MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A local staple in downtown Memphis got a Christmas miracle. After decades of renting a space to serve food, the woman with the colorful personality who occupies the bright building at 317 North Main Street is now the owner of the space. And as Local 24 News Weeknight Anchor Katina Rankin tells us, she has one message for other business owners during this coronavirus pandemic, "Don't Give Up!"
B.J. Chester-Tamayo has been in the Pinch District for twenty-three (23) years. But she's been there as a tenant. Now, she owns the business.
"I am no longer a tenant, but a landowner," said Alcenia's Owner B.J. Chester-Tamayo.
After decades of serving the Memphis community by putting food in their tummies, B.J. becomes the only Black female owned business in that area, thanks to a Memphis Medical District Collaborative grant.
"No matter through a pandemic, an epidemic, any type of demic, Alcenia's not going anywhere," said Chester-Tamayo.
She said it's a Christmas miracle and has this advice for other business owners.
"I'm just hoping it'll be an example for many others to know as long as you have God and don't give up because He is your source, you can make it," said Chester-Tamayo.
A couple of years back, O Magazine named Alcenia's one of its favorite food finds. And B.J. has been featured on the cooking competition Chopped and the Paula Dean Show.