Article Originally Published by Maria Lawson on North Texas Daily
As the Black Lives Matter movement continues to be important in the United States, many activists say finding ways to support the local Black community is crucial, including shopping at Black-owned businesses. Denton has distinct Black-owned businesses, including The Cookie Crave, Trendsetters Beauty Supply and Denton Fitness Center.
The Cookie Crave
Owner and Aubrey resident Veronica Powell opened The Cookie Crave on March 26. After selling her desserts at farmers markets in Frisco, Dallas and McKinney, she decided to bring her talents to a storefront to appeal to people with nut, gluten and dairy allergies.
“I’ve been doing this [for] about three years since I moved to Texas,” Powell said. “I saw the small business opportunity. Plus, I’m allergic to nuts severely, like it can kill me, and my son can’t have gluten or dairy. I found it hard to find other bakers that got it or didn’t cross [contaminate], so we had to have our EpiPen everywhere.”
Powell wants to give her customers a personal experience through her fresh cookies.
“[Customers] can expect coming into a retail shop but getting a homemade cookie,” Powell said. “Nothing is frozen, everything is fresh ingredients. I don’t use any preserves or extra stuff that’s not really good for you. You can see us make the cookies. If you want to sit here and watch us, you’ll know what we put in them.”
The Cookie Crave gives customers a space to relax and enjoy their desserts.
“My goal was to make it a warm environment [and] inviting, to make you want to come stay for a little while if you’d like, have some tea, hot or cold, have some coffee or have a soda and a cookie and just enjoy the environment,” Powell said.
In opening a small business, Powell came across business hardships that she did not imagine, she said.
“It’s been a lot tougher than I ever, ever experienced,” Powell said. “I always say to myself, many nights I’m like, ‘What am I doing? Am I crazy?’ I’m crying and ready to give up, and I’m like, ‘[If] I can survive this and COVID and the business, then I can survive anything.’ I understand now why people say that the first year of owning your own business is always the hardest.”
Powell said it is important to support local businesses because of the personable experiences and family atmospheres they offer.
“It’s more of a personal touch for the local business,” Powell said. “You can go to a chain and get something to eat and it may be good, but you don’t know if it’s frozen, what it’s made with, what if you got sick — I don’t think there’s that care there, whereas every customer that comes in the door, we make sure they’re greeted. I’m usually here all the time to try to greet customers [and] I try to follow up with them.”
The Cookie Crave located at 519 S. Locust St. and is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Trendsetters Beauty Supply
Trendsetters Beauty Supply is a beauty supply store that has been in Denton since Feb. 13, 2016, and aims to help women set trends by using quality products and hair services.
“The inspiration behind starting Trendsetters Beauty Supply Store all came from my mother being a hairstylist,” co-owner and Denton resident Robert Rice said. “Seeing her put a smile on her clients’ faces with a simple hairstyle is what inspired me. I wanted to be able to do the same thing in another way.”
Rice and his wife, Stephanie, opened Trendsetters Beauty Supply to appeal to the needs of all women.
“As you know, Denton is a small town, so I wanted to provide the community with a beauty supply store that serves women of all colors — we have something for everyone,” Rice said.
Trendsetters Beauty Supply also aims to provide customers with a personal experience.
“Customers can expect a highly engaging staff, quality products and a friendly environment every time they step into Trendsetters Beauty Supply,” Rice said.
Rice said local businesses are important to the community aspect of Denton.
“It is important to support local businesses because they were created right in our backyard,” Rice said. “The support of your community is a great feeling. Yes, we love the support of our out of town customers, but it’s nothing like the love of our Denton family.”
Trendsetters Beauty Supply is located at 717 S. I-35 E. Frontage Rd. Unit 130, and is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Denton Fitness Center
Denton Fitness Center has been in Denton for about six years and was purchased by owner and Denton resident Lionel Gillespie in February of 2019. He purchased the location to have the opportunity to create an intersection between a gym setting and athletic sports performance training.
Gillespie arrives at Denton Fitness Center at 4:30 a.m. every day, and has a day full of boot camps, classes and workouts with people of all ages and levels. Denton Fitness Center works to reach a wide range of people, from children, athletes, retirees and working people who come in the evenings.
“You can expect a wide variety of different types of people,” Gillespie said. “Great, genuine people that are all about Denton. I feel like our gym is a great representation of Denton because we don’t just focus on big, bulky guys.”
Denton Fitness Center offers a wide range of workouts, including yoga and spin classes, boot camps, boxing classes and body sculpting programs.
“[Denton Fitness Center has] a great, positive atmosphere and awesome trainers and coaches that actually care about you and know your name, and different things like that when you’re here,” Gillespie said.
Gillespie started his fitness career as a trainer, and he said when one door closed, another would open in finding a place to work, leading him to the opportunity to own Denton Fitness Center.
“I learned a lot throughout the process, which prepared me for my own gym setting,” Gillespie said. “Once you get things put into place, it normally runs on its own and then from that point on, it’s just about implementing great people to run the gym for you.”
Denton Fitness Center works to provide clients with a platform to increase their athletic ability while in a family environment.
“You should come to Denton Fitness Center because we’re not your average commercial gym,” Gillespie said. “We’re the gym that cares about your well-being. We want to see you succeed. We want to know not just about calorie loss, but we also want to know about how your family is doing and just your overall well-being as a person.”
Denton Fitness Center is located at 723 S. I-35 E. Frontage Rd., and is open Monday through Thursday from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fridays from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Featured image: Courtesy The Cookie Crave
Source: North Texas Daily