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Get to know

OUR ALUMNI

MORTAR is a resource hub for urban entrepreneurs across Cincinnati. We exist to invest in the people and solutions that will change our city; encouraging these empowered entrepreneurs to use their imaginations and creativity to not simply earn money, but to also make a difference in their communities.

Donny Harper- Go(o)d Co Apparel
Christina Davis- Davis Cookie Collection

MORTAR CERTIFIED

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

CLASS #6

Baoku
Moses

BAOKU means HOPE. My company Positive Image Arts uses music and art to restore the hope of unity and peace globally! I will also promote cultural appreciation with musical performances, classes and events once I open Baoku’s Village in Covington, Kentucky.

CLASS #5

Monica
Tuck

Unbridled Studio is a creative consulting company bringing out the “raw beauty” of fashion, beauty, & lifestyle brands. Unbridled Studio offers an extensive list of creative written & visual services to ignite, awaken, and expand retail in our community.

CLASS #5

Jesse
Fox

Art and storytelling have always been the blood in my veins. As a freelance portrait photographer I utilize my performance experience and background in art direction to create conceptual and vibrant images that evoke emotion for bands, brands and publications.

CLASS #4

Tia
Brown

The West End Art Gallery is a fun place to Experience and Explore ART. We believe ART can help glue families and the community together.  This gallery offers exhibitions and workshops to learn new forms of art. From painting & drawing to origami & knitting.

CLASS #5

Jeri
Tolliver

Inspired by my love of books and an eleven year old brown girl asking “where are books for girls like me?”, I created BrwnGrlBks – a place for  girls of color to find stories by writers that speak to them;  where they can view the world through books and see themselves.

CLASS #5

Shamekko N. Early

DVRS Stock

DVRS (“diverse”) Stock will offer dynamic stock photography featuring people of color in a positive light. We want to help change the narrative of stock photos by providing inspiring images to creatives including graphic designers, bloggers, design firms & more.

CLASS #9

Edward Williams

We love having fun and meeting people. That’s why we created Eat Drink Paint… It’s food, drinks and painting, blended with lots of fun. Best of all, you get everything for one low price. So all you do is Eat, Drink, Paint… Have Fun! We are currently operating in the Cincinnati/ Northern Kentucky Tri-state area.

CLASS #12

Adalia Boehne

Record label that manages an artist’s web presence, booking, and merchandise, affordably and with an artistic flair and taste.

BOUTIQUES & RETAIL

CLASS #3

Yvonne Ballard

NOVE Home & Body decor is a lifestyle boutique that offers fashion, decor & production design services through our online shop. All fashion & decor is curated by collections to cater to your unique style. We offer production design to create customized looks for any canvas.

CLASS #2

Arielle Nelson

Ragg Addict Men’s Boutique

Ragg Addict Men’s Boutique opened in July 2013 with the goal to provide Cincinnati with the flyest, hottest trends in streetwear. Owner, Arielle Nelson, utilizes her background of retail management and styling with in the music industry to give her a keen eye for Ragg Addict’s unique style and exclusivity for the city.ooks for any canvas.

CLASS #3

Tonya Dumas

House of Dumas Chinoiserie Gallerie

Chinoiserie is the imitation or evocation of Chinese motifs & techniques, in Western art, furniture, and architecture, in the 18th century.  Offering Feng Shui, Color Analysis & custom designs, unique, creative and inexpensive home décor solutions!

Location: 717 East McMillan. Cincinnati, OH.
Hours: Wednesday – Sunday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m

CLASS #10

Erica
O'Hara

U.S.E.D Cincinnati - U Sell Everything Designer luxury resale & consignment

My business is a service company providing unique and affordable fashion services including buying, selling, and consigning luxury goods for men and women. It is like servicing two different markets.

CLASS #4

Latoya
Suggs

Aseaya Boutique is an online clothing store featuring women apparel, jewelry, accessories and shoes. Our styles are classy, sexy and flirty. From the night out with the girls to a formal event with your babe we have all your going out needs.

CLASS #4

Stephanie Bohanon

Beaux Studio

Beaux Studio is a concept salon brought to the Cincinnati area that bridges the gap between fashion, beauty, and events for millennials all in one space. We strive to create a feel-good atmosphere where people can sip, snip, or shop with us.

