Business

Joe Bushfan’s Commissary: More than just food on wheels

By Antony Nganga

April 16, 2018

  They say love can move mountains, and Joe Bushfan is a mountain of a man. He is big of stature, of smile and of food. Joseph Bushfan owns the Commissary on 2100 Angier Avenue. Although it looks like a quiet location, inside is a buzz of activity. Behind the building, rows of food trucks, […]

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Domonique the fashion blogger finding success

By Tiara Bell Sanders

  Durham-based, fashionably-gifted YouTuber, Domonique Robinson has quite the journey as a social media influencer and owns a make-up line for all beauty lovers. She has been into beauty since helping out her mom in the beauty salon when she was younger. Robinson discovered her passion for doing makeup around 10th grade. “I would always […]

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Ithiopia Meekeda launches Blush Essentials

By Tiara Bell Sanders

  Entrepreneur Ithiopia Meekeda, has launched her all-pure organic line of body products, “Blush Essentials” to the public this year. She is a Durham native and N.C. Central University graduate who believes in her business. “I founded Blush Essentials Natural Body Products in March 2017. I had a soft launch last year to get an […]

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NCWorks NextGen breaks down barriers to youth employment

By Cole Villena

April 11, 2018

 Getting a job has never been a problem for Tevin Guasp. The 26-year-old New York native is hard-working, friendly and eager to learn on and off the job. But, without a high school diploma, Guasp found his career options limited. “I found jobs,” he said, “it just wasn’t a job that I necessarily wanted. It’d […]

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Cocoa Cinnamon’s new café and roastery explore the story of coffee from seed to cup

By Marissa O'Neill

March 28, 2018

  Cocoa Cinnamon’s newest location in Lakewood continues the tradition of community-centered cafés with a twist: the in-house micro-roastery — 4th Dimension Coffee — and freshly made churros. The new shop opened in August of 2017 and is located at 2013 Chapel Hill Boulevard, across the street from Lakewood Shopping Center. It is the third […]

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Evita Loca opens first store in March

By Baleigh Johnson

February 13, 2018

  Evita Mensah is a self-taught fashion designer with a growing clothing line called Evita Loca. She recently got store space at 115 Market Street in Durham, so her local customers can have an in-person shopping experience. Her online store will still be in use to reach beyond the Bull City. Born in Brooklyn, New […]

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The Studio makes tattooing a private practice

By Kenzie Cook

January 31, 2018

A year ago, 2112 Angier Avenue was an empty storefront sitting next to the local barbershop. That all changed last May, when Durham native Samantha Castrovinci opened her own private tattoo studio, The Studio, after 10 years of tattooing and months of deliberation. “I scoured the internet for six months looking for a place to […]

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Doug Speight carries on family legacy in Durham with new position

By Justin Laidlaw

December 6, 2017

  The Speight family has been a staple of Durham commerce for decades dating back as far as the 1930s with places like Speight’s Auto Service, a business that is still active today. Doug Speight, whose grandfather, Theodore, started Speight’s Auto Service, is attempting to carry on that family legacy for the next generation of […]

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If you thought Joe Bushfan was done serving the community – think again

By Taylor Mabrey

November 9, 2017

“My dream was just to help folks less fortunate than myself,” Durham resident and catalyst Joe Bushfan said when talking about his efforts in his community. While Bushfan has been around Durham for a while now, he has no plan on stopping his efforts to help others. In 2020, he hopes to open a diner […]

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5th Fare: More than a tattoo parlor

By Alex Zietlow

November 8, 2017

Just like the skin of the store’s customers, the walls inside 5th Fare — one of Durham’s newest urban galleries and tattoo parlors — are dressed up with artwork. There’s an outlined sketch of a bull with city landmarks filling the animal’s body. There are drawings of sheet music with abstract, unidentified monsters in the […]

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Black Men Run meets new faces weekly

By Autavius Smith and Carl Smith

October 26, 2017

Casual joggers and athletes may get up in the morning to run for all intended obvious health benefits; lose weight, improve self-esteem, and prevent disease. But for North Carolina State University Economics professor Jason Coupet and a few of Durham’s running clubs, exercise is just part of the health equation for an advantageous lifestyle. A […]

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Lyon Parks Facility manager hangs it up

By Tyee Meek and Qaadir McFadden

October 24, 2017

Victoria Phillips, 72, the facility manager at The Community Family Life and Recreation Center at Lyon Park, also known as Lyon Park, for about eight years retired in early October. She is moving to Atlanta to be closer to her family. Phillips is also a former student at the center that was once the old […]

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A simple Saturday morning: Samuel & Sons isn’t going anywhere

