Celebrating Black Business Month in Arizona
August is Black Business Month, a chance to highlight Black-owned businesses. Dana Dumas started out selling baked goods at Farmer’s Markets, and her products were so popular her customers encouraged her to open a restaurant. SugarJam The Southern Kitchen was born. Located near the Scottsdale Airpark, the lively restaurant serves brunch, lunch and dinner with an emphasis on southern flavors.
“I created this company coming out of corporate, after I had my twin boys, and I wanted to create something of fairness, and I wanted to give people who look like me an opportunity to work for a business that is flourishing and upright and just treated with respect for what they do,” said Dumas.
Dumas took recipes inspired from her childhood in New York and began selling her signature SugarJam Cookies at Farmer’s Markets. Through the pandemic, she managed to pivot from a Farmer’s Market booth to her own restaurant space. Though opening her own restaurant was a risk, she credits her strong support system as a source of confidence.
“I would say if it wasn’t for the support of my family, my husband, my mom, my dad, my in-laws and some friends that really helped with the community, the community which I mean is like my children and the foundation to help me grow and flourish. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit, but I’m very corporate-minded, and I think the pairing of the two gave me the ability to pivot through my businesses,” said Dumas.
Teniqua Broughton, the Executive Director of the State of Black Arizona, talked about the state of Black-owned businesses in Arizona, why it’s important for the community to support them and the unique challenges they face.
“A lot of Black business owners are using their own capital. They may not necessarily be getting loans from traditional banks. When you think about venture capital, it’s really about the type of business that you have. Not everyone can actually access every part of that investment. We’re talking about tech companies, manufacturing, construction, it really depends on the type of business,” said Broughton.