‘Move Dayton forward;’ New non-profit hopes to grow businesses and create jobs

DOWNTOWN DAYTON — A trio of African American entrepreneurs are using the past to inspire the future, in hopes of rebuilding the city.

They are launching the 6888 Kitchen in Downtown Dayton, to help small food businesses grow and create jobs.

“I’m humbled and grateful because this is a huge undertaking,” Dabriah Rice, the executive kitchen manager said.

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Rice is one of the three friends and business partners who decided to create a non-profit kitchen incubator.

The huge storefront on Ludlow Street will allow young food entrepreneurs a place to train before taking off.

“We want to make sure they have the knowledge, the education, the resources, everything they are going to need,” Rice said.

Jamaica White, the COO for 6888 Kitchen, said they began working on this dream four and a half years ago, then COVID hit, and then supply chain issues came up.

“There’s been a lot of hurdles we had to overcome,” White said.

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Still, they kept moving forward, finding their space in the historic Dayton arcade complex.

They think the historical site is a great place to write the next chapter that moves Dayton forward.

They plan to grow entrepreneurs into small businesses that make owner’s dreams come true and change family fortunes.

“No matter your race, your age, creed, sexuality, we are here to serve you and that’s why we wanted to build this kitchen,” White said.

Charlynda Scales, the Executive Director of the 6888 Kitchen and the OH Taste Foundation says their kitchen will move forward but is rooted in the struggle these friends have fought through.

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“This is about how to move Dayton forward, this is about economic development,” Scales said.

Their business name is a nod to the 6 Triple 8th Postal battalion in World War II, the only all-female unit posted overseas.

The 6888th, led by Dayton native Charity Early Adams, broke down a million parcel backlog of mail waiting to go to GI’s Europe in just three months, battling discrimination while doing it. The women are proud to have that name on their business, helping move Dayton forward.

“When we heard that story, we were like that’s a no-brainer, we want to be the 6 triple 8 kitchen,” Scales said.

The 6888 Kitchen is having a soft opening next Thursday, they already have 9 tenants signed up to rent space and begin their journey to a self-sufficient food-based business. They will also eventually have a retail space there to by fresh food.

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