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Nikki’s Place
“A Central Florida Soul-Food Mecca”
   
In this month’s Business Highlight, BBB would like to highlight Nikki’s Place which is dubbed as “A Central Florida Soul-Food Mecca” by the Orlando Sentinel in June of 2015.  Nikki’s Place, formerly known as Roser’s Restaurant, has been a staple in Parramore since 1949. Below, I have placed parts of an article written by Jeff Weiner in 2015 during the temporary closure of the restaurant due to a fire from the apartment above. This article highlights how important Nikki’s Place is to Parramore’s community.
 
        
 
Some direct quotes from the article:
  • Nikki’s Place has catered “quite a few” city events over the years, said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, who also dines at the restaurant. Asked his favorite menu item, he replied: “I’m always going to go with collard greens…They’re a great, small, local business here in our community.” 
  • Walter Hawkins, director of Urban Development for Orlando, said he goes to Nikki’s often to enjoy their grits for breakfast.  He called the food “wonderful,” and said he hopes the community will support the restaurant in its time of need…We don’t want to lose an iconic restaurant.”
  • Nikki’s is a repeat honoree of the Sentinel’s annual Foodie Awards, the macaroni and cheese and the fried chicken made the paper’s best-in-Central-Florida lists, and Nick Aiken was inducted into the Sentinel’s Culinary Hall of Fame on March 5th.
Weiner, J. (2015, June 2). Nikki’s Place, a soul food mainstay, struggles to rebuild after fire. The Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved from http://www.orlandosentinel.com

Popcorn Junkie
Neal Crosier, the founder of Popcorn Junkie, envisioned his establishment as a place where popcorn was made fresh daily with quality ingredients and provided to the heart of Central Florida community at a reasonable price. Established in May of 2017, Neal’s idea of Chicago style popcorn was started and has impacted the community in multiple ways.
 
Neal works closely with the Orange County District 5 Commissioner, Regina Hill, in support of other minority businesses through summer youth programs and Parramore kids zone.  The two programs were developed to help support education, business training and mentorship for children in the Parramore area. 
 
Neal is also a well-known vendor at the Parramore Farmers Market each Saturday morning.  The Parramore Farmers Market is a weekly farmers market and is part of the USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program Grant received by the city of Orlando. With this grant, the city is working to provide access to quality, fresh and healthy food in the West Orlando neighborhoods that have been deemed as “food deserts”. This program also helps in giving residents the opportunity to start or grow a business by encouraging entrepreneurship.
Neal has an existing relationship with the University of Central Florida via Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF).
 
Neal intends to expand his establishment in the near future as well as create a fundraiser program to further assist the development of non-profit development in the Central Florida Community.
  

 

 

 

 

 

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