CLASS #9

Athena Bentley

Pinky Chocolate's Tea Parties, Weddings & Etiquette

A Partea and soiree boutique that caters to modern party goers. Our services include event designs, coordination, invitations, floral designs, party rentals, and party themes for children and adults. Life is worth celebrating, so relax and enjoy the moments as the Bentley takes care of the details, both large and small.

CLASS #13

Dawn
Hardy

Monique Balloon Boutique

Xquisite Property Improvement (XPI) LLC is a professional cleaning service that’s located in Cincinnati, Ohio. We specialize in professionally cleaning foreclosed properties, turnover apartment units and postconstruction sites. Our cleaning team consists of professionally trained individuals known as “Cleanologists”. This great group of individuals delivers service with high energy and a great attitude. They follow a cleaning plan along with a checklist to ensure the customer’s needs are exceeded.

FASHION

CLASS #1

Cam
Means

BlaCk OWned Outerwear is a fashion line created to promote excellence. Every garment is designed to inspire. Crew neck sweatshirts, pullover & zip up hoodies, T-shirts & hats for men and women. BlaCk is the color of success and sophistication, that’s what being BlaCk OWned represents.

Phone: 513.407.3496
Location: 822 Elm Street, Cincinnati, OH
Hours: Mon-Thu, 12-8pm; Fri-Sat 12-9pm

CLASS #2

Floyd Johnson

A college dropout who’s been rejected from DAAP’s fashion program three times, Johnson has carved out a creative niche representing his home state in (OATW) apparel, that reaches across the globe from his studio apartment in Northside.

CLASS #5

Q
Kinebrew

Brewing Arts

Brewing Arts is a creative services company providing fast, reliable and personable service. We offer personal one on one tutorials of knitting, sewing,crochet,  and jewelry making. Our other services are custom clothing and home decor. This is where you come to make creative ideas realities!

HEALTH & BEAUTY

CLASS #3

Anton Ferguson (EXAMPLE)

P.U.S.H. - Pray Until Something Happens

P.U.S.H. is an organization motivated by humanity and the evolution of a child’s mind. We sell P.U.S.H. branded t-shirts and give a portion of the profits to kids with incarcerated parents.

Phone: 504.533.8041

CLASS #4

Lawrence Jones
(EXAMPLE)

Just Hire Me is a platform for neighbors to employ teenagers within their community. We serve as a vehicle to stimulate the teenage economy, while reintroducing neighbors. We aim to be the “Uber” of service convenience between neighbors and teenagers.

CLASS #9

Lamika Barber
(EXAMPLE)

Sensory Crafts For Kids

Sensory Crafts 4 Kids is a crafting studio that creates a safe and fun social environment for children diagnosed with autism and sensory disorders and their families. This studio is designed to normalize and destigmatize children with autism disorder and their social barriers.

CLASS #7

Lorraine Dukes
(EXAMPLE)

Real Deal Boxing Club

An after school program that teaches kids boxing while building confidence and community. We prepare kids to not only be successful in the ring but also in life knowing that someone will always be in their corner.

PRODUCTS

CLASS #7

Donny Harper

GO(O)D Company Apparel promotes the importance of surrounding yourself with people who will encourage, support and build you up on your road to success. We have created a brand that every age,race and background can relate to.  goodcoapparel

CLASS #1

Evie
Cotton

Visindi Beauty

Visindi Beauty is a prestige soap company committed to bringing quality all natural soaps to market that are exceptionally beautiful as well as safe for face and body as well as the environment. Free from Detergents, Dyes, Paraben, Sulfates, Gluten and Cruelty.

CLASS #5

Briona-Joy Smith

Old Nati Tees

Old Nati Tees is a company dedicated to providing high quality, custom designs and apparel to small businesses and organizations. Locally owned and operated, we are able to offer a personalized experience when creating your custom orders and specialize in fast order completion.

CLASS #1

Camielle Howard

Cam's Crochet

Cam’s Crochet offers beautiful, well-crafted crocheted clothing and accessories for any occasion. From everyday attire to items for special events Cam’s Crochet has the items you need to create a one-of-a-kind look!

 

CLASS #7

Regina Middleton

Shoes made to order. They are designed to fit each client perfectly and endure hard use for years. She focuses on the relationships and responsibilities we have to the things we own, and how this interaction can become an opportunity for a gentle corrective to the path of destructive consumerism.

taigagoods

 

CLASS #11

Mildred Patterson

It unifies families, communities, and educates everyone.

