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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