Sammy’s Avenue Eatery | Small Business Revolution: S6E6
Salesforce is committed to helping small businesses tackle big challenges. We're proud to join Deluxe And the Small Business Revolution as they help Black businesses in Minneapolis and St. Paul grow their businesses in a world filled with change.
To learn more, visit salesforce.com/smallbusiness Sammy has been a pillar of this community for years. He was a mutual aid hub during the uprising, the community gathering place where everyone is welcome. You're going to love him. Can't wait to meet Sammy.
Hey, welcome! How are you? Good how are you? - I'm well. - Sam this is Baron. Baron, good to meet you. The man I've been dying to meet. I've heard so much about you. Little ole' me? He's a local celebrity! Talk to me about why here, why this corner? You know what I mean? North Minneapolis is, you know, historically one of those underserved communities in Minnesota where people don't feel comfortable coming.
So one of the reasons why I decided to be here is to change that, you know, just bring some harmony to this space. Love it man. It's like pioneer, change agent, local celebrity, the connect. I mean these are all the things that I'm hearing from everybody about you. I'm just happy to be here. You know, I'm on the north side.
I feel like we should have a rap-off. - A rap-off? - Can you rap? I can...W-R-A-P, wrap. (laughing) Okay.
Let's glove up first and put down the protein. And just because Sammy's extra, we always fold our meat because when you cut the wrap in half, it's going to look like something. And we don't do a lot of veggies on our line, but we always do 'em fresh. Is that the code, to eat while you're doing it. No.
But that's okay, you know. Yours looks really nice. It's like a commercial.
I have always wondered how to wrap a wrap. It's really easy unless you make it hard. No! All my inners are spilling out. Oh no, oh no! That looks super, super...different.
I can fix it, do you have glue? And I was told you were an expert at rapping. I mean, not these types of wraps. Oh... Not bad, not bad. You guys are both hired. Small businesses across the country are fighting for their survival, with the odds stacked against them.
But what happens if we join that fight? If we put a little money, a lot of experience and thousands of hours of work into the entrepreneurs who are striving every day to see their businesses and their communities thrive. For years, the team traveled from one small town to the next putting a main street make-over into action and building movement that is millions strong. But 2020 changed everything.
And no one was hit harder than Black-owned businesses in Minneapolis and St. Paul. It was time for the small business revolution to come home. Now Amanda Brinkman and her team of marketing experts at Deluxe are rolling up their sleeves, doing what they do for millions of small businesses every day. And they're not alone.
NBA All-Star turned entrepreneur Baron Davis will help chart a course to success while the whole cast of experts and partners line up behind some of the twin cities, most of important Black-owned businesses. Every episode we'll be working with a new small business to see if we can change the odds. If in a moment, unlike anything this country has ever seen, we can keep the revolution alive.
Yo, this is Tim Wilson coming to you live from Urban Lights Music in the Midway and this goes out to the North Side. Often, where the city abandons, many keep a watchful eye. Here is no different. There was a dream, not yet realized that then turned into art crawls, food drives, our corner stores, our best friends, our sweetest memories, our wildest city bus stories, our loudest block parties, our trusted neighbors, family, chosen and blood.
It's easiest here to come as you are. There is a broad way of people who will tell you the same and that when you are ready to build, to actualize the dreams of yours and the ones you love, they say come and let's break bread. My grandmother was excellent. She was definitely the person to initiate people coming together. She put a lot of hard work into the community and I loved and respected her for that. Without even knowing it, some of those same traits as what I became or started to do here.
I've always worked in the food industry. I had a steady paycheck, you know, you know, moving and grooving, but like my personality is a lot bigger than that world was. And I found myself suppressing who Sammy was sometimes. So I set out to redevelop the training that I had got, but it became more than that.
Once I had the space and then we began to see the needs of the community, it kind of evolved into something else. It almost revolved back to my grandmother's house because that's what the community needed. Small businesses are so important. They can hear the heartbeat of the community a little better.
North Minneapolis has been considered a food desert for as long as I can remember. A lot of times there's no choice really. There's either bad food or worse food.