CLASS #5

Danielle Boyle

Clean Slate Clothing

Each day we wake up, we have a #CleanSlate.  A new day & new mercies to make it happen for ourselves & others. Clean Slate Clothing is a lifestyle brand that inspires individuals to build community, while looking fly & staying cool.

 

CLASS #11

Dawn
Grady

Junebug offers handmade, one-of-a-kind copper and silver wearable art jewelry.

CLASS #13

Candra
Evans

Manufacture homemade skin and hair products with a focus on natural ingredients.

 

CLASS #13

LaTrese Green

My business is a lifestyle brand that addresses the issues of health disparities and chronic stress in a urban holistic manner for
the minority and underserve communities.

 

 

CLASS #7

Chante Baker/Debra Sparks

ABnOrmal

A brand to advocate, create a culture of support and promote awareness, for any individual who may battle with a blood disorder as well as the friends and family affected by it; or for those individuals who feel they are simply unique.

 

SERVICES

CLASS #2

Kyla
Woods

Crowd or Camera Communications Consulting is a premier brand messaging firm that specializes in tailoring exactly what you want to say to the audience you want to say it to. Broadcast journalist and Public Relations connoisseur Kyla Woods leads the team with over 12 years of experience in media, promotions, and social networking platforms.

CLASS #1

Brandon A. Black

DrawnVersation is a graphic recording service that translates the verbal content of live meetings, presentations, and discussions into a large-scale visual in real time.

CLASS #7

Wendy Palmer

We create private, social and corporate events that make memories! We coordinate decor, party favors, treat tables, catering and vendors that fulfill your vision. Book your event with us so that you can celebrate with the people that matter.

CLASS #10

Teresa
Clardy

Proven Purpose, LLC

Proven Purpose LLC is an after weekend program developing Visionary Mindset. Our goal is to create an atmosphere for self-motivated youth that is driven with talents and willing to be enhanced with necessary life skills to live a secure adulthood. Proven Purpose is a nine-month membership with curriculums built for each grade in high school to enhance their living skills for adulthood. Proven Purpose was founded by Teresa Marie Clardy, an entrepreneur, who is self-published as T.Mari and current college student in sociology.

Phone: (513) 544-8308

CLASS #9

Philishea Evergae

Barely Blush

Barely Blush is Cincinnati’s premier natural salon on wheels. We cater to the busy, modern, working woman by providing convenient luxury nail services. We focus solely on nail services, and aims to provide the best quality nail services in a time-efficient and affordable manner.

CLASS #9

Robert Johnson

Ruff Fitness

Has your dog been misbehaving? It could be because they’re bored and need some exercise. Thanks to Ruff Fitness, Ohio’s first indoor dog park, dog owners can enjoy the opportunity to come exercise with their dog. No matter the hour or

CLASS #10

Teresa
Clardy

Proven Purpose, LLC

Proven Purpose LLC is an after weekend program developing Visionary Mindset. Our goal is to create an atmosphere for self-motivated youth that is driven with talents and willing to be enhanced with necessary life skills to live a secure adulthood. Proven Purpose is a nine-month membership with curriculums built for each grade in high school to enhance their living skills for adulthood. Proven Purpose was founded by Teresa Marie Clardy, an entrepreneur, who is self-published as T.Mari and current college student in sociology.

Phone: (513) 544-8308

CLASS #3

Brenda Baker

Sparkle Cleaning

We have been serving the greater Cincinnati area as a full service residential and commercial cleaning company.  We provide sanitary facilities and employment that pays a living wage to sustain economic integrity. Our employees work independently and efficiently as well as part of a team. Customers are offered routine cleaning or one time cleaning.

Phone: 513.706.9279

CLASS #6

Helen Bradley

A diverse group of models offering event planning services & promotional spokes-modeling.  Our services are ideal for promoting your product or event with an attractive representative who can speak well, engage customer feedback and identify possible sales leads. We are ready to represent your event or company, make a good impression on your new clients and help you effectively communicate your mission.

CLASS #4

Rolandis Williams

iCleanology

iCleanology is a commercial cleaning company serving bars and restaurants in OTR Cincinnati. iCleanology is offering a premium service with a high level of integrity and trustworthiness. Founder, Rolandis,ensures he exceeds expectations.