By Allen Longstreet

October 18, 2017

Angier Avenue was devoid of traffic. It was so quiet for 10 a.m. that it could have been the middle of the night. But inside Samuel & Sons Barber Shop, lively conversation ensued; R&B music filled in the background of stories, smiles and laughs. Samuel Jenkins, 54, gave his first trim of the day to […]

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After primary, Ali and Schewel network with young professionals

By Davis McKinney

If you remember last year’s election at all, you probably associate politics with divisive attack ads and heated debates. But all negative preconceptions were put to rest last Thursday night at Beyú Caffé where mayoral candidates Steve Schewel and Farad Ali met in a moment of political civility to interact with young professionals from Durham. […]

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Joe’s Comedy Corner brings laughs to Angier Avenue

By Allison Tate

October 17, 2017

For Joe Bushfan, laughter is important during hard times. That’s why the entrepreneur and community leader started up Joe’s Comedy Corner on Angier Avenue. Now with two successful shows under its belt, it looks like Bushfan and the community are thinking alike. “I think laughter is good for the soul–especially with all these tumultuous times […]

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Motherland Vibrations comes to Durham

By Taquaisha Patrick

October 8, 2017

  Making the jump from being a vendor, who sells products at local and regional events and has to unpack and pack and transport and travel, to opening a store is a momentous jump, but brother and sister team Smkiya and Christopher (who declined to have their last names published) have done just that with […]

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How to be your own boss

By Daija Graves

October 6, 2017

  Business textbooks probably cannot keep up with how the millennial generation is revolutionizing the art of entrepreneurship. College students, using social media and the internet are finding ways to create products and make money. The days of working at the mall to make some money may be coming to an end. One local example […]

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East Durham cobbler does it the Love-Way

By Autavius Smith

October 5, 2017

Amid the one-story homes around 506 Burlington Avenue, Love-Way Shoe Repair shop, run entirely by 70-year-old Gayford Caston has prolonged his niche-driven business for 32 years with the help of close-knit ties in East Durham. Patrons looking to inquire about shoe restoration might be greeted with a slow widening smile from Caston; a “Hey, how […]

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Jewel maker brings big idea to Northeast Central Durham

By Autavius Smith

  A bronze-colored, five-foot horse statue made from scrap metal pieces sits at the intersection of Rigsbee Avenue and Hunt Street in Northeast Central Durham. Further down Hunt Street is a sculpture with a scarlet silhouette of three people peddling on unicycles. Placed near the side building backdrop of two men forging metal is another […]

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Durham Green Flea Market: It’s all about what you can give

By Allen Longstreet

September 20, 2017

  On Saturdays and Sundays, there is quite a bit of congestion on East Pettigrew Street, just past the intersection of Alston Avenue. But the traffic isn’t caused from churchgoers or construction — it’s the line of cars waiting to get into the Durham Green Flea Market. Boasting over 150 vendors, with items ranging from […]

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Hillside students attend business academy

By Davis McKinney

Summer break and all of its familiar facets like pools, naps and no homework just weren’t enough for Jasir Haynes and Jalen McKoy. The two Hillside High School students wanted to use their vacation time to try to better themselves and gain valuable skills and knowledge. By attending North Carolina Central University School of Business’s […]

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Beth Mann: Early Bird Photography

By Tiayana Ford

  Beth Mann still remembers what each of the photos looks like from the family photo album. Her dad used to glue tons of little photo corners onto the page and caption every photo  with a felt tip. “I still remember remember what each of those pages look like because of what they showed me. […]

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Barber Terry Clay: Jack of all trades, and then some

By Carl Smith

  Where is an all-in-one therapist, politician, stylist, entrepreneur, and friend when you need one? The Swagger House on 4420 North Roxboro Rd. is the place to find it all. Terry Clay is a solo barber and a Durham native who has a deep connection for his community. He uses the skill of barbering to […]

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Meet the real McKoy

By Taylor Mabrey

  “If you don’t like the shine, you don’t pay a dime” or “Hey, let me do your shoes” are just a few of the things you can hear when you’re walking down West Main Street on a sunny day. Durham native Pierce McKoy has been shining shoes since 1967– and to many of those […]

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Kasib Abdullah is all about the community

By Julian Keeler

September 19, 2017

  From owning New Visions of Africa to founding Believers United for Progress, Kasib Abdullah has done a great deal of work in the Durham community. Abdullah was born in New Jersey. He moved to Durham in 1995. Along with two other men, Abdullah opened a restaurant called New Visions of Africa in 2004 at […]

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Honesty and integrity: starting a business in Durham

By Brian Shurney

April 19, 2017

  Starting a business can be a daunting task, full of risks and uncertainties, but there are plenty of entrepreneurs who have found success in Durham. Three business owners — Joe Bushfan, Miguel Collado and Samuel Jenkins — shared their tips and secrets for running a business. Joe is the owner of Joe’s Commissary, a […]

