*Oakland’s Black Arts Movement Business District will soon be the home of the city’s newest cultural destination for wine lovers, CoCo Noir Wine Shop & Bar.
Co-founded by Bay Area natives Alicia Kidd and Mari Kemp, the wine shop is slated to open during the first quarter of 2021 and will focus on BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) as well as women-owned brands made around the country as well as globally that can be paired with a curated menu of small bites.
“We founded CoCo Noir to be a disruptor in the wine industry by offering a platform and a space for winemakers of color and women producing amazing wines and also expose those wines to an amazing demographic of people,” says Kidd, who is also a distributor, launching her company The Wine Noire in 2017. Together with Kemp, the entrepreneurs are looking to influence the wine culture that has been steadily rising in Oakland’s nationally recognized culinary scene.
Located at 13th and Webster, Kidd and Kemp are designing CoCo Noir to be a place where wine lovers of all levels can enjoy a glass and purchase their favorite bottles while being immersed in a vibrant community culture. “Part of being able to create Coco Noir is to have a place where people can feel comfortable to be themselves, to be human, while also enjoying the fruits of the community, of local arts as well as global libations of different wines that we will be offering,” says Kemp. The San Francisco native has built a successful career in tech as well as real estate investment.
Since launching their Wefunder campaign on September 8, Kidd and Kemp have secured investments of more than $60,000 from over 100 investors and micro-investors who are excited to be a part of bringing community and culture to wine lovers at the downtown Oakland location. Recognizing their innovative vision to celebrate diversity in the wine industry is Credibles co-founder Arno Hesso, who notes on their Wefunder page, “Their plans are ambitious but grounded in a sense of realism. CoCo Noir is honing in on a very promising location in Oakland, which could serve as a launchpad to branching out even further.”
Kidd and Kemp are currently hosting virtual tasting events and experiences with individuals and groups around the country that provide an inside taste of what’s to come with CoCo Noir.
In addition to carefully curated wine offerings and tasty small bites, the anticipated Bay Area wine location will be tech savvy with a first-of-its-kind mobile app and space for working professionals looking for a change of scenery as well as groups looking to host events where wine is the star of the party.
CoCo Noir Wine Shop & Bar’s Wefunder campaign details are available at https://wefunder.com/coco.noir.wine.shop. The investment level starts at $100, with perks being offered for investments of $250 and up. The revenue share model is set up to offer 4% with a 2.5x payback multiple, which more than doubles one’s original investment. Information meetings are also available by emailing [email protected] to schedule.
About Alicia Kidd
Born and raised in Oakland, Alicia is an entrepreneur in the wine industry with a passion for moving the wine and food industry forward with new diversity and inclusion strategies.
About Mari Kemp
A San Francisco native, Mari is a serial investor and entrepreneur and tech executive with a passion for investing in start-ups and growth companies with female co-founders.
V. Sheree Creative Enterprises, LLC
Women Entrepreneurs with Extraordinary Careers in Music and Marketing
*October is National Women’s Small Business Month, honoring the accomplishments of female owned businesses and their importance to the economy.
Innovative entrepreneurs Dina Marto and Courtney Rhodes are women of color with notable careers, decades working in music and marketing, who recently joined forces to start C&D The Agency – C for Courtney and D for Dina. They discussed their new business, careers and more with EURweb.com.
“We talked about it (C&D The Agency) for a while and Dina and I have had the pleasure of working together before and we developed a friendship. We would always have offline conversations about maneuvering the waters of a male dominated industry,” says Rhodes.
Marto is General Manager of Grand Hustle Records and every day, well she is hustling, on the grind seriously taking care of business with rapper, actor, songwriter T.I., among others on the label.
“I am currently working with T.I. on his internal management team, helping him run his operation and I’ve been doing that for about three years now. Previously I worked at Island Def Jam with LA Reid for six years on his A&R (artists and repertoire) team,” says Marto who was born in Amman, Jordan and grew up in Marietta, Georgia.
While at Def Jam Marto was A&R coordinator for albums by several rap and R&B stars including Young Jeezy, Nas, Rick Ross, Janet Jackson, and LL Cool J.
Rhodes has “acquired a unique niche for identifying and accommodating brands’ need analysis” with some 20 years of experience in devising marketing and sales strategies that generated millions of dollars for her clients many of whom are powerful Fortune 500 corporations including Ford, Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia) and CBS-TV.
While Rhodes doesn’t like to talk about hierarchy but does note, “It is important to have women in your circle kind of above you on the ladder to nurture you and guide you and just have someone to share ideas with,” she says.
Rhodes believes women can help to end stereotypes about themselves in the workplace, particularly an age-old one concerning women undermining each other, “Represent something that does not fit the stereotype that women don’t work well together. We want to display that in the work that we do together inside the agency, out in the community and just really do meaningful work with women, around women, about women to really celebrate that.”
As COVID-19 rages across America responsible for over 200,000 deaths and climbing; the reason thousands of businesses are closing their doors, these innovators were not deterred about launching their business during the pandemic. They are determined to empower and mentor the next generation of women.
Rhodes offers this sound advice to women who may be considering opening a business: be sure to do the necessary research beforehand.