CLASS #7

Sarah Howard

Giddy Pup, the all-inclusive, self-serve pet wash, and grooming for Over the Rhine’s urban pet parents . We provide raised washtubs, aprons, rain boots, shampoos, conditioners, brushes, towels and dryers for every self-wash.

CLASS #7

Tyler Townsend

My mission is to provide healing, comfort, and improved quality of Life by establishing a Medical Marijuana Edibles Store that offers a wide range of marijuana infused edibles, oils, and concentrates that are healthy, affordable, and most importantly therapeutic and healing.

CLASS #4

Regina Render

Cincinnati Go4rs

Our concierge business serves as a convenience to people from all aspects of life – from stay at home parents to professional business men & women. Hire us to do tasks such as running personal errands, shopping, delivering items, watching/walking pets, setting appointments and assisting wherever needed.

CLASS #7

Donovan Nelson

On the Go (OG) Studio Productions

On the Go Studio Productions is the world’s first entirely portable audio production studio. We offer artists, musicians, and music hobbyists professionally engineered production services; when and wherever they are inspired. We aim to revolutionize the global music business.

CLASS #8

Tony
Jenkins

MidWest Promo Source, LLC

Whether it’s marketing needs for your company, event, customer appreciation or employee appreciation, MidWest Promo Source is your one stop promotional product source! We can add your logo to nearly 5,000 different product types, making a lasting impression!

CLASS #8

Sue
Plummer

WheelHouse Cincinnati

WheelHouse (Cincy) provides quality, affordable, safe, and efficient transportation to our community. We offer professionally re-furbished bikes, parts, repairs, and tune-ups. Our dedication to top-notch service, support, education, and training will catalyze a strong, successful bike riding community.

CLASS #10

Sherman Bradley

Sherman B. Bradley

Training in Cultural Humility and Diversity & Inclusion practices with Consulting and post training Coaching singularly as well as organizationally in efforts to deconstruct racism, implicit biases and cognitive dissonance in society.

Phone: (513) 615-2201

CLASS #10

Lorenzo Green

Know Maintenance, LLC

It is a subscription based home maintenance service, providing 3 dimensions of maintenance service:
1) Routine repairs and fixes
2) Quarterly maintenance checks
3) Lawn and snow removal

Phone: (305) 610-3672

dissonance in society.

Phone: (513) 615-2201

CLASS #10

Torren
Grace

The Rebel Agency

The business is a creative agency that will provide different tools for marketing and branding including graphic design, social media management, photo shoots, and event curation. It in a sense is a one-stop shop for your business’ marketing and branding needs.

Phone: (513) 910-3511

CLASS #12

Lolitha
Perry

Perfect Touch Helps LLC

I provide in-home services. I am a Licensed Massage Therapist and I specialize in mobility. I also Help families with house cleaning.

Phone: (513) 260-5694

CLASS #12

Kristina
Irby

The Healing Spot

I provide in-home services. I am a Licensed Massage Therapist and I specialize in mobility. I also Help families with house cleaning.

Phone: (513) 260-5694

CLASS #13

Kayla Iheukwu

Soulful Change

Soulful Change aims to identify, prepare and support minority populations and young professionals that have an interest in service learning opportunities. These participants will serve communities locally, nationally, and internationally throughout the year by leading projects, managing assigned projects, and assisting their team with collaborative activities.

Phone: (513) 549-7514

CLASS #12

Debra
Love

Debra Love

Provide Contract services for Life Skills, Independent Living Skills, Work Readiness, Career Exploration etc.

CLASS #12

Lakisha
Best

The BEST Childcare LLC offers the community quality childcare for ages 6 weeks-14 years while focusing on self concept and positive self esteem. Teaching the appreciation of diversity and knowledge of various culture. It is also a parenting center. Focus in offering educational training to parents and caregivers on various topics. including but not limited to nutrition and positive guidance.

Phone: (513) 745-9126

CLASS #12

Jennifer Batchelor

A Generation of Love

My business will provide intergenerational day care services for disadvantaged youths ages 0-6yrs old, as well as seniors. This will be done by bridging the gap between the two generations with combined daycare services, therefore helping older adults rediscover their purpose through interaction with children. In turn, teaching the children to have a healthy respect, trust and love for aging adults.