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A historic voice for the black community

By Olivia Browning

April 5, 2017

Louis E. Austin bought The Stanford Advertiser in 1927 and transformed the local newspaper into the most important voice for black North Carolinians during the civil rights era. He used The Carolina Times to publicize racial inequities and to fight for racial equality in North Carolina and throughout the U.S. Austin’s legacy is still carried […]

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Historic Speight’s Auto Service dates back to 1938

By Kevin Crawford

March 31, 2017

  Durham’s thriving black business committee was severely damaged by the construction of the Durham Freeway beginning in the 1960s. Nonetheless, some businesses, such as Speight’s Auto Service, relocated and continue to thrive. Active since 1938, Speights Auto Service started as a service station selling gas, running cabs, as well as oil services. Owned by […]

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Durham Rescue Missions expands campus, services for homeless

By Avery Rodriguez and Thaddeus Berglund

March 1, 2017

The Durham Rescue Mission is building three new dorms in an effort to continue providing more warm meals and safe places to sleep for the homeless of Durham. Ernie Mills, 72, the CEO and co-founder of the mission, says he was inspired to help those in need after watching his father combat alcoholism. He believes […]

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Q&A with Joe’s Commissary owner Joe Bushfan

By Nicole Caporaso

Joe Bushfan has lived in Durham for about 13 years, and he has nearly seen it all. The owner of Joe’s Commissary and Commercial Kitchen, the Boston native also owns the now-closed Joe’s Diner, located at 2100 Angier Ave. on the corner of Driver Street. In addition to running the commissary, Bushfan sells hot dogs […]

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New Visions of Africa serves Hayti community

By Brian Shurney

February 15, 2017

Reuniting the Hayti community is Kasib Abdullah’s vision. Kasib opened his restaurant, New Visions of Africa, in 2004 with his former partners Raheem Muhammad and Rasheed Muhammad. The restaurant is located on 1306 Fayetteville St. in Durham. Today, Kasib runs the store on his own. New Visions serves free food to people in the community […]

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Durham youth center, Blackspace, teaches skills and self-expression

By Avery Rodriguez

Blackspace, a makerspace and youth center, combines art, activism and computer science in a space for young artists in the Durham area to express themselves. Pierce Freelon opened the first Blackspace workshop in 2014 in Chapel Hill. With it, he said, he hoped to provide a free, Afro-centric workshop to help disadvantaged youth in the […]

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Business owner picks Durham and its youth to help It grow

By Nafisa Shah

February 10, 2017

  Whether for a Valentine’s Day or a birthday gift, natural beauty is in right now, but sometimes looking for pure and all-natural ingredients can be hard. It’s part of the reason local entrepreneur Elisabeth Chadbourne decided to start her small business. She created Lo & Behold Natural Body Care and its 100 percent natural […]

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Runaway Clothes spurs ‘creative entrepreneurship’ through Durham pride

By Avery Rodriguez

February 1, 2017

Runaway Clothes supports and showcases the Durham art scene while working to create opportunities for future generations. The Durham-based clothing company reflects a new wave of startups, many run by female and minority entrepreneurs, that have grown and brought business to the area. Durham native Gabe Eng-Goetz founded Runaway in 2011, and brought on partners like […]

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Empty church on Main Street still home to growing congregation

By Catherine O'Neill

The old church building might be empty, but the congregation is packed. At 11 on a Sunday morning, you can find members of the Church of the Apostolic Revival International just a block down the road from the boarded-up church building on the corner of Main Street and South Holman Street. As members of the […]

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Black Wall Street Makes a Comeback: Minority entrepreneurs gather in Downtown Durham

By L'erin Jensen

October 24, 2016

More than 300 minority entrepreneurs gathered Oct. 12-14 for networking, promoting and music at the Black Wall Street (BWS) Homecoming event in Durham. The event, which was co-founded by local entrepreneurs Dee McDougal, Jesica Averhart, Talib Graves-Manns and Tobias Rose, was a chance for African-American and other minority entrepreneurs to hear from and engage with other successful […]

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Cocoa Cinnamon: Community based coffee shop holds historic roots

By Trevor Barnes

September 22, 2016

  Designed with unique renovated urban architecture, customers can walk in, smell the satisfying aroma of espresso, and enjoy the experience of this award-winning coffee shop. Located on West Geer Street, near the old Durham Bulls stadium, Cocoa Cinnamon has received many accolades including the Durham Weekly’s 2014 Winner Platinum award for best coffee shop. […]

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Walltown experiencing gentrification, the "wall" has come down