Nobody's sold salads around here. People would literally have to go outside of the neighborhood to get these items that we sell here. That right there is food desert 101. We've been here nine years and it's taken that long for people to really grasp the options that Sammy's offers. It's training a whole entire community, to be a more responsible for what they put in their bodies. So my thing is, if you create a pathway to meet the needs of the people, I believe, with all my heart, we can be an example for the rest of the country of how effective change can happen.
When you talk about culture and you talk about the essence of community, right? It's all happening in that little sandwich shop. But the rep of a neighborhood like North Minneapolis gets defined by people who don't live there. So we stepped out of Sammy's door to get a look at West Broadway with community organizer and long north sider, Felicia Perry, as our guide. So we have beautiful artistic history here.
The Capri theater is a place where Prince really cultivated his artistry. The West Broadway corridor is our business district. I think of it as like the economic artery of the community. Can you just speak to the vision of what you want to see on the north side? And, you know, as entrepreneurs, as small business people, like, what do you want to give? All of these Black businesses are actually really great partners in West Broadway's work. They want to create the North side in the business corridor that we all dreamed about having as young people growing up here, I'm somebody who's always advocating to bring them in so I'm collaborating with them now, engaging folks around the light rail. The major goal of this Metro blue line extension is to connect the Twins' baseball stadium to North Memorial hospital.
And the challenge right now is figuring out the best route because in order to get from that one place to the other place, it's like, you got to go through North Minneapolis. It's just like there's this row of Black-owned businesses and they're in one of the narrowest places of the corridor, which I understand after talking to engineers, something will have to move. So that, to me, those are the narratives I think people need to hear. How does a community like North Minneapolis that has a really high percentage of renters, not owners, experience transportation development, like a light rail in a different way? This corridor would be very vulnerable to that kind of development.
If you just let the market forces control the gentrification, then money answers all the questions. We live in an ownership society. If you own land, you're more valuable. Ownership has always been a challenge across both businesses and residential property because generations of families have been locked out of opportunities for an ownership and wealth building. I'm going back to 1910, in Minneapolis, they started putting restrictive covenants in deeds So homes could not be sold to Black people. Then they have no tool to build wealth.
If you were to look at the map over where the restrictive covenants are over the twin cities, you also see how it directly aligns with the racially segregated components of our communities. And if you look at a map now, those side pockets are still living in those places in those cities. Still kind of fuming from the same issues, access to ownership. Historically, transportation development has been used to divide us across racial lines.
And then also communities where there's been flourishing, there's been destruction. The Rondo neighborhood where the Black community and Black businesses with thriving, you put I-94 through that. Well, I mean, you just destroyed a community that was building wealth, that was succeeding. Those memories and those thoughts about what happened to a community like Rondo without them knowing it was happening to them. No one is going to let that happen again. Honestly, I think has been a movement where all of the entrepreneurs on West Broadway have started to give back to the community because we realize that there's going to be another generation behind us and we don't want to leave them behind.
The youth in North Minneapolis have been so underserved for so long. And we realize that because we were, we were those youth. The spirit that you see in, like a Sammy, is the spirit of the community. Like he was raised in that because that's what was fed into him growing up here.
But it really is an extension of like the culture of North Minneapolis and how we work together to get things done. They are the builders of culture. They are often safe spaces for community to exchange ideas. And these are also the places that are also hiring our young people.
Sammy has been such an open door. No one has felt unwelcome. Growing up in North Minneapolis was so tough and we committed that we would do better. And so when I met Sandy, he works so hard and he is the change that we're supposed to see. He a business owner.
He create opportunities for kids. That's what he'd do every day, he work hard. This ain't just no coffee shop. Sammy is a true North Minneapolis icon and his plans don't stop at West Broadway.
Sammy recently opened a second location, which is providing even more opportunities for employment. If Sammy's growth continues, everyone wins. So we asked our partners at Salesforce to hook us up with advisors who had been in his position before. And we hit the jackpot with Darren Hawthorne and Ryan Cross of Golden Cross Caribbean restaurant. They started as a family business out of the Bronx and now, boast over 100 locations across the US and Canada.