CLASS #13

Andrew W. Kidd III

KIDD3 Graphic Design Services

KIDD3 Graphic Design Services is an online based business so that customers can place orders from the comfort of their home. Images can be sent to kidd3gds@gmail.com for a FREE evaluation and cost estimate.
The Graphic Design Department can provide Logos, Illustrations, Cards, Flyers, Booklets and the in-between to communicate your visual message effectively.
The Photography Department offers Custom Portraits, Interior Retail, Merchandise, Exterior Structure images for your many promotional needs.
A new addition to KIDD3 Graphic Design Services (K3GDS) is giving you more options to save your favorite photos, photo sets and photo albums.
Digital Photo Restoration can scan prints, or use images already taken on your electronic device and repair damaged images as close to the original as possible unless Custom Graphic Portraits are purchased where a symbolic likeness is used rather than a photo realistic interpretation of the face.
Scanning images are the best method to obtain large 300dpi (dots per inch) pictures that give you more flexibility in repairing and resizing options. Larger sized images allow for photo realistic Restorations.
Images that are taken with cell phones or tablets can result in glass glare, breathing blurs, less light, twist and tilt picture rotations.
These can be restored but due to low image quality, a painting effect is approached to express personality and mood.


 Phone: (513) 916-0066

CLASS #13

Erica
Holston

I, Erica Holston, am the Founder of Vine Life Coaching, a Life Coach, and Motivational Speaker. I specialize in boosting confidence, helping people find their purpose, and promoting healthy relationships.

CLASS #13

Erica
Griffin

My company provides Photo/Video services. Adding on selling wall art.

CLASS #13

Zachary Thomas

The Cincinnati Trainer LLC.

Focus on health n Wellness though boxing for fitness training.

CLASS #13

Kobie D. Christian

Cavalier

Cavalier Consulting is a Digital Communication firm that offers Crisis Management, Public Relations. Digital Media, E-commerce support, Social Media and Strategic Advising Services as well as an Behavioral approach to Cyber Security that will minimise clients vulnurability

CLASS #13

Chelsea
Nuss

LONG TERM VISION: Have a brick and mortar location called “Lab House” and facilitate science, technology, and engineering lessons, which can be reserved by schools and home school groups. On weekends, the house will have running events and workshops any student can participate for a fee. We would also have the ability for to book a theme for birthday parties. The technology space would be outfitted for students to learn how to code and program.

FOOD & BEVERAGE

CLASS #3

Kristen Bailey

Having a passion for good people and good food, Sweets & Meats BBQ uses inspiration from family recipes and provides a down-home feel and meal. We specialize in smoked meats,  homemade sides and desserts. Our food truck is licensed and insured in both Ohio & Kentucky. We also offer full service catering.

 

CLASS #5

Christina Davis

Davis Cookie Collection bakes the most DELICIOUS cookies in all of Cincinnati. Our cookies are preservative/additive free and baked with All Natural and organic ingredients. To check out our flavors and try them for yourself, order at 

 

CLASS #5

Rebecca Denney

Paleolicious Cincy is a Gluten Free & Paleo Catering Company whose mission is to convince the world that healthy food should always be delicious. Cincinnati sourced ingredients provide fresh, organic & local flavors that will convince you that eating well can be oh, so tasty!

 

CLASS #4

Katy
Dietz

Soft serve ice cream, slushies and hotdogs in a park! What a great way to bring a diverse population together in centrally located Walnut Hills. Green Man Twist is all about fostering unity and fun in our neighborhood, and among our employees and customers.

 

 

CLASS #11

Jasmine
Ford

My business has really been thriving over the last year. My business has grown so much, I’m now opening a storefront in Walnut Hills. Once open I will start a scholarship fund for bakers.

CLASS #4

Mona Bronson-Fuqua

Mo’Betta Brands is a food experience evoking the emotional, tasty satisfaction of our past in Mo’Betta, health-conscious meals today. Personal chef and catering services serve a smorgasbord of culinary options. Maximizing your meal with Mo’Betta BBQ sauce soon.

CLASS #2

Aunt Flora's Cobblers

Aunt Flora’s specializes in Gourmet Cobbler Pies and Healthy Southern Comfort Foods using her family’s old recipes. Aunt Flora has also created a food line of sauces, coffees and spices. Aunt Flora has been featured on nationally televised appearances with Oprah Winfrey and Martha Stewart.

