Photo Credit: Courtesy of Alexandra Bernard-Simmons
The Tri-State Area's First Black-Woman Owned Supermarket Is Coming Soon
The disparities revealed during the pandemic are what lit a fire in Alexandra Bernard-Simmons to do something she says has not been done effectively before. She is on a mission to not only create a Black-owned grocery store in New Jersey but allow it to serve as the flagship for what she hopes will be a path towards generational wealth.
“Black people were in a triple pandemic. We had to deal with the virus and racial tension, all while our small businesses were closing,” Bernard-Simmons told Travel Noire. “During the pandemic, we made Jeff Bezos richer, Walmart and Target sales skyrocketed, when our small businesses are closing down. We made other people richer by standing in line for toilet paper and everything that we need. At that point, I was upset.”
Bernard-Simmons is the owner of Think Like A Boss: an award-winning international women’s empowerment movement that has helped thousands of women worldwide own their own businesses.
“Think Like A Boss is about being CEO of your own life and taking back control. Our events are about financial literacy, mental health and wellness, and relationships,” said Bernard-Simmons. “We even did a ‘Shoot Like A Boss’ event after cops decided they were going to walk up in someone’s house and shoot Black women.”
She adds that she has a way of reading the room and figuring out the Black community’s needs. Her latest venture will do just that.
“One day when I was meditating, I had a visit from my ancestors and they told me I have to help my community control the food and the money […] we need supermarkets,” she said.
Think Like A Boss is currently constructing what she says is the first Black-owned supermarket in New Jersey. It will be named Seneca to pay homage to the Black neighborhood in New York City that was town down to build Central Park.
“The goal is to build generational wealth in our community. Yes, I’m building one in New Jersey but I want someone else to take it and build franchises in New York City, Houston, Inglewood, wherever.”
Seneca Market will be filled with Black-owned products first and aisles will be named after prominent Black people.
The store is expected to open in the Fall of 2021.