Legacy Place offers pop-up space to promote local black-owned businesses

DEDHAM, Mass. — John Kalissa just launched his Framingham-based coffee company, Happy Bean Roaster, in August.

“This has been one of my dreams to actually start a small business of my own, from scratch,” he said.

Kalissa is taking part in the Black Owned Bos. Holiday Collective at Legacy Place. The pop-up features a group of locally-owned black businesses, like Kalissa’s, that sell their products, including some unique ones.

“This is very, very unique coffee. This is the only product you can find right here in Massachusetts,” Kalissa said.

Jae’da Turner founded Black-Owned Bos. last year. She said the goal of these pop-ups is to raise awareness for black entrepreneurship and for people to buy black, locally-owned products.

“It allows them to reach new audiences. It allows for customers within the new neighborhoods that we’re in to see new businesses and kind of diversify their spending,”  she said.

Each weekend leading up to Christmas, 10 vendors are featured and they rotate each weekend, including 20-year-old Lena Harris, co-owner of 195 Essential. This is her first pop-up.

“We think that especially black-owned small businesses are so essential to society, so we are really excited to not only for us to be here, but for other businesses as well,” she said.

Harris’s t-shirt business was born out of COVID-19 as a way to support healthcare workers.

“Growing out of the pandemic we haven’t had the ability to do any in-person venues, so that’s been a bit of a challenge. We’ve been online, so this is an exciting opportunity for us,” Harris said.

An exciting opportunity for these vendors to raise some money and awareness.

The pop-up is open at Legacy Place on weekends from 11 am until 6 pm through Sunday, December 20th.