Phone: 513.227.7938

CLASS #7

Keantha Brandy

Key's Cheesecakes and Pies

Come unlock your taste buds with a custom made or regular cheesecake by yours truly, Key’s Cheesecakes and Pies. I offer a variety of cheesecake flavors with guaranteed freshness. Whatever flavor your taste buds may wish for come unlock them with a slice of Key’s Cheesecakes and Pies!

 

CLASS #5

Vy
Sok

Introducing Cincinnati to the first Cambodian eatery, “Mahope”, meaning food. Bringing hope through food. Hope is the main ingredient in helping our business grow. With the success of Mahope our mission is to help others achieve their own hopes and dreams.

 

 

CLASS #8

Gary
Dangel

Zone 06

Zone 06 is a diverse group of passionate Walnut Hills residents who are growing healthy food, cooking nutritious meals together, and beautifying green spaces – all in order to build new friendships and form a more tightly-knit community.

 

CLASS #8

Diane
Sharp

Smiley’s Bayou Signature Soups & Sandwiches

Great food makes special events more memorable. As a reputable family catering business, our goal is to provide our clientele with a positive catering experience filled with hospitality to make every customer feel like family.

 

 

CLASS #8

Salimah Abdul-Hakim

L. Mari Catering LLC

L. Mari Catering LLC provides delicious premium quality private to full-scale services tailored towards catering, event cuisine styling, and meal preparation services. Short on time? Let us assist you while exceeding your expectations and redefine meal production.

 

CLASS #8

Nickey Stevenson

Southern Grace Restaurant

As a child most of us remember saying grace for the first time at the dinner table over a southern style meal. Fresh, tender and bursting with flavor is what Southern Grace Restaurant has to offer. We provide great tasting food that’s prepared fresh with the highest quality of ingredients.

 

CLASS #9

Andrea Sutton

SUGAR

Sugar is a boutique bakery specializing in custom cakes & cupcakes. Cake-decorating was therapy when I needed it. It brought healing and joy. To me, a cake is a work of art and an experience I’m happy to share with others. Sugar makes life sweeter with cakes that capture the heart.

 

 

CLASS #9

Wilma Rosser

Jessie's Table

My name is Wilma Rosser owner of Jessie’s Table. Our goal is simple to create a lasting impression and serve people from all walks of life in excellence. Whether your need is creative cuisine, event planning or creative services. From concept to completion, Jessie’s Table is the choice.

 

CLASS #7

Ashley Ogletree

GiGi Rolls- Not Just Another Roll! GiGi Rolls is a perfected family recipe that has provided a taste of legacy. Known for our buttery, soft, home-style tasting rolls.

 

CLASS #10

Creola Dickerson

Cha - The Tea Room

Cha will have the essence of the historic tea room with a relevant and polished esthetic. The tea room will be a tranquil place to gather and relax, grounded in expert knowledge and premier service. Cha will provide a full range of teas, pastries and light fare, retail tea accessories and loose teas to purchase for home use and to give as gifts. We are also considering offering tea based cocktails, off-site tea service and securing wholesale tea accounts.

 

CLASS #10

Marcus O Pitts

Parah Deli

(Parah means ” to bear fruit” in Hebrew) My business will provide “clean”(clean meats- meaning No pork or Shellfish”) deli meats for the Hebrew Israelite Community all across Cincinnati. I would also like to provide daily soups, fresh sandwiches, salads, fresh breads, housemade aioli’s and vinaigrettes. I also would like to cater lunch to different businesses/schools across the city. Businesses/schools I have ties too or family members employed there.

 

 

CLASS #10

Courtney Parker

Toasty's

Toasty’s sells from baked goods made from scratch including cupcakes, mini bundt cakes and other sweet treats. The plan is to own a dessert bar featuring these goods along with wine and spirits. The end goal is for Toasty’s will be a late night, after dinner dessert spot and lounge.

CLASS #11

Melissa Coston

Stay's Healthy Creations

It is a Juice bar,Grocery/Catering Service. It will service the community at large. to help others learn to eat and live a healthier lifestyle. we will even offer home/community economics classes so to speak.we will also offer community resource outlets,as well as networking services on a daily basis.