So Sammy's got a great location, but it's a little hard to spot it if you're passing by. - Hey Sammy. - Hey! I have Darren and Ryan with me. - Darren. - How are you? How are you doing Sammy? Come on in guys. This is our cafe in North Minneapolis where we come, we gather, we talk, we chat, we eat a little bit, you know, we sip a little bit...of coffee that is.
(group laughing) We do a little bit of breakfast, a little bit of lunch, you know, and a little bit in between. How busy you guys relatively get here during the daytime? Pre COVID, you know, we would definitely have a line. - So. - Right. You have rave reviews.
People, your customers love you. We treat people like they're coming into our home. It sounds to me like Sammy's location, when he speaks about it, it's like the, you know, that barbershop where the conversation is every month.
You know, this is the sandwich shop of that environment. It is. It's pretty much like a barbershop.
People just... - Perfect sandwich shop, but, you know... I think a great place to start would just be to help Darren and Ryan understand kind of your vision for the business. We're definitely a community cafe.
And to really try to keep that aspect of who we are and still grow at the same time, I really want to invest in the staff in a sense of owning their own Sammy's, whether, whatever part of the city they would like to go to and to make being a black person a more visible thing 'cause I want young people to see a way out. Yeah, you're showing an alternate career path. When you become an entrepreneur, you can build something for yourself from scratch.
I'm actually curious to hear a little bit more about that employee getting higher in the ranks and ultimately becoming what may be end up being a franchise. You know, I worked for franchises before and there's, sometimes when you make it to a certain point, it feels like there's nowhere to go. I like the concept of hiring from within, because those people know you and they know our mission and et cetera, et cetera. When you you are able to create entrepreneurship for somebody that never had that opportunity and watch their dreams come true, there is no greater feeling in the world.
But I think in order to grow it to a franchise, systems needs to be in place. Absolutely. What should Sammy be thinking about, making sure it's consistent across all locations? Does the food tastes the same? Does it present the same? Does the website look the same? Make sure all the systems are unified from a technology standpoint. Know your customers, you know, who's returning, who's not. And how do you get them back in?
As a chef, when I go to your website, it doesn't necessarily hit me, like saying, you know what? I want to try that, I want to taste that. How are we going to entice them a little bit more? The other thing we want to do too is, sure now, you call it Sammie's Avenue Eatery Number Two. It sounds like a little thing, but actually from a search engine perspective, it will reward you more if it's just one consistent name. Your two locations are competing with each other rather than working together. I agree with that completely.
I mean, you don't want to question, okay, is this Sammy's? The one we originally know or is this something different? - Sammy's is Sammy's. - Sammy's is Sammy's. One of our reviews on Google, I believe it was, said "Sammy's Avenue Eatery Two? I highly doubt that, they're number one in my book." and all that. (group laughing) The other thing that we'll want to make sure we're replicating consistently is your brand.
So everything from your logo to the color palette, the typography, you've built a beautiful brand in this space and in this experience. And now we just want to make sure that visually, we're bringing that to life as well. I mean, this is scientific.
I think sometimes people think of food and the kind of environment you're creating as art. And it is to a certain degree, but this is the science behind it. If you want to make a profit off of it, it's very scientific.
It's very scientific. Sammy has already built a successful business. So it works for one location, doesn't necessarily translate to ten. So our job is to help Sammy manage that growth while staying true to his mission of empowering the people around him. For Sammy, like he's playing. Now, he has to be a coach.
Sammy becoming a coach is going to help his foundational structure and playbook. I mean, right now he's like making trips to the grocery store himself, right? Like that's not the best use of his time. And the restaurant business is, a series of fundamentals over and over and over again. And that's why it's so important that he master them. And actually transmit that to everyone else that's working with them, you know, to the team that he's trying to mentor as well, because that's going to be the key for the overall longterm success. - Yeah. - Right.
