we have and we need to make sure we support and help each other,” Grimes said.

“This event impacted our community in many ways. Major networking opportunities, learning of other local black businesses and much more. Not only are we here networking but we are also looking good and proud while doing it.” 

Certified Personal Trainer Owner and Founder of Mama BFit, Breana Anthony who attended the event said attending the event reminds her of why she started her business.

“It’s good to know that being a new entrepreneur, sometimes it gets hard, but I have the support from my community to help me,” she said. 

Hairstylist Juanita Jackson of 613xtensions said she never felt so happy and special to be a black woman entrepreneur in Rochester than on tonight, “I will remember tonight for the rest of my life,” Jackson said.

Grimes said he looks forward to what next year brings.  

Grimes said the 3rd annual Black Business Roc Black Tie Gala will take place in October of 2022.