Free $25 Vouchers are Available for Patrons to Support Milwaukee Black-Owned Restaurants

Funding and Customer Service Training

In 2022, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers awarded more than $86 million in grants to support small businesses that tend to lack access to capital. Over 50% of that funding went to 24 chambers of commerce and nonprofit organizations assisting small businesses. The expectation is that those chambers allocate the funding directly to small businesses through grants and resources.

The Wisconsin Black Chamber of Commerce (WBCC) received a $5 million grant from Gov. Evers. Through that funding, the chamber supports The Black Restaurants Association with a $100,000 grant for two years in a row. The Black Restaurants Association utilized its funding to create the Secret Shopper program.

The Secret Shopper program allows community members to receive a $25 voucher for a complimentary meal at a Milwaukee Black-owned restaurant by attending a WBCC event. The voucher can be used at one of the six Black-owned restaurants part of the Black Restaurants Association’s Secret Shopper 2024 cohort.

The program not only stimulates revenue for small businesses but encourages customers to leave feedback. This feedback is then brought to the cohort’s monthly meetings where the business owners receive training on how to prepare for and properly address customer concerns.

“It will definitely have a lasting impact,” said Black Restaurants Association President Lashena McElroy.

2024 Cohort

  • Mr. B’s Privileged Lounge 8617 W. Brown Deer Rd Milwaukee, WI 53224
  • Perkins Boyz on Tha Grill 6818-22 W. Brown Deer Rd, Milwaukee, WI. 53223
  • Brothers Backyard BBQ 3530 W. National Av, Milwaukee, WI. 53215
  • Mi Causa Su Cafe 1835 N. Doctor M.L.K. Jr Dr, Milwaukee, WI 53212
  • Delicious Bites 6538 W. North Ave, Wauwatosa, WI 53213
  • Tropic MKE 518 N. Water St., Milwaukee, WI 53202

This is the second annual year of the Secret Shopper program.

Support a Milwaukee Black-owned business with a $25 voucher.
Support a Milwaukee Black-owned business with a $25 voucher. (Picture by Kalida Williams Photography)

Cohort 2 – Delicious Bites

Delicious Bites has been in business for close to 10 years serving the Milwaukee community through catering events and pop-ups. A year ago, the business opened its brick-and-mortar, and now it’s one of the six businesses a part of the cohort.

“Any assistance we can get is always great,” said Delicious Bites owner and head chef Tomira White.

White has been on a press run from being in the program. She enjoys meeting monthly with fellow business owners where she receives support.

As White navigates running a storefront, she asks that customers have grace. She said constructive criticism but, grace is needed to give owners a chance to fix or improve their operations before a patron gives up on a business.

“If they make a mistake don’t let that be the end of the relationship,” said White.

All vouchers are valid for the entire 2024.

Nyesha Stone founded Carvd N Stone in 2017 to cover positive news while attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Stone has a B.A. in Journalism. She has raised over $30,000 to award grants and scholarships. She has also been featured in ESSENCE and worked with the American Black Film Festival.

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