The Minneapolis Spokesman-Recorder has provided a platform by which we can help community members see more clearly what is at stake and how area minority entrepreneurs are doing in this depressed economy. While shining a spotlight on local entrepreneurs, we hope to increase readership and provide creative solutions to help find your way out of this economic crisis.
Hirsch Stampley has been working his concession business Monday through Saturday between the hours of 11 am and 8 pm. Hirsch has been setting up his trailer throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul. With the recent tornado that swept through North Minneapolis, he has made himself available to help with feeding some of the families that have been displaced.
Prior to the tornado, Hirsch was operating one block east of Dale St. on University Avenue in St. Paul. Customers can call in their orders at 612-730-4865 or simply look him up on his social media sites to find his locations for the day.
Hirsch’s Fish and Chicken was started in 1993 in an empty parking lot. He started out selling catfish and hush puppies for three dollars.
The following year, 1994, marked his first year doing the Rondo Festival in St. Paul. Hirsch says that up until 1998 he continued to work the outdoor festivals such as Grand Old Day, Juneteenth and other local events.
As time passed he was able to purchase a new concession trailer and opened for business at the corner of Western and University in a church parking lot. Mike Tamali and the Neighborhood Development Center in St. Paul was the nonprofit organization that financed the build-out of the trailer. Hirsch continued to operate until deciding to close up due to some quirks in the health deptartment regulations stating that “a vendor cannot operate in the same location for more than 21 days.”
Well, times have changed! With the advent of Twitter, Facebook, text messaging, cell phones and the like, concessionaires can set up anywhere in the city and simply let their loyal customers know via the Internet and social media outlets where they are located at any given hour of the day.
Recently, Hirsch bought my old Sports Café on Wheels trailer, which came with a complete kitchen including a 42-cubic-inch refrigerator, stove, range, grill, griddle, three 40-lbs. deep fryers, cooler, two service windows, stainless counter tops for the customers, three huge sinks, wash sink, hot water heater, 40-gallon water tank and air conditioning for those really hot days. He also has a 7500-watt generator and two 100-lbs. propane tanks for cooking and operating the trailer as needed.
This has been a great find for Hirsch, which allows him to provide a complete menu and operate all day in comfort.
Today, you can contact Hirsch’s Fish and Chicken by phone or simply look him up on his Twitter and Facebook pages.
Advice for Black men seeking employment
Hirsch’s advice for those young entrepreneurs is to not give up on your dream. If you have an idea or you want to do something creative, then work hard at it and you will see success.
This writer has always said: “Never let one man’s negative idea of you become your reality.” With the job market being so tight and with so many of our young men dropping out of school or getting caught up in illegal behavior, we need more entrepreneurial-type training programs.
If someone refuses to give you a job, then create your own. If they fire you from one job, get another; never stop trying, never stop believing and never cower to a coward. The world is full of people who do not want you to succeed and will do everything in their power to ridicule, shame, embarrass or harass you in an attempt to make you give up on yourself. Unfortunately, many of our youth have bought the lie hook, line and sinker.
I recently received an email from my Black Planet network affiliate: They ran a short article on “Top 10 Tips for Black Men Seeking Employment.” Here is an excerpt to get your motor running.
“Even though Black male unemployment is at a record low of 17 percent, African American men are still suffering from the fallout of The Great Recession. The current unemployment rate for Black men is down from last year’s rate of 17.7 percent, but still more than double the current rate of 7.9 percent for their White counterparts. Our social environment creates more obstacles to employment for even highly marketable Black male job seekers, so African American men need focused plans for successful career development.”
They listed some fresh approaches that can help Black men address their unique employment concerns. If you are interested in receiving a copy of those top 10 ideas, simply forward your email to this writer.
Ste Brown, M.S., is a corporate consultant who welcomes reader responses to [email protected]
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