Choose Tallahassee Celebrates
Black History Month
Choose Tallahassee is proud to celebrate
Black History Month!
Throughout the month of February, Choose Tallahassee is highlighting Black business owners and esteemed community members who live, work, play and have chosen to STAY and make Tallahassee their home. Read their stories below to discover all the reasons why they believe Tallahassee is the best place to start a business and raise a family.
Community Leader | City of Tallahassee
Anita Neal Favors is a trailblazer, tenacious leader and people advocate who has created a remarkable legacy as the first African American Female city manager of Florida’s capital city. The City of Tallahassee thrived under her leadership. In 2010, the COT was recognized for its efforts toward environmental stewardship by being named “Most Livable Community”, and the Parks system was declared “Best in the Nation” during her tenure. Since retirement, Favors has continued to be highly involved in the community.
When asked what she loves most about the city, she said “I love that Tallahassee considers the environment important, and that it treasures and nurtures a beautiful outdoor environment with trees, parks and well maintained and beautiful roadways.”
President | Capital City Chamber of Commerce
Katrina Tuggerson is the President of the Capital City Chamber of Commerce and a Choose Tallahassee board member. She works tirelessly to provide assistance to small business owners and entrepreneurs so that they can reach their full potential.
CEO | B-EZ Graphics
Brian K. Wyatt, Jr. is a Military Veteran, Brand Architect, and Marketing Strategist. For over 16 years, Brian and his team of visual storytellers at B-EZ Graphix have been #EXCELERATING brands with scroll-stopping visual experiences, click-worthy website designs, and growth-driven integrated marketing strategies.
Here’s the story of how Brian found himself in Tallahassee: “In 2016, I was promoted to H&R Block’s District General Manager of the North Florida/South Georgia district, headquartered here in Tallahassee, FL. In this role, I traveled around the region frequently to grow a $14MIL portfolio of over 31 retail locations. Despite the success and attractive salary, the stress was hard on me and distanced me from my wife, Sierra, and our large family of [now] 10 children. So, I parted ways from that salaried role to start my business, B-EZ Graphix, as a full-time solo-entrepreneur. We’ve grown in the last 4 years and now have over 15 employees.”
Owner | LB's Bootcamps
LaBarron “LB” Smith is a fitness instructor and the owner of LB’s Bootcamps, the longest running bootcamp in Tallahassee, Florida. LB moved to Tallahassee to play football for the Florida State Seminoles. Upon graduation, he continued to follow his passion for sports and competed in multiple bodybuilding competitions, tough mudders and other athletic competitions across the state. Today, he owns his gym (also known as “Grindhouse”), where he offers personal training, small group classes and weight training packages to residents of the Tallahassee community who aren’t just looking to get fit, they’re looking for a lifestyle change!
Owner | CTW Broadcasting Inc.
Carlos Wilder is Tallahassee through and through! He was born and raised in Florida’s capital city, moved away for college, and ultimately returned home to the city he loves to build his company, CTW Broadcasting Inc.
Carlos uses technical skill, experience, and creative intuition to provide the highest quality audio-visual content, which includes everything from videos, photography, commercials, motion graphics, interactive social media ads, print ads, sound design, music beds, and more.
When asked what Carlos loves most about Tallahassee, here is what he said: “Summertime has always been the best. I have always enjoyed going to the festivals, musicals, and cultural event gatherings with my family.”
President | JP Goldsmith Financial Services Inc
Hillard Goldsmith moved to Tallahassee in 1988 on a Track & Field scholarship from Florida State University. During that time, he was able to share the track with some of FSU’s all-time greats, like Sammie Smith, Dexter Carter and Prime Time!
Hillard is an Enrolled Agent Tax Expert at JP Goldsmith Financial Services Inc. His firm provides accounting, bookkeeping and business management services for those who are looking to start a business but aren’t sure where or how to begin.
Hillard states, “I chose to start our business in Tallahassee because it is the seat of government for the state of Florida. I love that the city is progressive, vibrant, and youthful, thanks to the universities… it provides a great environment to start and raise a family.”
Owner | Ma's Diner
Michael Robinson and his wife moved to Tallahassee from Atlanta because they wanted to raise their family in a smaller, close-knit community. Michael’s wife was from Tallahassee, but Michael was new to the city.
“When we first moved to Tallahassee, my wife encouraged me to attend a music seminar at The Junction because I was a DJ and looking to meet people in the industry,” Michael stated. “At the seminar, I met Dean Minardi who hired me for my first DJ gig in Tallahassee and introduced me to many influential people, which eventually led to me opening my own business.”
Michael is now the Owner and Operator of Ma’s Diner, a breakfast and lunch restaurant in north Tallahassee. His advice for folks new to the city: “Try all the different experiences, restaurants, events and outdoor activities that Tallahassee provides!”
City Commissioner | City of Tallahassee
Curtis Richardson’s career in public service began with his election to the Leon County School Board. He was the first Black male elected to that post in the history of the district, and served two years as Board Chairman.
Curtis is a Florida State University graduate and has lived in Tallahassee for the past 45 years. His wife and 2 daughters attend Bethel AME church where Curtis is an usher, trustee and former steward. He is a passionate advocate for the city, and states: “I have devoted myself to serving this community in a number of different capacities in an effort to make it a better place for our residents, their families, and guests to the city.”
Owner | Olean's Cafe
Olean is the proud owner of Olean’s Cafe, a soul-food restaurant located downtown. Growing up, Olean McCaskill paid close attention while cooking with her grandmother. Soon after, she was cooking all on her own and later opened Olean’s Cafe to share her delicious dishes with the world.
Over the years, she has had many famous guests come through her doors, including President Joe Biden, back in 2016!
Owner | Barb's Gourmet Brittles
Barbara McGarrah is the owner of Barb’s Gourmet Brittles – a gourmet candy and ice cream shop located in the cottages at Lake Ella. They manufacture 25+ varieties of candy brittle, which are used to create ice cream, cookies, pralines and other delectable treats.
Barb moved to Tallahassee more than 30 years ago, to attend Florida State University, and loved it so much she decided to make it her permanent home! Her favorite Tallahassee memory is of the day she was offered a brick & mortar location at the Cottage @ Lake Ella, when she realized for the very first time that she could achieve her dream of being a business owner.
Joseph & Teresa Nix
Owners | Catering With Care
Joseph and Teresa Nix own and operate a full-service catering company and cafe in Tallahassee, Florida. Catering With Care offers many southern staples and provides an atmosphere that is filled with southern hospitality.
Joseph and Teresa grew up in the now-historic neighborhood of Smokey Hollow. The couple started from humble beginnings, but in 2014 they opened Catering With Care and haven’t looked back! Since they began the business, the couple has catered many delicious meals for hundreds of wonderful people and businesses throughout the city and the surrounding area.
Their advice to Tallahassee newcomers: “Try to take in all of the Southern Charm and rich history that Tallahassee has to offer. There’s nothing more peaceful than a leisurely drive down one of the city’s canopy roads.”