A lot of entrepreneurs like to talk about themselves, Sammy's just doing what he wants to do and staying a little bit behind the scenes. He's humble, and I think what he's done to impact the community needs to be shared and we're going to help them get the word out. We know that you do a lot inside the community, right? How can we integrate that? How can we tell the story a little bit more? You do the work every day. You're there every day, the story is there. Nas is right. It's like two sentences.
Like there are so much more. Like when I'm discussing you, I use more than two sentences, right? Telling your story is one of those things that is always hard for the person to do. Sure, sure. Next, we're hitting another critical step in the growth process, nailing down the financial systems. And while Sammy already runs a tight ship, it's always good to get a second set of eyes on the numbers, especially with the business enduring a 67% drop in sales during the pandemic.
So we're sitting down with Nadine Seivert from US Bank to better understand Sammy's path to scale. So if you were to break down where your revenue comes in from, how much, percentage wise, how much would you say is catering, How much is in the eatery? Now, granted, I know those numbers may be a little bit smaller, right? Since we're just starting to reopen. And then how much is from online ordering and pickup? We're almost back at our 40% at catering, which is my target. Online is pretty high now too.
So we're about maybe 15% or almost 20% are online sales. What do you think about catering versus the restaurant? Where do you make more money? Always on catering. How are you getting the word out about your catering? We use word of mouth, you know? So like we don't have a plan in place, a marketing plan or anything for catering. We should, but we don't.
What are your thoughts about having one dedicated space for large catering orders where it's not in yours, it's not a restaurant, but it is really just a kitchen place for your catering? It's something we were working on. - Good! - Get out of my head! No, so we are working on something like that, so. If you were looking for a space that's dedicated to catering and you need to buy equipment, well, there's certain things that we can do to help grow that business, right? A certain type of loan, a certain type of product. Is that a number that's, you know, they're concerned about when they think about business loans? Well, I think last year threw everyone for a loop, right? So, right. - Definitely
To say we're looking for a certain number, no, we're not gonna look for a certain number. It is really like telling the story, like what happened during the pandemic? How have you overcome those obstacles? What do your numbers look like now and what's your plan? I love this idea because I mean, the margins are incredible on catering. You're good at it.
If we just dedicate a marketing plan around that we could really grow that business. I think catering is the name of the game. So we're adding another piece of the marketing strategy and the Deluxe web team is carving out key real estate on the site to push catering as a revenue stream. But Sammy's online storefront is going to have to do a lot of different things to support his growing business. When someone visits a site, he wants to make sure that they are able to order online.
Highest priority, right? Online ordering means less time on the phone and more time in the business. But that's far from the only polish we can add to Sammy's site. We want to make sure that all of your locations are on your site. I think today only the Broadway street address is listed and with how you're expanding, we'll make sure that we build that out in a way that's easy to add to, not subtract. It's so needed because you know, we get that question all the time.
Like I thought there was another, you know, like there is, it's not how your website, you know, sorry. All of the marketing and ordering tools the Deluxe team is building for Sammy have to integrate seamlessly with what he's doing in store. So Maurice McGregor and our partners at Lenovo are hooking up with Sammy to identify spots where they can help streamline his operation. But it would be great to have a way where we could take the order a little more efficiently. That's awesome. And I think a better understanding of inventory to make sure that the orders are accurate so you don't have those situations where, okay, now I got to go make another sandwich.
That's lost revenue, right? I think there's several different things we can do to help you. Awesome. Sammy has had no problem creating a loyal customer base, but in order to grow, he's got to acquire new customers. That means showing up online, both in social media and when people are searching for places to eat. He's listed as primary as a cafe. The additional is a restaurant.
And we were talking about changing that to breakfast, correct? Yeah, I mean most of his business is breakfast and lunch, and I think the more specific we can be, the better. If we search for Sammy's Avenue Eatery on Instagram right now, three profiles are going to pop up. So we have this one that appears maybe abandoned with 505 followers.
