Local Black-owned businesses participate in weekend retail experience

Mar 17, 2023, 7:46 PM

SALT LAKE CITYAll-Star weekend in Utah brought exposure to so many wonderful things about the Beehive State. Many Black-owned businesses saw a welcomed economic boost.

Now, the Utah Black Chamber of Commerce wants to keep that alive and help Black-owned businesses thrive. So they hope a new weekend retail experience will help with that.

Lavarro Greer is a busy man.

“Heavens best flavored butters hand-packed by angels of course!” said Greer, owner of Heavens Best Flavored Butters.

When he’s not working as a radiologist, Greer serves up “Heaven’s Best Flavored Butter.”

“I remember being a child and having garlic bread. Well, we didn’t go to the grocer’s to buy garlic bread; we made our own. We simply mixed fresh garlic, we mixed with butter, we whipped it, and we put it on a great bread,” he said.

He’s been satisfying taste buds in the Beehive State for a couple of years now, and his company has been gradually growing, but things took off during All-Star weekend.

“I took away the experience that Heaven’s Best Flavored Butter is making a mark, not just on Utah, but on the world,” Greer said. “We had everybody here — every nationality, every creed, every race, every gender landed in Salt Lake City for a brief moment in time.”

Greer’s business wasn’t the only Black-owned business that saw a spike in revenue during All-Star weekend, and that’s why Dr. Sidni Shorter, CEO of the Utah Chamber of Black Commerce, is pairing with Zions Bank to launch a Black business retail experience called “Utah, Black and Open for Business.”

“It did generate revenue, but I also think it defeated a myth that Black people and Black businesses don’t exist in Utah,” Shorter said. “We are here, we are vibrant, we are well, and we are actually growing. Now that we have the momentum, why not ride the wave?”

So now, they’re riding that wave, but also calling on Utahns to come shop at their pop-up showcasing dozens of Black-owned businesses in downtown Salt Lake.

“I would hope that people will start to accept that fact that Black businesses do exist here, that they are creative, they are successful, and that they can come down and share that experience with us,” Greer said. “We love Utah. We love Salt Lake City. We’re a melting pot, and so to be included as an African American entrepreneur is one of the most amazing experiences since I moved here.”

The event is every Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. until April 8. It takes place in the old Zions Bank building…

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Local Black-owned businesses participate in weekend retail experience