CLASS #11

Kai Stoudemire-Williams

The Funnel Cake Bar

Create and sell Savory and Sweet Funnel Cakes year round.

 

 

CLASS #5

Renee Laguna

Green Elephant

“Eat and play the natural way”. Our mission at Green Elephant is to bring play time to its natural state, by combining wholesome foods and organic play in a relaxing atmosphere that parents and their children can enjoy together.

 

 

 

CLASS #4

Alerah Bellise

The Caribeyon Jerk Hut

The Caribeyon Jerk Hut specializes in authentic Caribbean cuisine. Our herbs & spices are from the Spur Tree Hills of Jamaica & we use cooking techniques that are over 100 years old. Join us at Drinkery OTR every weekend for the original island flavor.

CLASS #6

Aisha McNeal

Eden's Creations

Eden’s Creations is a cupcake boutique where you can build your own cupcake! You get to pick from a variety of different cupcakes and then choose your toppings, if you don’t like cupcakes we also have different fruit treats.

CLASS #5

Liz
Wolf

Ephemeral Lounge & Venue

Ephemeral Lounge & Venue cherishes the unique qualities of craft gin with creative cocktails in a beautiful modern Mediterranean parlor. Our back room will be an intimate venue dedicated to small scale innovative live performance in a high quality theater like setting.

 

 

 

CLASS #12

Motoi "Mo" Nishihata

Green Tea Café

We would like to launch a tea concept utilizing a premium form of tea called Matcha. We would like to create Matcha drinks such as Matcha lemonade, iced teas, bubble teas, Matcha frapps, and anything matcha-related. We would like also like to create simple and delicious matcha related pastries, and snacks.

 

CLASS #13

Canita Alexander

Paityns’ Place is currently a Catering company – I would like to execute my vision and have a restaurant.

Phone: (513) 238-9306

 

 

CLASS #12

Liti-Ahenewa Zabad

Imani's Vegan Soul Kitchen

My business is a vegan Catering service.

 

 

SOCIAL ENTERPRISES

CLASS #3

Anton Ferguson

P.U.S.H. - Pray Until Something Happens

P.U.S.H. is an organization motivated by humanity and the evolution of a child’s mind. We sell P.U.S.H. branded t-shirts and give a portion of the profits to kids with incarcerated parents.

Phone: 504.533.8041

CLASS #4

Lawrence Jones

Just Hire Me is a platform for neighbors to employ teenagers within their community. We serve as a vehicle to stimulate the teenage economy, while reintroducing neighbors. We aim to be the “Uber” of service convenience between neighbors and teenagers.

CLASS #9

Lamika Barber

Sensory Crafts For Kids

Sensory Crafts 4 Kids is a crafting studio that creates a safe and fun social environment for children diagnosed with autism and sensory disorders and their families. This studio is designed to normalize and destigmatize children with autism disorder and their social barriers.

CLASS #7

Lorraine Dukes

Real Deal Boxing Club

An after school program that teaches kids boxing while building confidence and community. We prepare kids to not only be successful in the ring but also in life knowing that someone will always be in their corner.

CLASS #7

Eddie Stewart

Project 2FL¥4Û

We are a non-profit social enterprise composed of an Information technology program “Project 2FL¥4Û” that will sell clothes to fund the program…We offer easy to understand courses that will build basic skills for everyone. We also help create a blueprint for success in the field of IT.

CLASS #6

Jamar Brantley

Redemption Development Center

Retired Marine Jamar Brantley, started working with troubled youth in 2006. After discovering the system’s many flaws & lack of nurturing for youth, he realized it was his calling to start Redemption Development Center; a place that’s safe, educational, responsible and instills values of manhood: ACCOUNTABILITY, WORD IS BOND and INTEGRITY.

 

 

CLASS #7

Rodriquez Stephens

A Child’s D.R.U.M.S.

A Child’s D.R.U.M.S. is a non-profit organization which seeks to encourage and increase youth participation in learning and playing percussion instruments.  We want to enable young children to benefit from participation in play drums, in a safe and structured environment. Through this active participation, A Child’s D.R.U.M.S. programs teach fundamental values, skills and knowledge that young people will use throughout their lives.

CLASS #9

Sherria
Evans

Nursery Garden Community Center

The garden Nursery Community center is here to help all people regardless of age, gender or class. It is our vision to uplift people regardless of their social background and their unique situation they may face at the time.