By L'erin Jensen

September 21, 2016

  Once an almost exclusively black neighborhood, Walltown Village with its close proximity to Duke, has been undergoing gentrification for more than a decade. However, according to Walltown residents, Sammy Lucas and Felix Hayes, the process hasn’t been all bad, and the newcomers are becoming a part of the community. According to “Walltown: The History […]

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Former VOICE editor painting her own future

By Tanner Boggs

April 6, 2016

As Brooklynn Cooper sat in class, something sparked her interest when a fellow student described the College Works Painting program. Cooper, the former 2014-2015 teen editor-in-chief for the Durham VOICE, saw an opportunity for a paid internship she could not resist. College Works Painting is a program that allows students to gain entrepreneurial experience by […]

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Black Barbershops: More than a haircut

By Ryan Wilusz

February 17, 2016

Six-year-old Elijah Warren climbed into a booster seat, grinning as barber Rodney Brower covered him with an apron. As snow started falling outside of Signature Kutz Barber Shop on South Driver Street, his older brother, Jacquez,  waited in the corner for the haircut to finish. Trying to start a conversation with Elijah, Brower asked if […]

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Samuel and Sons Barbershop: Moving on and passing the torch

By Nicholas Tillman

February 11, 2016

Nearly four years after rebuilding his barbershop that was once burned beyond recognition, Samuel Jenkins’ Samuel and Sons Barbershop is once again in a state of transition. Jenkins has decided that on Dec. 18, he will pack up his clippers, move on from the place he worked so hard to rebuild, and pass the torch […]

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John O’Daniel Exchange: When opportunity meets vision

By Rowland Givens

October 11, 2015

Wendy Clark, an entrepreneur and small business owner, sought an opportunity that would not only benefit her, but the people in the community as well, by purchasing the abandoned John O’Daniel Exchange building in January 2007. According to Joanna Cutrara, Clark’s staff writer, what is now a building for disadvantaged people and non-profits to work […]

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Pat Murray: Skywriter pushes toward the future

By Sarah Kaylan Butler

October 1, 2015

When people ask Pat Murray what she does, she says, “I’m all about community media.” Murray never studied journalism as a student, but began writing as a part of Chicago’s radio and newspaper media. Murray has lived in Durham for 14 years and publishes the Durham Skywriter, an online community media outlet, as a positive news source […]

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Reinvesting in the Community

By Eric O'Neal

September 18, 2015

An overcast sky hangs overhead a derelict wooden structure which sits in near solitude, hidden behind its well-kept contemporary counterparts. Its shattered windows strangely whistle as wind blows through the cracks and bullet holes littering it. The Wachovia banking drive-through location on Driver St. has been closed since 1998, sitting abandoned behind a well-maintained plaza […]

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At the Saltbox: quality food for everyone

By Anna Williams

September 17, 2015

Only blocks away from the epicenter of what Southern Living calls one of the South’s Tastiest Towns, the Saltbox Seafood Joint at 608 N. Mangum St. sits nestled comfortably in Durham’s Old Five Points neighborhood. “I live in Chapel Hill,” said businessman and Saltbox patron, Tom Vickers. “But I always try to time my trips […]

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Joe's Hot Dogs: something gained, something lost

By Tyler Vahan

  For those searching for their one-pound hot dogs after the June 19 closing of Joe’s Diner, you won’t have to look far. Joe Bushfan, owner of the Angier Avenue location, will still continue serving hot dogs in a trailer behind the former diner, which now serves as an expansion to Bushfan’s next-door commissary and […]

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Co-op Market Opens in Durham

By Mary Yount

April 15, 2015

The Durham Co-op Market, located at 1111 West Chapel Hill Street, celebrated its grand opening on Saturday, April 11, with music, food from local vendors, and plenty of free samples. The market has been an idea in the works since 2008, according to general manager Leila Wolfrum. The concept behind co-op markets is that anyone can […]

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Durham man hopes to breathe new life into city corridor

By Katie Reeder

March 4, 2015

James Rogers remembers when 406 S. Driver St. housed a secondhand shoe store. It’s where he got his shoes when he was a student at North Carolina Central University. Rogers, a self-described country boy, said Durham was a big city to him. “The neighborhood was, you know, a little rugged, and so I’m over in […]

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LiMing provides authentic Chinese food for growing Asian population in Durham

By Mengqi Jiang (Stella)

A rapidly growing Asian population has led to a greater need for authentic Asian food in Durham. According to the U.S. Census, 3.6 percent of Durham’s population in 2000 identified as Asian. Within 10 years, the population increased by approximately 70 percent, with 5.1 percent of the total population identifying as Asian in 2010. Durham residents utilize LiMing’s Global Mart […]

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