Nikki’s Chocolates is hosting a CAO holiday pop-up event today as part of the holiday pop-up series promoting minority-owned businesses in Buffalo. Nikki’s Chocolates owner Jannell Eason is a graduate of the Community Action Organization of WNY’s Business development workshop series. She opened her chocolate shop in 2018. It is located at 27 Chandler St, Suite 205, Buffalo.
This week, Eason is offering customers the option to preorder Thanksgiving desserts to pick up on Wednesday, Nov. 25, while shopping a variety of chocolate candies and desserts on sale.
“CAO provided business classes that focused on developing a business plan, which helped me to secure small business funding,” Eason said. “Through partnerships with Pathstone Enterprises, I was able to learn more about financial wellness. During the level-up business series, I was able to connect with like-minded individuals within my community. I am grateful for the mentorship and training offered by CAO.”
Customers can visit the shop or preorder online through today at nikkischocolateswny.com. The shop is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.
CAO’s business development workshop series came to fruition after the organization was awarded a grant in 2015 to transform the MLK business district to create a more viable, walkable and aesthetically pleasing area. The workshops have been successful, with more than 300 attendees and 60 graduates over the past few years, and new businesses launched. Thomas was provided signage for her business thanks to the Buffalo Main Street Initiative.
CAO CEO L. Nathan Hare said he wants to promote the success stories of Buffalo residents who graduated from their workshop series and the empowerment entrepreneurship has in the MLK district.
“Our business development workshop series has helped so many individuals gain confidence to achieve entrepreneurship,” Hare said. “The facade improvements and business activity is incredible because it is transforming Fillmore Avenue and nearby areas. These individuals are reaching goals they never thought were possible, and are able to work for themselves, hire family members and put business back into the community they live in.”
CAO’s Business Development Director Pamela James has wanted to highlight the students’ work ethic.
“We teach our business development participants to believe in their dreams and to reach beyond the stars,” she said.
The series offers a holistic approach to help aspiring entrepreneurs get to where they want to be. By working with CAO and the Masten Resource Center, workshop participants have access to Wi-Fi, computers, meeting space, child care, and even food pantries so they can prioritize their business planning.
2020’s business development workshop series students will graduate Dec. 14. Learn more at https://caowny.org/business-development/.
The next holiday pop-up events include
•Dec. 4, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at Ansar Fragrances and More (essential oils, African shea butter and more), 1371 Fillmore Ave., Buffalo
The Community Action Organization of WNY was designated in 1965 as the official antipoverty agency for Erie County with a mission to serve the unmet needs of the low-income populations. Today, CAO serves more than 50,000 families and individuals within Erie and Niagara counties through a variety of programs and services. Visit caowny.org for more information.