Look at how many people are just in love with your brand, that they're willing to follow an Instagram with no photos. (laughing) That's a testament to your brand. Let's focus on one Instagram handle, redirect some of these followers on this page to go there. That makes sense. He's not showy about it, but at any given moment, Sammy is typically juggling at least three different hustles. And between branding meetings and technology upgrades, he's finding another innovative way to create entrepreneurship opportunities.
This time, through a partnership with another NBA star and native Northsider, Devin George, whose mixed use affordable housing project is just up the road from Sammie's Avenue Eatery. We've met with Sammy for a few weeks now. And then there was this idea that he shared that he was going to be part of a huge investment in the community.
Welcome to the new space. Sammy, that looks massive. Good size.
It's pretty massive. That's why we chopping it up because Sammy's not doing no big old restaurant. We are getting ready to build out Sammy's Food Hall, which will house about three to four different small entrepreneurs.
We're about, maybe a mile mile and a half, if that, away from our original Sammy's Avenue Eatery. You may want to think about kiosk ordering, you know, to definitely kind of speed things along. It's good to have some industry professionals who have kind of already done what we're about to.
They had a lot of good advice and I really appreciate them for it. Plus it'll give opportunity for the young folks too, that want to really delve into this type of business to go for it. Sammy, you make us proud every day, the place looks great.
We look forward to eating there when it's done. - Yeah. - I'm coming for you Sammy. I'm really excited. Thank you guys.
As Sammy's empire continues to grow and diversify, the team at Deluxe is working to ensure that the visual brand is both consistent and versatile enough to work in any context. This is your current logo. We love that it represents you. So how do we keep you a part of it and make that brand so it's able to be applied to so many different locations? Let's see where Devon ended up.
I think you're going to like it. - Yeah, so- - Drum roll please. So we've taken all your feedback and now you have a full logo system. So what I think is genius about what Devon has done is like, this just gives you that flexibility to still honor the original image, but now you have options. It's not just the face of Sammy, but it's that script font.
So you wrote it and that S now becomes your signature mark, but there's also the pin drop that you see on a map because Sammy's is the place to be. This is where we want to go. I can picture this on every single block in the Twin cities. Just to be able to envision it in other areas, you know.
- Like the food hall. - Yeah. I mean, yeah, I love it. While we've been building out the brand, the team at Lenovo has been hard at work creating a technology package that can keep pace for Sammy's growth. So we met up with Maurice at the historic Pnumbre theater for our first look at what's next. First of all, it is great to see you in person knowing all the different things that you do.
You're a very busy man. Absolutely. - We want to improve the efficiency of Sammy's process, right? Awesome. Thinkbook is a very powerful machine.
So this will allow you to step away from the use of your phone to do most of your accounting data, you know, running the business from there. He mentioned that he was using his phone to process all of the business's data. So it was easy to identify areas where technology can be implemented into his process to enhance not only what he's already doing, but to grow. What the tablet will allow you to do is help with that self-ordering kiosk in the store.
People are coming to the store, they'll place their order. And then the order will transfer to the all-in-one think center here. To have it all in sync would be fabulous because I think it will free up a lot of times.
The digital transformation that we're taking you through is to improve efficiency, but also to give you better insight into the direction your business is going. This guy has so much energy and running a business like that, you most often find people just, they're done when they're off work, but they don't want to have time to go into the community and be involved in things. So it's just a tremendous contribution that he's made. You have so much passion. We want to partner with you.
So these products are all backed with a five-year warranty because you don't have an IT staff, right? But Maurice will be there for you. Thank you so much. Thank you so much.
We really appreciate it. Throughout our work, so much of the focus has been on setting Sammy up for growth, but that original Sammy's Avenue Eatery will always represent the heartbeat of his mission. So we're putting Deluxe's renovation dollars into that north side corner, bringing the new brand to life with a little help from our friends at 3M. I look at Sammy as you know, like a dreamer and a doer.
He just needs some things in there, a chip rack, he needs a refrigerator. You know, it's like all those little things so he can actually get to work. Our ultimate goal in working with Sammy has always been to amplify his mission and the whole process would be incomplete if we didn't take the opportunity to help him give back to the community he calls home.