“I think business seems a little more sexy than what it really is. Sometimes as women because of our intuitive and passionate strengths we don’t like to look at the numbers and the financial side as granular as we necessarily need to.” Rhodes advised women to create a business plan with real financials. “Know before you start that business where the clients are going to come from and how many clients you are going to need to sustain.”
When explaining the genesis of their business partnership Marto declared the seeds were sown through their friendship, “We’ve talked about it and played around with the idea for a while because we are friends and we do see things the same way a lot. We’re aligned spiritually,” Marto said.
Rhodes echoed the sentiment of an unknown author who said that friendship was “like a patchwork quilt of caring words, and thoughtful deeds, all stitched together with understanding,” when making an admission about their partnership.
“I have wanted a partner for a very long time. I have had people approach me, but it never felt right.” Rhodes admitted their synergistic friendship made their business partnership make sense. “The one thing that Dina and I have that I’ve never felt before is because of our friendship no matter what we talk about or how the discussions may go I know her intentions are pure. Because I know that it gives me a level of confidence and ease, we can work through anything.”
They encourage registered voters to cast their ballots on Tuesday, November 3, Election Day maintaining how it puts them one step closer to bigger change. Rhodes and Marto have organized a voting initiative entitled #ExerciseYourRights.
“We want to get more information out there for first time voters, for voters that are typically suppressed, for voters that have voted before. They’re making things a lot more difficult these days,” says Marto. This is their agency’s inaugural project aimed at combating voter suppression in Georgia during the 2020 election. “We just want to use our voices to get the information to combat the voter suppression.”
The campaign’s mission is to educate and encourage registered voters to know their legal rights and to support efforts to create a safe and accessible election.
Marto is excited to be working with T.I. on his latest album LI.B.R.A. (The Legend Is Back Running Atlanta) which is filled with some of the top award-winning artists in the music business – John Legend, Snoop Dogg, Jadakiss, and Young Thug, to name a few of the artists.
“He just put out his eleventh album called The L.I.B.R.A. I helped him launch his ‘expediTIously’ podcast, which I helped him produce that’s on PodcastOne and you can hear through Apple Podcasts and Spotify.”
Rhodes connects and empowers women through her online program, Digital CEO School.
“It’s an online course that teaches women how to use their personal brands and their expertise to monetize their talent. It’s an incredible passion project of mine – empowering women,” Rhodes said.
You can find out more about C&D The Agency and their voting rights efforts by visiting canddtheagency.com.
By Tené Croom
John Legend and Wife Chrissy Teigen Purchase $17.5 Million Mansion in Beverly Hills / Pics
The high-profile celebrity couple has said goodbye to a house they once owned in Beverly Hills.
The new home for Legend and Teigen has 10,700 square feet, six bedrooms and nine bathrooms. The mansion, with a price tag of $17.5 million, is in the mountains above Beverly Hills.
The neighborhood where Legend and Teigen will now call home is in the Beverly Hills Post Office (BHPO), a community that is known for its seclusion and upscale lifestyle. The residents of BHPO have the world’s most famous zip code: 90210.
The new home for Legend and Teigen, which was built in 2020 by JB Builders, is breathtaking, even by Hollywood standards. The home, according to sources, is sheathed in metal and glass, with a contemporary look. It sits on one-acre of land, that’s already set up to host large events comfortably. There is a 100-foot saltwater swimming pool in the backyard, with a lush view across Benedict Canyon and the Century City skyline.
The interior of the mansion features exotic wood and marble trim, wide-plank oak wood floors, toto toilets, Miele Kitchen appliances, LED mirrors, and a state-of-the-arts Crestron smart home sophisticated technology system.
As for their former digs, which was once owned by singing star Rihanna, the power couple put the Beverly Hills home on the market last month, with an asking price of $23.95 million. From reliable real estate sources, the couple has received an offer and their former house is in escrow to be sold.
See more photos at Dirt.com.
Rick Ross Buys 87 Acres of Land in Georgia for $1M
*Rapper Rick Ross has dropped $1 million on an 87-acre plot of land in Fayetteville, Georgia, located 20 miles outside from Atlanta.
According to TMZ, the land comes with 2 houses on the property that could be renovated for Rick’s personal use ot turned into rentals. The property is adjacent to his own estate.
View this post on Instagram
Ross celebrated the new addition to his “Promise Land” via a post on Instagram (see above). The land is located near Ross’ 45,000-square-foot mansion that boasts 109 rooms, an indoor and outdoor pool, a movie theater, and a bowling alley, per Complex.
News of Ross dropping a million for the land coincides with the announcement that 19 Black families have joined forces to buy more than 96 acres near Toomsboro, Georgia – about two hours outside Atlanta.
Renee Walters and Ashley Scott, the two women who spearheaded the operation, said they were moved to take action following the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
The families purchased nearly 97 acres of unincorporated land near the town of Toomsboro. The area has been dubbed Freedom, Georgia, and overtime the families intend to turn it into a safe haven for Black people.
The families want Black parents to be able to raise their children in a space that is free of police brutality, as Walters and Scott explained to TMZ. Once fully operational, the pro-Black town will not exclude other groups of people from living there.
“This is our answer to breaking generational curses,” said Scott who is also a real estate agent.
“We’re planning on recycling our Black dollar between the 19 families that are a part of our organization, that’s really what Black Wall Street was about it was about that local economy, that hyper-local economy where the dollar continuously circulated before it exited,” she added.
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