INDIANAPOLIS — Comedian Kevin Hart awarded a $10,000 business grant to Indianapolis restaurant Black Leaf Vegan, according to a post from their social media accounts.
The Local Initiatives Support Corporation and Kevin Hart’s Gran Coramino Tequila announced funding for 50 small businesses led by Black and Latinx entrepreneurs. The Black Leaf Vegan was the only business in Indiana to be awarded.
“It makes us feel seen and like were on the right track,” said Derrick Slack, co-owner of Black Leaf Vegan. “It makes us feel like the things that we’re striving for are possible.”
The family-owned cafe has a history of prostate cancer that runs in their family, and it was one of their catalysts for change. “We really started to take a hard look at our health, ” said Slack. “We started looking at that and saying how can we change the DNA of our family.”
Black Leaf Vegan has several plant-based options to choose from including burgers, sweet potato fries, mac and cheese, sweet treats, smoothies and more.
“The future of black leaf vegan is multi-faceted,” said Slack. “The café is a component of what we’re trying to build, and what we’re trying to build is a legacy not only for our family but for the community. We want to provide more health options, more opportunities, more money and more experiences that people can really be inspired by, and that’s building a H.O.M.E. (health, opportunity, money and experiences).”
The Black Leaf Vegan, which also owns two food trucks, is spending the award on cafe equipment and as a cushion for payroll.
“We want Kevin Hart to come here. We really want him to come, sit down, and bask in the light of what he’s already shined on us and see the resources that he has provided us,” said Slack.
The cafe is open Monday – Friday, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Black Leaf Vegan is located at 335 W 9th St, Indianapolis, IN 46202.