So we're meeting back up with Baron and Felicia to talk about where we can have a real impact on the north side. Deluxe is going to give you $5,000 to pay it forward within the community. Thank you, that's awesome. That's an awesome gift. We have so much that is needed in our community, but we do always want to target our young people.
We have our huge activation bus that, you know, Leslie Redmond is doing. That is one of those things that's near and dear to my heart that I would love to see get off the ground. And tell me more. I want to know about you. Don't complain, activate. I love it.
She's definitely calling the activation bust and she purchased a huge RV on her own, you know, to drive around the city and to have a space for kids to go and to learn. And so she's been making sure that everybody is not complaining about what's going on, but they're actually activating whatever it is that you can do to make things better. And she's helping organize other people to be the change that they want to be in their communities, so.
- I can't wait to do it. - I love it. Oh I know. We can't wait to meet Leslie Redmond, but there are a few more surprises to get to first. So with renovations complete, tech installed and the new brand ready for launch, we're headed back to the original Sammy's one last time to unveil all that we've accomplished together. Well welcome guys to the new improved Sammy's Avenue Eatery. I really love this wall.
We've see people watching already, you know, through the window like, what's in there, what's in there, you know? So all the colors are really just phenomenal. I just love it. We even have a new chip rack. We've been in business for nine years and we've never had a chip rack! Oh I mean, hello, it's the little things. They're good for impulse buys, up the average ticket price too. Come on back guys.
We've got a new ordering station, online pickup, a carry out station that we have here, which is going to be phenomenal for such a small space that we have. You know, so now, they can just come and find their name, you know, and they can be out of here. Oh man, the Deluxe team was so excited about that tissue paper.
We have our new coolers back here. If they order on the tablets and stuff, they can just go in the cooler, grab their sandwich, grab their drink, grab whatever and go. I love the nice clean look on that cooler rather than just door reaching cooler, but that right there says a lot. Oh, and I forgot to show you guys something, we got to back up. We forgot to show you our bar. Bar seating for our customers, so they can jump up on the bar.
You know, be out of people's way with your laptop. Get people from the street can see you're having a good time. Yeah. Super inviting. Adds that much more capacity.
I just love it. I actually feel like we got to refresh just the colors and everything is just brightening up the place, so, to have that community feel again, I'm excited about it. You wanna see your website? So excited for the website. Yay. - Does it look great? - She's smizing. She's smizing, yes.
I'm going to be sure that we tell Sammy's story. We want to talk about the fact that you were very purposeful in choosing North Minneapolis and that it's more than just an eatery. This is really a fixture for the community. This is authentic salmon. It's not every business owner that has a great story to tell and you happen to have one, and it's inspiring.
So it's important to tell that. I mean, it's just hard for me personally, to talk about myself and my, what I'm doing. As much as you, you know, don't like to, you know, be braggadocious. You did put your face on the logo.
(laughing) So two calls to action right away. So order online and view menu, and then let's have some fun with it too, right? So we, instead of just saying breakfast, we say good mornings. Instead of just calling them the egg and cheese sandwich, which anyone can call it, what If you call it, the Sunrise Sammy, the Gobbler Sammy, the Sunrise and Slice Sammy. Yeah.
You create your own sandwich trend. Yeah. It's gonna start spreading, everyone's going to start calling it that special name. It's going to get trendy. What do you think, what do you think, do you like it, you like it? I think it's cool. I think it'd be cool for the, for the kids.
Hey, you don't know what the, Sammy Sunrise? Yeah, what's your favorite Sammy? The Sunrise Sammy. I mean, adding to what you say on your website previously, it didn't grab me to say, well, you know what, I want to go there. Now when I see this, I'm actually tasting with my eyes before I even get to even come in contact with the food itself. So you can see it.
My phone did okay, but. (laughing) This is good. We always design sites with what we call search engine optimization in mind. Then you can add a qualifier around being a Black-owned business.