CLASS #3

Jeff
Brewster

Healthy Days 365

We are a non-profit social enterprise composed of an Information technology program “Project 2FL¥4Û” that will sell clothes to fund the program…We offer easy to understand courses that will build basic skills for everyone. We also help create a blueprint for success in the field of IT.

CLASS #13

Wende
Cross

KingStarter, LLC

Develop, educate and advocate for urban at-risk boys ages 13-18; helping to promote healthy maturation into young adulthood using innovative techniques to teach traditional principles and values that will help them to overcome barriers and live self-sufficient lives.

  • 513.888.GROW
  • 1329 Vine Street, Cincinnati
  • M-F 10am-5pm

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MEANS CAMERON

BlaCk OWned Outerwear & BlaCk Coffee

Graduate of MORTAR Class #1, Means Cameron is a native born Cincinnatian. At a young age, he got his first taste of entrepreneurship as the neighborhood’s Candy Man. Soon after, Means realized that he could make more money selling shoes and clothing to people who wanted to dress the way he did. 

Today, Means is Owner Operator of the clothing brand BlaCkOWned™ Outerwear. Since its launch in 2011, the brand has been recognized as Brand of The Year (Atlanta, GA, Ingrushi), Top 3 Cincinnati Men’s Boutiques (Cincinnati Magazine) and has had the day November 16th proclaimed as ‘BlaCk OWned Day’ in the city of Cincinnati. Means and his team are using the growing notoriety to create a brand that transcends race, generation and location. This same concept is the bases of Cameron’s new venture blaCk Coffee Lounge, which is a local ‘culture shop’ serving great coffee. One of his favorite quotes is “behind every great business owner is a better cup of coffee”. Through his contributions as an entrepreneur it is Means’ goal to inspire the community to move as a unit and to serve one another.

KRISTEN BAILEY

SWEETS & MEATS

Sweets & Meats isn’t just about making money for Kristen Bailey. It’s also a way for her to give back to the community.

“Anton and I truly believe barbecue brings people together. Anton has always loved to cook, so we got our first smoker in 2012, and he learned…by calling his grandfather from Sylacauga, Alabama, and he remembers his grandfather would make smokers out of steel drums. The amount of prep that goes into it—the amount of love that goes into it—it’s like cooking a Thanksgiving dinner, but we do it every day.

We literally started with an 8-foot table and a smoker in a parking lot, and we grew to having a food truck, then we got the restaurant. Now we have two food trucks. We’ve done that all in four years, and we’ve had over 30 percent growth every single year. 

MORTAR equipped us with the support, resources and confidence we needed to take our business to the next level. 5 years later they’re still inspiring us.”

BRIAN JACKSON

ESOTERIC BREWERY

Founder and CEO Brian Jackson honed his skills at MadTree before deciding to set off on his own; he’s also a MORTAR grad!

“’Esoteric’ means ‘sophistication,’” says Jackson. “We’re trying to elevate the palates of customers and the entire experience of people coming to breweries in Cincinnati.”

He plans to offer a diverse selection of brews, which will include local favorites like traditional American IPAs and stouts, as well as more complex beers like his award-winning Belgian quadruple, Nirvana.

Jackson picked a location that matches that sense of style and sophistication: the historic Paramount building in Walnut Hills, which was once known as Cincinnati’s “second downtown.”

Esoteric is not only committed to improving and updating the Paramount, but the community of Walnut Hills at large. Jackson and his marketing guru, Marvin Abrinica, are both minorities who appreciate the challenges of reviving a struggling neighborhood.

“Walnut Hills is such a metaphor for what’s going on in Cincinnati,” says Abrinica. “We chose a lotus as our logo because it’s a beautiful thing that grows from dark places.”

JASMINE SIMPSON

JAZZY SWEETIES

 

Jasmine Simpson owns ‘Jazzy Sweeties’, a Walnut Hills bakery that specializes in cheesecakes, parfaits, custom cakes and cookies. Jasmine has always had a passion for baking and had a great aunt who was a baker, but she hadn’t considered it as a viable career path until she was accepted into the MORTAR program.

She discovered Mortar on Facebook and considered applying for its first class, but nerves stopped her. When the deadline approached for the second class, she applied on the last possible night.

“When I got the email saying it was official (I was part of the class), I knew anything was possible,” she said.