Kansas City-based business that helps other Black-owned enterprises connect with consumers has launched its second location.

The Black Pantry, founded by Brian Roberts, is an inclusive “premium brand shop” that serves as a resource to support Black makers, creators and artists nationwide who are looking to get more exposure not only to the Black community but people from all backgrounds, according to Startland News. The success of his business model grew a fanbase of supporters through pop-up shops, TBP’s site, and his first location within Made in KC’s midtown store, a shop that carries various retail products made by local community members.

“We’ve become a trusted space, where it feels like home,” Roberts said, per Startland News. “The art on the walls looks like me, the books on the tables look like me, and the people who work here look like me. So now I have a sense of home, even outside of my home.”

Businesses that offer home goods and self-care services are the types of organizations Roberts is looking to fill the area’s retail corner and shelves. In addition, customers can expect to see a coffee shop, wine bar, and an outdoor patio for studying, fellowshipping, eating, and more when they visit.

“It’s still going to have the same vibe. I want it to be light, bright and colorful,” the TBP creator told Startland News. “I know the core of our business is philanthropic and intentional, but I still want it to be fun.”


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The budding business hub’s success wouldn’t be possible without local partnerships, and some of the Black-owned brands people will be able to get familiar with are The Prospect KCMattie’s Foods’ vegan selections and spirits from Vine Street BrewingRally Gin and Kin Seltzer.

“I want to encourage businesses to take the next step. I know it’s scary, so here’s a progressive in-between step so that they have their own sense of ownership,” Roberts said.

The purpose of the new location, which spans an entire block on the prominent Troost Avenue, is for it to become a recognized hub for entrepreneurs of color. The boutique owner wants more Black entrepreneurs to be motivated when scaling and elevating their business endeavors to help them invest in themselves and their communities.

“We get the opportunity to build upon all that excitement,” Roberts said. “It takes a lot of us that really come from here to build something that’s impactful for everybody to champion.”

The businessman feels TBP will majorly enrich Kansas City’s economic infrastructure, which he wants everyone to see.

“The challenge I have with this is getting the city to understand how big of a deal this could be,” Roberts said. “Because my thought is not just one space, my thought is to scale out multiple spaces. So economically, as I scale, all the entrepreneurs scale at the same time.”

There’s more in store for TBP as Roberts has a mission to continue buying commercial real estate to encourage his people, especially the youth, to believe that the sky is the limit. Furthermore, the entrepreneur hopes for more Black Americans in the city to mirror his sentiments of feeling seen and inspired by having a safe space they can walk into that reflects their culture created by people of the culture.

“It’s cool that they get to see these stores coming from people that are from our blocks,” he said.