And people are really intentional about supporting Black-owned businesses right now. That sounds smart. I don't know why we weren't doing it. I thought I was smart, but okay. We also wanted to make sure we built out a page for catering. You know, I think that's a game changer.
Now that people actually can see it on the website. And then of course, the contact page. Hiring is a challenge. So to actually have within the contact page available positions and allowing people to apply right online will help you continue to feed that pipeline. I think it's great. I think it's going to lead us into the future of Sammy's Avenue Eatery and I'm ecstatic about it.
All right, are you ready for some swag? Let's do that swag, okay. You wanted this particular style of hat. Look how great this logo looks on there. It's called the dad hat. I'm putting the dad hat on. That's a good belated Father's Day gift for me.
So we've got great T-shirts. Color is awesome. A business with a following like Sammy's is going to generate a ton of revenue by selling merch and knowing Sammy, he'll probably be giving plenty of it away too. So we're providing him with a healthy stock of inventory and plugging them into the Deluxe brand central, where he can easily tracking sales and re-up merge when he runs low, which is good, because he's already finding new customers. I have cabinets, at least four cabinets which is just full of coffee mugs. I collect them.
So even just for a wonderful collection piece, that right there, people will buy it. Great, those are, these are fire. I think Baron's like my first customer on one of these. First charge for you, $1000. (laughing) - And then you got stickers! - Amazing.
So these are stickers you can use on all of the different sandwiches. A great example of again, how one of the logos from the family work out. And then we've added food stickers. These are just generic so that you can write in whatever it is, but the banana pudding had to have its own sticker. And then the last item is the catering menu.
These, you're going to spread to all of your neighboring businesses as well, cause they're the same ones that's going to support you. It feels like the cake has come out the oven and we just sliced it and we just tasted it. And it's amazing. I'm really happy for our community to see the enhancements that we've made. And we want to see great things happen in our community. So I'm excited.
The truth is, Sammy was running a healthy business before we ever got here. But even a strong business can benefit enormously from this kind of a refresh and seeing firsthand just how much Sammy means to the North side. It was a constant reminder of the importance of this work because when a person like Sammy succeeds, the entire community feels the impact.
I would love for you to share a little bit more about how the Activation bus became a project that you wanted to champion. So I did my first international trip. Bishop, you remember that? So I went over to India, the land of Gandhi, and one of the things that the amazing women in the community were doing, where they would get like these big buses and they would station them where young people could access them. And it made me think back to George Washington Carver, right? And he used to use open mobile to educate Black communities about the sweet potato and the peanut and plants. We could be activating and educating our community.
So that's why we say activate, not create, because we're not creating anything. We're just activating what already exists in our community. This is a great conversation, but that's not the only reason why we're here Leslie. What are y'all here for? We are here to surprise you with a special gift.
We thought would represent, would represent the community and all that you stand for to help. It's just a small gift, but we want to help you to update- It's a gift big, I love y'all. Bishop, you know and kept this a secret from me, Bishop? One must have hope. Hope is integral to live. For me, a 76 year old Black man, it has been an incredibly difficult and tumultuous lifetime. From inside Sammy's Avenue Eatery, I can see the tipping point that brings the kind of life to West Broadway, that all of us who live here deserve to have.
Hope gives you a destination. A hope, like any one ingredient, is insufficient for a mix. If you can't get a cake with flour.
I think I learned that from Sammy. Deluxe is passionate about supporting small businesses and we are honored to bring the small business revolution home to Minnesota. For over 100 years, we've gotten to play a small part in the stories of entrepreneurs across the country and everything our team does on this show, we do with thousands of businesses every day from brand building and payments to payroll and data solutions. We have the tools to help businesses big and small be at their best because at Deluxe, we believe when you champion businesses, entire communities thrive. To find out how we can help your small business, go to deluxe.com. At US bank, we believe small businesses are central to the culture, flavor, and personality of our cities and towns.
They create jobs, foster economic growth and are critical to our community success. Our passion for the small business community is why US bank is excited to partner with Deluxe on the hit series, Small Business Revolution.