BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)– When Rachel Tarwo came to Buffalo from Liberia in 2004, she knew she wanted to start her own business.
“The entrepreneurial spirit is in my heart.When I came here I was working with people and I prayed to all mighty God to help me that one day I would be a business owner ,” said the wife and mother of six.
With guidance from the Community Action Organization of WNY, Tarwo was able to realize her dream and opened Rachel & Daughters African Variety Store(883 Jefferson Ave) Saturday, providing a taste of African cuisine and culture to the city’s East Side.
“This place is not only for Liberians it’s for everybody. The African American, the African, whoever wants to come and buy here they can come and buy,” Tarwo said.
Tarwo graduated at the top of her class in the CAO’S Business Development Workshop Series where they offer help to aspiring entrepreneurs providing access to WiFi, computers, meeting space, and child care, so they can prioritize their business planning.
“Rachel’s work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit exemplify the great opportunities that exist in Buffalo,” CAO’s president and CEO, Thomas Kim said. “It is inspiring to see first-hand how CAO’s programming promotes self-sufficiency and economic development within our community.”
“Black people have been here for over 200 years and it’s time we practice cooperative economics and begin to empower ourselves economically so that we will have a future not just for us but for the next generation,” said CAO business development director Pamela James.
Mayor Byron Brown was on hand for the grand opening of the store. He says it’s a positive sight to see more black businesses opening in the community.
“It’s great to see businesses open on the East Side of Buffalo in spite of the pandemic. They worked hard to open this business during this time and we’re very excited to be here to celebrate this business owner who has faith and confidence in the city of Buffalo.”
A new business is opening on Buffalo’s East Side and it’s owned and operated by Rachel Tarow, a mother of six who came from Liberia with dreams of becoming an entrepreneur. Hear her story later on @news4buffalo #BlackHistoryMonth pic.twitter.com/NFbucqVDz1— Kelly Khatib (@KellyKhatibtv) February 20, 2021
Kelly Khatib is a digital reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.