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Taste of Black St. Louis sees growth in third year

The event started with 45 vendors in 2018 and grew to 90 in its third year.

ST. LOUIS — More than 20,000 people enjoyed the sights, smells, and sounds of The Taste of Black St. Louis. Founder, Aisha James came a long way from when she started the event 4 years ago.

"In 2018 we were one day, this year we are three days and the other change is we were at Tower Grove Park but now we're at City Foundry," James said.

The vendors have everything from food to retail, to informational businesses. 

"We've grown as far as leaps and bounds by vendors. The first year we were about 45. This year we hit about 90 almost close to 100 vendors," said James.

It's Tyneisha Jackson's first year as a vendor. She owns Savory Delights, selling desserts, soul food, pasta, and tacos. 

"I'm shocked because the line is long for this to be my first year. For this to be three days in a row! The longest line," Jackson said.

Arriel Biggs owns Young Biz Kids teaching young people financial literacy and entrepreneurship. She says this event helped her kids see what running your own business is like.

"It only makes sense so they can see other entrepreneurs that can pour into them and then the other entrepreneurs can see them to say you know what these kids are going to be the next generation of entrepreneurs," Biggs said.

James canceled last year's event because of COVID. This event is one way to help businesses make up for what they lost through the pandemic.

"This is kind of like a stepping stone, for people who didn't know about you to know about you," Jackson said.

"It represents Black excellence at its finest and that our kids have something to aspire to," Biggs said.

"It's beautiful and these businesses are going to survive past COVID and that's really what we want them to do, keep surviving," James said.

The event was this past weekend, Sept. 10-12.

For more information on the event visit the Taste of Black St. Louis website.