This Tuesday brought unexpected but welcome news to five Black-owned restaurants in Miami, each receiving a $10,000 grant from the Black Innovation Alliance. This significant financial boost was announced during the organization’s annual Sustainability Summit currently taking place in downtown Miami, which will continue through Friday

The Black Innovation Alliance, dedicated to narrowing the racial wealth gap, selected these restaurants for their exceptional performance on Yelp, characterized by a high volume of positive reviews. Kelly Burton, the CEO of the Black Innovation Alliance, emphasized the initiative as a crucial support system for Black entrepreneurs who typically lack access to traditional funding avenues. “This gesture represents our commitment to fill the gap left by the absence of friends and family investment rounds common in other communities,” Burton explained.

Among the grant recipients was Smith and Webster, co-owned by Opa-locka native and former NFL player Kayvon Webster. Webster, who transitioned to entrepreneurship after an eight-year career in the NFL, opened the restaurant in April 2022 alongside food critic Starex Smith. Reflecting on the challenges he faced in securing funding, Webster shared, “When athletes like us venture into business, we often rely solely on our personal funds. Receiving recognition and support like this is both validating and encouraging.” He plans to use the grant to invest in his staff of 35 employees and possibly bring on another chef.

The decision to hold the group’s annual summit in Florida was not made lightly, particularly in light of a 2023 Supreme Court ruling against affirmative action and Florida’s subsequent push to dismantle diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. Burton noted, “The choice reflects our determination to confront the historical and ongoing challenges facing Black communities, particularly in states with deep-rooted histories of inequality.”

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Lobster mac and cheese at the World Famous House of Mac. Handout

Here’s a brief look at the other four Miami-based businesses blessed with this timely financial windfall:

Smith and Webster

This unique eatery came to life when Webster and Smith merged their diverse culinary perspectives into a single vision in 2022. It’s located at 486 NE 167th St., Miami.


Opened by Chef Akino West and his wife, Jamila, in 2020, Rosie’s has quickly become a local favorite in Little River, even earning the Michelin Bib Gourmand award two consecutive years. You can find Rosie’s at 162 NW 73rd St., Miami.

World Famous House of Mac

Derrick Turton’s popular restaurant features comfort foods with a twist, like macaroni and cheese and jerk pasta. Its Instagram following has swelled to 84,000. Visit at 1951 NW Seventh Ave., Suite 190, Miami.

Lil Greenhouse Grill

Starting as a food truck, this Overtown establishment by owner Nicole Gates and chef Karim Bryant has become a staple for soul food enthusiasts. It’s located at 1300 Northwest Third Ave., Miami.

House of Wings

Musaddiq Muhammad’s establishment has been a go-to since 2003 for those craving chicken wings, offering 60 different varieties. It’s located at 1039 NW Third Avenue, Miami.

Burton expressed hope that the grants are just the beginning of a broader initiative to support Black entrepreneurs across America, paving the way for a sustainable economic foundation. This gesture not only highlights the crucial role of community support in entrepreneurial success but also signifies a positive stride towards financial equity.