Will these Black-owned businesses get the ‘Oprah effect’?

Each of these business owners was connected to the media mogul’s recent visit to the Queen City.

Fifteen thousand people flooded the Spectrum Center on Saturday for “Oprah’s 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus.” Charlotte was the third stop on her nine-city wellness tour. The daylong event included former boxer Laila Ali, celebrity dancer Julianne Hough and comedian Amy Schumer as special guests.

To put on such a high-caliber event required the expertise — and discretion — of several Charlotte-based businesses. Now, the big question: Will these local businesses benefit from the ‘Oprah effect’?

For years, we’ve watched the mogul’s influence catapult company sales for small businesses. Everything changed for founder Lisa Price when her beauty company, Carol’s Daughter, was featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2002. Price went from operating the company in her home to earning $20 million in annual revenue, opening eight stores, and placement in major retailers like Macy’s and Sephora.

Can Oprah’s Midas touch do the same for these four local business owners?

Premier Pharmacy and Wellness Center

On Friday, Oprah made a surprise visit during a community wellness fair at Premier Pharmacy and Wellness Center on Monroe Road. The owner, Dr. Martez Prince, opened the pharmacy in 2015 to help underserved communities gain a better understanding of their healthcare options and to provide prescription safety. The business also houses a walk-in clinic operated by a family nurse practitioner who can provide health screenings, vaccines and acute care services like allergy treatments.

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His work garnered Winfrey’s attention, and she wanted to deliver encouraging words in person. She told WBTV, “This Premier Pharmacy is not just an advantage and a great offering for this community. It’s a model for the country.”

The Main Event

Of course, the Queen City rolled out the red carpet for the arrival of the media queen. Rhonda Caldwell, owner of The Main Event, was tapped for event decor at Friday’s WW (formerly Weight Watchers) welcome luncheon.

The event planning company has been around for almost 25 years with clientele that includes Bank of America, Novant Health, Johnson C. Smith University and others.

Good Life at Enderly Park

Back in November, we told readers that Good Life at Enderly Park was a business to keep an eye on. The one-stop shop that boasts services like event planning, catering and floral design, previously partnered with Spectrum Center for music acts like Pink, Travis Scott and Elton John.

For Oprah’s visit, the team transformed the backstage area at the Spectrum Center to recreate Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday garden vibe with over 800 flowers for her and her VIP guests.

“She loves flowers. What an exciting opportunity,” co-owner Robbie McNair-Guzman told WCCB during a behind-the-scenes tour.

Chef Jamie Turner of The Asbury

While The Asbury restaurant isn’t Black-owned, its head pastry chef, Jamie Turner, is one of the founding members of the Black chef collective, Soul Food Sessions. She’s also North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association’s reigning Pastry Chef of the Year.

Turner thought it was a prank when she was called upon to create a dessert for the wellness tour, according to an interview with Charlotte Magazine.

She had to get creative to meet the strict WW requirements, but in the end, Turner and the Asbury earned the Charlotte “WW Favorite” restaurant partnership.

While Oprah’s recommendation carries a lot of weight — no pun intended — we’re glad that these businesses call Charlotte home.


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