project leader
Ionna J
3 Belmont Avenue
(Brownsville )
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the project

Hey 3 Black Cats Fam, 

Let me talk to you for a minute. Growing up in neighborhoods like Brownsville, you are taught to go to school, make something of yourself, and leave the community or "the hood" behind. People say the only time you should return is to pass through, just to say hi and bye. Hardly anyone raised in these communities is taught to bring your success and talents back, to help foster that community’s growth, to inspire change, or to lead great causes.  NOPE!  However, we did just that, 3 sisters from Brownsville, did just the opposite.  Sisters with different experiences, values, and motivations, we found ourselves with a common aspiration, to help people, but it had to be our own. Growing up in Brownsville has definitely proven to be challenging; however, coming back to Brownsville to make a difference has proven to be even more challenging. You have to be some kind of crazy to keep going! Some kind of dumb to dust yourself off and go back into the flames. But, we were raised on the motto "if you fail, try and try again". So here we go...

Five years ago, by watching online tutorials and studying baking shows, we taught ourselves how to make cakes and sell them. By selling cakes to family, friends, and co-workers, we became experts in our own right, but still had a lot more to learn. With a little assistance, in 2016, we opened up our very own brick and mortar, 3 Black Cats Cafe, in Brownsville. We always knew the Cafe would be bigger than just selling cakes. It would be the epicenter of community revitalization, the beginning of a progressive renaissance movement. Over the past two years, we not only baked and sold cakes, but we also fostered and supported the Brownsville youth by promoting their involvement in business ownership, and providing a safe place to learn, laugh, and grow.  We've conducted hundreds of community activities, such as block parties, holiday giveaways, and other mentorship sessions and youth outreach programs. Two years later and we've learned A LOT. Perfect your craft! Listen to your customers and support team! Follow your heart! Share your knowledge and blessings! And never allow people to rush your process! 

Looking back, we now realize that because there was an overwhelming response from the community for the 3 Black Cats Cafe, that under the guidance of investors and other professionals, the Cafe was rushed to open. Proper permits weren't secured and the proper engineering talent wasn't brought on. While 3 Black Cats found ourselves breaking even in the first year, in the second year we were faced with challenges and a tumultuous relationship with investors. Consequently, we have been shut down, due to the Department of Buildings violations, with no means to recover, as the overhead landlord refuses to be held accountable for these issues. 

So, what’s the plan? Do we give up or keep trying again? During these troubling times, we have met a lot of amazing people, some who provide really dope support! People who are capable of taking our Cafe, with a purpose, to higher levels. Experts who have helped us revamp our business model to include our lessons learned, feedback from the community, and our desire to give back. But first, we need to get over this hurdle. We hope to use the love that you give to pay for our lawyer fees, to secure our space, and get it back up and running. We hope to make improvements to the space to become up to code with the Department of Buildings. We also want to continue to foster the arts and nighttime entertainment along Belmont Avenue. Lastly, we want to strengthen our youth training program by bringing on experts in the fields of restaurants & hospitality.  Please help us obtain these goals and once again be a pillar of the Brownsville community. 

Thank you for your support! 

the steps

1. Secure a Lawyer 

2. Redesign the cafe to include a kitchen incubator upstairs

3. Construct the new Kitchen Incubator space

why we're doing it

3 Black Cats knows that its success will aid in ushering in more successful entrepreneurs in Brownsville. That it will continue to grow the skills and talent in Brownsville. It will bring about vision and purpose and begin to brand the corridor it lives on as an arts and culture district. It put forth new and refreshing economic development in a neighborhood that desperately needs it. And lastly, it will have all the little girls saying... I can do that! I can be an entrepreneur, I can own my own business in my community. 


Legal fees - $10000

Key Funds for New Lease - $45000

Build out of Kitchen - $20000

SUBTOTAL = 75,000
ioby Platform Fee  $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $2,250
TOTAL TO RAISE = $77,285



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This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • Q Lewis
  • Dai Stevens
  • Katiana Deshommes
  • Anonymous