Yesterday was Blackout Tuesday, a new initiative to recognize Black-owned businesses everywhere.

Perhaps not coincidentally, a pair of St. Joseph restaurant owners -- one of them Black -- was just featured in an article by the New York Times. Mateo Mackbee and Erin Lucas are the creative masterminds and business owners behind two new St. Joseph restaurants. Back in April, we wrote an article on an all-new flower and bakery shop aptly named Flour & Flower, and in June Mackbee's New Orleans-style restaurant Krewe finally opened its doors.

Now, they've caught the attention of the New York Times, who shared their stories further.

“More than anything, gumbo is the smell I remember,” Mateo tells the Times. “That’s one you would get outside the front door.” His new restaurant is a homage to his mother Mary Mackbee, a former Twin Cities high school principal who raised her own four children on the cooking of her native New Orleans. The sign above Krewe reads “est. 1944,” after Ms. Mackbee's birth year, even though the restaurant only opened in May of this year.

Before making their way to St. Joseph, however, Mackbee and Lucas moved from Minneapolis to the New London area where they opened Model Citizen, a farm-to-table style eatery in the same space as Goat Ridge Brewing. In addition to providing great food, they hoped to shed light on racial inequalities in rural communities. They spent two years there before announcing suddenly in February that they were being forced to move out as Goat Ridge did not intend to renew their lease.

Instead, the two looked north to St. Joseph, where they found spaces to pursue their individual dreams. Flour & Flower is located just behind Krewe. Read the full New York Times article here. Krewe and Flour & Flower are both located at 24 College Ave N, St Joseph, MN 56374.

In recognition of our local Black-owned businesses, we'd like help putting together a list. If you know of any, please submit them to us by email.

Black-owned Businesses in Central MN

Krewe -- Mateo Mackbee
No Limit Painting - Antionette Lee
Southern Gentleman's Barber Shop

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