Connecting Clients to Opportunities
Jackie Robbins, originally from St. Louis, has worked in the restaurant industry for over 15 years after working as an insurance broker and then opening up a family rib shack, barbeque, and soul food restaurant. With strong commercial success, Ms. Robbins unfortunately had to close her restaurant due to her husband’s health conditions. After losing a business of her own, Ms. Robbins decided to help other restaurants, primarily restaurants owned and operated by African Americans, prepare for unexpected challenges and crises. Through this process, Ms. Robbins moved to Atlanta, seeing it as a hub for MBE business and enterprise.
Ms. Robbins officially opened her group, the National African American Restaurant and Night Club Association (NAARNCA), in 2017. Through this group, she aims at bringing services and resources to the African American community such as connection and communication with the Georgia MBDA Centers. One of Ms. Robbins’ first and major clients is Boogalou Restaurant and Lounge which she quickly connected with the Georgia MBDA Business Center. Through this relationship, the Georgia MBDA Business Center has helped Boogalou connect with development contractors and acquire a $6 million construction loan for a secondary location through the Centers’ financial contractor Sky Capital Ventures. On top of Boogalou Restaurant and Lounge, Ms. Robbins also mentioned her work with Copper Cove Bistro and Club South Beach.
Ms. Robbins first came across the Georgia MBDA Centers after conducting her own research for resources to connect her own clients with. When asked about her experience with the Centers, Ms. Robbins noted that, “It’s great to get connected and stay connected with the Georgia MBDA Centers. They’re a great resource for all businesses to connect with.”
Today, one of Ms. Robbins’ focus is on educating her clients to prepare for economic recessions. She has also opened a new restaurant in Omaha, Nebraska called Rib Shack Smokehouse. Rib Shack Smokehouse is planning on expanding to Atlanta in the fall of 2021.
To learn more about the NAARNCA make sure to visit their Facebook.