When most people think of Miami, they automatically picture the party scene of South Beach. However, the city of Miami is full of culture and most recently, a revitalization of historically Black neighborhoods such as Overtown.

For Miami-based couple Jamila Ross and Akino West, doing their part to bring life back into the community was important. Both Ross and West have hospitality and culinary backgrounds, and they have also spent time working in their respective industries abroad. So opening their bed & breakfast, Copper Door, was almost a no-brainer.

Courtesy of Copper Door B&B

“I always saw a bed & breakfast as something I would do once I retired,” Jamila Ross, co-owner of Copper Door B&B told Travel Noire. “After we purchased our first home together as a couple, we decided we wanted to branch out into the commercial space, too. Our realtor showed us the space, which was an old abandoned hotel, and we knew it was perfect for the vision we had.”

Copper Door features 22 guests rooms, which is fairly large compared to the average b&b. But, don’t worry. Ross and West still ensure that each guest’s experience feels personal and intimate.

“We like to provide a “live like a local experience.” We pride ourselves on giving guests one-on-one attention, while also helping them with recommendations around the area.”

Courtesy of Copper Door B&B

Early in the pandemic, all Florida hotels and guest accommodations were forced to shut down for a few months. Ross and West pivoted to ensure they could continue to generate income to keep the business running. They shifted from their normal in-home breakfast offerings for guests, to opening an outdoor breakfast/brunch spot called Rosie’s.

The outdoor space, open Thursday through Sunday from 9am- 3pm, is open to the public. However, because they cannot currently offer their guests the included communal breakfast, they offer them 20% from the restaurant and have adjusted room rates accordingly.

After winning Discover Card’s Black-owned grant, the couple was able expand the menu and provide more of a full-service experience to patrons.

Courtesy of Copper Door B&B

“We are grateful for the grant because we are doing all that we can to maintain and survive, so that we can continue to give back to this community as well.”

A big part of Copper Door’s and Rosie’s mission is to also serve the underprivileged. Ross and West can often be seen handing out free meals to those in need.

“Overtown is a close-knit community,” Ross explained. “This area was big for Black entrepreneurship back in the day. After the expansion of I-95, it adversely affected a lot of those businesses. So we have taken on the task, along with our other community neighbors, to bring life and jobs back to the neighborhood.”

Courtesy of Copper Door B&B

Currently, Copper Door is operating at 50% capacity. The space can also be booked for private events such as weddings or parties. If you are planning a visit to Miami or in need of a staycation, check out their Black Friday special which offers a 6-night stay for as little as $600 using code Week2020.

To learn more about Copper Door B&B or to book your stay visit the website: www.copperdoorbnb.com. You can also follow on Instagram: @copperdoorbnb.

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