BELOIT—Everyone’s invited to the monthly Pop Up Shops event featuring black-owned businesses at Ribs, Reubens & More, 2091 Shopiere Road. The next Pop Up Shops event will be held 11 a.m.—4 p.m. July 13-15, according to Vickie Lynn, owner of Noni Lynn’s Naturals and comedienne.
“Come get some good food, experience some new culture, support local and black businesses and wear your masks,” Lynn said.
The event features three to six vendors inside Ribs, Reubens & More in a safe and socially distant setup with masked-vendors and plenty of hand sanitizer.
Lynn said she had an overwhelmingly positive response after holding the Black Women in Business Expo in February and wanted to do more for local businesses. She decided to create an event featuring men and kids in business as well as women.
“Any person of color in business is welcome to participate in the Pop Up. The Black Women of Business will still be for women, but I want to showcase everybody in the community who feels like they are not being seen,” Lynn said. “We are trying to shine the spotlight on the businesses feeling the effects of COVID-19 . Small business is being hit the hardest. This will be a way to sustain businesses and get their names back out there because a lot of people had to shut down during COVID-19.”
The first event was held June 22 and featured Lilada’s Healing Art, Ronmar Tasty Popcorn, Blessed Divine Creations and Zaria’s Scents of Madison.
The upcoming event will feature Village Girl Boutique and Noni Lynn’s Naturals, all-natural skin care products. More vendors will be added as the event gets closer.
New vendors are welcome including those who sell desserts and baked goods. On Tuesdays and Wednesday of the event Ribs, Reubens & More will be selling chicken, catfish and rib tip dinners.
Those interested in being a vendor can email email@example.com.
Part of the excitement is how the event changes each month, featuring different businesses.
Lynn, who sells Noni Lynn’s Naturals, recently got a job at Ribs, Reuben’s and More promoting the restaurant on social media. She uses her skills in stand-up comedy to try foods and talk about the restaurant’s offerings.
“I love my job,” she said.
Cornelius Turner opened Ribs, Reubens & More on April 17. His business not only sells soul food and a line of T-shirts and hats, but has a table with Noni Lynn’s Naturals skincare products.
Turner also sells other local people’s desserts such as Angie’s sweet potato pie, Auntie Lina Smays’ pound cake and treats by JSweets.
Turner said he’s been very busy since opening. He commended his loyal employees and many customers.
“It’s been a blessing. Beloit has really stepped up and supported us,” Turner said.
“Cornelius Turner has opened his heart and his business to the community, and we are really appreciative,” Lynn said.